TOEFL Essay Writing Lesson: The Concluding Paragraph

Practice writing an essay a day!

The other day we studied how to write a body paragraphs for the independent essay question on the TOEFL exam. Today, let’s move finish our essay by looking at the next two body paragraphs, and the conclusion. As you recall, we had the following question, and we wrote the introductory paragraph and one body paragraph:

Some people prefer living in a big city. Others may prefer to live in the countryside. Which area would you prefer to live in? Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Some people feel that living in a big city is exciting and comfortable. Big cities have all of the conveniences of life in one small area. Others may think that life in the countryside is ideal, because the air is clean and it is generally quiet. I believe that living in the countryside is better than living in a big city. While city life might be more convenient and provide opportunities for enjoyment and recreation, cities can be uncomfortable places to live because of noise, poor air quality, and congestion.

The air quality in the countryside is much cleaner than that of a big city. Compared to a city, there are few cars and busses in the countryside, so the amount of exhaust fumes is less. Since there are no factories in the countryside, there is less industrial pollution there than there would be in a big city. Additionally, there are many trees and plants in the countryside, which make the air seem fresher.

Now, let’s finish the essay. In the introductory paragraph, I mentioned noise and congestion as two reasons I prefer living in the countryside. Here are two paragraphs that develop those ideas:

Since the city had many people and attractions, it can tend to be noisier than the countryside. We can here the sounds of car horns and sirens all day and night. There is often noise from building construction or roadwork as well. In addition, commercial traffic in the city creates a good deal of noise. The countryside has few or none of these sources of noise, resulting in a more peaceful and quite living situation.

Finally, big cities attract a lot of people. Not only are there many people living and working in the city, but also there are usually a good number of tourists. For example in New York City, neighborhoods such as Times Square are generally crowded with tourists. The countryside has fewer residents and workers, and hardly any tourists, so it is much less congested than a big city would be.

Now, I will write the conclusion. This final paragraph should restate the topic and your opinion and summarize the points you made in the body paragraphs.

While it is true that big cities have a number of points that make them attractive places to live, the disadvantages significantly ought weigh them. Thus, life in the countryside can be much quieter, and more secluded than life in a big city. Furthermore, the clean air associated with life in the country can give us a more enjoyable and healthier way of life. In conclusion, life in the countryside is much more desirable than life in a big city.

Well, there you have a complete TOEFL essay for the independent writing section of the exam. If you are preparing for the TOEFL, be sure to practice writing no less than one essay every day until the day of the exam. The ETS website has a list of TOEFL essay questions you can download for free, so get writing today!

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One Point English Lesson: Tired of & Tired from

Tired is an adjective and means feeling sleepy. When we use tired + of and tired + from, the meaning can be slightly different. Let’s have a look at this today.

We use tired + of  + noun to show that something is no longer interesting, or we are bored of it:

  • I’m tired of pizza. I eat it almost every day for lunch.
  • My job is boring. I’m tired of it!

You can also used tired + of  + gerund (VerbING) with the same meaning:

  • I’m tired of eating pizza for lunch. I have it every day.
  • My job is boring. I’m tired of working for this company!

We use tired + from + gerund (VerbING) to show that we did something and it made us tired.

  • I’m tired from shopping all afternoon. I want to take a nap.
  • I’m tired from working in the garden.

Are you tired from something? Are you tired of doing something?

One Point English Lesson: Prepositions of Time

I like to go to the ballet on the weekend

Here are some set prepositional phrases we use to talk about time:

We say in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, but at night:

  • I always walk my dog in the morning.
  • I will be busy in the afternoon, so please call me after work.
  • Tony always watches the news in the evening.
  • It’s generally quiet in my neighborhood at night.

We say during the week, but on the weekend:

  • I always go to the gym during the week.
  • Chris plays golf on the weekend.
What do you usually do on the weekend? Do you work or go to school during the week?