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TOEFL: The best way to relax and reduce stress is by spending some time alone.


kibz95 16 / 53 15  
Jan 23, 2015   #1
Hello everyone! I have another TOEFL essay that I would like you to comment on if you could! Thanks in advance!
The topic was really private so I had to include a lot of personal information...(which I try best to avoid) but in any case, hope you enjoy my writing and please feel free to say anything you want!

Agree or disagree:
The best way to relax and reduce stress is by spending some time alone.

Have you ever felt running away from everything such as your responsibilities, your friends, or even your family and have some sense of peace? This thought process is often considered to lead to depression and perhaps even suicide, but I believe this thinking is at times necessary when you begin to feel suffocated by your surroundings. In fact, spending some lone time to relax is far more placid and quiet than relaxing with others. Thus, I assert that the best way to relax and reduce stress is by spending some time alone.

Pace is an essential element for people's lives. People live their lives according to their pace and recognizing one's own preference is vital to reduce stress. Pace differs with everyone, some prefer to live recklessly while some just like to spend their time alone slowly like a cat taking a bath of sunlight midday. I fit right along in the latter. Personally, I adore taking long hot baths while listening to classical music because the sensation is wonderfully relaxing. In fact, many Asian medical techniques involve heat and warmth to reduce tension and rigidity so that the patient will be at ease. Therefore, my way of relaxing is healthy at some degree. Often times I would also read a book, especially tragic stories of the genius Shakespeare. His words fill my heart with lament and sadness but also the sense of tranquility because most Shakespeare's plays turn tragic because of the main character's final resolution for their personal beliefs. Reading fictional characters risking everything for their own ideals is an ideal book for me which I enjoy reading. As anyone can see, all of my personal hobbies are private and discreet. Thus, I believe the best way to relax is by spending some time alone.

Nevertheless, there are people who prefer the company of others and the incessant clatter of people chatting in the background. They might ask a friend to meet at a loud bar or a busy pizza shop so they will be distracted by the things tormenting them and smile after a joke. However, is this really a method of reducing stress? Those who smile from temporarily ignoring their issues and stress will eventually sulk and fall back to depression when they come back to face the truth. In fact, the method of being distracted is a suicidal plan because the stress never release. Instead, it compacts and swells, making it more difficult to ignore the massive amount of stress all congregated like an inflated balloon. On the long run, the balloon of stress and anger will explode, completely obliterating one's mental state and causing them to act recklessly without thinking. They will get desperate to discard all this mental weight off and it could lead to the usage of drugs or perhaps even committing suicide. Such measures are inhumane and harmful not just to oneself but to those around them. Ignoring stress temporarily doesn't solve anything, rather it worsens everything which is why I would prefer to reduce stress by spending time alone.

To summarize, whenever I need some fresh air or vacant space during work or studying, I prefer to relax by spending lone time like a drowsy cat under the sun.

I presented the other side but gave a bad opinion of it. I think I wrote this with more ease as well. If the content is okay, then I thank you for giving me a practical advice,

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 23, 2015   #2
Hi Kim ! I am not sure about the others who will be reviewing your paper but I found myself hooked by the question that you posed. I also found myself giving an unconscious response and then reading on to find out what more you had to say. I am glad that you read my advice and that you found it useful :-) The way you discussed the essay from a personal level is one of the reasons that your writing seems to be stronger now that in your other papers. You effectively presented your personal reasons for wishing to relax by spending time alone. However, you should have compared the way people who prefer to relax in a group setting to your personal preference in order to have more effectively discussed the paper. By comparing the two methods, rather than inserting the introverted person into a group social setting, you could have presented the two different methods by which people relax and then offered an explanation as to how that may not really be the best way to relax, even if you do enjoy group activities. I spotted a few grammatical errors that can be corrected but because I do not know if you want to revise this paper after receiving feedback, I am opting not to point the mistakes out just yet. Let's save you one editing movement by correcting the grammar errors when you are already satisfied with the theme of the paper :-)
OP kibz95 16 / 53 15  
Jan 23, 2015   #3
Hey Vangiespen, thanks for your reply! Quick and helpful as always, I really appreciate you helping me out.
I'll only be rewritting my second paragraph but I'll copy my entire essay so that you'll be more comfortable reading it.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 23, 2015   #4
Kim, while your second paragraph does present a negative light of the way group relaxation may not be the best way to relax, the fact that you based it upon common sense and commonly known information about how depression is heightened by group gatherings makes it informative and a good method by which to compare the two relaxation techniques. Let's face it, there will always be times when there is no way to sugar coat some information. It will come across as negative no matter what you do because those are the facts of the case. So don't feel bad about it or nervous. You did well by presenting an informed discussion to your reader. Now, for the grammar errors that I spotted (with some suggested paragraph improvements whenever possible) :-)

Pace is an essential element for people's lives. People live their lives according to their pace and recognizing one's own preference is vital to reduce stress.

- Pace is an essential element that drives people's lives. People live their lives according to their own pace which is why recognizing is vital to reducing stress.

Often times I would also read a book, especially tragic stories of the genius Shakespeare. His words fill my heart with lament and sadness but also the sense of tranquility because most Shakespeare's plays turn tragic because of the main character's final resolution for their personal beliefs . Reading fictional characters risking everything for their own ideals is an ideal book for me which I enjoy reading. As anyone can see, all of my personal hobbies are private and discreet. Thus, I believe the best way to relax is by spending some time alone.

- Let the reader get to know you, but not too much :-) Save some mystery for yourself. There is no need to present too much personal information in an essay of this general nature. Save those for your common apps.

In fact, the method of being distracted is a suicidal plan because the stress never release. Instead, it compacts and swells, making it more difficult to ignore the massive amount of stress all congregated like an inflated balloon. On the long run, the balloon of stress and anger will explode, completely obliterating one's mental state and causing them to act recklessly without thinking . They will get desperate to discard all this mental weight off and it could lead to the usage of drugs or perhaps even committing suicide. Such measures are inhumane and harmful not just to oneself but to those around them. Ignoring stress temporarily doesn't solve anything, rather it worsens everything which is why I would prefer to reduce stress by spending time alone.

- ... the stress is never released ... massive amount of stress increasing in size like... In the long run...
- It already understood that a reckless act was not thought about so there is a redundancy there. ... it could lead to the use of drugs...

About your conclusion. It is not really complete. You need to restate that you agree that spending time alone is the best way for a person to relax, given all of the comparative reasons that you stated above. Aside from that modification in the content of the final paragraph, the essay really makes sense to read.


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