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Sample Argumentative Essay: Is Art Important?
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS exam is the primary tool used in testing the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. The exam evaluates English proficiency in four areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The writing test, in particular, often requires examinees to compose short essays on a particular topic. The type of essay depends on the task, but one of these is the argumentative essay, which is characterized by its use of evidence from scholarly sources and logic. The sample argumentative essay below typifies the kind of work that IELTS requires. This sample argumentative essay discusses why art is important.
People usually associate art with aesthetic pleasure. After all, art has been producing timeless works of great beauty since ancient times. This is the reason why some of the greatest institutions people founded are dedicated to the study, promotion, and preservation of art. The Louvre Museum in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for instance, welcome millions of tourists every year. But while art is admired, there is also this notion that art is important but not essential. The recent incident at London’s National Gallery where climate activists threw tomato soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (Capoot, 2022) is one example of how art can sometimes be seen as less valuable than others. But contrary to this belief that art is not important, it is in fact important for many reasons. Not only is art woven into the fabric of daily life, it is vital for its power to enrich the body and soul, educate, and make a political statement.
Firstly, art is important for its power to enrich the body and soul. People have always known that art has the power to evoke positive thoughts, feelings, and emotions. People who join activities that engage with art such as visiting museums and art galleries often feel a sense of joy, serenity, and satisfaction. Anyone who has had the opportunity to view great works like those of Salvador Dali knows the feeling of encountering something that represents human creativity. However, studies show that art is capable of more than just making people feel good; it also can be beneficial to health. Multiple studies show that creating art can help ease stress and negative emotions. One study found a strong correlation between art and a sense of healing (Stuckey & Nobel, 2010). This is the reason why art as an emotional outlet has become a staple in various interventions (Harvard Health, 2017). The World Health Organization (2022) further notes that art can be a source of strength and resilience, thereby allowing people to transcend challenges and crises. Including the arts in interventions improves outcomes and promotes recovery for those who have suffered through various issues. The practical effects of art on individual and public health testify to the importance of art in daily life.
Art is also important because of its power to educate. Art, like literature , can be a source of knowledge. For instance, art has always been considered a reflection of a society’s values, traditions, belief systems, and heritage. What is considered art, how art is produced, and the existence of art censorship can tell much about society. In other words, the history and character of society are quite literally written in its art. The innovativeness of art during the Renaissance Period , for example, is a reflection of the great changes that characterized the era. Conducting thematic and formal analysis is one way to reveal what art tells about society. Art can also express ideas in ways that no other medium can, and this makes art such a valuable tool for education (National Public Radio, 2016). Given art’s power to convey information, ideas, and knowledge, there is no doubt that it is just as important as other essential needs of society.
Finally, art is important because of its power to make a political statement. What is remarkable about art is how it is not created just for aesthetic pleasure; it is also made to advance political statements. One artist who embodies this is Banksy . Despite successfully hiding his true identity, Banksy has captured the world’s attention through his provocative works that explore issues relating to climate change, war, fascism, and social inequality (Ellsworth-Jones, 2013). But Banksy is by no means the first to do this. Art is and has always been political. Artworks created by the early Christians, for instance, can easily be seen as a form of dissent against persecution by the Romans. Ultimately, activism occupies a prominent place in art.
Art is not created and viewed merely for enjoyment. Contrary to some claims that art is nonessential, it is perhaps one of the most essential necessities next to the basics like nutrition and air. While it is true that art is inedible, it has the capacity to nourish the soul. It is also a tool for education. And still, it is a vehicle for the spread of ideas. Anyone who imagines a world without art will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that it is, has always been, and will forever be important.
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Capoot, A. (2022, October 15). Oil protesters appear in court after throwing soup at Van Gogh painting . CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/15/oil-protesters-appear-in-court-threw-soup-van-gogh-painting.html
Ellsworth-Jones, W. (2013). The story behind Banksy. Smithsonian Magazine . https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-story-behind-banksy-4310304/
Harvard Health. (2017). The healing power of art . Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/the-healing-power-of-art
National Public Radio. (2016). Italy’s ‘cultural allowance’ for teens aims to educate, counter extremism . https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/27/495648319/italys-cultural-allowance-for-teens-aims-to-educate-counter-extremism
Stuckey, H. L. & Nobel, J. (2010). The connection between art, healing, and public health: A review of current literature. American Journal of Public Health, 100 (2), 254-263. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497
World Health Organization. (2022). Arts and health. https://www.who.int/initiatives/arts-and-health