The Question

All around the world, people are living longer than ever before. Which of the following do you think are the main causes of this phenomenon? You may choose more than one option.

  • The development of new technology
  • Changes to our eating habits
  • Improvements to our working conditions

Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. Do not use memorized examples.

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The Sample Essay

         There are many different reasons why humans live longer and healthier lives than in the past. In my opinion, there are two main reasons why people are living longer, which are improvements in medical technology and better working conditions. In the following essay, I will explore these two factors.

           First of all, medical technology has developed a lot in the past few decades, and can both prevent and cure many different illnesses.  Hundreds of diseases that might have killed us in the past can now be treated in safe and non-invasive ways. Not only that, but technology can be used to identify potential illnesses even before they occur.  For example, I was told that my great-grandfather died of a heart attack when he was just forty-five years old, despite appearing outwardly healthy to his family. However, thanks to modern medicine, I now know that males in my family have a genetic tendency to develop heart disease.  Thanks to this information I am very careful about my diet and get plenty of exercises. When I am older I will begin taking blood thinning medicine as a preventive measure. My great-grandfather did not have access to technology that could predict his illness, and was not able to protect himself.

          Secondly, improved working conditions help us live longer, as humans today have safer and less strenuous jobs than people in the past.  For instance, my great-grandfather was not the only male in my family to die at a young age. His brother passed away when he was in his fifties.  His brother did not die from heart disease, but died from lung cancer caused by the years he spent working in a dirty coal mine. The physical toll of his work and the dusty air he breathed every day made him extremely sick.  He was not the only person in his society to be killed by his job, as it was common for men and women to work in dangerous jobs in terribly unsafe factories. People back then had neither safe working conditions nor effective safety equipment.  Modern rules and regulations, however, prevent the same tragedies from happening today.

           In conclusion, I believe that people live longer today for two main reasons.  They are that doctors have access to a wide range of technology to both cure and prevent illnesses, and because our jobs are safer and less taxing than in the past. (399 words)


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



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