English Essay Topic 4: Are Books more important than Experience?
It has been said, “Not everything that is learned is contained in books.” Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?
English Writing Practice: Topic 4 – Sample 1
There are two main channels for people to learn knowledge –from books and from experience. Generally, knowledge gained from books is theoretical, that gained from experience is practical. It is difficult to answer which is more important to we people. It depends on the phases and events of our learning. Knowledge learned from books is instructive, which perhaps cannot learn directly from experience.
We often hear thunders and see lightning in the sky, and we can easily find that lightning will be seen sooner than sound will be heard. According to our experience alone, we cannot tell why it had happened. But when we learn some physics in textbooks, we will find the answer clearly that because light travels faster than sound does, it takes less time for light to travel the same distance than for sound. Therefore, book knowledge can inform us some useful theories that can give us general ideas and help us understand the real phenomenon better.
In turn, practice knowledge check out the theories gained from books. There is an old Chinese saying that practice is the only criterion of inspecting the truth. So not all knowledge from books is credible, even false. When Aristotle wrote in his transcripts that the earth is the center of our planets, no one doubts this for centuries.
However, when Galileo read about it, he did not suspect it at first, but when he made some observation and research, he found it is not the truth. Then comes the new theory—Sun center theory. In our daily life, we can learn much information from practice. To learn swimming, it is useless to be absorbed in reading skills written in books. Only when you learn it in a swimming pool, can you make it. There are still a lot of things you must learn from your own experience, such as driving a car, riding a bicycle, operating a machine. And the most important is that it is often easier learn knowledge from practice than from books. As far as the average people are concerned, it is natural to learn from experience. Primitive people learned skills hand by hand which is the way they were handed down from one generation to another. Modern people also learn things in practice.
In workshops, leading workers teach apprentices carefully; in activity clubs, teachers teach youngsters to be familiar with their hobbies. It is obvious that all of things considered knowledge gained from practice is more close and direct than from the books. Therefore, two kinds of knowledge has importance.
For research people , knowledge from books is more important, while for our average people, knowledge from practice is more important. As students, we must first learn knowledge from books well, and at the same time we must have the good sense to tell from what is right and what is wrong
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English Writing Practice: Topic 4 – Sample 2
We gain our knowledge about the world and our life from two sources: from experience and from books. These two resources are both important, but which of them is more important?
Knowledge from books forms a very important part of our knowledge structure. In schools and colleges, we learn knowledge which is fundamental to our future career. We learn knowledge from books in order to make our contributions to this society in the future. A student learns mathematic equations and other scientific knowledge and become a scientist or engineer.
We will be illiterate and ignorant without learning knowledge from books. Moreover, we acquire knowledge about life and the world by reading books, magazines and newspapers. This is also very important as we cannot experience everything all by ourselves. Therefore books are a very important source of knowledge. On the other hand, we can’t learn everything from a book. “Experience is the best teacher” is an old cliché, but I agree with it. The most important, and sometimes the hardest, lessons we learn in life come from our participation in situations. We learn how to get along with others or how to have self-respect from our experience, not from books. We cannot learn emotional feelings, such as love and care, through books; they come from our real life experience. Knowledge from experience is also a very important supplement to knowledge from books.
Needless to say both learning sources, books and experience, are very important to us. But in my opinion knowledge from experience is more important, because without knowledge from experience, it is impossible to get a real understanding of knowledge from books, and how to apply this knowledge to real world situations.