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TOEFL essay: how access to information via the internet influences life


dveri 2 / 3 1  
Oct 3, 2015   #1
Hello! Could you please evaluate my essay? I'm prepating for TOEFL and this is the first essay I've written. I'm worried that it's too short (275 words and I barely was able to finish it in 20-25 minutes) and the language is too primitive for a good score. Could you give me some tips for improving my writing? I need at least 72-95 points for the test overall.

Topic:
The widespread use of the internet has given people access to information on a level never experienced before. How does this increase in the availability of information influence life in today's world?

Essay:

Nowadays thanks to the internet many people have quick access to any kind of information on a diversified range of topics. In my opinion, it influences our lives in a positive way. In the following paragraphs I'll try to explain the reasons for my point of view.

First of all, the internet creates more opportunities for education. For example, young people who live in small towns don't always have the means to go to university. With the internet they can get a diploma in a wide range of topics by doing a distance-learning course in the best universities. Besides, there are many websites such as Coursera or Khan Academy which let you educate yourself on various topics. Moreover, there are millions of websites concerned with specific hobbies, no matter how obscure they might be. So if you have a very specific interest, thanks to the internet you can quickly find people who think alike and learn everything about it together.

Secondly, the amount of information sources provided by internet make it easier for people to uncover the truth about current events. These days when something happens in the world, you can quickly research media coverage of this event as well as find out what other people think about it. There are also websites such as stopfake.net whose aim is to separate truth from rumors and lies.

In summary, I believe that easy access to information provided by the internet influences our live in a positive way. It helps people to educate themselves and encourages them to think critically.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 3, 2015   #2
Dveri, you need not worry so much about your essay writing skills. Remember,achieving perfect grammar is not the aim of the TOEFL test. While having good or great English grammar skills are a plus, what the examiner evaluates more in the essay portion are your reading and comprehension skills along with your line of reasoning. All of which you accomplished quite well in this essay.

Your written work reflects a highly professional mode of writing and indicates that you have a good grasp of the English language. Even with the little grammatical errors here and there, the way you responded to the essay clearly reflects and understanding of the prompt requirements. The information was obviously based on personal experience, common sense, and an understanding of how people truly use the internet. Excellent work.

Now, I would like to show you some of the mistakes you made with my corrections in place. I hope it helps you become a better writer :-)

Nowadays , thanks - you need to pause at this point as you present your thoughts.

For example , young peop - Just present the immediate idea. Don't waste time with fillers.

distance-learning COURSES in the best universities - You need to use plural form all the way because your subject is in plural form.

Please take note of the shortcoming in your conclusion. You need at least 3 sentences in it in order to make it an acceptable paragraph. Just add one more sentence and all will be well with that paragraph :-)

Some people will tell you that you need to use the complete word count in a TOEFL test in order to get a high score. Forget that. I took the TOEFL test myself and did not use all of the word count when I wrote the essay. The examiner took the content of my essay into consideration and gave me a near perfect score in that area. Therefore, an essay that will help you pass the TOEFL does not need to be long. It just needs to be informative. You are halfway there in my opinion :-)
Nana Yaw Asante 3 / 5  
Oct 3, 2015   #3
Hi dveri, your essay is very good as it answers the prompt but what I would like to say is try to add at least one paragraph to your essay as two paragraph essay is won't fetch you any marks. Hope this helps.
irhame 52 / 50 25  
Oct 3, 2015   #4
In summary, I believe that easy access to information provided by the internet influences our live in a positive way. It helps people to educate themselves and encourages them to think critically. (i suggest you adding some sentences, like where possible...(your expectation))
OP dveri 2 / 3 1  
Oct 10, 2015   #5
Thank you all very much for feedback! I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. Are you sure two reasons/paragraphs aren't enough for a TOEFL essay? Most of the advices I googled recommend writing and explaining two reasons.

As for conclusion, I also thought it was too short. Is this better?

We shouldn't forget that every coin has two sides, so the internet also has disadvantages. However, I believe that easy access to information provided by the internet influences our live mostly in a positive way. There are many online resources for education. Internet promotes knowledge and encourages people to think critically. Those facts demonstarte that using the internet as a source of information is benificial for society.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 11, 2015   #6
Consider the basic format of an essay that you can develop and write within a 30 minute time frame and you will see that a 5 paragraph essay, composed of 5 sentences (maximum) each will allow you just enough time to accurately develop a simple discussion of the topic.

1. Introduction - Usually composed of the restated prompt, an overview of the discussion, and your opinion that will be addressed in the essay.

2. 1st body paragraph - the opposing argument is presented. Present the flaws that you feel exists in the discussion. Transition to the next paragraph which is the supporting argument.

3. 2nd body paragraph - the supporting argument. Present evidence and ideas either from common knowledge or personal experience that will allow you to present this as the correct or winning side of the discussion. Use it to transition to your point of view.

4. 3rd body paragraph - your point of view, additional information that you can present in support of the discussion is normally placed at this point. Strengthen your supporting discussion using a comparison of the first two paragraphs if necessary.

5. Conclusion - summarize the essay. Present the prompt one last time, give a final overview of the discussion and restate your position.

Now, some people choose to combine their supporting stance and point of view in the same paragraph. As long as you immediately mention that you are stating your point of view then that is acceptable. Just remember, you need at least 4 paragraphs to create a valid discussion.

With regards to your new conclusion. It is just the right length to make it acceptable in the essay. You were able to better summarize the essay and conclude it in a well formed manner. It is definitely better than your original conclusion.


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