Note : There are 2 essay outlines below, that attempt the same structure. Can you see the similarities ?
Sample 1 : How far should countries aim to be self-sufficient ?
Stand : Countries should be self-sufficient as far as possible, but countries should also recognise its limitations and work with others to arrive at greater self-sufficiency
The first set of body paragraphs can provide reasons why self-sufficiency ought to be achieved. (to avoid being terribly affected by foreign afffairs/crises; to avoid debt and aid for the sake of national sovereignty and national pride; for economic and social progress; for defence etc)
The second set of body paragraphs can recognise the inevitability of cooperating with other countries because of the countries’ own limitations and provide reasons why complete self-sufficiency is neither feasible nor desirable. (isolationism is frowned upon by the global community; how trade works in the world today makes complete self-sufficiency impossible; self-sufficiency is impossible when a country is not yet developed; sustainability requires some reliance on others etc)
Conclusion : Countries should put in effort to come as close to complete self-sufficiency as they can, but for aspects where they simply cannot, sound strategies and contingencies have to be put in place.
Sample 2 : “Do what you enjoy.” How far should we follow this advice ?
Stand : We should do what we enjoy because it can be desirable, but there are limits that should be set.
The first set of body paragraphs can provide reasons why we should do what we enjoy – for mental/emotional well-being; to follow natural inclinations or talents and realise one’s potential etc
The second set of paragraphs debates the often-subjective limits of following this advice (do not enjoy at the expense of responsibility, do not enjoy by taking extreme risks, do not enjoy what is criminal/immoral, do not enjoy what is meaningless etc)