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TOEFL Essay Question 2 - Protecting kids from owning cell phones with Internet access

Arvindvenkat 1 / -  
Dec 14, 2018   #1
Some parents forbid young children from owning smart phones (cell phones with Internet access), while others disagree and believe that they are important tools for keeping in touch. Which point of view do you think is better, and why?

young children and smartphones

Phones are a must in the current day and age. But are smart phones a must have for young children?. Personally, I believe that parents should not permit young children to own smart phones. I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following paragraphs.

To begin with, young children do not possess the maturity to understand the pros and cons of possessing a smart phone. They get addicted to it. Young children instead of interacting with their friends or completing their assignments spend majority of their time after school hours on smart phones. For instance, my uncle's son, who owns a Google nexus phone, spends most of his time playing games and surfing the internet rather than on his studies. He spends a huge amount of time on social media such as facebook and twitter rather than interacting with his parent's or friends at home. This has negatively affected his grades. He is also becoming a couch potato and does not exercise or play games. Earlier when he did not own the phone he used to play football with his friend in the park near his home and also achieved better grades in his school assignments. He was also socially more interactive with his peers and parent's earlier.

Secondly, Young children require only a basic feature phone, which can only be used to make calls and send text. It is required by them for the purpose of keeping in touch and contacting their parents in case of emergencies. My own experience is a compelling example of this. I used to own an basic feature phone during my school days which I used for contacting my parents or my friends. It did not possess any games and so I never wasted my time using it. It did not have any negative impact on my grades and I had a good friends circle with whom i used to interact on a daily basis.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that parents should forbid young children from owning smart phones due to availability of basic feature phones for contact and children's lack of maturity.
Whandhey95 1 / 2 2  
Dec 14, 2018   #2
I have read through your essay and unless there is a word limit, I think your essay is short. For an opinion essay, I think it is better to have a structure in mind.

- Introduction
Write a background statement about the topic.
"In this present day, owning a phone is considered to be a necessity because access to information is only a click away. With a smartphone, there is almost no limit to what a person can do. Mobile banking, booking an appointment, keeping in touch with family and friends, e-commerce, receiving traffic updates are just a few of the numerous benefits of owning a phone. Despite these, there seem to be conflicting views as to whether or not parents should allow their children own smartphones. This essay will discuss both views and take a position on which is considered to be the better of the two." - This is just an example, you do not have to copy word for word. It should serve as a guide.

- Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, .... n
- Opening sentence
- Reason/Supporting sentence: Here you are just going to stress the main idea of the paragraph you stated in the opening sentence.
- Evidence: You could give examples
- Closing: Make efforts to link it back to the opening sentence.

Basically, with this format, you will be discussing one idea in each paragraph. The number of paragraphs you will have will depend on the number of ideas you have.

- Conclusion
Stress your introduction again by paraphrasing it.

Because you are required to give an opinion, you could end with "In my opinion, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

I hope I have been able to help you out.

Kind regards.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,881 4564  
Dec 15, 2018   #3
You wrote too many words for the Task 2 essay. The ideal, owing to editing requirements, is only within 250-300 words with 275 words being the most acceptable word count when considering the editing requirements. Use a timer next time you practice writing. You will see that you cannot complete over 300 words when writing under pressure.

The prompt you were provided with is a "direct question and response" prompt. As such, this is the only Task 2 essay that will allow you to begin your discussion within the prompt paraphrase. Therefore, rather than saying that you feel this way due to 2 reasons, you should instead, be indicating which point of view you think is better and why. So after saying that you agree that parents should not allow children to own smartphones, you should present the 2 reasons why that is so. The presentation should be:

... own smartphones. First because children are not mature enough to understand how to properly use a smartphone and second, children should only be allowed to use basic phone features for calling and texting.

After the complete presentation of your opinion as an overview response, you can use the next 2 reasoning paragraphs as you did in the essay that you wrote, to support the reasoning response you gave in the paraphrase.

You properly opened each paragraph with a subject sentence. That is good. You automatically showed the examiner that there is a clear topic to be discussed in each paragraph. The problem, is that you need to present that within only 5 sentences. No more than that or you will lose time for reviewing and editing your handwritten essay. The 5 sentences should cover:

1. Topic introduction (you already do this)
2. Supporting reason
3. Example
4. Explanation of example (optional)
5. Transition sentence (to introduce the next paragraph topic)

The above paragraph discussion content is applicable to all Task 2 essays, regardless of whether it is the 4 paragraph or 5 paragraph essay format. Your concluding summary is incomplete. The concluding summary must always include, for a Task 2 essay:

1. A repeat of the discussion prompt
2. Subject sentence 1
3. Subject Sentence 2
4. Personal Opinion
5. Closing sentence (optional)

Overall, you have written a very good essay that has mistakes which can easily be avoided in the future once you learn to properly format your essay discussions and control your content presentation. Overall, this is a very good first attempt at Task 2 essay writing.

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