TOEFL Writing Example | TOEFL Independent Task Q1-10

Q1: The most important thing for government to improve health care is to clean the environment.

With the gradually raised awareness of health, how to improve health care has become an issue of public concern and interest. Many scientists and environmentalists have fully realized the negative impact of environmental deterioration on the public health and propose that the most important thing for government to improve health care is to clean the environment. However, in my eyes, the above viewpoint has oversimplified the complicated situation.

Indeed, a clean environment plays an important role in improving health care, because various environmental pollutions have posed a threat to the public health. To illustrate, the haze occurring in large cities of China has made thousands of people fall victims to respiratory diseases. However, it is a piece of overemphasis to claim that cleaning the environment is the most important way for government to improve health care, because there are other two ways which are equally important.

First of all, developing medical technology is another effective way to improve health care. Given the indisputable fact that there remain many incurable diseases such as cancer and AIDS across the globe, the appropriate technology of treatment and therapy is in great need. As a result, government is supposed to assume the responsibility of making progress in medical techniques, for the sake of curing the serious diseases and thus prolonging the life expectancy. The elemination of SARS in the year of 2003 can be a good case in point. Upon the outbreak of SARS, most cities and provinces in China are affected. Immediately, the government not only assembled a group of medical professionals and excellent experts, but also allocated massive investment in the medical research for vaccine. Unexpectedly, the emergency was perfectly addressed and the same is true of curing other diseases.

Besides that, government should place emphasis on improving the sports infrastructure. As is common sense, governmental support for public sports facilities can create a place for the average people to work out regularly. Obviously, the more exercise people engage in, the stronger their immune system will become. The sound immune system can serve as a shield to resist various diseases, which finally lead to the better health of the public. Take my own experience as an example. In my community, the sports facilities contain nothing but a track in disrepair and a swing for kids. In this case, the residents have nowhere to do sports even though they may be willing to. However, if the local government could invest a sum of money to build new playgrounds and establish Pingpang tables, I bet lots of people will become interested in exercising, thus becoming more physically healthy.

Fatoring what has been discussed above in, we can draw the conclusion that it is an exaggeration to say that the most important thing for government to improve health care is to clean the environment. I firmly recommend that government should attach equal importance to the above three measures in order to improve health care.


Q2:Which do you prefer with the same rate of pay, an interesting and challenging job with less vacation or a job with more vacation time but less fun?

The next two months will witness the graduation of a huge number of college students in China, triggering an urgent issue whether it is better to seek an interesting and challenging job with less vacation than finding those jobs with more vacation but less fun. From my perspective, a challenging and interesting job matters more.

For one thing, mentally challenging jobs can keep employees’ mind sharp even long after retirement. To put it more specific, even a mentally demanding job may stress workers out today; it can provide important benefits after retirement. “Based on data spanning 18 years, a study suggests certain kinds of challenging jobs have the potential to enhance and protect workers’ mental functioning in later life,” said by Gwenith Fisher, a faculty associate at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. The research analyzed data on 4,182 participants in the U-M Health and Retirement Study, which surveys a representative sample of more than 20,000 older Americans every two years and the final result reveals people who had worked in jobs with greater mental demands were more likely to have better memories before they retired and more likely to have slower declines in memory after retiring than people who had worked in jobs with fewer mental demands. Accordingly, being engaged in a challenging and interesting job will benefit employees’ mental functioning.

For another thing, the more challenging the job is, the higher salaries employees will be paid with. Generally speaking, a challenging job will require employees to master multiple capabilities and techniques and to undertake more responsibilities. Thus, they will be paid with high salaries, making it possible for them to do whatever stirs up their interest. For instance, one of my friends named Jason works as a top software engineer in a renewed IT company in China and he is well paid. Besides, his hobby is photography and travel in foreign countries. On weekends or public holidays he often chooses to take photographs in different places of historic interest and scenic beauty or travel abroad. In the near two years, he has traveled in many countries in Europe and Southeast Asia and take a lot of beautiful pictures. Obviously, compared with average citizens in big cities who are busy in dealing with a variety of problems in daily lives, Jason’s life experience can tell us that his high-paid job gives him chances to live a more leisure life during vacation.

Admittedly, if people choose to take a less-fun job with more vacation, they can spend more time with their families and doing what they like. In this way, they will live a less-pressure life. However, from what I believe, people should try their best to play to their strengths and talents on the career path especially when they are young and a challenging job will require employees to be fully devoted.

To conclude, a challenging job with less vacation is superior to a job with more vacation but less fun. (498 words)


Q3: Agree or disagree: the university club wants to help others, if you are a member of them, which following would you prefer to choose? help young students in nearby primary school, help people to find new houses for rent; help old people for caring them in daily life.

Life is loaded with various difficulties and hardship, especially for old people who are incapable of taking good care of themselves because of their poor physical quality. Therefore, among the three choices of helping young students in nearby primary school, helping people to find new houses for rent and assisting old people for caring them, I definitely choose the last one.

For one thing, because of being committed to their career, the middle-age can hardly take good care of their parents. To address a sequence of job assignments, city employees, the majority of whom have turned to the middle age, are required to be immersed in their career. Take ordinary citizens as examples. When it comes to businessmen, dealing with the complicated relationship with their counterparts or consumers will lead them to be shortage of time to accompany their families, given that all their time and energy are occupied. Speaking of policemen, to maintain stable social order and crack down on any happening or underlying crimes, they are supposed to be on duty at any time, making it impossible for them to care their families. And it is also an episode likely to be applied in the movie by the film maker that policemen are woking on the investigation and cannot keep promises they make for their families , impressing audiences again and again. As for the career of teachers, what they normally do is either to prepare for their presentations or remedy their students’ assignments. Apparently, the contemporary middle-age citizens cannot take good care of their parents and college students had better provide their help.

For another thing, the process of helping the old can cultivate college students’ sense of responsibility that matters in their future life and profession. Many more universities will, literally, decide whether to admit students by checking if there is any volunteering experience like taking care of the old in a nursing home in their application materials. In an era of both highly developed economy and technology, it tends to be easier for children to develop the unwanted behaviors and unhealthy values and world outlook. Nowadays, people can often hear the News about college students failing to graduate from schools because of their addiction to video games and many overseas students catching the affluenza which refers to wealthy people who like to show their richness by purchasing many unnecessary luxuries. Therefore, many young people’s ideology has been distorted seriously and it is urgent to call on their sense of responsibility. And taking good care of the old can teach them a lot. For instance, they will be conscious of the fact that there is still a vulnerable group that needs to be assisted and their contribution to the society can drive away the solitude of the old. Thus, they will increase their confidence in undertaking more social responsibilities.

Admittedly, some others may lay emphasis on the importance of helping the young since they are the future of a nation. From what I believe, it is hype since the education of young children does not count on the help from college students. As for the statement that college students should help others rent a house, that is ridiculous since there have been a wide range of choices for tenants among diverse Apps via the Internet. To conclude, helping the old can be of enormous benefits for both the old and the young.


Q4:Students should spend at least one year  working or traveling before they go to the university.

Under the educational system of many westerncountries, taking a gap year, a period of time whenstudents can take a break from formal education, hasbecome quite common. When it comes to the pros and cons of spending at least one yearworking or travelling before attending university, peoplepreference may vary from one toanother. As for me, it is advisable for high schoolers to have a year off to work or travel, inorder to relax themselves and gain new skills.

In the first place, spending a year travelling will provide high school students a good chanceto escape the daily grind. As is common sense, the life of high schooler are filled withcountless assignments, various quiz and exams, which nearly drive them to be stressed out. Obviously, what they need most is the vent for releasing all the tensions and pressuresaccuring in the rapid rhythm campus life. Consequently, taking a break from educaion andgoing away for while can fulfill this function well. During the gap year, students can surf inHawaii, wake boarding in Italy, go bungee jumping in New Zealand and enjoy the sunbath onthe seashore of Miami. Such a short escape from the daily bustle and hustle will be conduciveto their mental and physical wellbeing. Not only this, but travelling during a gap year canprovide a renewed vigor for stuy and a more focused approach to learning.

In the second place, taking a year off to do some internship can help high school studentsacquire more new pratical skills and thus adapt to the university life more smoothly. Manygap year students choose to do voluntary work. This could include teaching in the mountainsin Nepal, a conservation project in Madagascar, an expedition in Costa Rica or an internshipin Japan. All these experiences of taking voluntary jobs during a gap year will provide you withmuch more than any classroom setting ever can. We can learn a lot in the classroom, but itisn’t until we put it into practice in the real world that we really understand what’s going on. To be specific, throughout school we are surrounded by the same folks at similar ages. However, while working in a company, we are bound to discover others, make new friends, andinteract with people from all walks of life, which will defnitely hone our social skills. It isundoubted that people with strong interpersonal competence can enjoy great popularityamong classmates and teachers.

In a nutshell, it is a wise move to spend at least one year travelling or working for the sakeof taking a break from daily routine and acquire new skills.


Q5: Agree or disagree: students do reading by their own is as important as or more important than the reading teachers assigned.

 Reading is a process of procuring knowledge and the ways of reading vary for studentsbetween reading on their own and reading as told by their teachers. As for me, it will be morebeneficial to read books in line with studentswishes.

For one thing, students should read what they are curious about and can find interests in, which can find wide application among college students in particular. In order to hone onestalents and crafts with specific purpose, college students will find the more practical books toread to strengthen their competence for their future competing with other rivals in the jobmarket. Take Steve Jobs as an example. After attending the college just for a few months, hecouldnt figure out how the college life would help him in the future except for imposing hisworking family enormous financial pressure.Then, he decided to drop out so he could stoptaking the required classes and reading the assigned reading materials that did not interest himand began dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. Finally, the last several months forhis college life turned out to be priceless later on since he took a calligraphy class and readthe relative books, the knowledge of which had been applied to produce the first computerwith beautiful typography. Evidently, part of Steve Jobs accomplishments can prove howessential for students to read by following their own curiosity and intuition.

For another thing, students can be more absorbed in the books that they like. To be morespecific, compared with the assigned papers or articles, studentsincentive can be morestimulated by reading what they like. For instance, the prevailing notion of childrenseducation is that they should develop their own interests by reading what can intrigue theirinquisitiveness or stimulate their imagination. Therefore, there is a voice coming out todaythat more freedom needs to be given to primary school students so that they can read somemore interesting books like the sciencefiction novels or tales and etc. Besides, too much focuson cultivating studentsacademic abilities and the ignorance of developing their overallqualities will lead to the development of elites with less morality. Obviously, the benefits ofreading books by students themselves and the detriment of just reading as assigned byteachers can tell us how important to give studentsrights to choose what they read.

Admittedly, reading what teachers assigned can be of also importance. In other words, teachers will be familiar with which area students should be improved to achieve betteracademic performance. For instance, teachers will require students to engage in extensivereading to increase studentsreading ability. However, it can not be the reason to regardreading as students wish as inferior because students can better improve their reading abilityby being absorbed in what they like most.

To conclude, students should enjoy the rights to decide what they read.


Q6:  Nowadays, children rely too much on the technology, like computers, smartphone, video games for fun and entertainment; playing simpler toys or playing outside with friends would be better for the children’s development.

For parents, how to well plan their children’s development has been a huge problem. Whilesome children are given more time on technological gadgets, others are more inclined tochoose some activities, such as going camping or traveling. For me, the former option wouldbe a better one.

Admittedly, playing simpler toys or playing outside might be good choice for children. Simpler toys, namely Lego, are a good way to develop children’s thinking on solving theproblem through block by block. By assembling the pieces for different blocks, children couldassemble an even big piece, such as the classic London Tower Bridge. Also, playing withfriends is helpful. When they are playing with others, they would cooperate with them toplaying sports or even solve problems. However, on balance, both of these ways are limited inhelping children. Toys and outdoor activities are restrained to their actual forms: parents needlots of money to buy different toys to help children develop, and they pay a great amount ofmoney on helping their children for different activities. For those parents who suffer fromfinancial burden, these are not effective ways for children’s development. Comparatively, technology would be a more effective way for children.

Firstly, Internet via computers and smartphone are essential for their development. Inother words, Internet provides students with vast amounts of information. According to arecent survey conducted by Gallup, after polling thousands of students from local high schools, most respondents claim that Internet is the No.1 helper from them to finish homework. Whenthey have problems, they would search reference on Internet. Websites such as GoogleScholar would be a wonderful tool for them to find some papers or academic reference fortheir homework. Meanwhile, Internet is a wonderful place for them to entertain as well. Theycould watch movies on They could even find interesting stories on Allfunny experiences are available on Internet without causing children too much money.

In addition, video games are also necessary for children’s growth. When children areplaying video games, they might learn some strategic thinking. For example, when I amplaying FIFA 2016, I have to manage my team members according to their physical strength sothat I could beat other teams. For those who run quickly, it would be a good idea for them toplay forward; for those who are tall and strong, they would be better playing middle field. Because of this team management strategy, I have achieved many titles in the game. Learningfrom this, I would allocate my time in finishing homework according to my energy level. WhenI am energetic, I might choose the most difficult homework; if I am tired, I might choosesome easytodo tasks, which would not cost me much time.

To conclude, while playing toys or spending time on outdoor activities is a good way fortheir development, technology would be better way.


Q7:  Some people believe that video games could inspire young students’ interest and make their study more efficient rather than distracting them and a waste of time, so young students should be allowed to play video games.

Many parents with young children fret about the addictiveness of computer games thesedays. While the negative effects ranging from addiction, increased aggression and varioushealth consequences such as strain injuries get far more media coverage than the positives, there is now a wealth of research which shows that video games can actually be put intoeducational use and affect the brain’s development

Firstly, games that are designed to help teach andbrain traininghave long andenormous popular appeal. According to an experiment conducted by the University ofCalifornia, game players show improved performance in perception, attention and cognition. One of the redeeming qualities of all games, even those with violent content, is enhancedinformationprocessing, logicthinking and problemsolving abilities in novel contexts. In fact, while playing game, your brain is in the learning mode constantly, to move to the next level, you are vigorously improving your handeye coordination, enhancing splitsecond decisionmaking and boosting auditory perception. Moreover, other carefullydesigned studies haveshown that video games improve several aspects of brain activity, including multitasking. Considering PacMan as an example, in that game, you must navigate your character througha spatial layout while monitoring the separate paths of four additional objects, while keepingthe overall goal of clearing the small pellets in memory, as well as keep track of the remaininglarge pellets.

Secondly, games that convey positive social messages never fail to boost the children’sconfidence, encourage cooperation and teamwork. Games help children feel a sense ofachievement, through those puzzles, exploration and discovery, players learn to succeed inways that our brains actually prefer. Most games are designed to introduce a new concept andthen provide players with an opportunity to master it. Children are then free to explore andutilize and achieve success with this new skill, growing in confidence all the while. Besides, many games today emphasize the cooperative aspects of game play, in which two or moreplayers need to work together to reach a common goal. Taking a game calledWorld ofWarcraftas an example, children as young as 10 years old are learning to delegateresponsibility, promote teamwork and steer groups of people toward a common goal. As videogames themselves are not created by just one person, it is essential for the game players topool everyone’s talents together in order to require the desired product.

Admittedly, it is worth to consider the real concerns that today’s parents have with videogames, but it is also worthwhile to consider the benefits and positive aspects thatcontemporary interactive entertainment choices provide. Digital media such as computergames could inspire young children’s interest, grow their intelligence and offer them achance to escape from the mounting academic stress, as long as coupled with strongparental and teacher involvement.

From all the discussions mentioned above, we may safely draw the conclusion that today’syoung students should be allowed to play computer games for the tremendous benefits theybring.


Q8: In times of an economic crisis, in which area should governments reduce itsspending? 1. Arts 2. Scientific research 3. Parks and public gardens.

During an economic crisis, governments face difficult choices of monetary allocation withreduced budgets. In this challenging time, it is of vital importance for policymakers torecognize the effectiveness of policymaking on certain social services or programs such asarts, scientific research and park and public gardens. If a choice has to be made, in my opinion, the government should reduce its spending on arts.

To begin with, in times of an economic crisis, it is significant for policymakers to recognizethe necessity of investing in scientific research because it exerts a farreaching effect. If thefinancial crisis leads to substantial cuts in funding for scientific research by governments, itwill be difficult to muster investment for a public good, like clean air, or for extremely riskyinitiatives, such as novel approaches to new antibiotic drugs, or in areas where the outcomeis uncertain. As a matter of fact, technological innovation, biomedical breakthroughs, andtackling pressing environmental issues all require sustained scientific development, frombasic discovery to final application. Investing in research is investing in the future, and itrequires a longterm commitment to the accumulation of knowledge, the testing of basicprinciples, and the translation of these discoveries into practical applications that impacteveryday life. Consequently, governments ought to attach more importance to the scientificstudies so as to develop world class research base and conduct crucial scientific projects.

Furthermore, funding for parks and public gardens provides an opportunity for people toengage in physical activities, which is considerably beneficial to health. Nowadays, due to thesedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating diet, overweight and obesity are epidemicproblems across the world, and related conditions are on the rise. A primary focus ofattention is providing environment where people can be physically active. Parks offer such anopportunity. In addition, health studies have shown that people who do regular exercise geta range of benefits when they are in natural settings, like parks and public gardens. Thesebenefits include reduced risk of premature death; reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, cancer; improved maintenance of muscle strength; weight loss and favorableredistribution of body fat; improved physical functioning. Therefore, when governmentsallocate fiscal spending on parks such as welldesigned and wellmaintained paths as well asattractive scenery, people can substantially improve their health and quality of life by doingmoderate amounts of physical activity in their daily lives.

Undeniably, if governments pay more attention to investment in art, people can enrichinner world as a diverse and productive cultural environment can provide the spirit andimportant intangible values. However, in times of crisis, people usually lay emphasis on basicneeds instead of spiritual needs. As a result, the importance of material comforts outweighsthat of nourishment for the mind and it does not mean that peoples quality of life will bedramatically affected if governments cut budget on art and provide less financial support onart institutions. In a sense, it will not directly influence peoples life at least in a short termbecause people rarely need to satisfy their aesthetic needs everyday. Therefore, comparedwith scientific research and park and public gardens, art is least associated with peoples dailylife and it needs less concern.

From what has been discussed above, scientific studies serve the common interest of theentire human race and doing exercise in parks and public gardens constitutes anindispensable part of daily life. It is more applicable and reasonable to cut down spendingon art in the times of an economic crisis.

Q9:  Some people think it is the best approachfor students to learn if school start the day at aearly time in the morning. But someone thinkthe school should start the day at late time. Which one do you prefer? Use specific reasonsand detailed examples to support your answer.

Many schools are planning to postpone the firstclass in the morning for less lateness and better educating quality. However, the schedule oflate classes will cultivate students’indolence, and pose many other negative effects. As aresult, starting class late would not effectively reduce the rate of lateness and cannot securethe educating efficacy.

Firstly, early classes in the morning will force the students to keep a disciplined life style. In order to attend the first class, students have to get up early in the morning. This habit bringsmany benefits. For example, young people will live a much healthier life. Keeping the schedulein mind, they would no longer dally at night before sleep, and save their time in the morning. Then, they can have a good rest in the evening and keep themselves energetic at daytime. Besides, they could also shape many of their excellent characteristics, like selfdiscipline orpersistence. Leaving the cozy bed requires a powerful willpower when we start a new day, anddoing this every day asks for a strong selfcontrol. Both of these virtues are keys to success. And one of the wellknown, Kobe Bryant, is a beneficiary of starting his day early in themorning. He once gave his secret to become the MVP in the basketball playground. It was hisgetting up early in the 4 AM that contributes him. In conclusion, both physical andpsychological benefits can be gained by the disciplined life style led by the early classes.

In addition, early start in the morning also leaves more extracurricular time for students. Earlier starting class generally results in earlier offclass. More spare time after class enablesstudents to conduct other activities, such as further exploring in study, deepening theirinterests or doing some other activities. Those activities would help students to improvethemselves. In spare time, students can do some practical experiments to apply knowledgeinto practice, which allow them to have indepth understanding in knowledge learnt in class. Students would be also capable of learning instrument, painting or doing sports withabundant of time after class. Those extracurricular activities help students to achievecomplete development. Obviously, earlier start in the morning means a longer day, providingmore spare time for students to enrich their life and promote themselves in learning.

Late classes, to a degree, may lower the absence rate at the beginning. This is because thatstudents do not need to be hurry in the morning, especially for those who cannot get up early. In the long run, however, the original purpose cannot be realized effectively. The allowanceof starting class later would indulge the bad habits of procrastination. Some students willtend to put off all tasks late at night, if they do not need to get up early. Staying up later wouldin turn make students get up later. This is a vicious circle. As a result, students’biologicalclock will be readjusted, making it harder for them to get up on time. Therefore, the absencerate would be decreased again.

In summary, compared to making classes late in the morning, starting the day early wouldbring many benefits in learning. Students would be able to maintain a healthy life physicallyand mentally, and to explore in study, all of which contribute to a higher quality of learning.

Q10: Out of the following three things, which one would you prefer to regulate in order to improve your health

  •   1. The kind of food you eat
  •   2. The amount of exercise
  •   3. The amount of stress in your life

Modern society has turned humans into curious creatures. Our ancestors were highlyactive thanks to their huntergatherer lifestyle; they ate fairly balanced diets due to thelimited availability of fats and simple carbohydrates; and they relied on stress as a survivalmechanism that kept them alert during intermittent periods of danger. Now, many of usspend upwards of 8 hours a day sedentary at our jobs; we eat unbalance diets of prepreparedfoods in order to save time; and we are constantly stressed due to a neverendingbombardment of stressors coming from our contemporary lifestyle. Managing all three thingsdiet, exercise, and stresswould be a daunting task for anyone, so if I had to pick one thingto improve my health, it would probably be exercise.

To begin with, exercise is much easier to manage than both your diet and your stress. Inorder to manage your diet effectively, need to reduce or eliminate certain foods you enjoyeating, as well as create a comprehensive plan that balances your intake of different nutrientslike proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This is too much for most people, which explains theprevalence offad dietsthat involve, for example, only eating a single type of food; thesediets rarely ever work, and can even be dangerous. Managing stress is similarly difficult, because there are so many potential stressors to account for (work, kids, bills, etc.) and itmay not be plausible to try and manage all of them. Exercise, on the other hand, can beeffective even when simple. Take running: This exercise requires no forethought and can bedone pretty much everywhere by pretty much everyone, yet carries a laundry list of healthbenefits ranging from boosting the immune system to lower the risk of breast cancer.

Also, exercise has the scientifically measurable benefit of improving mood. When weperform physically demanding activities such as running, the brain releases a rush ofendorphins that produces feelings of euphoria. From an evolutionary perspective, this is aneurological reward that encourages us to run and be healthywe’re basically built to berunners. If you can incorporate running (or some similar form of exercise) into your weeklyroutine, you’ll notice your mood improve almost immediately. And there’s also another, indirect way exercise improves mood: When you’re fit, you feel much better about yourself. Idon’t just mean in the narcissistic way, eitherknowing that you’re exercising is just a goodfeeling.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, exercise can lead to both better eating habits as wellas lower overall stress. Exercise is in fact an excellent way to manage stress, and isrecommended by medical authorities as a way to strengthen the brain’s buffers against it. It iseven recommended by doctors for treating depression. This stress reduction from exercisecan in turn lead to better food choices, since stress is an major contributor to poor eatinghabits, and eating healthy is much easier when you’re feeling good about yourself. Anyonewho’s reached for junkfood during a stressful situation can tell you that.

Obviously, diet, exercise, and stress management are all important for living a healthy life. However, if you had to choose only one, I’d say that exercise wins out when it comes to gettingthe most bang for your buck.


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