TOEFL, TOEFL Sample Essays

TOEFL – Quick Essay Analysis

This sample TOEFL Independent Essay is an argumentative one (agree/disagree). In this sample, the author has chosen to agree with the stated thesis and explicitly states this in the first paragraph. The next three paragraphs are linked well with one another (e.g. Paragraph 3 starts with ‘Added to this…’ and Paragraph 4 starts with ‘Another factor…’) and the concluding paragraph ties the whole essay together by reiterating the author’s stand.

Sample Topic/Question

We all make decisions every day but each decision will have varying degrees of importance. While some decisions are minor, others are life changing. The major decisions thus need more careful consideration. Some people believe that an important decision should not be made alone. Do you agree or disagree with this? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Sample Answer:

A good decision often equals success. Some decisions are small ones which will hardly have any significant effect on the person as a whole but some decisions are more serious than that. It is thus said that we should not make an important decision alone. I totally agree with this suggestion that more heads are better than one.

A major decision is likely to life-changing effects. For instance, the decision of a lifetime partner is a huge one. Due to the enormity of such a choice, it is better to get the opinions of other people before taking any action. By taking into account the views of others, we will also get the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that due effort has been made to look at the situation from all angles.

Add to this is the fact that major decisions often impact a wider circle of people other than the decision maker himself or herself. Using the same example of choosing a partner above, it is reasonable to assume that a person’s final decision will affect both partners’ family members and friends as well. When we ask for someone else’s opinion, we are also nurturing our relationship with that person by indirectly indicating that their opinions matter to us and that we value their friendship.

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Another factor that must be taken into account in this discussion is that we are all plagued by our own blind spots. There may be something that we have overlooked, or even worse, we may be blinded by our emotions.Take for example, the decision of what course to pursue at university. Sometimes, we may be so caught up with all the hype of advertising that we may enroll in a course that is totally not suitable for us. Getting another reliable person’s objective view can often balance out such things.

At the end of the day, due to the ripple effects that major decisions will tend to create in our lives and in the lives of those around us, it is always a good idea to ask other people what they think before we make the final call. Thus, I reiterate my stand that it is advisable that we do not make major decisions alone.

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