Yosarian waves hello. Essays on the way.

Hello, I am Yosarian. My name is inspired by one of Joseph Heller’s main characters in Catch-22.

In the months to come I will be an active part of the forum life. It is my desire to study Creative Writing, American Studies or English Literature abroad.

Do you agree or disagree? “Progress is always a good thing.”

Ever since the dawn of civilisation, man has been trying to improve on his quality of life. In the days gone by, ancient civilisations rose and fell, but even in their decline they struggled to preserve the achievements of science and the merits of their own culture.

There are many reasons for progress to be an incessant process. Let’s talk about what kind of people there are – there are those who focus their entire being on improving their quality of life, and those who aspire to higher understanding of the universe and human nature in particular. This instance calls for two different points of views to be established. Looking back at history we can see all the great leaders and civilisations – Attila, the great Roman emperors, the Church of ancient Rome, the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece, the Slavonic tribes, and all of these strived to subdue the whole known world under their rule. However egoistic this may seem, the drive for conquering the known world was determined by the unrealised desire of man to bond with his next of kin, meaning that man has always strived to live with his fellow in peace. Instinctively, our race soon came to realise that the strong should rule over the weak if this utopia -, i.e. of everlasting peace - was ever to be fulfilled.

In the above paragraph we tried to talk about progress as a phenomenon prompted by the man’s desire to establish himself as the superior being – even amongst his own species. In the present lines we will argue that progress throughout the ages was the cause of many deaths and the disappearing of many prosperous civilisations whose achievements enrich man’s culture today. The Roman scholars, for example, had always craved for knowledge,and so was the case with the Egyptians who build the Library of Alexandria in order to retain the knowledge of man and endow it to future generations. Their rulers, on the other hand, were self-indulgent and feverish for power and wealth.
They conquered and destroyed without carrying if they were obliterating any human knowledge. They believed that they were establishing the superior order of their own civilisations, but in fact the tyrannies they carried out were reflections of their own unenlightened minds.

In conclusion, progress is a good thing in so far as it is a good thing nowadays. Society today, claims to have achieved an evolutionary level where only the sole effort of the mind is enough to improve on the quality of life. Back in the dark ages however, progress was the necessary evil. It was the only tool that could reveal to man his own faults, noticeably after many, many bloodsheds and unnecessary acts of violence.

TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between a student and a university service representative

Hi, welcome to the forum! I look forward to your essays and you are always welcome to comment or make suggestions to others’ essays as well. You are obviously a very gifted writer. Only a couple errors I could find. I do think that your essay did not really address the prompt much at all. With TOEFL essays you can’t really be wishy-washy - they like black and white better. As I have discussed with a student, these prompts with “never” “all” “always” or “none” are not very well written. How can one prove that progress is always a good thing? But still, the TOEFL graders are looking for an introduction ending with your three reasons to support your argument, with one reason explained in each following paragraph, with a snappy conclusion to wrap it up.