+0
Hello,

I have a question concerning composition of a TOEFL essay the

topic of which states an idea that the writer should either agree

or disagree with. Sometimes, it is not difficult at all to choose a

side

"Do you agree or disagree that education is important?"

Here, the answer just suggests itself. But in some other cases

choosing a side just contradicts the common sense. For instance,

here is one of the official TOEFL topics:

"Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Most

experiences in our lives that seemed difficult at the time become

valuable lessons for the future."

I believe it is obvious that some experiences will be valuable

lessons for the future, while others will not. It depends on many

factors. So, the first idea that comes to mind is to write "It depends."

Moreover, agreeing or disagreeing with the idea that "most

experiences are valuable" means that the writer may count all

possible experiences, then to count all valuable ones, and finally

weight these numbers. Such calculations seem objectively

impossible.

However, it was once highly recommended to me always to take

one side and argue for it even if the contrary opinion may exist

and be well argued for.

What is your opinion? Would you recommend considering both sides

of an issue in the TOEFL essay or sticking to one view and support

it throughout the essay?

P.S. I'd like to emphasize that this question is TOEFL-peculiar and

general writing recomendations probably won't be of any help.

Thanks in advance.

--

Victor
+0
It might be better to ask you tutor this question.
victor_amelkin states an idea that the writer should either agree or disagree with
- this suggests that you pick one side and argue it. I think they might be looking for an example of persuasive writing.
+0
Hi Victor,

However, it was once highly recommended to me always to take

one side and argue for it even if the contrary opinion may exist

and be well argued for.

Generally speaking, I don't agree.

Clive
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Comments  
Dave, Clive,

Thanks for your comments.

Dave> I think they might be looking for an example of persuasive writing.

Dave, they are indeed. But in my view ideas of presenting several points of view and being persuasive are not mutually exclusive.

Clive> Generally speaking, I don't agree.

Clive, I would like to ascertain whether your opinion is based on experience of dealing with TOEFL essays or it is based on your general essay writing/correcting practice. I'm glad that our points of view on this subject coincide, but it would be great if the opinion of the ETS TOEFL raters would be the same.

--

Victor
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
If you are sure they aer looking for persuavive text then under no circumstances give both side of the argument. A persauvive text should start with facts as the first paragraph. Then your main opionon on those facts with more facts to back up the argument in the next paragraph. Then other key points again with facts/rational. Last paragraph is a conclusion. Use less formal language and more emotional language.
Hi,

Clive> Generally speaking, I don't agree.

Clive, I would like to ascertain whether your opinion is based on experience of dealing with TOEFL essays or it is based on your general essay writing/correcting practice. I'm glad that our points of view on this subject coincide, but it would be great if the opinion of the ETS TOEFL raters would be the same.

I've helped people with Toefl essays, but I've never officially worked for "TOEFL", so I'm just stating my opinion.

In the final analysis,it's a test of how well you write in English.

Clive