English Writing Practice: Topic 4 – Are Books more important than Experience?

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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, and that gained from experience is practical. It is difficult to answer which is more important to us. 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 thunder 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 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 of some useful theories that can give us general ideas and help us understand the real phenomenon better.

In turn, practice knowledge checks out the theories gained from books. There is an old Chinese saying that practice is the only criterion for 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 observations and research, he found it is not the truth. Then comes the new theory—the 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, and operating a machine. And the most important is that it is often easier to learn knowledge from practice than from books. As far as the average person is 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 things considered knowledge gained from practice is closer and more direct than from books. Therefore, two kinds of knowledge have 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 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: experience and 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 that is fundamental to our future careers. 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 becomes 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 experiences. 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.

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