I have never received proper instructions on how to write a TOEFL essay, and I really need advice. Even if the advice might seem very basic, there is a high probability that I don't know that piece of information, so any kind of suggestion is extremely appreciated.
So, a few questions:
1. I've heard that a 5-paragraph structure should be implemented, but I decided to put a contradictory opinion in between the 1st and 2nd body. Was this a bad idea?
2. I put very little time (like the last 2 minutes) to review, and I decided to put more weight on writing as much as possible. Is this a bad strategy?
3. Is it true that the more you write, the better it is?
4. I find it hard to come up with an appealing introduction and conclusion. What are some strategies?
It has recently been announced that a large shopping center may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
While people who liked the neighborhood for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere might strongly disagree to build a shopping center, I am a supporter for the idea.
Firstly, it creates competition for local stores previously without it. Before having a shopping center, a local store might have been able to have high pricings and still be able to keep customers, due to having little or nor competition. However, by having a shopping center in the neighborhood, these stores will have to lower their pricings in order to compete with the new stores in the shopping centers. Competition can improve service as well as price. Local restaurants will have not just one, but at least three rivals when a shopping mall is built in the same area. Then providing bad service would be out of the question. They may have been able to make profits before, because the residents had no choice but to go to the restaurant if they wanted to eat out, but that will not be the case once they have competition.
However, this argument is double-sided. While it can be seen as a good thing from the customers to have competition among stores, it can be devastating news for the stores. If the service and price offered at the stores in the shopping center were equal to that of the local stores, or even slightly worse, I think people will most likely go to the former. After all, compared to the stores they have seen all their life, the stores in the shopping center are new, shiny, and going to the shopping center might be an exciting experience in itself. So, there is the risk of having local stores shutting down due to loss of customers.
As for the second reason why having a shopping center is good, it can be a place to go at weekends. I often go to a movie theater in a shopping center at weekends, and I know it can be quite fun to spend time at a shopping center. Why? One reason has to do with the fact that I like busy places. Growing up in Tokyo, I am not accustomed to places where there are very few people, and I am more comfortable where there's constant bustling around me. Another thing is that there are so many shops to look around. There are clothing stores, toy stores, CD stores, bookstores, and there are usually more than one shop for each kind. And whenever you get hungry from all that looking around, you can always stop for a sandwich or coffee.
And lastly, it profits the neighborhood economically. Building a shopping center means there will be shops making money, which means more tax income. And more tax income means, hopefully, a better life fore the people living in that area. For example, a new facility can be built, such as a pool or a library. Recently, tuition in state colleges has gone up in California because of the state's bad economy. If a state had sufficient income, on the other hand, they would be able to provide cheaper tuition.
Therefore, although it is not without consequences, I support the idea of building a shopping center in my neighborhood.