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Topic 91: Some people argue that history is of little or no use to us. Others believe that studying history gives many benefits. Discuss those views and give your own opinion.

History has long been recognised us a discipline, but it .seems to be a fact that few students have a clear concept of why they should study it. Many people even argue that studying history is meaningless, considering the past differs in many important ways from the present. In my opinion, there are many facts to show the importance of history as a subject.

Despite the scepticism over the relevance of historical events to today's society, understanding the past contributes to people's decision making in today's social context. By studying history, people can draw on the experience of the generations before them, taking a similar path to success and avoiding a dead-end. Besides, they understand how and why people (e. g., Hitler, Napoleon) behaved as they did. They are aware that people are neither good nor bad but motivated in complex ways. Instead of being misguided by stereotypes or historians, one learns to analyse issues or subjects based on historical context and perspective, take a dispassionate view toward today's political and social problems and trace origins and causes objectively.

To students, studying history is not only to seek self-knowledge, but also to enhance their skills and make themselves all-round individuals. The study of history requires independent research as well as coherent explanations. Students are encouraged to do as much work independently as they can and to read widely and extensively. In addition to widening their experience, it helps students develop qualities of perception and judgements. Students are increasingly capable to analyse and compare conflicting views. All these improvements can foster a student's intellectual independence, sharpness and maturity. These strengths are transferable across occupations and careers.

Although studying history is beneficial, its importance should not be overstated. The world is changing so rapidly that the lesson from the past might be applicable in particular circumstances only. For instance, imperialism is now occurring in business or culture, rather than in colonies. Taking the same approaches to combat imperialism might be counter effective. Studying history should not be taken as a demanding job but preferably as a pastime that satisfies people's curiosity over the past. In addressing real-life issues, current events give people more hints and advice than historical events do.

From what has been discussed, studying history is very important, particularly in increasing one's knowledge and enhancing one's intellectual abilities. However, it should not be attached with unjustified importance because its applications in today's society are not known with certainty.

1. meaningless = insignificant = worthless = unimportant

2. scepticism = doubt

3. motivate = inspire = encourage = stimulate

4. misguide = mislead

5. dispassionate = unbiased = objective = impartial

6. coherent = consistent

7. sharpness = acuteness

8. transferable = conveyable-convertible

9. overstate = exaggerate = over-emphasise

10. curiosity = inquisitiveness = interest

11. unjustified = groundless

12. with certainty = certainly

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 989

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