Monday, 29 May 2017

CPE Essay Sample 2017

I'm not sure that you still do the free writings corrections but in case you do, I would like to send one of my practice essays for CPE (Writing Task 1).
Thank you in advance!


1. Even in our information-rich digital age, when there are diverse ways of occupying our leisure time, museums continue to play a fundamental role in society. Over the last decade in particular, museums have become more community-orientated, and the majority seek to be inclusive rather than elitist, reaching out to everyone. This change of heart has necessitated a degree of creativity in the presentation of information. Objects rarely ‘speak for themselves’ and, where a low reading age must often be assumed, museum curators have looked to modern technology to breathe more life into exhibits, whether through interactive techniques, or accompanying audio-visual effects.

2. The purpose of museum is to stimulate learning and broaden the horizons of its visitors, yet many museums nowadays appear to neglect this responsibility in an attempt to entertain rather than educate. The dumbing down of exhibitions is widespread – in short, the medium has become more important than the message. Learning is all too often compromised by technological wizardry, which may impress on a superficial level but essentially trivialises, and provides a content-lite ‘experience’. Whether this is in response to government cuts or merely reflects a trend among museum directors, it is undoubtedly a change for the worse.

Do museums benefit from modern technology?

In our technologically advanced age progress finds its way into many areas including such traditional ones as museums. But do museums benefit from the incorporation of technology? Or does technology threatens to destroy the very essence of what museums are? The two extracts express contrasting views on this issue.

The first text stresses that although we live in a digital era and therefore have access to a large variety of information sources, museums still remain an important part in people’s lives. Furthermore, in recent years efforts have been made to make museums more understandable and accessible to everyone. Some of the said efforts include extensive use of modern technology in order to make the whole museum experience more fascinating to the general public.

Conversely, the second passage makes a point that the paramount aim of museums is to educate people. It argues against integrating modern technology into exhibitions, claiming that instead of contributing to more effective delivery of their message it becomes too much of an end in itself. Museums are becoming more entertaining but the knowledge they give is increasingly perfunctory.

There is little to disagree with in the first text. Museums still play a significant role in our life and there is no doubt that trying to make them more attractive is a very  reasonable and commendable course of action. The second text is somewhat more controversial but mostly I agree with the author’s point of view. Despite their good intentions, museum curators often get carried away with the exciting opportunities the modern technology provides and as a result exhibits turn into meaningless trinkets which attract attention but have no educational value whatsoever.

To sum up, it is important to move with the times and incorporate new technologies but the real aim of museums should by no means be forgotten.

Feedback: The text is well organised and you have summarised both texts. But, what does the task say? Only summarise? Or you have to give your opinions as well? 

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