Overview of the topic
Nike launched their first “Just Do It” campaign in 1988, in which they encouraged young people to play a sport or speak out. In 2018 they organised an anniversary campaign encouraging young people to follow their dreams. The campaign was so influential that the slogan became a common saying, describing leaving one’s comfort zone to pursue one’s passions.
The texts in the material focus on the “just do it” attitude, but also on similar concepts such as breaking the mould (=rejecting traditional norms and beliefs) or speaking out for a cause.
Whether it is about rejecting traditional norms, taking action to support a cause, or following one’s dreams, all the texts in the preparation material convey ideas about improving the world in both great and small ways.
Text 1: Compilation of seven texts
Text 1 is a compilation of seven different texts, A to G, which represent messages and examples of people who have spoken out for a certain cause. Each text is accompanied by a picture of the person in question.
Text A is a Facebook post from movie star and UN Ambassador Emma Watson, who calls on Londoners to donate their unwanted clothes to charity instead of throwing them away. She mentions that about 23% of clothes in London are not used and she reminds readers about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the need for more responsible consumption.
Text B is a quote from a speech delivered by entrepreneur Steve Jobs at Stanford University. Jobs argues that people should listen to their inner voice and follow their true desires instead of letting dogma and other people’s opinions influence them.
Text C presents Watene Campbell, a young man from New Zealand, who often speaks out for the Maori youth about environmental challenges. Campbell argues that people should think more about the future instead of pursuing selfish interests. He says that he wants to protect the environment so that Maori future generations can connect with nature. He also advocates for equal opportunities for Maori people.
Text D presents Harper Nielsen, an Australian girl who refused to stand during the national anthem in school. Nielsen argues that the anthem is based on racist ideas which disregard the importance of the Aboriginal people . The anthem focuses on white people and Australia being a young country without taking into account Aboriginals who have been living there for thousands of years. Harper argued that she should not be forced to leave the classroom for acting according to her beliefs.
Text E is by David Hogg, a survivor of a high school shooting in the US who speaks out against gun violence at a 2018 rally. Hogg argues that politicians who say they have no power over the National Rifle Association, who only send condolences to victims’ families, or who are backed by the NRA, should prepare to leave their offices because the people will not accept this anymore. He says the movement he supports will not stop until all Americans can live without fear of gun violence.
Text F shows Femi Oluwele, co-founder of the anti-Brexit group Our Future, Our Choice. Oluwele argues that the old people who voted for Brexit will be gone by the time Brexit comes into effect and that it is the young generation who will suffer the consequences of leaving the EU. He adds that young people will be struggling to get jobs, raise a family, and pay a mortgage in the post-Brexit economy.
Text G presents Lindsey Scott, an African-American model and programmer. Scott was the first African-American model for Calvin Klein. She also created the app Educate!, which lets young people in Uganda find sponsors for their studies. Scott’s initiative came after discovering that Uganda has the youngest population in the world and the highest poverty rate among youths.
Text 2: Just do it! (writing to persuade)
Text 2 is titled “Just do it! (writing to persuade)” and includes eight guidelines on how to be persuasive in writing. The text mentions using repetition for emphasis, rhetorical questions to encourage reflection, using direct address and personal pronouns, and including examples to make a point. Other guidelines are to argue against opposing views, to highlight your own argument, to use dramatic language and phrases that trigger an emotional response. Also, the text advises using lists of three points in various situations.
Text 3: Sustainability campaigns
Text 3 includes three images related to the environment, detailing how individuals can help protect the planet.
The first image is titled “Save the Earth! Do Something” and includes a number of ways in which individuals can contribute to helping the environment.
Under the “You Matter” section, the actions people can take include voting, researching, and planting a tree.
Under the “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” section, the recommended actions are using canvas shopping bags, printing on both sides of a page, and using aluminium bottles instead of plastic ones.
Under the “Food” section, people are encouraged to eat locally produced food and reduce meat consumption.
Under the “Green Energy” section, the poster recommends using the sun more and opening the windows, turning off the light and using florescent light bulbs.
Under the “At Home” section, people are encouraged to turn off water while brushing their teeth, to turn off the computer at night, and to use washing machines programmes with cold water.
Under the “Transportation” section, the poster recommends using public transport, walking, or carpooling, and travelling less by aeroplane.
The second image is a statistic about meat consumption in the US. Americans consume about 10 million burgers every year. If 30% of the beef used in burgers were replaced with mushrooms, this would have three major positive effects on the environment. It would reduce emissions equivalent to those created by 2.3 million cars, it would preserve as much water as is used by 2.6 million Americans every year, and it would reduce the need for agricultural land demand by a surface area larger than that of Maryland.
The third image is titled “Ways to Reduce Your Single-Use Plastic”. The text mentions that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean and this number increases by 8 million every year, posing a threat to marine life. The image shows various alternatives to single use plastic such as re-usable bottles, travel coffee mugs, eco-friendly decorations, giving up plastic straws and using matches instead of a lighter. These are items that can replace plastic-based ones that people encounter in their everyday activities such as: plastic bottles, bags, straws, cups, balloons, etc.
Text 4: Dear White People
Text 4 is a poem performed on stage by a fictional character named Reggie in the Netflix series Dear White People after he was held at gun point by an officer from campus security. The text includes a poster of the TV series and a screenshot.
The poem starts with the famous lines from the US Declaration of Independence which talks about guaranteed equal rights. However, the speaker argues that such rights do not apply to black people who are often threatened with guns for speaking their minds. The bullets take their freedom, life, and dreams away only because of white people’s racism.
The speaker lists three real-life black people who have been innocent victims of gun violence by the police and adds his own name to the list. He then reveals that the only thing that saved him from the bullet was showing his student ID to the campus officer. The poem ends by re-affirming that rights like liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness do not apply to everyone and are not self-evident.
Black Lives Matter
You can find more information about police discrimination against black people in our in-depth topic guide about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Text 5: Wing$
Text 5 includes the lyrics of the rap song “Wing$” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and a few pictures of Macklemore with various captions.
The captions on the pictures mention that Macklemore is a white rapper who sings about racial discrimination and speaks out against drug use, and a straight man who supports same sex marriage. Lewis also buys cheap clothes although he is worth about 5 million dollars.
The song “Wing$” is a rant against consumerism. The singer talks about his first pair of sport shoes that his mother bought him and his dream to play basketball. More expensive branded sports shoes followed, and soon the singer became more interested in shoes than in his dream of playing basketball. The branded pairs of shoes made him feel special, but the singer also realised that sometimes they do not bring happiness – a friend of his brother even got killed over a pair of shoes. The singer wanted to be someone important like his sports idols and wanted to be a typical case of American success.
The chorus talks about following one’s dreams the wrong way by indulging in consumerism until the original dreams are lost.
The song continues with arguments against consumerism as the singer talks about how society teaches people to equate consumption with success, and to spend a lot of money. People start to define themselves by the things they have, but the singer has decided to put an end to it.
The chorus repeats and the song ends with singer resuming that he started to be a consumer through the things he wore at school until he became defined by it, but now he realises that a pair of shoes does not mean anything regardless of its brand or price.
Text 6: I Chose To Look The Other Way
Text 6 is a poem titled “I Chose To Look The Other Way” and is written by Don Merrell.
The poem talks about the potentially fatal consequences of ignoring safety rules at work. The speaker recounts how he chose to look the other way when a co-worker ignored some safety risks, although he was there and could have said or done something.
He did not do anything because he had previously also ignored the safety risks. However, that day his co-worker died because of ignoring the safety risks. Now the speaker feels guilty when he sees the man’s wife because he knows he could have helped prevent his death.
The poem ends by advising people to speak out whenever they see others taking risks because they could save their lives.
Text 7: Health and Safety at work: National Safety Council USA, 2018
Text 7 is titled “Health and Safety at work: National Safety Council USA, 2018” and includes several facts and statistics about workplace injuries.
According to US data, every seven seconds an employee has a work-related injury. This leads to 510 people being injured per hour, 12,300 per day, 86,500 per week, and 4.5 million per year.
Work-related injuries led to 104 million lost production days in 2016. The most common work-related injuries are sprains, soreness, and cuts. The top three workplace injury events that lead to production loss are related to overexertion (34%), contact with objects and equipment (25%), and slips or falls (25%).
To avoid injuries related to overexertion, the text recommends avoiding bending and twisting while lifting things and to take frequent breaks. To avoid injuries caused by contact with objects and equipment, it is advisable to store heavy objects in an accessible place, wear proper equipment, and be mindful of when objects and equipment are being moved near one’s work area. To avoid slips or falls, it is recommended that workers place ladders on stable surfaces and maintain good housekeeping practices.
Text 8: Letter of Recommendation for Nabila Jones
Text 8 is a letter of recommendation written by an employer for a person named Nabila Jones. The letter is written by Heath McHealthy, the Director of North Shore Nursing Home, following Nabila’s student work placement at the nursing home.
The letter praises Nabila for performing a variety of duties along with the other employees, and for the fact that she worked by the motto “just do it” by taking on task and duties that were not necessarily required of her as a student. The letter mentions Nabila being skilled with patients and learning things about them to make them comfortable around her.
The letter ends with the director recommending Nabila for future jobs, including at the nursing home, and expressing his availability for further references.
Answer either 1A or 1B.
Study text 3 in the preparation material and use some of the information to write a short text to persuade young people to do what they can to make a difference. Use some of the techniques in text 2 of the preparation material to help you persuade your readers.
The title of your text is “Just do it!”
Write a short text that will encourage readers to help create a safe working environment for themselves and their colleagues. Use some of the techniques in text 2 to help you persuade your readers.
You may use both text 6 and text 7 from the preparation material as inspiration for your short text.
The following tasks are based on your preparation topic “Just do it! Speak out! Break the mould!”
Answer either 2A, 2B, 2C, or 2D.
Create a literary text about a young person who takes a stand or breaks the mould.
You may choose to write any type of literary text. Your text must:
· include at least one young person from an English-speaking country
· explore themes such as taking a stand, breaking the mould, or just doing it
· be titled “Just do it!”
Create a text to inspire students to learn as much as they can and connect with colleagues while on work placement. In your text:
· briefly introduce your educational programme
· explain why work placement is important in terms of practical learning
· discuss how and why you should connect with colleagues and clients/customers during your work placement
· discuss the importance of both being independent and part of a team
· conclude by convincing your readers to “just do it” while on work placement
Texts 2 and 8 may be useful for this task. Give your text a suitable title.
Powerful texts often focus on a person who dares to “just do it” by breaking the mould or standing up for themselves, others or a cause.
Create a text discussing a powerful text (this could also be a film) you have worked with this year and compare it to one of the texts from the preparation material.
In your text:
· introduce the two texts you will be discussing
· compare the two texts in terms of the message conveyed
· explain and compare what makes the texts powerful
· discuss how a character’s or person’s “just do it” attitude affects readers
Texts 1 a-g, 4, 5 and 6 are all suitable choices for this task. Give your text a suitable title.
You have learnt about current issues in English-speaking countries during your course and while preparing for this exam.
Create a text about a current issue in an English-speaking country and how young people are raising their voice to address the issue.
In your text:
· introduce the issue you have chosen
· explain how the issue is being addressed and by whom
· discuss the challenges young people may face when they decide to “Just do it!” and speak out
· discuss roles young people can have in terms of working with this issue
Texts 1 a-g, 3, 4 and 5 may be useful for this task. Give your text a suitable title