The Question

Imagine that your city government has given permission for a major company to build a large factory near your neighborhood. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Explain your position using specific reasons and examples.

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The Sample Essay

(Note that this question is lightly adapted from the Official Guide to the TOEFL, which has many more questions and samples)

              The presence of factories near residential zones is a very controversial topic in modern society. Personally, I would wholeheartedly support the construction of a factory near my town.  I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

               First of all, my community desperately needs the jobs that a factory would provide.  I live in an economically disadvantaged region which has suffered from high unemployment rates for more than fifty years.  This has had some very serious effects on the town, including high rates of child poverty and crime, as well as poorly developed public services.  This makes me think of my brother’s situation.  He lives in the same country as I do, but in a different city.  Several years ago, a manufacturing plant actually was constructed in his region.  There was, indeed, an increase in pollution, noise and traffic after the factory opened, but everyone agrees that this was an acceptable trade-off for declines in crime, graffiti and homelessness that occurred at the same time.  I believe that my brother’s example demonstrates why it would be a great idea to construct new industrial sites in my town.

               Secondly, modern industry is not as bad as a lot of people think. Here in Canada, factories come equipped with technology that removes the most dangerous chemicals from their emissions.  Moreover, advances in public transportation can alleviate some of the traffic-related concerns that most people have when they think about industrial development.  For example, when that factory was constructed in my brother’s town he and many of his neighbors were quite surprised at how little air pollution they noticed.  There was some effect on their air quality, but it was not nearly as bad as they thought it would be.  Not only that, but the construction of the factory caused the local government to invest heavily in public transportation for the workers, and this has made life more convenient for everyone in the city.  This example describes another reason why I would love for a factory to be constructed in my hometown.

               In conclusion, I strongly believe that a factory would be a wonderful addition to my community.  This is because it would create a lot of employment, and because factories are not as dirty and inconvenient as many people think.


This is a sample TOEFL personal preference essay written by a TOEFL expert.  It follows our TOEFL writing templates for independent essays.  If you find it useful, please remember that we have many more sample essays for you to read!



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