sample essays for the toefl writing test

racism and hate crimes essay

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Sample essays for the toefl writing test effects of attending college essay

Sample essays for the toefl writing test

Groups needed more time for meetings, which are neccesary procceedures in decision making. This was another part where experience contradicted theory. Third, influetial people might emerge, and lead the group towards glory or failure. If the influent people are going in the right direction there would be no problem.

But in cases where they go in the wrong direction, there is nobody that has enough influence to counter the decision made. In other words, the group might turn into a dictatorship, with the influential party as the leader, and might be less flexible in thinking. They might become one-sided, and thus fail to succeed. This essay clearly organizes the three main points made in the lecture, which is what the first part of the prompt asked for.

Additionally, the essay clearly contrasts points made in the lecture with points made in the reading. This essay shows that the writer understood the main points of both the lecture and the reading well enough to both describe them and contrast them. That, along with the relatively few mechanical errors, gives the essay a top score. Below is an official Independent Writing prompt and top-scoring sample essay.

Beneath the essay we analyze what about the essay resulted in it receiving a top score. Directions Read the question below. You have 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise your essay. Typically, an effective essay will contain a minimum of words. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship.

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. There are three key things this essay does that results in its high score, and each is explained in more detail below. The essay, like the first one, is well organized. Each paragraph begins with a new major point that is then explained.

This logical flow of ideas is easy for readers to follow and shows that the writer knows how to set up a clear argument. Another reason the essay received a top score is because the writer used specific examples to make her point. By using specific examples, such as a friend buying a new outfit and asking your opinion and phrases businesses use to sell products, the writer makes her argument stronger and more concrete.

This shows a strong command of English and the ability to write in-depth essays that are clear and get their point across. You can use these examples to get a better idea of what a high-scoring essay looks like and what graders are looking for on the Writing section. Official resources are always the best to use since you can be sure the essay prompts are accurate and the sample essays were accurately scored.

This resource contains several sample essays including the two sample responses used above. The essays from on this site received different scores as well as analysis of why they received the score they did. This is a complete practice TOEFL, but it does include several sample essays along with score explanations so you can get a more in-depth look at how and why different essays received the scores they did.

Below are two of the best. This site has several dozen sample essays for both the Integrated and Independent Writing topics. Looking over the rubrics for both these essays and understanding what graders will be looking for can help you understand what to include in your own essays. Both essays are scored on a scale of Top-scoring essays generally need to have good organization, specific examples, answer the prompt completely, and minor spelling and grammar errors.

A good prep book can be the most important study tool you use, and we have information on all the best TOEFL prep books you should consider. She has taught English and biology in several countries. View all posts by Christine Sarikas. Your email address will not be published. Yes, add me to your mailing list. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Skip to content. Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about. Directions You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response.

Built by world-class instructors from Harvard and MIT , the course offers individual review, interactive lessons, and realistic online praactice, at an affordable price! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Successfully selects the important information from the lecture. Coherently and accurately presents information from both the lecture and the reading.

Well organized with few language errors. Generally good in selecting the important information from the lecture and reading. May have minor omission, inaccuracy, vagueness, or imprecision of some content. More frequent or noticeable minor language errors. It conveys only vague, global, unclear, or somewhat imprecise information about the lecture and reading. Key points may be missing. All around the world, people are living longer than ever before.

Which of the following do you think are the main causes of this phenomenon? You may choose more than one option. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. During our careers, we work with many different kinds of people. All of them have unique characteristics and personality traits. In your opinion, which of the following is the most important characteristic of a coworker?

You may choose more than one of these options. Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer. Which of the following values do you think is most important to teach a young child? When employees feel that the management of their company is doing something wrong, what do you think is the best way for them to respond? Some students prefer classes with frequent discussions between the professor and the students with almost no lectures.

Other students prefer classes with many lectures and almost no discussions. Which do you prefer? Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Some people think that the government should use extra money to fund programs to improve the environment.

Others think that it is better for the government to spend money to support artistic programs. Which option do you prefer? Some people like to spend their money as soon as they earn it, while others think it is better to save their money for some time in the future. Some people prefer to live in a small town.

Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in? Some students prefer to study and do homework alone. Others prefer to study and work on class assignments with a group of fellow students. Some people prefer to eat meals at restaurants, while others prefer to prepare and eat food in their own home. Some people think that they can learn much more by themselves than if they work with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to get help from a skilled teacher.

Use specific reasons to support your choice. A company wants to train its employees to use new techniques. Which is the best way to train the workers? The administrators of a university are revising their budget and have decided to change their funding priorities. As a result, the university will now spend more money on sports and athletic facilities than they do on the campus libraries.

Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Many people welcome the opening of shopping areas near their homes. On the other hand, some people are strongly opposed to the construction of such facilities. If the opening of a large shopping center in your neighborhood were announced, would you support or oppose its construction? It is very important for students to learn as much as possible before their graduation from university.

For this reason, many schools require students to attend all of their classes in person in order to achieve a passing score. Do you agree or disagree with this kind of policy? Use specific reasons and examples to support your argument. It is important to improve our skills and knowledge as much as possible. Some people prefer to learn from individuals who have more experience than they do — like teachers and supervisors — instead of learning from peers, like their colleagues and classmates.

Nowadays, the world is developing at a very rapid pace and we are constantly forced to make a lot of choices that can affect the rest of our lives. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that we should always ask someone else for help when we need to make an important decision?

Consider a situation where you are asked by your supervisor to work with one of your co-workers on a project. This co-worker has opinions that are very different from yours and they feel very strongly about these opinions. Imagine that your city government has given permission for a major company to build a large factory near your neighborhood. Explain your position using specific reasons and examples. Reading some of them will help you to understand the integrated question in the TOEFL writing section.

Question 1 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 2 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 3 Grades encourage students to work harder at school. Question 4 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 5 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Question 6 Movies and television strongly influence the way people behave. Question 7 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 8 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 9 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 10 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Question 11 In twenty years there will be fewer cars in use than there are today. Question 12 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer Question 13 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Question 14 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 15 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 16 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 17 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 18 new Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 19 new Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 21 When you face a difficult problem in life, what do you feel is the best way to solve it?

Question 22 In general, people are living longer now. Technological improvements Changes to education systems Improvements to our diets Use specific details and examples in your answer. Question 23 People have a lot of opinions about the value of advanced education. Question 24 Imagine you could improve the town where you live by changing one important thing about it.

Build additional parks Construct more libraries Improve public transportation Use specific details and examples in your answer. Question 25 These days, people enjoy a lot of time away from their work and school obligations.

Going to a museum Joining a guided tour of popular attractions Visiting a popular shopping area Talking to a local resident Watching a local television station Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Question 26 People in society work in many different settings, and for a variety of reasons. Question 27 Everyone wants to be as healthy as possible.

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Useful idea thesis generator for compare/contrast paper remarkable, very

I began to love music. After: I started playing the piano at the age of eight. As I learned to play more difficult pieces, my appreciation for music deepened. Do Use Active Voice Verbs. Passive-voice expressions are verb phrases in which the subject receives the action expressed in the verb. Passive voice employs a form of the word to be, such as was or were.

Overuse of the passive voice makes prose seem flat and uninteresting. Before: The lessons that have prepared me for my graduate studies were taught to me by my mother. After: My mother taught me lessons that will prove invaluable as I pursue my research interests. Do Seek Multiple Opinions. Does my conclusion provide closure? This must be the case. Don't Wander. Do Stay Focused. Many applicants try to turn the personal statement into a complete autobiography.

Not surprisingly, they find it difficult to pack so much information into such a short essay, and their essays end up sounding more like a list of experiences than a coherent, well-organized thought. Make sure that every sentence in your essay exists solely to support one central theme.

Do Revise, Revise, Revise. The first step in an improving any essay is to cut, cut, and cut some more. The EssayEdge. After graduation, I took a job to allow myself time to thoroughly think through my plans and to expose myself to a variety of work situations. This strategy has been very valuable to me in rounding out my career plans. During the past 18 months I have had firsthand experience with computers in a wide array of business applications.

This has stimulated me to think about ways in which computers could be used for scientific research. One idea that particularly fascinates me is mathematical modeling of natural systems, and I think those kinds of techniques could be put to good use in geological science. I have always enjoyed and been strong in areas that require logical, analytical thought, and I am anxious to combine my interest in earth science with my knowledge of, and aptitude for, computer-related work.

There are several specific areas that I have already studied that I think would lend themselves to research based on computing techniques, including mineral phase relations in igneous petrology and several topics in structural geology.

I would like to explore structural geology and tectonics further at the graduate level. I am also interested in learning more about geophysics. I plan to focus on all these areas in graduate school while at the same time continuing to build up my overall knowledge of geology. My ultimate academic goal is to earn a Ph. As far as long-term plans, I hope to get a position at a university or other institution where I can indulge my primary impulse, which is to be involved in scientific research, and also try my hand at teaching.

My decision to focus on math and science as an undergraduate and to explore the computer industry after college has equipped me with a unique set of strengths to offer this program. The depth of my interest in geology has only grown in my time away from academia, and although I have identified several possible areas of specialization through prior studies, I look forward to contributing my fresh perspective on all subjects. About EssayEdge. Named "the world's premier application essay editing service" by the New York Times Learning Network and "one of the best essay services on the Internet" by the Washington Post.

Enter the coupon code on the order form when placing your order. Essay My freshman year at Harvard, I was sitting in a Postcolonial African Literature class when Professor Ngugi wa Thiong'o the influential Kenyan author succeeded in attracting me to the study of African literature through nothing more than a single sentence.

He argued that, when a civilization adopts reading and writing as the chief form of social communication, it frees itself to forget its own values, because those values no longer have to be part of a lived reality in order to have significance.

I was immediately fascinated by the idea that the written word can alter individual lives, affect one's identity, and perhaps even shape national identity. Professor Ngugi's proposal forced me to think in a radically new way: I was finally confronted with the notion of literature not as an agent of vital change, but as a potential instrument of stasis and social stagnancy.

I began to question the basic assumptions with which I had, until then, approached the field. How does "literature" function away from the written page, in the lives of individuals and societies? What is the significance of the written word in a society where the construction of history is not necessarily recorded or even linear?

I soon discovered that the general scope of comparative literature fell short of my expectations because it didn't allow students to question the inherent integrity or subjectivity of their discourse. We were being told to approach Asian, African, European, and American texts with the same analytical tools, ignoring the fact that, within each culture, literature may function in a different capacity, and with a completely different sense of urgency.

Seeking out ways in which literature tangibly impacted societies, I began to explore other fields, including history, philosophy, anthropology, language, and performance studies. The interdisciplinary nature of my work is best illustrated by my senior thesis "Time Out of Joint: Issues of Temporality in the Songs of Okot p'Bitek".

In addition to my literary interpretations, the thesis drew heavily on both the Ugandan author's own cultural treatises and other anthropological, psychological, and philosophical texts. By using tools from other disciplines, I was able to interpret the literary works while developing insight into the Ugandan society and popular psychology that gave birth to the horrific Idi Amin regime.

In addition, I was able to further understand how people interacted with the works and incorporated or failed to incorporate them into their individual, social, and political realities. On a more practical level, writing the thesis also confirmed my suspicion that I would like to pursue an academic career. I decided to secure a position which would grant me experiences far removed from the academic world, yet which would also permit me to continue developing the research and writing skills I needed to tackle the challenges of graduate school.

I have fulfilled this goal by working as a content developer at a Silicon Alley web start-up for two years. The experience has been both enjoyable and invaluable -- to the point where colleagues glance at me with a puzzled look when I tell them I am leaving the job to return to school. In fact, my willingness to leave such a dynamic, high-paying job to pursue my passion for literature only reflects my keen determination to continue along the academic path.

Through a Masters program, I plan to further explore the issues I confronted during my undergraduate years by integrating the study of social, cultural, and linguistic anthropology into the realm of literature. I believe that, by adopting tools used in such disciplines, methods of inquiry can be formulated that allow for the interpretation of works that are both technically sound and sociologically insightful. Thus far, my studies have concentrated largely on African and Caribbean literatures, and I am particularly interested in studying these geographic areas in more specific historical and cultural contexts.

I also seek to increase my knowledge of African languages, which will allow me to study the lingering cultural impact of colonialism in modern-day African literature. Eventually, I would like to secure an academic post in a Comparative Literature department, devoting myself to both research and teaching at the college level. While searching for a graduate school that would accommodate my interdisciplinary approach, I was thrilled to find a program that approaches world literature with a cross-disciplinary focus, recognizing that the written word has the potential to be an entry point for social and cultural inquiry.

The level of scholarly research produced by the department also attracts me. Akhil Gupta's "Culture, Power, Place", for instance, was one of my first and most influential experiences with the field of cultural anthropology. Professor Gupta's analysis of the local, national, and foreign realms, achieved through a discussion of post-colonial displacement and mixed identifications, has led me to believe that -- given the complexity of modern societies -- comparative literature's focus on borders national and linguistic has been excessively arbitrary.

Even more significant is the accurate rendering of individually-lived realities that may then be synthesized with other experiences. I believe that I could greatly benefit from Professor Gupta's teaching and guidance in applying these ideas to the literary arena, and I believe that his work is representative of the rigorous yet creative approach I would pursue upon joining the department.

Why Qualified? Essay Ever since my first psychology lecture, I have been fascinated by the nature of human memory. Indeed, human memory is one of the most tenacious and enigmatic problems ever faced by philosophers and psychologists. The discussion of memory dates back to the early Greeks when Plato and Aristotle originally likened it to a "wax tablet.

The fact that the controversy surrounding human memory has been marked more by analogy than definition suggests, however, that memory is a far more complex phenomenon than has been uncovered thus far. I intend to spend the rest of my professional life researching the nature of human memory and solving the riddle posed yet cunningly dodged by generations of philosophers and psychologists.

When I first came to psychology, however, I wanted to be a clinical psychologist. Only upon enrolling in Dr. Helga Noice's Cognitive Psychology course, did I discover the excitement of doing research. The course required us to test our own autobiographical memory by conducting an experiment similar to the one run in by W.

Over the course of the term, I recorded events from my personal life on event cards and set them aside without reviewing them. After studying the effect serial position on the recollection of autobiographical memories, I hypothesized that events that, when I sat down at the end of therm to recall those same events I had described on the event cards, that events that had occurred later in the term would be recalled with greater frequency than events that had occurred earlier.

Although the experiment was of simple design and predictable results, I found the processes incredibly exciting. Autobiographical memory in particular fascinated me because I realized how crucial, yet fragile, memory is. Why was my memory of even ten weeks so imperfect? What factors contributed to that imperfection? Could such factors be controlled? I had ignited my passion for experimental psychology. Suddenly, I had many pressing questions about memory that I wanted to research. Under the guidance of Dr.

Noice, I continued to study human memory. I worked closely with Dr. Noice on several research experiments involving expert memory, specifically the memory of professional actors. Noice would select a scene from a play and then a professional actor would score it for beats, that is, go through the scene grouping sections of dialogue together according to the intent of the character.

Some actors use this method to learn dialogue rather than rote memorization. After they were finished, I would type up the scene and the cued recall test. Next, I would moderate the experimental sessions by scoring the actor's cued recall for accuracy and then helping with the statistical analysis.

Again, I was involved in all aspects of the experiment, from typing the protocol and administering it to the subjects to analyzing the data and finally presenting my results. The opportunity to perform this research was invaluable, particularly as I began taking independent research seminars in my senior year.

For the seminars, I was required to write an extensive review of the literature and then design a research proposal on any topic of my choice. Although I had participated in all aspects of research previously, this was my first opportunity to select my own topic. But I spent a long time considering what aspect of memory I found most intriguing and possible to tackle within the confines of the research seminar.

I had always been interested in the legal implications of memory, so I to investigate eyewitness memory. In retrospect, my choice was also informed by my recollection about an experiment I had read about several years earlier. In the experiment, subjects read about Helen Keller. Later they were given a recall test.

Still later they were given an additional test to determine the source of their knowledge about Helen Keller. The authors discovered that subjects could not determine the source of their knowledge, that is, they could not distinguish whether specific details of their knowledge about Helen Keller came from the information provided by the experimenters or if the details came from another source at an earlier time. Once their new knowledge about Helen Keller had been assimilated into their previous knowledge about Helen Keller, there was no way to separate the information according to the source it came from.

I wondered what the implications of that conclusion would be for eyewitnesses. I wondered if an eyewitness account could be corrupted by misleading post-event information. Immediately, I knew I wanted to pursue the field of experimental psychology. My success in course work and my passion for research demonstrated to me that I had both the interest and ability to enter this challenging and rewording field.

I have dedicated my undergraduate years to preparing myself for graduate work in experimental psychology. Once receive my doctorate, I intend to pursue research on human memory while teaching psychology to undergraduates at a small, liberal arts college, similar to the one I attended. It was, after all, my undergraduate research experience that gave me the opportunity to come to psychology with an interest in counseling people, but to leave with a passion for investigating the nature of human thinking.

Undergraduates at smaller liberal arts colleges are often left out of research, which makes my desire to provide such experiences that much stronger. In the years ahead, I look forward to teaching as well as continuing my research. In the company of such greats as Aristotle, James, and Freud, I endeavor to leave behind my own contribution on the nature of human memory.

Essay Two "To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. Cummings, I realized I have been fighting the same battle my whole life.

When choosing the direction for my future, I have often accepted jobs based on a compromise between my own dreams and what others thought my dreams should be. This, of course, has led to an unfulfilling career. Looking back, I always knew that I wanted to work in public service; but I also knew my staunchly conservative father would not be pleased. I see things differently.

And yet, his approval means a lot to me and his opinion has certainly influenced my the direction of my career. But I have finally come to understand that I must pursue my own path. After careful deliberation, I am confident that public service is, without a doubt, the right career for me.

Ever since my childhood I have detected in myself a certain compassion and innate desire to help others. I was the kid that dragged in every stray cat or dog I came across--and I still do. When I was eight years old, I rescued a rat from my sister's psychology lab and brought her home. I even coaxed my father into taking Alice--I called her Alice--to the vet when she became ill.

But aside from my humanitarian kindness to animals, as a child I learned first- hand about America's need to reform and improve medical care. I spent years of my childhood on crutches and in hospitals because of a tumor that hindered the growth of my leg. Without adequate health insurance and proper care, I might still be on crutches, but I was fortunate.

Today, as a public servant, I still desire to help others who are not so fortunate. Providing health care to 44 million uninsured Americans, while keeping insurance affordable, is one of the most difficult challenges facing policymakers. I want to work in state or local government to resolve this health care crisis and ensure that the disadvantaged get the care they need and deserve.

In order to succeed in my endeavors toward public service, I now realize that a master's degree in public policy is essential. But when I graduated from college in , I didn't know how to continue my education, only that I should. For a while, I considered such options as law school or international relations, but I always returned to my desire to impact public life.

My career in public policy began as a legislative assistant at the American Legislative Exchange Council ALEC , a non-profit educational organization that couples voices from the state legislature and the private sector to work on salient policy issues. My enthusiasm for ALEC's mission was evident, as I quickly moved up from legislative assistant to the director of two task forces. As manager of ALEC's task force on federalism and its tax and fiscal policy task force, I explored these issues thoroughly, never quite satiating my appetite for more information and knowledge.

I found my integral role in the legislative process to be the most valuable and worthwhile experience I've had in my career to date. As a lobbyist, I voiced the APAA's concern over regulatory and environmental issues affecting the automotive aftermarket. Although I was able to help small automotive parts manufacturers battle the "Big Three" automakers, I quickly realized that being an advocate for the automotive aftermarket was not my calling in life.

I wanted to promote policies which had the potential to improve life for the greater public, for I could not see myself spending a lifetime working within an isolated industry. Helping small business owners is a cause close to my heart.

For nearly 30 years, my family has owned a barbecue restaurant in the Washington, D. I've worked in the business at several different times, since the age of Because of my involvement in my family's business, I understand the unique problems facing small business owners.

Nevertheless, I felt uncomfortable working for a special interest group--even for one I deeply cared about. My goals are now clear: I want to develop and advocate policy decisions that will benefit society as a whole, not just a few influential special interest groups. I want to uncover the objective truth of issues and tackle them in the best interests of the nation, not distort the facts for the benefit of a small group.

I know I am able to look beyond partisan politics to solve problems for this country. Because of these unbending desires to reveal truth and to remain committed to fair and equal advancement for all citizens, I think of myself as an ideal candidate for public service. Additionally, I consider my active interest in politics to aid my pursuit of a career in public policy. I've always found my interest in politics exceptional, ever since my college roommates used to tease me for faithfully watching C-SPAN.

However, my faith in the political process began to wane as I witnessed sensible public policy proposals torn apart by partisan conflict. I saw advocacy groups distort facts, and provide extreme, over-blown examples, jeopardizing prudent policy decisions. I observed how powerful elected officials, ensnared in their own partisan rancor, would block fair and balanced legislation which offered the most practical solution for their constituents. But I also encountered many thoughtful and wise people who devote their lives to public service.

These devoted individuals inspired me. Like them, I want to be actively involved in the design and delivery of essential government services that improve the lives of the citizens in our society today. I am positive that by avoiding partisanship and urging the private industry, the public sector and non-profit groups to collaborate, many difficult problems can be resolved.

In order to be an effective public servant, I recognize the indispensability of an advanced degree. I've gained a lot of "real world" experience, but I need more training in the fundamentals of economics and statistics, as well as direction in sharpening my analytical and quantitative skills.

I also want to devote time to studying the ethical dimensions of policy decisions. In graduate school, I'll have the opportunity to truly understand and appreciate the competing interests surrounding so many complex issues like health care reform, environmental protection and economic policy. I've chosen Duke's public policy program for several reasons. Duke's program stands out because there is an emphasis on quantitative and analytical skills, which are so critical to policy analysis.

As I mentioned, I feel that if I can strengthen my ability to approach problems logically and systematically, I will have succeeded in sharpening skills I consider necessary to succeed in the public realm. And possibly even more importantly, Duke's program bridges the gap between abstract principles and reality. This interdisciplinary approach is essential for responding to today's policy problems. I am particularly interested in studying the problem of reforming state health to reduce the number of uninsured, and I believe Duke's curriculum will offer me a chance to do just that.

From my own research into Duke, I feel confident in my knowledge of the public policy program and its potential to teach me. On the road "to be nobody but" myself, I've encountered twists and turns, and some detours-- it is unquestionably the hardest battle I could fight. However, in the process, I've accumulated a tremendous amount of valuable experience and knowledge.

My diversity of experience is my biggest asset. Because I can relate a Duke education to concrete examples from my own past, it is the perfect time for me to join the public policy program. I know that my past can be used to prepare myself for the promises of the future. At Duke, I hope to synthesize the two and truly learn what it means to become myself. Why Unique? Essay One Perhaps the most important influence that has shaped the person I am today is my upbringing in a traditional family-oriented Persian and Zoroastrian culture.

My family has been an important source of support in all of the decisions I have made, and Zoroastrianism's three basic tenets-good words, good deeds, and good thoughts-have been my guiding principles in life. Not only do I try to do things for others, but I always push myself to be the best that I can be in all aspects of my life.

I saw early the doors and opportunities that a good education can open up; thus, I particularly tried hard to do well in school. Another important experience that has had a large influence on me the past few years has been college. Going from high school to college was a significant change. College required a major overhaul of my time-management techniques as the number of things to do mushroomed. In high school, I was in the honors program, with the same cohort of students in all my classes.

Thus, I was exposed little to people very different from myself. College, on the other hand, is full of diversity. I have people of all backgrounds and abilities in my classes, and I have been fortunate enough to meet quite a few of them. This experience has made me more tolerant of differences. Furthermore, a variety of classes such as the Humanities Core Course, in which we specifically studied differences in race, gender, and belief systems, have liberalized my world view.

My undergraduate research has occupied a large portion of my time in college. Along with this experience have come knowledge and skills that could never be gained in the classroom. I have gained a better appreciation for the medical discoverers and discoveries of the past and the years of frustration endured and satisfaction enjoyed by scientists. I have also learned to deal better with the disappointments and frustrations that result when things do not always go as one expects them to.

My research experience was also important to me in that it broadened my view of the medical field. Research permitted me to meet a few medical doctors who have clinical practices and yet are able to conduct research at the university. This has made me seriously consider combining research with a clinical practice in my own career.

From my earliest memories, I can always remember being interested in meteorology. I believe that this interest sparked my love for the outdoors, while my interest in medicine molded my desire for healthy living. As a result of these two influences, I try to follow an active exercise routine taking place mostly in the outdoors. I enjoy running and mountain biking in the local hills and mountains, along with hiking and backpacking.

Essay Two My longtime fascination with politics and international affairs is reflected in my participation, starting in high school, in activities such as student council, school board meetings, Vietnam war protests, the McCarthy campaign, and the grape boycott. As each new cause came along, I was always ready to go to Washington or the state capital to wave a sign or chant slogans.

Although I look back on these activities today with some chagrin, I realize they did help me to develop, at an early age, a sense of concern for social and political issues and a genuine desire to play a role. As an undergraduate, I was more interested in social than academic development. During my last two years, I became involved with drugs and alcohol and devoted little time to my studies, doing only as much as was necessary to maintain a B average.

After graduation my drug use became progressively worse; without the motivation or ability to look for a career job, I worked for a time in a factory and then, for three years, as a cab driver in New York City. In I finally ''hit bottom'' and became willing to accept help. I joined both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and for the next several years the primary business of my life was recovery.

Although I had several ''slips'' in the beginning, I have now enjoyed nearly seven years of complete freedom from drug and alcohol use. I mention my bout with addiction because I think it is important in answering two issues that presumably will be of concern to the admissions committee: my lackluster undergraduate record and the fact that I have waited until the age of 34 to begin preparing academically for a career in public policy.

It would be an oversimplification to call addiction the cause for either of these things; rather I would say it was the most obvious manifestation of an underlying immaturity that characterized my post adolescent years. More importantly, the discipline of recovery has had a significant impact on my overall emotional growth. During the last years of my addiction I was completely oblivious to the world around me.

Until I didn't even realize that there had been a revolution in Nicaragua or that one was going on in El Salvador. They were just then initiating a project to help refugees from Central America, and I joined enthusiastically in the work. I began reading about Central America and, later, teaching myself Spanish.

I got to know refugees who were victims of poverty and oppression, became more grateful for my own economic and educational advantages, and developed a strong desire to give something back by working to provide opportunities to those who have not been so lucky. In I went to Nicaragua to pick coffee for two weeks. This trip changed my whole outlook on both the United States and the underdeveloped world. The combination of living for two weeks amid poverty and engaging in long political discussions with my fellow coffee pickers, including several well-educated professionals who held views significantly to the left of mine, profoundly shook my world view.

I began raiding the public library for everything I could find on the Third World and started subscribing to a wide variety of periodicals, from scholarly journals such as Foreign Affairs and Asian Survey to obscure newsletters such as Through Our Eyes published by U. Over the intervening two years, my interest has gradually focused on economics. I have come to realize that economic development including equitable distribution of wealth is the key to peace and social justice, both at home and in the Third World.

I didn't study economics in college and have found it difficult to understand the economic issues that are at the heart of many policy decisions. At the same time, though, I am fascinated by the subject. Given my belief that basic economic needs are among the most fundamental of human rights, how can society best go about providing for them?

Although I call myself an idealist, I'm convinced that true idealism must be pragmatic. I am not impressed, for example, by simplistic formulations that require people to be better than they are. As a Quaker I believe that the means are inseparable from the end; as an American I believe that democracy and freedom of expression are essential elements of a just society, though I'm not wedded to the idea that our version of democracy is the only legitimate one.

Although I have carved out a comfortable niche in my present job, with a responsible position and a good salary, I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the prospect of a career in business applications programming. More and more of my time and energy is now being absorbed by community activities. After getting my master's in public administration, I would like to work in the area of economic development in the Third World, particularly Latin America.

The setting might be a private possibly church-based development agency, the UN, the OAS, one of the multilateral development banks, or a government agency. What I need from graduate school is the academic foundation for such a career. What I offer in return is a perspective that comes from significant involvement in policy issues at the grass roots level, where they originate and ultimately must be resolved.

You should expect to devote about weeks simply to brainstorming ideas. To begin brainstorming a subject idea consider the following points. From brainstorming, you may find a subject you had not considered at first. Do not limit yourself to accomplishments you have been formally recognized for since the most interesting essays often are based on accomplishments that may have been trite at the time but become crucial when placed in the context of your life.

How did you develop this attribute? Have these influenced your life in a meaningful way? Why are they your favorites? How did your perspective on life change as a result of the difficulty? What made you successful?

How did you respond? Where would you most like to be? Who, of everyone living and dead, would you most like to be with? These questions should help you realize what you love most. Do you maintain strong beliefs or adhere to a philosophy? How would your friends characterize you?

What would they write about if they were writing your admissions essay for you? Of these, which means the most to you? What made you join these activities? What made you continue to contribute to them? When you look back on your life in thirty years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful? What people, things, and accomplishments do you need?

How does this particular university fit into your plans for the future? If these questions cannot cure your writer's block, consider the following exercises: If you cannot characterize yourself and your personality traits do not automatically leap to mind, ask your friends to write a list of your five most salient personality traits. Ask your friends why they chose the ones they did.

If an image of your personality begins to emerge, consider life experiences that could illustrate the particular traits. While admissions officers are not interested in reading about your childhood and are more interested in the last years of your life, you might consider events of your childhood that inspired the interests you have today.

Interests that began in childhood may be the most defining parts of your life, even if you recently lost interest. For instance, if you were interested in math since an early age and now want to study medicine, you might incorporate this into your medical school admissions essay. Analyze the reasons for your interests and how they were shaped from your upbringing. Many applicants do not have role models and were never greatly influenced by just one or two people.

However, for those of you who have role models and actually aspire to become like certain people, you may want to incorporate a discussion of that person and the traits you admired into your application essay. Before you sat down to write a poem, you would certainly read past poets. Before writing a book of philosophy, you would consider past philosophers. In the same way, we recommend reading sample admissions essays to understand what topics other applicants chose.

EssayEdge maintains an archive of over free sample admissions essays. Click here to view sample essays that worked. Life is short. Why do you want spend years of your life at a particular college, graduate school, or professional school? How is the degree necessary to the fulfillment of your goals? When considering goals, think broadly. Few people would be satisfied with just a career. How else will your education fit your needs and lead you to a fulfilling life?

If after reading this entire page you do not have an idea for your essay, do not be surprised. Coming up with an idea is difficult and requires time. Actually consider the questions and exercises above. Without a topic you feel passionate about, without one that brings out the defining aspects of you personality, you risk falling into the trap of sounding like the 90 percent of applicants who will write boring admissions essays.

The only way to write a unique essay is to have experiences that support whatever topic you come up with. Whatever you do, don't let the essay stress you out. Have fun with the brainstorming process. You might discover something about yourself you never consciously realized. Good Luck! Take EssayEdge. You should also now have an idea of what impression you want to make on the admissions officers.

We should remark that at this stage, undergraduate applicants have a large advantage over graduate school applicants. Whereas nobody questions a high school student's motivation to attend college, graduate and professional school applicants must directly address in their essays their desire to study their selected field.

You must now confront the underlying problem of the admissions essay. You must now consider topics that will allow you to synthesize your important personal characteristics and experiences into a coherent whole while simultaneously addressing your desire to attend a specific institution. While most admissions essays allow great latitude in topic selection, you must also be sure to answer the questions that were asked of you.

Leaving a lasting impression on someone who reads essays a day will not be easy, but we have compiled some guidelines to help you get started. With any luck, one or two topics, with small changes, will allow you to answer application questions for different colleges, although admissions officers do appreciate essays that provide convincing evidence of how an applicant will fit into a particular academic environment.

You should at least have read the college's webpage, admissions catalog, and have an understanding of the institution's strengths. That is, do you plan to write your essay in iambic pentameter or make it funny. You should be very, very careful if you are planning to do this. We recommend strongly that you do not do this. Almost always, this is done poorly and is not appreciated by the admissions committee. Nothing is worse than not laughing or not being amused at something that was written to be funny or amusing.

If so, pick a new topic. Don't mention GPAs or standardized test scores in your essay. If you cannot easily think of supporting paragraphs with concrete examples, you should probably choose a different essay topic. Can you address and elaborate on all points within the specified word limit, or will you end up writing a poor summary of something that might be interesting as a report or research paper? If you plan on writing something technical for college admissions, make sure you truly can back up your interest in a topic and are not merely throwing around big scientific words.

Also, be sure you can write to admissions officers and that you are not writing over their heads. The entire essay must be interesting, considering admissions officers will probably only spend a few minutes reading each essay. To ascertain this, peruse through old essays. EssayEdge's free essays can help you do this. However, most topics are overdone, and this is not a bad thing. A unique or convincing answer to a classic topic can pay off big. If you write on how everyone should worship your God, how wrong or right abortion is, or how you think the Republican or Democratic Party is evil, you will not get into the college of your choice.

Stay away from specific religions, political doctrines, or controversial opinions. You can still write an essay about Nietzsche's influence on your life, but express understanding that not all intelligent people will agree with Nietzsche's claims. Emphasize instead Nietzsche's influence on your life, and not why you think he was wrong or right in his claims. What will the officer remember about your topic?

What will the officer remember about you? What will your lasting impression be? In writing the essay you must bear in mind your two goals: to persuade the admissions officer that you are extremely worthy of admission and to make the admissions officer aware that you are more than a GPA and a standardized score, that you are a real-life, intriguing personality. Unfortunately, there is no surefire step-by-step method to writing a good essay.

However, we have compiled the following list of tips that you should find useful while writing your admissions essay. You can follow the next 11 steps, but if you miss the question, you will not be admitted to any institution. Even seemingly boring essay topics can sound interesting if creatively approached. Write about something meaningful and describe your feelings, not necessarily your actions.

If you do this, your essay will be unique. Many people travel to foreign countries or win competitions, but your feelings during these events are unique to you. Unless a philosophy or societal problem has interested you intensely for years, stay away from grand themes that you have little personal experience with.

For some reason, students continue to think big words make good essays. Big words are fine, but only if they are used in the appropriate contexts with complex styles. Think Hemingway. If you are not adept with imagery, you can write an excellent essay without it, but it's not easy. The application essay lends itself to imagery since the entire essay requires your experiences as supporting details. Appeal to the five senses of the admissions officers. Expect admissions officers to spend minutes reading your essay.

You must use your introduction to grab their interest from the beginning. You might even consider completely changing your introduction after writing your body paragraphs. Ask yourself why a reader would want to read your entire essay after reading your introduction.

If you summarize, the admissions officer need not read the rest of your essay. It is not necessary or recommended that your first sentence give away the subject matter. Raise questions in the minds of the admissions officers to force them to read on. Appeal to their emotions to make them relate to your subject matter. Your introduction can be original, but cannot be silly. The paragraphs that follow must relate to your introduction.

In the conclusion, avoid summary since the essay is rather short to begin with; the reader should not need to be reminded of what you wrote words before. Also do not use stock phrases like "in conclusion, in summary, to conclude, etc. Do not try to do this, as this approach is overdone.

This should come naturally. Spend a week or so away from your draft to decide if you still consider your topic and approach worthwhile. This MUST be the case. When I enter the hospital room where he has lain in a coma since his accident, my eyes often wander to the lone golf ball my mom placed at his bedside. Just six months ago, my father was driving a golf cart across the street that bisects the local golf course when he was hit by a car.

He suffered severe brain injury, and the doctors have ruled out any possibility of him waking up again. When I look at him lying in bed, frail but peaceful as if he were asleep, it's hard not to dwell on the "what ifs": what if he hadn't played golf that day? What if he hadn't been behind the fence when the black Camry plowed into it? What if I still had the chance to ask all those questions that choke me up when I see him in the hospital?

I can't pretend that I have developed enough distance from the event to draw conclusions about life, but I am already beginning to see myself in very different terms. Ironically, through this accident my dad has given a chance to face reality head-on. Before the accident, my relationship with him was warm but fraught with tension. He never seemed satisfied with what I did and reprimanded me for every wrong step I took. He had strong opinions about my hairstyle, clothes, friends, and--above everything else--my academic performance.

When I was not sitting at my desk in my room, he invariably asked me why I had nothing to do and told me I should not procrastinate. He stressed that if I missed my teenage years of studying, I would regret it later. He didn't like me going out with my friends, so I often ended up staying at home--I was never allowed to sleep over at other students' homes.

All I remember from my past high school years is going to school and coming back home. I was confused by my parents' overprotective attitude, because they emphasized independence yet never actually gave me a chance to be independent. In terms of career, my dad often lectured me about which ones are acceptable and which are not. He worried incessantly about whether I would ever get into college, and he often made me feel as if he would never accept my choices. Rather than standing up for myself, I simply assumed that if I studied hard, he would no longer be disappointed in me.

Although I tried hard, I never seemed to get it quite right; he always found fault with something. As if that weren't enough, he frequently compared me to my over-achieving older brother, asking me why I couldn't be more like him. After all, he never expressed admiration for what I did, and my attempts to impress him were always in vain. In retrospect, I don't think I fully understood what he was trying to tell me. These days, when I come home to an empty house, it strikes me just how dependent on my parents' care and support I have been so far.

Now that my dad is in the hospital and my mom is always working, I see that I must develop the strength to stand alone one day. And, for the very first time, I now realize that this is exactly what my dad was trying to make me see.

I understand that he had a big heart, even though he didn't always let it show; he was trying to steer me in the right direction, emphasizing the need to develop independence and personal strength. He was trying to help me see the world with my own eyes, to make my own judgments and decide for myself what I would eventually become. When my dad was still with us, I took all of his advice the wrong way.

I should not have worried so much about living up to my parents' expectations; their only expectation of me, after all, is that I be myself. In mapping out my path to achieving my independence, I know that education will allow me to build on the foundations with which my parents have provided me. My academic interests are still quite broad, but whereas I was once frustrated by my lack of direction, I am now excited at the prospect of exploring several fields before focusing on a particular area.

Strangely, dealing with my father's accident has made me believe that I can tackle just about any challenge. Most importantly, I am more enthusiastic about my education than ever before. In embarking on my college career, I will be carrying with me my father's last gift and greatest legacy: a new desire to live in the present and the confidence to handle whatever the future might bring.

Story Essay I walked into the first class that I have ever taught and confronted utter chaos. The four students in my Latin class were engaged in a heated spitball battle. They were all following the lead of Andrew, a tall eleven-year-old African-American boy. Andrew turned to me and said, "Why are we learning Latin if no one speaks it?

This a waste of time. I thought, "How on Earth am I going to teach this kid? Its goal is to foster a desire to learn in young, underprivileged students, while also exposing college and high-school students to teaching. Since I enjoy tutoring, I decided to apply to the program. I thought to myself, "Teaching can't be that difficult. I can handle it. After what seemed like an eternity, I ended that first class feeling as though I had accomplished nothing.

Somehow I needed to catch Andrew's attention. During the third week, after I had exhausted all of my ideas, I resorted to a game that my Latin teacher had used. A leader yells out commands in Latin and the students act out the commands. When I asked Andrew to be the leader, I found the miracle that I had been seeking. He thought it was great that he could order the teacher around with commands such as "jump in place" and "touch the window.

With this agreement, I could teach him new words outside the classroom, and he could make his teacher hop on one foot in front of his friends. Andrew eventually gained a firm grasp of Latin. Family night occurred during the last week of Summerbridge.

We explained to the parents what we had accomplished. At the conclusion, Andrew's mom thanked me for teaching him Latin. She said, "Andrew wanted to speak Latin with someone, so he taught his younger brother. I tempered my immediate desire to utter, "Andrew did what? That night I remembered a comment an English teacher had made to me. I had asked her, "Why did you become a teacher?

She said, "There is nothing greater than empowering someone with the love of knowledge. When I returned to Summerbridge for my second summer, the first words out of Andrew's mouth were, "Is there going to be a Latin class this year? She was a Russian peasant who asked for money and in return gave the only thing she had--her voice. I paused outside a small shop and listened. She brought to my mind the image of Little Orphan Annie. I could not understand the words she sang, but her voice begged for attention.

It stood out from the noises of Arbat Street, pure and impressive, like the chime of a bell. She sang from underneath an old-style lamppost in the shadow of a building, her arms extended and head thrown back. She was small and of unremarkable looks. Her brown hair escaped the bun it had been pulled into, and she occasionally reached up to remove a stray piece from her face. Her clothing I can't recall. People have a lot of opinions about the value of advanced education.

Which do you think is the most important reason to attend college or university? Imagine you could improve the town where you live by changing one important thing about it. Which of the following would you choose to do? These days, people enjoy a lot of time away from their work and school obligations. Many people use this time to visit new places and learn about them. What do you think is the best way to learn about a place you are visiting for the first time?

People in society work in many different settings, and for a variety of reasons. What do you think is the main reason why people have jobs? Use specific examples and details to support your answer. Everyone wants to be as healthy as possible.

Fortunately, in modern society there are many things that people can do to improve their physical condition. What do you think is the best way to stay healthy? The people we work with have many different characteristics and all of them affect the quality of our time at work.

Of the following, what do you think is the most important quality for a boss or supervisor to have? You may choose more than one. All around the world, people are living longer than ever before. Which of the following do you think are the main causes of this phenomenon? You may choose more than one option. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

During our careers, we work with many different kinds of people. All of them have unique characteristics and personality traits. In your opinion, which of the following is the most important characteristic of a coworker? You may choose more than one of these options. Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer. Which of the following values do you think is most important to teach a young child?

When employees feel that the management of their company is doing something wrong, what do you think is the best way for them to respond? Some students prefer classes with frequent discussions between the professor and the students with almost no lectures. Other students prefer classes with many lectures and almost no discussions.

Which do you prefer? Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Some people think that the government should use extra money to fund programs to improve the environment. Others think that it is better for the government to spend money to support artistic programs. Which option do you prefer?

Some people like to spend their money as soon as they earn it, while others think it is better to save their money for some time in the future. Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in?

Some students prefer to study and do homework alone. Others prefer to study and work on class assignments with a group of fellow students. Some people prefer to eat meals at restaurants, while others prefer to prepare and eat food in their own home. Some people think that they can learn much more by themselves than if they work with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to get help from a skilled teacher. Use specific reasons to support your choice.

A company wants to train its employees to use new techniques. Which is the best way to train the workers? The administrators of a university are revising their budget and have decided to change their funding priorities. As a result, the university will now spend more money on sports and athletic facilities than they do on the campus libraries.

Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Many people welcome the opening of shopping areas near their homes. On the other hand, some people are strongly opposed to the construction of such facilities. If the opening of a large shopping center in your neighborhood were announced, would you support or oppose its construction? It is very important for students to learn as much as possible before their graduation from university.

For this reason, many schools require students to attend all of their classes in person in order to achieve a passing score. Do you agree or disagree with this kind of policy? Use specific reasons and examples to support your argument. It is important to improve our skills and knowledge as much as possible.

Some people prefer to learn from individuals who have more experience than they do — like teachers and supervisors — instead of learning from peers, like their colleagues and classmates. Nowadays, the world is developing at a very rapid pace and we are constantly forced to make a lot of choices that can affect the rest of our lives.

Do you agree or disagree with the idea that we should always ask someone else for help when we need to make an important decision? Consider a situation where you are asked by your supervisor to work with one of your co-workers on a project. This co-worker has opinions that are very different from yours and they feel very strongly about these opinions.

Imagine that your city government has given permission for a major company to build a large factory near your neighborhood. Explain your position using specific reasons and examples. Reading some of them will help you to understand the integrated question in the TOEFL writing section. Question 1 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 2 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 3 Grades encourage students to work harder at school.

Question 4 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 5 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 6 Movies and television strongly influence the way people behave. Question 7 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 8 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Question 9 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 10 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Question 11 In twenty years there will be fewer cars in use than there are today. Question 12 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer Question 13 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?