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    Default Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Many teachers assign homework to students every day. Do you think that daily homework is necessary for students? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

    One of the most perplexingly confronted dilemmas of people in modern society is to be included whether the students should be assigned homework or not. Those who claim the teachers should give assignments to children believe that it is the sound teaching methodology. On the other hand, people who insist the everyday homework should not be a must contend that homework does not work in every case. I am afraid I can hardly agree with the former argument as far as it goes. For my part, I vote for the latter one, as it sounds to me to be more reasonable. I will reason and provide evidence in the following discussion.

    To begin with, it is generally accepted that the majority of students dislike the compulsory assignments. I just read a study recently published in a Chinese Journal of Psychological Research where a neuropsychologist highlighted that, in his experience, most people are naturally dissatisfied about imposed work. He pointed out," We would like to choose what to do, not to be chosen." Therefore, how can pupils be happy with piles of everyday homework that they must complete within a certain time? Of course not. We ourselves hate to work overtime after work, let alone children.

    Besides, an equally key reason to explain the unnecessary assignments is the students themselves understand what they need to learn or work on after school. The story of my nephew offers an illustrative example validating this statement is true. My nephew was not good at Indian history and he really wanted to have more time on that, while his history teacher gave him lots of assignments of Australian history. He complained that he only want to strengthen the part of history he need to. This case is not rare, in reality, frequently many students in primary-level, secondary-level and tertiary-level meet the same problem as my nephew.

    Last but not least, common sense leads us to the point: the true beneficial teachers should be those who encourage students to break the status quo and define them as they choose. Not every one has the ability to manage all the courses as per the teachers’ requests. In other words, students should have the power to choose their favorite subjects instead of endeavor to finish the unwanted homework of the "boring" subjects.

    Undeniably, we should also notice that sometimes the students still need homework since several of the young students do not understand how to make use of the time to study. Still, I still believe the homework is not necessary every day. Nevertheless, such a closer look at the disadvantages of everyday assignments offers some startling surprises to those advocates of assignments. Taking all these factors into consideration, I am convinced that it seems highly advisable for the teachers not to give homework to students every day.

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    Default Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Dear clampever,

    The blue parts are corrected ones. The red ones should be omitted.
    The orange parts are the word and expressions that should not be normally used in academic writing.

    I will post some explanatory points that you may find useful, correcting the text.


    Many teachers assign homework to students every day. Do you think that daily homework is necessary for students? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

    One of the most perplexing dilemmas teaching/pedagogy policy makers are confronted with in modern society is the question whether the students should be assigned homework or not. Those who claim the teachers should give assignments to children believe that it is a sound/ appropriate teaching method.. On the other hand, people who insist the everyday homework should not be a must contend that homework does not work in every way. I am afraid I can hardly agree with the former argument as far as it goes. For my part, I vote for the latter one, as it sounds to me to be more reasonable. I will reason and provide evidence in the following discussion.

    To begin with, it is generally accepted that the majority of students dislike the compulsory assignments. I have just read a study recently published in a Chinese Journal of Psychological Research where a neurophysiologist highlighted that, from personal experience, most people are naturally dissatisfied with imcposed work. He pointed out," We would like to choose what to do, not to be chosen." Therefore, how can pupils be happy with piles of everyday homework that they must complete within a certain period of time? Of course not. We ourselves hateto work overtime after work, let alone children.

    Besides, an equally key reason to the unnecessary assignments is the students themselves who understand what they need to learn or work on after school. The story of my nephewoffers an illustrative example validating the truth of my argument: my nephew was not good at Indian history and he really wanted/ needed to spend more time on that, while his history teacher gave him lots of assignments of Australian history. He complained that he only want to strengthen the part of history he needed to know/ learn. Such cases/ examples are not rare, in reality, frequently many students at primary schools, secondary schools and high schools are faced with the same problem as my nephew.

    Last but not least, common sense leads us to the point: the true beneficial teachers should be those who encourage students to break the status quo and define them as they choose. Not every one has the ability to manage all the courses as per the teachers’ requests. In other words, students should have the power to choose their favorite subjects instead of endeavoring / struggling to finish the unwanted homework full of the "boring" subjects.

    Undeniably, we should also notice that sometimes the students still need homework since several of the young students do not understand how to make use of the time to study. Still, I still believe the homework is not necessary to be assigned every day. Nevertheless, such a closer look at the disadvantages of everyday assignments offers some startling surprises to those advocating assignments. Taking all these factors into consideration, I am convinced that it seems to be highly advisable for the teachers not to give homework to students every day.

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    Default Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Method/ Methodology

    These two words are not to be confused. Methodology is a collection of systematic techniques concerning a special discipline. However, a method is simply a way of doing something. Methodology is a body of methods.

    -Those who claim the teachers should give assignments to children:

    -The word “claim” is usually misused in the essays that I usually read here. A claim is an unfounded statement about the truth of something, but you’re taking about a method you don’t approve of. If you don’t find something good enough, you can’t just condemn it by calling it a “claim”; this way you may even damage the validity of your essay because you are deliberately biased toward the topic.
    You could say:
    Those advocating assigning homework....


    -children: it’s not about kindergarten. You have overextended the usage of the word “children “, maybe because of a literal rendering.
    Is it ok to call students “children” in your mother tongue? It’s not good in English anyway.

    - I vote for the latter one: figuratively speaking, the expression may be correct, but I wouldn’t choose it as a synonymous expression for “to be in favor of”.

    -To begin with: is usually used in spoken language.

    -how can pupils be happy with piles of everyday homework that they must complete within a certain period of time? Of course not.

    The question preceding the answer is not a yes/no question. Although it’s a rhetorical question, the answer is not really suitable here. By the way, your points are not necessarily provable.

    -make use of the time to study.
    Still, I still believe the homework:

    I understand that articles are not existent in Japanese. You must be very careful not to use them inappropriately. Which one is easier to learn for you: “the” or “a, an”?

    By the way, you can use another expression showing contrast to avoid using two “Stills” in your second sentence mentioned above:

    In any case, at any rate, however, yet, I still believe….



    -I am afraid, hate, The story of my nephew:

    You should avoid using qualitative words, myths, legends, anecdotes, emotional expressions and so on in your essays. The teacher wants to know your ATTITUDE not personal stories.
    Last edited by chester_100; 13-Nov-2009 at 16:06.

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    Default Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Dear clampever ,

    The word” homework” is normally considered to be an uncountable word in English. Uncountable nouns are not usually preceded by “the”, unless you use them to refer to some specific amount or entity:

    -Water is a tasteless liquid = in general.
    -The water in the glass is cold = some specific amount of water which is in the glass.

    It’s worthwhile to highlight some points in detail:

    To the extent that I know, articles are not existent in Japanese.
    You can use demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those), which are universal features existent in almost all languages, in the place of “the” to see if it sounds suitable to use “the” in your English sentences- when you’re turning Japanese sentences into English.

    Cognitively, when we use demonstrative pronouns, we necessarily refer to some specific concrete object or abstract concept. So, they function very closely, but not precisely, to “the”.

    Of course, you should do all this in your mind, and don’t forget that it’s just a trick, not a grammatical rule, and may not always work. Actually it only works when “the” functions like demonstrative pronouns.
    This mental exercise can be also useful for Russian learners.

    -The book is on the table = that book is on the table.
    In either case, the book is known to you.


    Good day,

    Chester

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    Default Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Thank you so much for your help...
    I have several questions to ask you.
    1.You said "claim" is misused in essays. Then what word can I use in essays to replace "say"? You know, "say" is overused in spoken English.
    2."To begin with" is not a proper usage in essays. But I know "First and foremost" is not formal too. Then what should I use?

    I am really grateful.

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    Post Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by clampever View Post
    Thank you so much for your help...
    I have several questions to ask you.
    1.You said "claim" is misused in essays. Then what word can I use in essays to replace "say"? You know, "say" is overused in spoken English.
    2."To begin with" is not a proper usage in essays. But I know "First and foremost" is not formal too. Then what should I use?

    I am really grateful.
    Dear Clampever,

    1. When we are writing an essay, it’s important to be as impartial as possible. When “claim” is used, it makes the impression that the writer is not neutral toward the subject. Plus, it wouldn’t be appropriate to use it in formal writing.
    By the way, “claim” carries some negative sense.

    I would suggest such verbs as advocate, support, hold, maintain, assert, emphasize, insist on [this one is really a good choice, because it suggests an unconditional acceptance of something that may not be true], allege [for news and stories], propose [this one is formal and has a close meaning to "say" ] and believe.

    Before using any of these verbs, scrutinize some examples showing their correct usage.

    The main purpose of such a task is to measure your ability to compare ideas.
    So you can simply write a paragraph describing the characteristic of the first method.
    Then, write another paragraph about the features of the second method. The second paragraph should start with a word showing contrast:
    -However, the advocates of… maintain…,
    -On the other hand, …
    -Exactly on the contrary, …

    And then, a paragraph designed for comparison, contrast and your attitude. It’s advisable to imply your attitude by using impersonal structures. If you really need to express your ideas clearly, you can use the following:
    -I agree with [the advocates of … method] when they say…
    -[The advocates of … method] are doubtlessly correct when they argue/ say/ write that…
    [use this one only when you are sure about the validity of the information]

    2. As for the story of your nephew, it would be better to remove it and mention the results of a survey:

    “Professor James McBride, who conducted a survey in three major Japanese high schools, concluded that unnecessary homework engenders frustration and boredom in the student, and its attenuating effect, in long-run, will bring about destructive effects both on the society and the education system.”

    Of course, my suggestion is a mere example, and for actual data, you have to do some research in the field.


    3. Introducing

    Here are just a few examples:

    -The first thing to be considered is…
    -First, I would like to introduce….
    -I would like to begin my essay with a brief introduction of ….
    -First of all, ….
    -First and most important(ly), …

    By the way, “to begin/ start with…” is used in essays, but it makes the text sound a bit informal.



    And, how was my evaluation of “the” in your language?


    Good luck
    Last edited by chester_100; 20-Nov-2009 at 08:34. Reason: Adding "propose"

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    Default Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Thank you so much!!!! I learned a lot.
    And I do think your evaluation about "the" in my essay helps me a lot. I will try to write more to make sure I understand the true usage of "the"
    O(∩_∩)O~~
    You are so nice

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    Default Re: Can you help revise this TOEFL practicing essay?Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by clampever View Post
    Thank you so much!!!! I learned a lot.
    And I do think your evaluation about "the" in my essay helps me a lot. I will try to write more to make sure I understand the true usage of "the"
    O(∩_∩)O~~
    You are so nice
    Thank you,

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