Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed (damaged) by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. (Full Score)
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University: University of Wisconsin
November 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm
TOEFL Writing Topic: Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed (damaged) by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (Full Score)
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During the past few centuries, it seems that the rate of damage caused by humans has increased. In ancient times, large fires were the main cause of human destruction to the environment. This is called slash and burn agriculture and it has been around for as long as people have known about fire. But the invention of plastic has sped up the destruction caused by humans. Now we cause as much damage in a single year as ancient people did in a century. Therefore, the question is not really whether human activity is responsible for destruction, but whether it can be reduced in coming generations.
Another example of humans damaging the environment is mining. After the mining operation has stopped, a giant and ugly hole usually remains. Since many toxic metals are used in the mining process, the water around the mining sites remains poisonous for hundreds of years. Industrial accidents like the ones that happened in Bhopal, India and Chernobyl are another major cause of problems that were caused by humans.
Another really amazing example is the nuclear disaster in Japan. They have been collecting all of the water from the flooded nuclear plant, but they can’t stop the leak. Now they plan to dump it in the ocean.
These are all examples of human destruction to the environment and except for some beautiful old buildings that are likely to disappear soon enough because of human made pollution or war, there is very little that humans have done to the planet to make it better.
Can people build a better world than the natural world? We are all animals and the planet we were born on is being destroyed by people. For that reason I do not think that most plants and animals would agree with those people who think that humans have made the world a better place to live.
- All of the prompts are from former TOEFL exams.
- The information available online, i.e., Google search results, is either misleading or wrong relative to length: [an organization] states independent essays should be between 280-320 words. More words than needed is equivalent to more opportunities to make a mistake. Students should be informed re: word count, i.e., MORE WORDS does not mean a higher score.
- Information concerning paragraphs/content available from [a TOEFL training school], etc. is also wrong: the number of paragraphs is irrelevant and the only important issue re: content is to RESPOND DIRECTLY to the prompt, i.e., the raters/software doesn’t care about structure or content except the latter must Make sense and Must directly respond to the prompt [to preclude prepared essays].
- UK usage/spelling is entirely acceptable.
- AVOID complex grammar; avoid ‘Chinese English’ usage; 5 tenses: present, past, future, present perfect [have done/has been], and conditional [would go/could do it] are OPTIMAL.
- Don’t rewrite the prompt in the first paragraph of your essay…it’s okay to paraphrase [use words that mean the same thing].
- Recent TOEFL change…students found test takes too long, so there are fewer multiple-choice questions, i.e., essays are now more heavily ‘weighted’]
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