The following 85% essay plans by Goldhawkgonk are reprinted with permission and thanks. You can read the originals on this thread:


I think Nic is bang on with the need for the essays to be really sort of current-affairsy. I think it’s the concrete examples to support your arguments that make it a good essay for GAMSAT markers – I think as soon as you start talking in the abstract (or according to one guide I read, start making big sweeping statements or trite rhetorical questions like ‘Is this all humanity is good for?), this is what loses marks.

I got an 85. My essays were:

Big Government vs Small Government

  1. I made a massive generalisation (!) and talked about the UK Government – labour as ‘big state’, Tories as small state, to place it in a current context
  2. Argued for big state as legislation would have prevented current financial meltdown
  3. Argued for small state as lowering taxes, on flip of a coin, would remove fiscal deficit the financial meltdown has caused
  4. Talked about healthcare – big state legislation for smoking, broader benefit
  5. Talked about small state – places onus on individual, and individual responsibility
  6. whacked out a thatcher quote
  7. concluded for big state as preferable as duty of the wealthy to provide for the poorer, as individualism removes collective responsibility for those less able to provide for themselves

Is the media nothing but rubbish and does this damage democracy?

  1. Media is, in the main, owned by corporations who must derive shareholder value from advertising -eg. NewsCorp
  2. To create more ad impacts, the media must be absorbed by more people
  3. To drive readership, media has often become obsessed than entertainment and trash – eg. free newspapers distributed in london, obsessed with celebrity
  4. By failing to cover and interrogate the news, this hinders democracy
  5. HOWEVER the media cn still hold democratic institutions to account
  6. Telegraph in MPs exes scandal
  7. Guardian in the G8 police beating
  8. Therefore not all media is rubbish and it does act to uplhold democracy
  9. But there’s still entertainment value in these stories – especially MPs expenses – ‘worthy’ journalism is still entertainment
  10. To conclude, there is a lot of rubbish, but there’s also decent journalism
  11. But centrally, newspaper readerships are defined by what we as an audience want to read – if we are obsessed with celebrity that’s what WE’LL get, and the damage to democracy is public fault, not the media’s.