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iBTTOEFL essay - should university students take part-time jobs?


This is the toefl essay I wrote. Please give me some advice. Thanks a lot. Really appreciate your help.

[b]Many university students have part-time jobs on or off campus. This phenomenon has now provoked wide public concern. Some skeptics argue that students come to the universities to study and what they need to do is to exercise their brain not making money. However these people fail to realize that part-time jobs during attendance in university can provide students so much more than just income. As far as I'm concerned university students should be encouraged to take part-time jobs because they can become more financially independent, gain new experience, make more friends and learn to balance their study and work.

Part-time jobs make students much more financially independent. With the help of the money earned in the jobs, some scholarship money and student loan, many students are able to afford the tuition as well as other fees required in university. It may be the first time they support themselves financially. According to a survey conducted by CollegeS&L, a college counseling company, more than 60 percent of the students in universities and colleges have a part-time job either on or off campus, and 45percent of them are able to pay for the tuitions by themselves with a little help from school. Taking part-time jobs is one step closer to an adult life for the students, who are very excited about the idea of being free from parents and live by themselves.

Besides, by taking a part-time job a student can gain access to new experience and new friends. Working environment is much different from a classroom and it has much to offer to the students which cannot be learnt from textbooks. A student working in a restaurant may taste the bitter and sweet of being a waitress and will have new respect for the occupation. Also she can learn some culinary skills and make friends with various kinds of people including the chef, other waitresses and many customers. A part-time job opens new doors for a university student.

Although working while studying in a university may influence the students' academic performance. The students may not have enough time left to do the assignments sometime and he/ she may feel tired after the job and have no energy left to study. However, this is a challenge that the students have to face. They have to learn to balance working with studying and form a new living habit. In order to keep up in both their study and work they have to be more self-motivated. And once the students achieve this they also gain a sense of accomplishment. They become more confidence in themselves and more courageous for the challenges that the future holds in store.

In conclusion, a part-time job benefits a university student in many ways in that it allows a student to be more independent, experienced and confident.

You can combine the first two sentences. "More university students have part-time jobs on or off campus, a phenomenon that is provoking public concern."

The third sentence confuses me, mostly because there are no commas where there needs to be. "Skeptics argue that students should come to universities to study, not spend their time working all day."

I think when you write percents, you either write out the whole number and the word percent, or the numeral and the %-sign. So either 60% or sixty percent.

"The working environment is much like..."

Fourth paragraph's topic sentence is just a dependent clause, you need something to go with it. The sentence after it is confusing; it needs to be broken up.

"They become more confident in themselves..."

This essay is very good for the most part. There's a little too much structural redundancy (topic sentences repeating what is said in the introduction) for my taste, but I suspect that TOEFL essays are supposed to be this way. I barely have any idea what the TOEFL is, so I couldn't say. But all-in-all, I think it's a well thought-out essay that needs a bit of polish.
Sep 6, 2009   #3
Thanks catalyst0435! This really helps a lot. I guess I have to work on my grammar more often. When I try to write a long sentence I tend to make more mistakes...

I try to see the two sides of this problem in the fourth paragraph. Will it be better if I change the topic sentence to:

Admittedly working while studying in a university may influence the students' academic performance.
Thanks again. I love this forum. Can't believe I just found it.


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