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Reading books keeps a person’s mind active, whereas watching films and television....(Band 9 Essay)

Updated: Jun 27

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Reading books keeps a person’s mind active, whereas watching films and television is passive and does not require a person to use their imagination.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


Task 2 Band 9 Essay Sample (Reading books keeps a person’s mind active, whereas watching films and television is passive and does not require a person to use their imagination.)

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Sample Essay 1

It is widely believed that reading books stimulate people’s imagination and expand their knowledge base, while watching movies is merely a momentary concentration. I completely agree with this statement because reading a book helps people to visualize at its best, whereas watching TV or film restrains them from thinking beyond the presented pictures or videos. I am going to elaborate this idea further to establish my opinion.


Reading is the best mode of nurturing the power of imagination. When people read a story, they tend to visualize the settings and the characters involved in it. The deeper they dive into the story, the more their imaginations branch out accordingly. For instance, most of the avid reader of Harry Potter novel series got extremely disappointed when they watched its film series afterwards, because the way they drew the pictures in their imagination were much deeper than that of the films. This is how books keep people’s thought power more active which eventually helps them in real life in terms of idea generation.


In addition, reading a book leads us through real knowledge and vicarious experience, whereas a TV or film simply gives a transient entertainment or emotion. Presentation of this contrast remains incomplete without the words of Groucho Marx “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Furthermore, experiments show that people feel tired after many hours of reading, but they do not experience the same in case of watching television, indicating that brainwave activity during reading is more active than that of the other way around.


To sum up, reading stimulates brain activity and results in imagination which eventually helps in real life in term of generating creative output, whereas watching TV or film can simply pass an ephemeral feeling. Therefore, I firmly believe that reading offers us an incredible brain culture, which is impossible to gain in the other way around.


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Sample Essay 2

The debate on whether reading books or watching visual media better stimulates the mind and imagination is complex. Critics claim reading enhances creativity and mental activity, as it demands imagination to picture scenarios and characters, while viewing films and TV is seen as passive, limiting imaginative effort. This essay argues that although reading actively engages the imagination, visual media should not be deemed entirely passive, as it can also encourage critical thinking and creativity, particularly in a time when technology's growth widens the socioeconomic divide.


Books are unparalleled in their capacity to engage the reader’s imaginative faculties. They compel us to construct worlds in our minds, envision the appearance of characters, and interpret narratives in a uniquely personal way. This active engagement not only enhances creativity but also improves cognitive abilities, such as focus, memory, and analytical thinking. Furthermore, literature often delves into complex themes and ideologies, challenging readers to ponder and interpret, thereby fostering a deeper level of intellectual engagement.


However, the assertion that visual media serves as a passive form of entertainment fails to consider the evolution of storytelling techniques that provoke thought and participation. Modern films and television series, equipped with complex narratives and moral dilemmas, encourage viewers to analyze, question, and interpret, much like reading does. This interaction becomes especially pertinent when considering how the technology available to people is increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, a theme explored in both mediums that invites reflection on societal issues.


Moreover, visual media offers accessibility to storytelling for those who may not have the inclination or ability to engage with written text, including young children, non-native speakers, and individuals with certain disabilities. By presenting stories and information visually, films and television can spark interest in topics and inspire viewers to pursue further reading or research, thereby acting as a complement to the reading experience.


In conclusion, reading books clearly stimulates the mind and imagination, but dismissing visual media's role in promoting intellectual and creative thinking overlooks its value as an educational and inspirational resource. Both forms, when critically approached, enhance intellectual growth. As technology's influence continues to expand societal divides, recognizing the distinct advantages of both reading and visual media is essential for nurturing a knowledgeable, imaginative, and critically aware society.


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Sample Answer 3

The debate on reading vs. visual media's cognitive effects is complex. Advocates argue reading actively engages the mind, enhancing imagination. In contrast, visual media is seen as passive, demanding less creativity from viewers. However, this essay argues that visual media also fosters critical thinking and imagination, especially important as technology widens social gaps. Dismissing its value overlooks its potential to inspire and educate, alongside reading's known benefits in building mental agility and creativity.


Reading is an exercise in active engagement, demanding not just the visualization of textually described universes but also the interpretation of subtext and nuance. This engagement stretches the cognitive muscles of the reader, enhancing imagination, empathy, and analytical skills. Through literature, readers encounter diverse perspectives and complex narratives that challenge preconceptions, thereby broadening their cognitive and emotional bandwidth.


However, to categorize visual media as merely a passive diversion is to oversimplify its potential impact. Films and television, through their visual and auditory storytelling, can also provoke thought, elicit empathy, and inspire creativity. They can distill complex issues into accessible narratives, making them especially poignant in an era where the divide between socioeconomic classes is increasingly pronounced due to the proliferation of technology. This capacity to democratize access to stories and ideas underscores the intellectual and imaginative value of visual media.


In conclusion, the contrast between reading and visual media is more nuanced than commonly suggested. Both mediums uniquely stimulate imagination, encourage critical thinking, and address societal challenges. Recognizing their combined value is crucial in a technologically divided world, as it promotes a comprehensive, critically aware, and imaginative community, bridging gaps while enriching intellectual engagement.


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