Dec 14, 2001
The following TOEFL essay was written by a non-native English speaker. Note the way the essay was analyzed for content, organization and grammar.
TOEFL Essay Question————-題目
Supporters of technology say that it solves problems and makes life better. Opponents argue that technology creates new problems that may threaten or damage the quality of life. Using one or two examples, discuss these two posit ions. Which view of technology do you support? Why?
Student’s unedited answer——學生例文
Technology is improved especially in developed countries. Our lives is connected to technology. Technology is used in everyday life. People use it in different ways. It can make our lives better, but it can be cruel if it’s used for bad purposes.
First, technology makes our lives better because it serves us well and helps us save time. As we can see one of well-known inventions is internet. For example, in the developed countries, Internet are used in everyday life. It’s used in schools and businesses because it provides a lot of information about anything all over the world.
On the other hand, technology can be very dangerous for us. Because of its ability of finding information, our personal information can no longer be secret. For instance, computer is used to keep most of the information. In other cases, hackers can search to our secret file and steal the information via computer. Another example is that some companies can search and find infor mation about us just by our credit card receipts or checks. That could make our lives worse than before. In short, technology gives us many advantages.
Analysis of student’s answer
A. Understanding the question
You must discuss both sides of the issue and then tell which side you support. In your answer, you did discuss both sides, but you did not tell which view of technology you supported.
B. Restating the question
Your first paragraph is a good attempt to restate the question but it does not include all the information from the original question.
Here is an example of a restatement of the question:
Some people feel that technology enhances our lives and others feel technology is damaging to our lives. We are connected to technology. Computers, television, and cars are all the result of technology. It can make our lives better, however, it can be bad if it’s used for negative purposes.
C. Body paragraphs and final paragraph
Be sure each paragraph in the body of your essay begins with a main idea (or topic sentence) and is followed by support and examples. The last sentence of each paragraph should be a concluding sentence. You have good ideas, but you should include more examples in the body of the essay. In body paragraph #1, provide more information about how technology helps us save time and add a concluding sentence.
Here is an example of what you could include:
For example, students can use the internet to research information for term papers. They can also access information about colleges and universities, book reviews, news and weather, famous people…the list is endless. Businesses also benefit from the internet. They can reach a global audience with their products and services. In addition, they can go online and examine their competitors\’ products, services and prices. The benefits of technology are numerous.
Body paragraph #2 needs a clearer concluding sentence. For example: Using technology for this type of negative purpose causes us lots of problems and makes our lives difficult.
Your final paragraph should summarize your main ideas and include your view of technology. You have not done that.
Here is an example of a possible final paragraph: In short, there are both positive and negative aspects to technology. I support the continued development of technology because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I feel that technology is needed to help us move forward. Without it, our lives will remain stagnant.
Good overall essay organization. Good use of transitions such as first, on the other hand, in short. Organization within paragraphs is good. You begin with the main idea and then give support. Remember to include a concluding sentence for each paragraph.
Your grammar is not bad. You should focus on improving your subject-verb agreement and word choice. Below are examples of these two grammatical problems taken from your essay.
Paragraph 1: our lives is (should be) our lives are
Paragraph 2: internet are used (should be) internet is used
Paragraph 3: computer is used (should be) computers are used
Paragraph 1: cruel (better choice:) bad
Paragraph 1: bad (better choice:) negative
Paragraph 3: ability of finding (better choice:) capable of finding
Understanding your TOEFL score
The TOEFL test is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test is required for entrance to universities and colleges in the United States.
The computer based test (CBT) is composed of four sections: listening, reading , structure (grammar) and essay writing.
You will receive three scores; one for listening, one for reading and a combined score for structure and essay writing.
Your TOEFL essay will comprise one-half of your structure/writing score.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CAN WRITE A GOOD ESSAY!