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General Paper Essay Outline : Question with LONG claim

Note : The outline below does not represent the best, or the only, possible response to the question

warning handle with care

Here’s a question with a long claim i.e. several key words or concepts to grapple with :

Consider the view that every country should have the right to unlimited scientific research.

Learning point : The student needs to focus on straightforward clarity, so that the reader or assessor is sufficiently (or frequently) shown that the various requirements are being met. (See parts in bold)

Brainstorm & Order of possible paragraphs :

(1) To begin, agreeing with the motion that every country should have the right to unlimited scientific research would mean recognising that all independent states are entitled to make whatever decision they see fit for their country, including decisions on how far to go in the field of scientific research. Trying to limit or regulate any country could be seen as a challenge to the sovereignty of the state itself.

(2) The argument against granting unbridled freedom is that governments may not act in the best interests of their people, and could possibly pursue any form of research they wish even at the expense of other more pressing needs such as solving poverty (e.g. North Korea)
– e.g. countries with space programmes (Why Mexico ? Portugal ? Azerbaijan ?)
( Source : )

(3) Yet, the assertion that every country should get the right to unlimited scientific research stems from wider political repercussions that could ensue if this right were accorded only to some countries, instead of all .
– Would the grounds for restrictions be fair and justifiable ?
– Would this create a tilt in regional or international balance of power ?
– Major Case Study : Countries that have nuclear weapons (Israel, US), inspite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

(4) The solution then seems to be to set standards for the whole world to follow. In other words, all countries should be subjected to the same restrictions on scientific research.
– The benefits include reducing dangers that are generally seen as harmful 
– e.g. human cloning, human experimentation
– In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning, by which Member States were called on to adopt all measures necessary to prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.  Member States were also called on to protect adequately human life in the application of life sciences; to prohibit the application of genetic engineering techniques that may be contrary to human dignity; to prevent the exploitation of women in the application of life sciences; and to adopt and implement national legislation in that connection.
( Source : )

(5) However, the  problem with trying to standardise restrictions for all countries, instead of giving every country the right to total freedom to research, is that some of these standards come from cultural or religious traditions of certain more dominant countries.
– Countries that do not subscribe to the same beliefs may actually find it unfair that they cannot go ahead with the research.  Preventing them seems like a disservice to scientific progress. (e.g. xenotransplantation)
– Total bans, or blanket rules almost always lead to black markets forming, meaning there is a  potential for abuse or unethical commercialisation

Any other ideas ?

The Thesis Statement derived from the brainstorm above could be that :
Perhaps, for the sake of fairness, it is difficult to deny countries the right to unlimited scientific research, and so each and every country should have this right. However, mechanisms must be put in place to steer countries towards decisions that help their country progress as a whole, and increase regional and international stability. 

outline has about 560 words


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