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Is it better to move around or to stay in one place? toefl essays


ivan9210 5 / 26  
Nov 30, 2009   #1
Hello

I have my toefl exam this friday and I have been practicing for the writing section. I would appreciate if you could tell me whether I have improved since the first essay and what other things you believe I need to work on.

Many thanks.

Topic: Is it better to move around or to stay in one place?

"enriching our knowledge about the world and its inhabitants, can be of great help in our lives"

I recall that only about three years ago, the thought of going to college in the united states appeared in my mind. Ever since then, I begun to imagine my life there. I envisaged a successful career, luxuries, and comfort. I also thought of all the opportunities that were going to be thrown out to me. Now that I am a senior in high school, I've began to work on that dream I had three years ago, and I now realize how fortunate I was to have set a goal for my life.

Without doubt, my perspectives of the world and what until now has been presented to me will change enormously, but as a prospective international business major, I have come to see what a great culture I am going to achieve and how these new perspectives and cultures are going to forge what I like to call a citizen of the world.

I believe however, that one should not attempt to build new viewpoints of the world in an aimlessly and recklessly way, because not only would we be risking our economic lives, but also a lack of commitment to goals and even life itself, would start coming up.

We must begin to erect our future by listening to our instincts but it is imperative that we organize them and convert them into a really useful life project.

Topic: What events make a person an adult?

When we are children, we claim that when one turns eighteen, one becomes an adult. However, when we reach that age, the word adult seems incredibly far for us. Therefore I conted that this event that occurs to all of us at one point in our lives, does not difine us as adults.

First of all, there are many more important events in life that could title us as adults. For instance, I recall when my cousin graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. It was still two years before she could officialy be considered a grown up. She had a profund desire to go to college. Sadly, her financial circumstances did not permitted her to do so. Instead, she was forced to work to help her parents with the household expenses, and the opportunity to attain a college degree, faded away. She was denied the chance to develop her intelectual skills but she assumed it with the maturity and responsability the circumstances requeried.

In addition to the previous point, not all "adults" behave as they are supposed to. I knew a lady that was thirty years old, and one day I asked her what were her dreams back in high school. My astonishment was great, when she told me she did not really have a defined dream. She said what she only cared for in high school was to fit in. Therefore, she spent imitating her friends and now that she was thirty, she did not know what do to with her life.

In conclusion, the event which happens to everybody at one point in their lives, does not make them adults. We have more vital moments in our lives that makes us adults. Moreover, there are people who do not behave according to their grown-up title.

Topic: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship. Use specific reasons and examples to support you answer.

Many people state that the most common factor for telationship break-ups is lying. On the other hand there are still those who maintain that hey tell lies to protect the ones they love. However, I strongly believe that to have a succesful relationship with anyone, it is imperative to be truthful at all times.

To begin with, sometimes we allow people to lie to us. When I think about lies, I can not help but imagine a friend I had last year. At the end of the term, out teacher assigned a final work. My friend and I met at her house, but in consequence of family issues, we were unable to do anything. I phoned her the nest day to arrange another meeting, but she declined my request and said she could not see me for the rest of the weekend. Althought I knew she was lying to me, I did not take it seriously. Instead, I resolved to do all the job by myself. Two weeks after we presented the work, I had a bid surprise. Our teacher asked how we had splitted the work between us. I explained her and it turns out that the part I said my friend did was perfect, but mine had very noticeable mistakes. I spent wider time working on the other part and when I got to the next, I was already exhausted. I got a bad grade because of that, and my friend was picked as best student.

Also, lies tend to become bigger. It has occured to many people that they worsen a certain situation by telling more lies. For instance, when your mother asks you to go grocery store and when you come back you claim that the money was enough to buy the items. Most times, mom does not buy what you say, so you tell her you bought some candy. However, that does not work either. At the end, you finish grounded for two weeks.

Finally, honesty is the key to enriching and valuable relationships. Therefore, we must not permit to be lied to. Lies often deepen already existing problems.

- Topic: are parents best teachers?

When we come to this world, life assigns us two individuals who are in charge of educating us about the world. Sadly, some people miss the chance to have a roll model they can base on. Fortunately, my experience with my parents has been awesome, and I have learned many things from them.

Parents ground you because you bahave wrongly. As a child, I used to believe that when my parents punish me, they were becoming tired of me. Nevertheless, now that I am older, I see what they were trying to do. When I arrived to their lives, they became responsible for me. I was new in the world. Whatever I did was a reflection of them, a reflection of their culture, education adn morals.

Personally, I sometimes feel embarrass of my parents. The remembrance of my ninth grade graduation still causes a blush on my cheeks. Upon the entering to the place the ceremony was being held, my parents stopped and photographed me. The catch is: everybody was staring at us. Not for the moment when my parents took the picture, but because the ceremony organizers strictly told us photographs were due at the end of the event. Parents has to be seated throughout the entire event. I guess I was awarded with really caring and loving parents and about that short moment of embarrassment I would let it occur again.

I had real good models to learn from. When they grounded me, they were just trying to make of me a better person. Even with a little embarrassment they always showed me love.

- Topic: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Animals should be free; people should not keep them in zoos. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Many people state that zoos are a great asset to animals. Others believe that they are inferior creatures and therefore do not deserve our attention. In my opinion, we must help animals live safely and comfortably in their own environment.

Many scientific studies have revealed the detriment that zoos have caused to animals. Firstly, like we, human beings, animals are delivered to this world with genetic instincts. Skills which help them live and survive in their residing areas. When we captivate animals and put them to live a style of life that they are unfamiliar with, they begin to loose those in-born instincts. Hence, when they are released or in the worst case, when they escape, they act disorientated and this contributes to the animal mortality rate.

In addition to the previous point, various zoos do not have the proper implements or policies that assure the quality of animal care. For instance, I recall my first trip to a zoo, at age eight. I was shocked by the cruelty which animals were treated. I can not think of any staff memeber who did not have an improper behaviour towards the animlas in the zoo. They beat them up because they did not wanted to eat their meals and then excused themselves saying that it was a way to train the animals.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that we have to assit animals and provide them the best quality of life possible. Scientific facts showed the damage that zoos can inflict on animals. Moreover, many zoos do not meet the standards of care required for them.

meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Dec 1, 2009   #2
For your first essay, make sure you capitalize proper nouns and the beginnings of sentences.
For however, place commas around it like this: I, however, will always continue to strive for new surprises.

I believe however, that one should not attempt to build ...

This sentence is rather long. I think your point got lost somewhere in there. Overall, this was a shady way to approach the prompt, as you avoid mentioning staying put or moving around. Although you mention that dreaming of going to the United States is a motivation for you, you place a definite main point that answers the question.

When we are children,[...], does not difine us as adults.

Again, you stray from the prompt. You say that turning 18 is NOT what makes people an adult. You don't present what does...

assumed it with the maturity and responsability the circumstances requeried.

This is closer to answering, but you still say it in passing. Make sure you give a stronger statement. Ask yourself, what do the examples I use show about my thoughts? How do these words build upon a central idea?

the event which happens to everybody [...] lives that makes us adults.

This should be the focus of this essay. Try not stray too much.

Many people state that the most common factor for telationship break-ups is lying.
... maintain that hey tell lies to protect the ones they love. However, I strongly believe that to have a succesful relationship with anyone...

Good you make a claim this time. However, some typos that are distracting I made bold

I explained her and it turns out that the part I said ...

This was the lesson you learned, right? Not quite. You don't say what you learned; you only state that this was what happened. Make sure you make your points.

For instance, when your mother asks [...] finish grounded for two weeks.

These sentences are filled with more information, some informal, but you STILL do NOT have a main point. You only present the effects of these scenarios.

Many people state that zoos [...] comfortably in their own environment.

Much better. Clean and well stated. I'm not sure if you intentionally did not mention the zoo part, but it works.

Many scientific studies have revealed the detriment that zoos have caused to animals.

just a note: try not to use so many helping verbs / passive tense.
Firstly <I'm not sure if this is correctly used. I just thought it was awkward>
captivate <I think you meant 'capture'>
In addition to the previous point ,
wanted assis t

Comments: improvement in the last essay is noticeable. Just a point, try to build on your conclusions, but overall, the last essay was much better.
OP ivan9210 5 / 26  
Dec 2, 2009   #3
I did think about the fact that in all of the past essays I didn't answer the question, I deflected each of them and I felt very good after I finished writing the last essay, even though I also had some weird things it shows improvement.

I checked in a dictionary and it says: firstly adverb: used to refer to the first thing in a list. Why do you think it was awkward?

Captivate: lol I thought about the word CAPTIVO in spanish and I do not know why I thought it had the same meaning in english. (it is sometimes hard not to think in spanish when writing in english)

I found a website about the writing section in the toefl, it was really helpful. They had a section called transitional words and they showed what were the transitional words that we could use to write the essay and they had: in addition to, and in addition to the previous point. What is wrong with the latter?

They also teach how to write the conclusion and what they say is: use your thesis statement (which is the last sentence at the end of the introduction) then re-write the first sentence of the first paragraph (this is called a supporting idea, and it says what the rest of the paragraph is going to be about) then, do the same with the second paragrah. In short words you build your conclusion putting together your thesis statement and the two ideas that support the thesis. How else would you advice me to write the conclusion?

I appreciate you taking the effort to tell me if I showed some development.

Thank you very much.

I also wanted to know if you could help with other essays until this friday which is the day I am taking the test. Again many thanks for you help!
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Dec 2, 2009   #4
I checked in a dictionary and it says: firstly adverb: used to refer to the first thing in a list. Why do you think it was awkward?

basically, saying that "Firstly, like we, human beings, animals..." is confusing...Using firstly as an adverb just doesn't fit there...I don't ever remember using that word with the -ly. I think you meant to say, "For example, humans, like other animals, are delivered to this world with genetic instincts." Instincts are assumed to be genetic, so no need to repeat.

in addition to, and in addition to the previous point. What is wrong with the latter?

About "in addition to the previous point, the fact that you say "In addition.. means that you are adding the the previous point. No need to say it again...unless you have a very long analysis that follows your point...I don't see the need here.. Another common mistake goes like this, "We both went to eat pizza together." Only ONE, both or together, is needed.

A few other transitions that have a similar meaning are moreover, furthermore, and what is more.

How else would you advice me to write the conclusion?

for a strong conclusion, try not to summarize what you wrote previously. Try to connect some of the smaller points from the previous paragraphs into the ending to make it flow more. You don't have to just restate the introduction and the topic sentences. Be creative!
OP ivan9210 5 / 26  
Dec 2, 2009   #5
alright I will follow your advice on the firstly thing.

Thank you very much for clarifying my doubts, I have my exam in one day (or two? do you count the day of the test) and I am sooo nervous, I hope I do well I am really worried.

If I have the chance I will post another essay tomorrow, my last attempt and if you have the chance I ask you to please revise it.

Best regards.


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