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TOEFL: Listening to the advice of family and friends or via personal experience?


sntinn 8 / 36 9  
Apr 8, 2014   #1
Prompt:
Some people believe that the best way of learning about life is by listening to the advice of family and friends. Other people believe
that the best way of learning about life is through personal experience. Compare the advantages of these two different ways of
learning about life. Which do you think is preferable? Use specific examples to support your preference.
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When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother does love exist? She smiled, and said that some people believe that the best way to learn about love is through their personal life. Others choose to believe the advice from the experts. I believe that the best way to understand about love is to find it by myself.

First of all, I find the conclusion from my experience better than the advice from others. Because the suggestion can be influenced by personal perception, the tense of situation, one's past experience, the immediate reaction, and the present situation, the advice cannot give us the crystal clear understanding as our experience. For example, I find that the advice about marriage life from my mother are different depending on her emotions and her feeling toward my father at that moment. Even if her advice can give me a rough idea about how life is like, it cannot make me truly understand her.

Secondly, some feeling or experience cannot be described by words. I could understand that my mother might find it hard to describe, as when talking about marriage, she has random combinations of emotions: happiness, frustration, ambitions, failing, etc. In addition, my mother and my father has lived together for more than twenty five years. They has passed a lot of things together. My father could have been so mean, or so generous. He could even be a remarkable doctor, or the worst literature. Thousand words of my mother cannot be enough to describe about her husband.

Finally, taking my mother's advice for granted is what I often do. It is often than my experience teaches me the unforgettable lesson. Despite the pain due to my foolish, I still insist in learning from my own experience. As I got marry with my husband, I can feel the happiness from taking care of my love one. Even if this was the hardest work ever, I began to understand the joyfulness and frustration of my mother.

In sum, learning from experience hone my insight. Some experience cannot be describe by words, and it gives us the inerasable lessons. So learning by my own experience is better than listening to the advice from other people.

LeonP 3 / 5 1  
Apr 8, 2014   #2
In my opinion your structure is good, but your reasoning is a bit too vague. I think you focus a bit too much on the feeling "love", try to use other situations to increase the variety of examples (not always focusing on your parents). But all in all I like your essay :)
OP sntinn 8 / 36 9  
Apr 8, 2014   #3
Thank you for your response LeonP
You have made a good point about my reasoning and the lack of varieties in my essay.
By the way, I would love to hear some examples from you. ^^

Best,
eddies [Contributor] 25 / 1,208 476  
Apr 9, 2014   #4
A few edits. Hope this brings clarity
It is experience which shapes personality. Life experience could possibly change a person's value, becoming an independent, self-reliant adult. Being no bounded by mandatory interaction, a person is more likely to take a decision about where daily life is much more private. As a rule, everybody is unique, with her/his own experience and behavior.
eddies [Contributor] 25 / 1,208 476  
Apr 9, 2014   #5
5 or 4 paragraphs?
Well, if you have a question that you don't like at all, then you can write with a 5-paragraph essay. You write one introduction, three bodies, and one conclusion. This can help you write more words, but some students, that I see, put grandiose ideas, by writing too many words. Uppsss.., remember, 30 minutes to finish your essay are a must :D

With the structure (a 4-paragraph essay), you are easy to develop your paragraph properly. Also, this is good for coherence and cohesion between the sentence-to-paragraph-to-essay construction, and for which in the five-paragraph structure this is weak.


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