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QW 012012 “300/30 Topic 7”

It’s the seventh QW 30/300 piece. This is how I practice writing a 300 word essay in 30 minutes. First I read a sample answer in the textbook and try memorizing it as precisely as possible in five or six minutes. Then I reproduce the sample essay by heart. The point of this practice method is to learn how ideas are organized in clear, cogent, and convincing ways by copying the sample essays

【Topic 7】
In some professions and occupations, such as in the health-care profession, employees must often work very long shifts of twelve or more hours. What is your opinion about this practice? Give reasons or examples to support your answer.
Reference: Tactics for TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests, p. 193 (Oxford)


There are many professions that require their employees to work longer hours, such as staff in medical institutions, police officers, fire fighters, and even school teachers. In my opinion, this is only acceptable when the nature of the job demands it.

First of all, it should be noted that working irregular hours and working unsociable hours are basically different. People work for longer hours for various reasons, some of whom could work longer working week than others. Those people may be just ambitious or have a difficult job, choosing to work for such long hours. However, working longer hours is unnecessary. In fact it is so often just because there is the “work-long-hours” culture in a company or industry. Or people would go into such an industry in which unsociable working hours is the norm. For example, the retail sector has expanded its opening hours to attract more customers in recent years, forcing its employers to work longer and more unsociable hours. The supermarket that I frequent opens until 11:00 p.m. every day. It is simply convenient for its customers like me, but I cannot help wondering if the employees are having a hard time working such late hours.

In contrast, there are certain professions in which working longer hours is not only necessary but also essential. The medical profession is a good example of this. The access to medical staff twenty-four hours a day is what people in any community would expect. If the medical staff were unavailable twenty-four hours a day, the quality of patient care will go down. Other examples of such professions are the police and fire service. Police officers and fire fighters would be unable to do their job if they worked strictly 9 to 5 work day. It should be very demanding for them to be engaged in such jobs that come with huge responsibilities. I think those people are eligible to be compensated well enough

On the other hand, working excessively long hours can compromise people’s ability to do their job skillfully. For instance, pediatrics is known to work in excess of one hundred hours per week. It is imaginable that they are so exhausted that they could make an error in their diagnosis or prescription. It is necessary to watch both physical and mental health of those doctors and give them as much rest as possible in order to maintain their quality of life.

In conclusion, it is my opinion that workers should be required to work longer hours only when the job demands it, but this needs to be balanced with concern for their own and public safety. At the same time, we need to consider working hours when choosing our jobs in order to maintain a good life-work balance.


(30 minutes / 459 words in essay) (40 minutes / 585 words in total)

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