One of the hardest sections to prep for on the TOEFL can be the essay. After all, it’s hard to find a native English speaker who will correct and grade your essays—and even harder to find one who knows the test! Never fear. Over the next few posts, we’ll look at some sample high-scoring essays and then break down what’s good about them (and how they might improve!)
If you’re doing your own practice, I suggest attempting to answer the prompt yourself under timed conditions and then comparing your essay to the sample essay. Then tune back in for the next post, in which we break down why this essay works! For our prompts, we’ll be looking at some of Kate’s excellent suggestions in this post on TOEFL writing. Let’s give it a go with the first independent essay topic!
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Modern life is easier than life in the past.
Use specific details and examples to support your answer.
I definitely agree that modern life is easier than life in the past. The increased use of technology, rising standards of living, and improved healthcare have combined to make our lifestyles, at least in the first world, luxurious compared to lifestyles of the past. By examining three specific examples—personal computers, The Lion in Winter, and vaccines—this essay will demonstrate that this improvement has, indeed, taken place.
In the first place, technological advances have created new ways to take care of mundane tasks quickly and easily. For example, the majority of Americans now have their own personal computers. This is an amazing advance: with computers, we can complete tasks, from banking to ordering groceries, that would have taken hours even a few decades ago. Word processing is common, making the spread of information much easier to achieve, and education is available to all for free through online courses and information that would have been all but unattainable for many up until the end of the twentieth century. The sheer amount of access that we have to services and knowledge through these machines has made life extraordinarily easier.
Secondly, our standard of life has changed through advances in engineering, architecture, travel, and even textiles. Looking at a film like The Lion in Winter, while by no means historically perfect, does show how even everyday things were more difficult almost a thousand years ago. Set in the 1100s, the film shows King Henry II having to break ice from his water bowl to get water to wash his face—something that hot and cold running taps have long since saved us from. The queen has to travel to see her husband by a long boat journey, which would be almost unthinkable today. Finally, the entire royal family, even though they are royal, is wrapped in encumbering furs. Looking at what was once the highest standard of living, compared to the average first world standard of living today, we can see how much easier progress has made our lives.
Finally, we no longer live in fear of many common diseases that once crippled or maimed large populations, making their lives much harder. For example, polio used to strike many people, in some cases making it difficult for them to walk, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, who used a wheelchair. The invention of that vaccine in the 1950s, as well as numerous other vaccines, has created a situation in which we no longer have to suffer unnecessarily. This is most certainly an improvement over the past.
In conclusion, life today is definitely easier than life in the past. Though it is easy to read stories of nobles and kings of history and romanticize them, their lives were almost certainly more uncomfortable than our lives are. Nevertheless, there are many places in the world where laptops, modern conveniences, and vaccines are rarely found; I hope that current generations will work together to make life easier for everyone, now that it is possible to do so.
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Free Sample TOEFL Essays
published by Amisha Sancheti
tags: toefl essay, toefl ibt, toefl writing, (all tags)
origin: Free Sample TOEFL Essays (http://www.goodlucktoefl.com)
Learning to write well is a skill, like any other. This skill is important not only on your TOEFL exam, but also in your academic and professional career. The TOEFL Writing section consists of two parts:
*Integrated Writing, which includes reading, listening and then writing a summary/ comparison piece of 250 word in 20 minutes
*Independent Writing, which involves writing a four to five-paragraph essay of 300-350 words in 30 minutes
The following free sample TOEFL essays illustrate how to get a high score on the independent writing section of the iBT. By reading through the essays, you can learn how to:
- develop any topic into a well-organized, logical answer
- use synonyms to paraphrase the question
- use a variety of sentence structures & grammatical forms
- begin with a simple, strong introduction
- create body paragraphs that flow logically
- develop unity by linking the body paragraphs
- end with a memorable conclusion
Try to write an essay each day. The added practice will enable you to complete a strong essay, with ease, confidence, and speed, on the day of your TOEFL exam and throughout your life.
Here is the Sample TOEFL Essay
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
People should sometimes do things that they do not enjoy doing.
Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Sample TOEFL essay answer:
Life is challenging. In order to be happy and successful, we need to prepare ourselves on many fronts. Although participating in enjoyable activities is always desirable, in my view it is also necessary at times to do things we do not enjoy. The bases for my view are personal, social and financial.
Personally, doing things we don’t care for builds character and helps us mature. For instance, when parents have their first baby they are forced to give up their freedom in order to look after the child. There are times when parents barely get enough sleep and still have to get up and go to work in the morning. Similarly, when students are in school and university, they need to spend a lot of time studying. In spite of being tempted to go out with friends and attend parties, those who have self-control and keep their priorities straight are the ones who get high grades. Through such life experiences people become stronger, wiser and more responsible.
From a social perspective, we live in an interdependent world which imposes its obligations on us. Each person belongs to diverse social groups and plays various social roles. Each of us has to attend birthday parties, weddings and funerals to show we care about our fellow human beings. Participating in events for the sake of others teaches us to go beyond our own selfish needs and to share in the joys and sorrows of others.
Financially-speaking, people need to work - and spend - to keep the local, national and international economy growing. We need to support our own family in particular and our community in general. In fact, most of us work many more hours than we would like to work. What propels us to continue working is our financial needs, commitments and obligations. Only in this way are we able to live comfortable lifestyles and save for our retirement days.
In conclusion, life places huge demands on us. By participating in a wide variety of activities, both pleasant and unpleasant, we can discover more about our unique selves and live fuller lives.
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