2014年5月24日托福独立写作题目：Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: it is important for government to provide money for things that are beautiful, not just for things that are practical. Please use specific details and examples in your answer.
I firmly believe that the government’s role in providing for citizens is a vast and all-encompassing one. It is easy for some people to say that the government should stick to building and supporting projects that fulfill only functional roles in people’s lives; however, I believe governments must support projects that beautify and enrich people’s lives as well. Governments who beautify their cities will no doubt have nearly unanimous support from the people as these intangible improvements are indeed priceless.
In my hometown, the government does an admirable job focusing on the quality of life of the residents and ascetic beauty of the city. When considering new construction projects, the city council always favors proposals that promote city beautification. For example, my hometown has a new library. The library is a beautiful structure that integrates natural sunlight and foliage into the building and landscape. Its exterior appearance also blends well with the surrounding buildings so that there is a sense of cohesion in the city. It would have been very easy, and probably a lot cheaper, to have just built a boring box-shaped library. However, by focusing on ascetic beauty and the external appearance, my hometown now has a wonderfully library that is both functional and beautiful.
Another way in which my hometown has focused on city beautification is by planting flowers in public areas. There are flower boxes and hanging baskets all along the roadsides and at major intersections. Now some people may insist that this is a tremendous waste of tax-payer dollars that could have otherwise been used to fund welfare programs, health services, or education programs. I contend that the simple act of planting and maintaining flowers in the city promotes an overall sense of happiness for the residents and breaks up the monotony of an otherwise terribly boring and gray strip of road.
It would be easy for municipal governments to ignore these beautification projects. Indeed many governments do. However, I firmly believe that a more beautiful city directly correlates to a more content populace. With a more beautiful city people can live a more harmonious life, one full of splendor and function.
People always argue that it is more important for government to spend money on things that are practical than spend the money for things that are beautiful. Admittedly, the major function of the government is to provide its citizens with safety, healthcare and education. However, those fantastic eye-catching projects are not necessarily unpractical. In fact, they can actually bring innumerable benefits to the country and worth the trouble. Therefore, I totally believe that providing money for things that are beautiful could be a good idea.
In the first place, beautiful things boost the national income. The recent decades has enjoyed a surge of majestic mansions and skyscrapers on a global scale. They are pleasing to the eye and practical in use, and moreover, they might bring huge economic benefits. Sydney Opera House, the most famous architectures in the world, has been a representative of Australia as the pyramids are of Egypt, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists from home and abroad annually. According to an estimate that every year the Sydney Opera House contributes 775 billion Australian dollars to the national economy in tourist industry. With such immense contribution, no one can undermine the importance of the construction of the Sydney Opera House.
In the second place, fantastic eye-catching projects are not necessarily useless. Maglev train is considered to be a remarkable milestone in the transportation history. The sleek design and fast speed enable it to be as eye-catching as any other landmarks in the rest of the world. Maglev train moves more smoothly and somewhat more quietly than conventional trains. Their non-reliance on traction and friction means that acceleration and deceleration can surpass that of wheeled transports, and they are unaffected by weather. Unlike any old trains, this new train doesn’t ride on the tracks, but makes use of the magnetic repulsion to glide or float above the tracks. It requires less maintenance work and has lower ongoing costs since the train and the tracks do not touch and rub each other. Although it is very expensive to construct the Maglev train, the construction and the operation of Maglev train created many jobs and this is totally good for the people. With many advantages, it best demonstrates the combination of beauty and practicality.
What has been discussed above points to the fact that beautiful things can be as useful as practical things and have many merits. It is important for government to provide money for things that are beautiful not just for things that are practical.
2014年4月27日托福独立写作范文：Your job has more effect on your happiness than your social life does.