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This topic has 1 expert reply and 30 member replies

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nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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What I meant was whether you can use simple examples to score high.

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Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:00 am
Oh yeah, definitely. No need to tell someone's full life story to illustrate a point!

nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Thank you.

nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:56 am
Dana, what do you think is better:

- to support your position by providing examples from personal experience or experience of others

OR

- to develop your point by logical reasoning, writing citations, and talking about general things related to the topic

OR

- both

?

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Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:42 am
How about a combination of both? Although in general I'm not a big fan of citations, it's really not worth learning these to insert in essays and most of the time they don't actually add value. Also, beating about the bush with general stuff won't score you too many points... You need to be concise and to the point. From the stuff you've mentioned, I'd pick the following:
- examples
-logical reasoning

nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:01 pm
Dana, thank you. I got the drift.

Quote:
Although in general I'm not a big fan of citations, it's really not worth learning these to insert in essays and most of the time they don't actually add value.
I mean citations that come to mind naturally. I don't learn citations on purpose either. But sometimes when I write about some topic, I naturally remember them.

Quote:
Also, beating about the bush with general stuff won't score you too many points...
What do you mean by general stuff? Could you give an example?

What do you think of this structure for each paragraph?

1st sentence: main point
2nd sentence: reasoning
3rd sentence: reasoning
4th sentence: example
5th sentence: example
...

Wouldn't such a structure be boring/dull/too mechanical?

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Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:01 pm
By general stuff I mean the sort of platitudes I recommended you avoid in my first post:

There are a few things you need to keep in mind though. One of the most important would be avoid general, grandiose phrases in your piece. The Official Guide for the TOEFL gives an example of such an error: “this issue of implementing another national holiday has been the subject of a heated debate” or something similar. Do you see the problem with such a general statement that the student has probably learned by heart? In my opinion, there are other topics that spark much more “real” debates than another day off: same sex marriages, healthcare, wars etc. It’s just that you can’t have a “one-size-fits-all” sort of introduction for everything.

I don't think you should focus on a sentence-by-sentence structure. I think the more high level structure I posted in my original post is about right. There's nothing wrong with the structure you suggest, but at the same time I see no reason for you to limit yourself to that pattern. Plus I find it hard to believe you'll be able to fit in 2 examples in each paragraph, unless you're some champion writer! I don't view the example you gave as being boring or dull even if you keep repeating it, because I assume the actual words you use won't be the same for each paragraph

nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:04 am
OK, Dana, thank you.

nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:06 am
Well, actually I mean one example per paragraph (but several sentences devoted to one example).

amit.trivedi@ymail.com Legendary Member
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Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:55 pm
Dana thank you very much for your post. It is indeed very helpful. I just had one question though.

Don't you feel that the second Essay writing part is very similar to the Analysis of an Issue part of the GMAT. In that also you need to take up one stand and then give reasoning or provide arguments for it, giving examples. I feel the same.

What do you have to say?

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Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:43 am
It is quite similar, but at the same time it's a bit different in the sense that they expect much less from you on the TOEFL. It's a much easier task, IMHO. Plus the analysis of an issue is replaced by IR now!

Pleaman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:26 am
Just for fun you might be know that the second essay with the same question now available in ETS official book named as Official guide 4th edition. There are different examples how men answered with you on the same question and which answers received 5,4,3,2,1 grades. Quite interesting)
Thank you and good like.

Saner Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:10 am
Hi DanaJ I write to express my gratitude for your post. I admit it contributed a lot to my 27 in the TOEFL Writing section. Overall, I scored only 104 (slightly above my 100 minimum requirement)

Keep up!!!

jonathanmsoloman Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:15 pm
Great Infomation! thank for the invaluable tips

digvijayk Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:08 am
Great tips.

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