Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Essay comments: People attend college or university for many different reasons [...]

Q: People attend college or university for many different reasons (for example, new experiences, career preparation, increased knowledge). Why do you think people attend college or university? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

People attend college mainly for education in career preparation. College or University offers a wide range of practical knowledge along with career preparation. In India students attend college to complete their studies and can then apply for a job.

The main reason for people attending college or university is academic education. College and university offer the best preparation for building a career. In India, like everywhere else in the world, students attend these institutions to gain practical knowledge so that they can later apply for a job and learn their living respectably.

Normally students attend a four year college or university as part of their completion of studies. The better they perform, the better they earn later at their placements. [Repetition, and obvious] The main focus for middle class students is gaining knowledge while completing their studies, to earn better at their placements. New experience is an add on to their primary focus. The Indian culture [portrays the desire to money=their burning determination for luxury] etc.

For the lower and middle classes, education is the main ladder that will take them out of the poverty trap. One’s origin is not a choice, but education, to a good extent, does provide the opportunity to choose one’s future. Indian culture portrays an intense desire for even in a world that is becoming more and more immaterial, the material still prevails. 

Besides, in a competitive world like ours, ignorance has almost become a stigma. People are no longer judged by the colour of their skin, or their eyes, or their hair, or their family name but instead, on the power of their brains. They are in constant search of their real worth. Success without significance remains incomplete: everyone wants to be respected and valued during his lifetime, and remembered after his death. Education not only provides the knowledge necessary to achieve success, but it also creates the desire to stand out from the crowd.

New experiences would boost them up for their future. The gain in experience can be justified as a tool for students when they are exposed to adverse situations, but is not the true purpose for students attending college or university. This has been averred by surveys and research conducted by organizations. Recent Times of India survey states that students attended engineering colleges even while they wished to pursue education in economics. They intended to do an MBA from the top colleges but were pushed to engineering by their parents. Will their experience gain them even a buck? Can they prove themselves in their non-intended field of study? The answer is of course a “NO”. New experience would not be the student’s main focus.

Why is the answer ‘no’? You can learn things even when you don’t want to learn them, simply because you are being pushed to. This is only in the movie ‘3 idiots’. Not always true that. 

Even if for some people education provides scope for new experiences in life, there are still some unfortunate ones who do not get to pursue the path they wish to tread one. Surveys and research conducted provide evidence to this. Recent Times of India survey states that students attended engineering colleges while they wished to pursue education in economics. They intended to do an MBA from the top colleges but were pushed to engineering by their parents. In such cases, experiences can become haunting—with the uncomfortable feeling that one did not achieve what one wanted to. 

I am not sure about this para… still don’t get why you included it. 

Increased knowledge is a factor which is to be considered extensively. We start the process of learning at an early age; [you are explaining further the point mentioned] it is continued in college after being initiated by school. Students have been gaining knowledge since they became students and so they do not view it as an aspect for university or college. (?) Knowledge can also be gained by experience but it would normally take longer than expected. It resembles the situation as a student already possessing a laptop would not be that curious about electrical equipment as a student who does not have it.

I already talked about knowledge in the third paragraph I wrote. 

Students mainly attend college or university for career preparation rather than any other aspect to be imagined by them.

You need more research, add some quotes too. What about stigmas that exist in society? The pariahs? Do some research. You are merely elaborating the reasons given above. Am sure there are many other reasons. Remember that if your opinion is a repetition of what has already been mentioned in the question, people wouldn’t be interested in listening to you.

And as a side comment. Your last line. The final impact you leave on readers will depend on what your last line is. 

College and university have almost become part of the natural course of life of people, and maybe, that is they are taken for granted by many. If only for one day, all universities and colleges could be taken off the world, perhaps then, people would realize the real importance of education, and the arduous labour our ancestors went through to provide us with materials from which to learn. And perhaps, they would realize the need to change from rote learning parrots to people of significance.

_________________________________________________[for TOEFL]_______

Colours Map:
White-- the original essay.
Purple-- the corrected version.
Red-- comments.

Gratitude note: Thank you Key.

Essay comments: Consider the view that water is more important than oil.

I haven't been able to save the original essay, but reading the comments, you should be getting a fair idea of it. 


If I were you, I would have discussed more which of the two are more important for human survival, in all the fields like you rightly had in mind.

General Paper is a paper designed to test your general knowledge about the world you're living in. Examiners keep that in mind while phrasing the essay questions.
Because the world resources are scarce, today, more than ever, people are fighting for water and oil. I would suggest you make more reference to that.

Water was explored before oil. It is the very first mineral found on earth. Water makes anything on this world alive and feels fresh. There are many factors that can be listed and elaborated later on on this essay which will consist of five different categories such as: Health Benefits, Environmental factors, Affect on Earth, Hygienic terms. Further more, It is going to be explained and compared why is water more important than oil. It has a transparent colour yet with so many benefits.

It's true that you have to announce the subject of your discussion in the introduction... but honestly, for me, the part in bold is a very unprofessional approach.

My teacher often tells us to start from general to specific... You could start by talking about resources, then natural resources, their depletion, etc. And then you come to oil and water, which are the two most important resources (since civilization). Also talk about the recent crises... About the depression of 2007-08, about depletion of currency reserves, etc. Consider the possibility: is there likely to be a trade-off between these two resources given the fact that they are indispensable in many fields? Nations are already fighting with each other for water and oil, even if they do not use the traditional means of doing so (i.e. weaponry, etc). Will they now be fighting between oil and water as financial resources get scarce?

You maybe will be thinking that in my suggested approach, there talks of economics and politics most. This is something you have to identify. Every essay will not necessary be covering all the umbrella terms, at the extreme, most of them. You would of course be talking about the scientific and technological, and social aspects as well... that will come later, in your paragraphs. The examiner can identify that-- you don't have to bring it out to him. Remark, you could have as well written "I am going to write an essay about..." You'd accept that in a GP paper?

Now... after your introduction is ready, come to the main focus.

I feel you are in serious need of research-- which is of prime importance in GP.

Before tackling any subject matter, do some research please. It's wrong to assume that your knowledge about it is sufficient. You will need to be persuasive-- not assertive.
Persuasive means that you can come up with enough solid arguments and sufficient illustrations and real life examples to convince the examiner about your stand. It's like someone calling at your door and telling you you are a terrorist-- you will want to know the basis on which they made the statement.

In GP, you will have to show a wide expanse of general knowledge: of history, science, politics, and everything else human has got to do with.


Read this blog too. Regularly. Because you are homeschooling, it will be helpful as a teacher. And you do not have much time, so please, select some themes to build up research on. Try to see trends in past examination papers. Usually examiners phrase titles about recent events, so that they can give the examinee a well-calculated opportunity to compare contemporary happenings with those of the past, and derive implications from them.
A body has approximately 75% of water. You loose most of the water in Urine and Sweat. Therefore we need to drink water to compensate this loss.  H2o moisturises the skin and feeds the roots and the ends of the hairs from drying. Also it helps the skin of the body from getting wrinkled in an early age. Moreover, the kidneys needs at least  a litre of water a day for its proper functioning.

Main focus: Water is more important than oil.

The above quoted paragraph that you wrote is, I'm afraid... completely out of subject. You give the examiner the impression that you have limited knowledge about what you are discussing and just include this first paragraph to 'fill up pages' and 'bunch marks', which of course, will not be the case.

Water was explored before oil. It is the very first mineral found on earth. Water makes anything on this world alive and feels fresh.

This is acceptable as a start for your main focus.

But you have to write about the importance of water RELATIVE to oil. You are expected to be constantly comparing those two resources. On a regional/ national/ international basis, all three of them to get higher marks. Analyze the fact that water is essential for survival of any organism, whereas oil on the contrary can-- and does-- inhibit life. Talk of the oil spills to illustrate, which show that even salty water is more important to life than oil is. Go on elaborating... You rightly picked environmental concerns in your paragraph, but you included no comparison with oil. Don't try to be too superfluous in your explanation though, i.e. don't add unnecessary details. Your writing should be concise and form a pleasant flow.

Ah, and this is very important. Every paragraph should deal with a different content point, which you do know as a rule, but not in practice. Your introduction, first, second and third paragraphs of the body, all dealt with the environmental aspect of the subject. You have to try to cover as much of the umbrella terms as is possible.

Okay, now, come back to water and oil. For your next paragraphs (the number will depend on the word range you are allocated) you will have to carry out some research.

Mention the use of water in industries-- everything hydro-. Even oil has substitutes now: wind, solar, natural gas, etc. while before oil was indispensable. This shows that in the long-term oil will be less important than water.

Do your research and come up with more ideas.


After you have completed with your main focus, you will need a sort of a balance to tell the examiner that you are not a narrow-minded thinker, and that you can critically and judgmentally analyze every aspect of the question he gave you.

Now, talk about why oil is more important than water, or is equally important, or cannot be replaced in some fields. Try to come up with other ideas that will give another dimension to your essay. You will automatically get them as you start your research work.

This is something difficult to do... I think the most difficult because some writers carelessly tend to auto-refute what they have mentioned in their main focus to strike the balance between the two-- an approach that is wrong. You need to convince him throughout. You will need to consider the opposite situation, and give relative weight to that consideration.

One way to avoid getting yourself in the trap, which I am personally very fond of, is to criticize your arguments within the paragraph you mentioned them. If you can work to be a higher order level student in the time span that you have got left, you can choose to completely eliminate the main focus and its balancing, and condense everything in a single paragraph under one broad umbrella term (that you do not have to make mention of to the examiner. NO "I am going to talk about the political aspect of this essay now".).

Also, for these kind of questions, try to avoid personalizing your essay... (Eliminate use of 'I'). Best approach for this one: put yourself in the place of a reputed international newsletter. Think that if you are going to be biased, you will be put in jail for 20 years.

Brief example:

     Water is vital for the existence of life, but none can deny that oil is equally essential for the life of an economy-- at least, for our contemporary world.

"Water is vital for the existence for life [...]" --> My main focus.
"[...] but none can deny that oil is equally essential for the life of an economy [...]" --> My balance.
"[...] at least, for our contemporary world." --> And I have criticized my balance.
In one paragraph, and then, you add facts and illustrations to support.

N.B. This is my suggestion. If you feel you are more comfortable with any other presentation that is well balanced, adopt the one you can cope with.

If you want, you may wish to talk about other related aspects of the question.
Like you might want to talk of something that is more important than both oil and water for an economy. For example, the financial resources and technology needed to obtain those two resources, which some countries lack, e.g. Nigeria has some of the world's richest oil deposits but no technology to exploit them. Mauritius gets sufficient rain throughout the year, but is inhibited by its poor water collection system.


The last part: your conclusion.

There are several techniques to tackle this part. You can sum up, give recommendations, etc.

The most scoring way of ending your essay is to give an evaluation.

"As a GP student you are expected to evaluate the different aspects of the topic, such as its pros and cons, merits and demerits, advantages and disadvantages, benefits and losses, and so on.

Evaluation means to juxtapose the arguments, weigh them and decide which one is stronger and more credible. For a good evaluation you should allocate weight or the rank the points on the basis of their importance and relevance. Discuss about the most important point in the beginning, a little less significant below it and so on."


You will find helpful resources there. But please, do not be too influenced by them. It is too easy to go personal in writing, this represents no critical analysis.

You gave:

In conclusion, Oil is only important for getting vast income which enhances the countries wealthiness. Oil can be substituted with gas and has different alternatives like Dieasle which is a low quality form of fuels. It has a big role of why vehicles are mobile because it is used as a fuel called petrol. Technology it self is engaged with oil and plays  a big role in it. Back in the years, scientists clarified that oil is formed from dead animals buried under the ground for many years for it to form oil and is called fossil fuels in its scientific term. In my point of view, without water nothing could be made! 

You introduced many points, implicit in the essay title; you should have discussed those thoroughly in your paragraphs, before coming to a conclusion.
"Oil is only important for getting vast income which enhances the countries wealthiness." --> Have you backed your statement with evidence? If you'll take the example of Saudi Arabia, is it rich because it has oil, or because it has both oil and water? Then, why is it not the most powerful economy in the world?
Note that in a conclusion, you cannot advance nor support any other new argument related to the title (or else it would not be a conclusion), that is why I asked you to include that in your body.

To get an interesting conclusion for this title, you can try to forecast a world without water, and one without oil. Say which one will be more dreadful (depending on the arguments you have advanced in the body of your essay).