Directions: You have 25 minutes to plan and write an essay on the given topic. Do not write on another topic, as essays not on the topic receive a score of zero. You will be scored on how clearly and effectively you express your thoughts in writing. Develop your point of view carefully, as your writing will be evaluated on quality, not quantity; but do plan on writing several paragraphs to cover the topic adequately. Write legibly (print if necessary) and be specific.
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following quotations and the assigment below.
“The general fact is that the most effective way of utilizing human energy is through organized competition.” —Adapted from Charles Horton Cooley
“Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity.” —Daniel Burrus
Does an emphasis on competition tend to improve or harm our society? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with rea - soning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
Competition has definite benefits. It encourages people and organizations to try harder and do their best. That is why American society is largely organized around competitive battles. But a balance is needed. When there is too much competition, everybody loses.
Take business as an example. When companies try to win at all costs, people often suffer. Companies fighting for sur- vival may lower their prices, which is good for customers.
But companies locked in competition also fire workers, which can hurt thousands of families. Sometimes managers feel driven to use unfair tactics, as when companies exploit employees by failing to pay overtime wages. Competition that is out of control can hurt average Americans.
Politics is another field where competition has gotten out of hand. At one time, competition in politics took place only 14 during elections. Now it is constant. Politicians call one another names, accuse one another of crimes, and run ads attacking each other. The high cost of campaign ads makes it hard for candidates who aren’ t rich to be elected. No wonder many Americans say they have come to hate politics.
Now competition has even come to the T V screen. Today’s most popular shows are “reality” shows where people lie, cheat, and hurt each other. What kind of lesson about life does this send to young kids who may be watching?
We will never do away with all competition and we should not try to. But too much of a good thing can be bad, and this is true of competition.
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