(Model essay) Academic IELTS exam question as seen in Toronto on 30 August 2011

Some people think it is our moral duty to help poor people.  Some people think that big amounts of money do not reach the poor.  Discuss and give your opinion.

There is no question that poverty around the world is a major issue.  However, often the responsibility and role the wealthy play in supporting the less wealthy is debated on both moral and practical grounds.  Many believe as ethical human beings, people are required to support each other.  Others feel the system for providing financial support is too flawed to be engaged.  Both sides will be discussed in this essay before a conclusion is reached.

On the one hand, many people argue all humans have a moral obligation to help the less fortunate, and the merits of this are easy to see.  For example, Mother Teresa devoted her life to rectifying dire living situations around the world.  Her actions made it clear that a single individual can make a big difference, and this is the basis of the argument that all humans have a responsibility to each other.  It is easy to see why many people support this point of view.

However, others counter this argument by citing basic flaws that make it difficult for modern people to help the poor.  For instance, it is widely known that China’s political system is rife with corruption.  For Chinese people wanting to donate money, there is of course a possibility that established organizations for human welfare are equally as corrupt.  Thus, many fear that any financial help they provide will not actually reach those in need.  When looking at this example, it is clear why many support the idea that donating money is in many ways fruitless.

After analyzing both sides of this argument, it is felt perhaps the best way to help others is to donate time instead of money.  It is hoped more people will do what they can for the benefit of those in need.

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