TOEFL – Quick Essay Analysis

Here is a sample essay for TOEFL Writing (Independent Essay). It is a topic about an abstract concept -a moral value, so candidates need to think about this carefully. An analysis of the question shows that the essay required appears to be one of ‘agree/disagree’ so this essay is essentially argumentative. In this sample, the author has chosen to disagree that truthfulness is no longer necessary today. The author’s stand is implied in the first paragraph, without the express use of the word ‘disagree’ but nonetheless, the author’s stand is clear. Three main points were put forth to support the author’s stand.

Sample Topic/Question

Truthfulness is a virtue that is held in high regard in many societies. However, modern life sometimes presents situations where it is better not to tell the truth. Do you agree or disagree that the truth is not always necessary and that sometimes it is even better not to be truthful? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Sample Answer:

As we have evolved as a society, some people contend that often, the line between truth and untruth has been blurred. The question is whether it is still necessary to be truthful all the time. My personal view is that truthfulness is still very much needed and the proverbial grey area is nothing but a convenient excuse created by the liars in our society.

The most important reason for us to be truthful is to uphold and maintain our integrity. A truthful person is someone dependable who can be relied on to present things honestly. The old adage, ‘Honesty is the best policy’, still applies today. If someone is honest, it means that others can put their trust in that person and this trust is often translated into favorable reviews which are worth far more than gold.

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Those who argue that it is acceptable to tell white lies may present a convincing case at first, but a lie is still a lie, regardless of the intention of the lie. In the long run, telling the truth will always be for the greater good. For instance, when a woman asks, ‘How do I look?’, some people may be tempted to tell a white lie and tell her that she looks good even though the opposite may be the case. I personally think that it is better to tell the woman the truth from the onset rather than spare her feelings now but allow her to be laughed at by someone else later.

Another simple reason to tell the truth is that it is far less stressful than having to keep up the pretense that comes with lies. Often, one lie will lead to another one and soon, the liar will find that it is quite stressful trying to keep up with the web of lies. Living with the fear of being found out can take its toll on any person.

In conclusion, there are some universal values which will never erode with time and truthfulness is one of them. Truth will prevail over lies at any time in any situation, and if everyone were to understand this basic principle, the world will be a better place to live in.

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