Sample TOEFL iBT Essay
A student wrote this TOEFL iBT practice essay in under 30 minutes.
|Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?|
|It is more important to study science and technology than to study the arts and humanities.|
|Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.|
I cannot judge the reasoning for the idea that the signicance of studying science and technology outweighs that of arts and humanities. It sounds too extreme to me. Adimittedly, acqauring the knowledge of science and technology is a necessity for us to live and make success in the real life, but can they substitutes arts and humanity? The answwer is definitely "No!". The reason is based on the fact that science and arts are equally important subjects that deal with different aspects of life. At the same time, they are like two halves of a fruit's shell compensating each other in maintaining good balances of our society during the course of social development.
First, in our social life arts and humannity bear equal importance to that of science and technology. Science and technology have brought tremendous prositive changes to our life. If it had not for the first Industrializaiotn Revolution and the introduction of railways and trains, we might still have to depend on horse-driven carriage to move around. Similarly, if it had not for the development of internet technology, we could have still contacted poeple liveing abroud with telegrams. All these spectacular changes are because of the advancement of science and technology. However, we still need the knowledge of arts and humanity to understand more about another important factor of this society: the human beings
Second, learing arts and hunamity help to build a sound but flexible mind, which is the primary source for creation.
Evaluation and error analyis
This essay shows that it is possible to know the language well but to write poorly. The student uses advanced grammar, a wide range of vocabulary, and a variety of sentence structures. Still, the essay is poorly written. Here's why:
An essay must have a definite essay structure. It should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It is clear that the student understands this but has run out of time. Even so, if the essay is not fully developed, then your ideas are not fully developed and you have not communicated effectively.
Maybe this would be a good introduction for a longer essay, but not for a 30-minute TOEFL essay. The introduction should give general information about the essay topic and tell the reader what your opinion is. It is not necessary to mention details of your argument. In the case, a shorter introduction would allow more time to develop ideas and complete the essay.
After a topic sentence, there should be supporting ideas. Supporting ideas relate to the topic sentence, explain why the topic sentence is true, and help support your thesis statement. In the second paragraph of this essay, most of the supporting ideas explain why it is important to study science and technology, and this is the opposite of the writer's thesis!
If it had not for the...
If it had not been for the...
make success in...
be successful in...
in the real life
in real life
the human beings
< Back to essay topics
One of the hardest sections to prep for on the TOEFL can be the essay. After all, it’s hard to find a native English speaker who will correct and grade your essays—and even harder to find one who knows the test! Never fear. Over the next few posts, we’ll look at some sample high-scoring essays and then break down what’s good about them (and how they might improve!)
If you’re doing your own practice, I suggest attempting to answer the prompt yourself under timed conditions and then comparing your essay to the sample essay. Then tune back in for the next post, in which we break down why this essay works! For our prompts, we’ll be looking at some of Kate’s excellent suggestions in this post on TOEFL writing. Let’s give it a go with the first independent essay topic!
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Modern life is easier than life in the past.
Use specific details and examples to support your answer.
I definitely agree that modern life is easier than life in the past. The increased use of technology, rising standards of living, and improved healthcare have combined to make our lifestyles, at least in the first world, luxurious compared to lifestyles of the past. By examining three specific examples—personal computers, The Lion in Winter, and vaccines—this essay will demonstrate that this improvement has, indeed, taken place.
In the first place, technological advances have created new ways to take care of mundane tasks quickly and easily. For example, the majority of Americans now have their own personal computers. This is an amazing advance: with computers, we can complete tasks, from banking to ordering groceries, that would have taken hours even a few decades ago. Word processing is common, making the spread of information much easier to achieve, and education is available to all for free through online courses and information that would have been all but unattainable for many up until the end of the twentieth century. The sheer amount of access that we have to services and knowledge through these machines has made life extraordinarily easier.
Secondly, our standard of life has changed through advances in engineering, architecture, travel, and even textiles. Looking at a film like The Lion in Winter, while by no means historically perfect, does show how even everyday things were more difficult almost a thousand years ago. Set in the 1100s, the film shows King Henry II having to break ice from his water bowl to get water to wash his face—something that hot and cold running taps have long since saved us from. The queen has to travel to see her husband by a long boat journey, which would be almost unthinkable today. Finally, the entire royal family, even though they are royal, is wrapped in encumbering furs. Looking at what was once the highest standard of living, compared to the average first world standard of living today, we can see how much easier progress has made our lives.
Finally, we no longer live in fear of many common diseases that once crippled or maimed large populations, making their lives much harder. For example, polio used to strike many people, in some cases making it difficult for them to walk, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, who used a wheelchair. The invention of that vaccine in the 1950s, as well as numerous other vaccines, has created a situation in which we no longer have to suffer unnecessarily. This is most certainly an improvement over the past.
In conclusion, life today is definitely easier than life in the past. Though it is easy to read stories of nobles and kings of history and romanticize them, their lives were almost certainly more uncomfortable than our lives are. Nevertheless, there are many places in the world where laptops, modern conveniences, and vaccines are rarely found; I hope that current generations will work together to make life easier for everyone, now that it is possible to do so.