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I'm confused about how to understand an essay question or topic sentence


Keng 39 / 134  
Sep 10, 2009   #1
Sometimes, i am confused as it is difficult to understand a essay question.

I do not know whether it is preference, arguement, explanation, disagree and agree

I need help with these problems.

Another question is I do not know how to write a topic sentence. When i have main points to support a thesis, i have to rewrite the main points or add part of the thesis to make main points more communicative or else.

Need consultation. Thank you

zowzow 10 / 175  
Sep 10, 2009   #2
I am having difficulty understanding what you're asking here.
Could you tell us what essay question you're having problem with?

Topic sentences should be a general one line statement describing what you will be talking about in your paragraph. Your intro would usually contain a thesis covering your whole essay and each paragraph should give examples/support your thesis. Therefore, each topic sentence should give a general idea about what your supporting argument for each paragraph should be.
OP Keng 39 / 134  
Sep 10, 2009   #3
The question is that
Some people choose friends who are different from themselves. Other choose friends who are similar to themselves. Compare the advantages of having friends who are different from you with the advantages of friends who are similar to you. Which kinds of friend do you prefer? Why?

i have to write both advantages or just choose one friend and write why i like him. Explantory or preference

Thank you
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 10, 2009   #4
The first two sentences of the prompt just lay out the situation for you. The instructions begin with the third sentence. You are asked to "compare the advantages of having friends who are different from you with the advantages of friends who are similar to you." That means you must say what are the benefits of each kind of friend. Then you are asked to say which you prefer and why.

So, your essay should be organized as follows:

I. Introduction, including thesis statement. The thesis statement should say that there are advantages of each but that you prefer whichever it is that you prefer.

II. First body paragraph, on the advantages of friends who are different than you.
III. Second body paragraph, on the advantages of friends who are similar to you.
IV. Third body paragraph, on which kind of friend you prefer and why.
V. Conclusion, restating your points and summing up your opinion.

Each of the body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence that gives the main idea that you will explain in the paragraph.
OP Keng 39 / 134  
Sep 10, 2009   #5
Thank you for your help
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Sep 10, 2009   #6
Try posting a draft of your work. That will give us something to reference when we are trying to help you master the art of writing topic sentences.
OP Keng 39 / 134  
Sep 13, 2009   #7
Some people choose friends who are different from themselves. Other choose friends who are similar to themselves. Compare the advantages of having friends who are different from you with the advantages of friends who are similar to you. Which kinds of friend do you prefer? Why?

I try my first draft. There are any problems with my essay

Although friends who are different are agreeable to you, i prefer friends who are similar to me. They can be flexble to my humiliating behaviors in school.

First, there are advantages of friends who are different to you. Despite the fact that it is difficult to adapt to old students, you have more confidence to follow your dream without any biases. Even though some prejudices become of you, you are not anxious about them. When there are projects in group, you are confident to express your opinions. You are able to present distinct points from other group members. In an individual paper, you are not shy about explain it to other classmates in front of the class without any embarrassment. Moreover, you can go anywhere alone. During the free time, you think about reading books under a tree shade near a flag post, which is very suited to self-learning.

Second, there are advantages of friends who are similar to you. It is very easy to make friends with existing students. When working in group, you are assigned works equally. If having problems, other group members come to help you. Moreover, you have a lot of friends to eat lunch and study in group in the free time. They want you to go to a school library to pick out useful books to read. Before going home, you can talk to your friends about what to do and where to meet tomorrow.

Finally, i prefer friends who are similar to me because i am too shy to express myself openly. When first going to school, i need a friend who introduces me to other students in class. As i am not talkative, i want a friend who chooses a group for me. I am not confident when assigned works to do; therefore, it is better for me to have a friend who can select appropriate papers.

Even though always going alone, i really want one who can sit down and read books, especially in a library. Besides, I will not be happy if i have to go home without having a meeting with a friend. I want one who will go to school with me tomorrow.

In conclusion, many benefits of friends dissimilar to me is apparent to me; conversely, i need a friend who is able to quickly adapt to my sensitive feelings in order to help direct me towards a good future.
OP Keng 39 / 134  
Sep 13, 2009   #8
Could anyone check my essay posted above
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 20, 2009   #9
They can be flexble to my humiliating behaviors in school.

This sounds like you want friends who will tolerate you when you humiliate them at school. I'm sure that's not what you mean. At least, I hope that's not what you mean!

However, in general, this essay is quite well worded for a TOEFL or IELTS essay. Your grammar is generally good, and your arguments are coherent. Good job!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Sep 20, 2009   #10
From your first body paragraph, I'm guessing you meant to say in your introduction that friends who are similar to you will support you instead of mocking you when you do something embarrassing or humiliating. This is quite different from what you actually said, which, as Simone pointed out, is not at all the sort of thing you want to say in this sort of essay.
OP Keng 39 / 134  
Sep 21, 2009   #11
Thank you for your feedback.

I will try another essay with coherence and unity.
Andrea Elana - / 1  
Apr 16, 2013   #12
Need topic sentence focusing on brutality & compassion' The Iliad

hi. I'm stuck on starting my academic essay for the Iliad. I need a good topic sentence focusing on the brutality and compassion that is explored throughout the book. Help anyone?
shaddy 17 / 47 7  
Apr 18, 2013   #13
Brutality and compassion are two opposite expressions or emotions.


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