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Toefl Topic: Knowledge from experience or knowledge from books?


meili luo 4 / 5  
Sep 18, 2012   #1
Hi everybody.I really appreciate it if you leave useful comments on my essay.
The topic is: Compare and contrast the knowledge gained from experience with the one gained from books? Which source is more important?

We learn a lot of our knowledge from the books. Books are abundant sources of precious knowledge in a wide variety of fields. From my vantage point, however, the knowledge gained from experience is much more prominent. Doubtless, not everything we learn is written in books. Also, knowledge acquired through experience gives us a deeper insight of the issue than the one gained from books.

First and foremost, we learn a lot of our knowledge through life experiences which are not included in any sort of books. Who can learn how to walk without experience? Who can learn how to ride a bicycle even if s/he reads tremendous amount of books? Furthermore, a lot of our social knowledge is gained through lots of experience. The life is the scene of experience. We learn how to deal with difficulties, how to get along our peers, how to control critical situations, and in a word how to live, just through experiences. Definitely, there is a lot of unwritten knowledge which are acquired only by experience.

Secondly, knowledge gained from experience is extremely more perceivable than the one gained from books. To shed light on the issue, I would like to draw your attention to this example. Imagine a ball thrown to the sky; we can learn to predict the motion of the ball by means of studying physics formulations and analyzing the ball motion. Another way is to observe the exact motion of the ball. In other words we can experience the motion in reality. The sense we get of the ball motion from its formulation, never is as sensible as the perception we gain through observing its real motion.

To sum up, there are a lot of real knowledge which cannot be learned by reading even thousands of books. In addition the knowledge gained from experience, always and with no doubt, is much more perceivable than the one gained from books.
phasetwozero 1 / 4  
Sep 19, 2012   #2
Hi Meili,

First off, the essay has some good arguments and is well-written, but I would like to suggest some improvements for you to consider, both grammatically and structure-wise.

gained from experience is much more prominent

What do you mean by this? Do you perhaps mean more pertinent ?

Also, knowledge acquired through experience gives us a deeper insight of the issue than the one gained from books.

Try to use an example to explain how knowledge you acquire through experience gives you a deeper understanding. It makes the phrase more powerful and effective.

First and foremost, we learn a lot of our knowledge through life experiences which are not included in any sort of books.

This sounds too much like a repetition of an earlier sentence "not everything we learn is written in books". So in order to better illustrate your point, I would suggest showing rather than saying. Use an example once again to effectuate your point.

Furthermore, a lot of our social knowledge is gained through lots of experience

This seems rather poorly phrased, and could be better utilized as "Furthermore, most of our social knowledge is gained through our experiences in life", for example.

The life is the scene of experience.

Again a similar situation, and would suggest "Life is a scene of our experiences"

how to control critical situations, and in a word how to live, just through experiences. Definitely, there is a lot of unwritten knowledge which are acquired only by experience.

Small improvements in grammar and sentence re-structuring make it flow better, in my opinion. I do not understand the part of the phrase "and in a word how to live". I would suggest you change the last sentence to: "Evidently, there is so much unwritten knowledge that we can acquire only through experience."

Secondly, knowledge gained from experience is extremely more perceivable than the one gained from books. To shed light on the issue, I would like to draw your attention to this example. Imagine a ball thrown to the sky; we can learn to predict the motion of the ball by means of studying physics formulations and analyzing the ball motion. Another way is to observe the exact motion of the ball. In other words we can experience the motion in reality. The sense we get of the ball motion from its formulation, never is as sensible as the perception we gain through observing its real motion.
I like your use of the example here, but I would say "is much more perceivable than that gained from books" and "The sense we get of the ball and its motion from its formulation, is never as accurate (or palpable) as the perception we gain by observing its real motion"

To sum up, there are a lot of real knowledge which cannot be learned by reading even thousands of books. In addition the knowledge gained from experience, always and with no doubt, is much more perceivable than the one gained from books.

The conclusion seems very abrupt but it does sum up the contents quite adequately, however I would suggest you avoid labouring on the above mentioned findings. I would change it to something like "In conclusion, there is a very real leap between the knowledge we obtain from our books and the knowledge we gain from our own experiences. In addition, the knowledge we gain from our experiences is almost always more palpable than the words on the pages of a book.

I hope this helps you,

Good Luck!
OP meili luo 4 / 5  
Sep 19, 2012   #3
Thanks a lot Jurie. That was quite helpful.


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