Sample TOEFL Paired Choice Essay


The Question

Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

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The Sample Essay

              Everyone has different dreams when it comes to where they wish to live. Personally, I think it is very desirable to live in a large city.  I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

           To begin with, cities offer a great environment for raising children, and I am a person who values family above all else.  Urban areas have numerous parks and recreation centers which encourage children to lead vital and healthy lives, and they also have well-funded community centers which contribute to the intellectual development of young people.  My own experience demonstrates the value of such facilities. Both my husband and I work full time jobs, and are not home when our two sons finish school. This is not a problem, though, as both of them go directly to a local community center when their classes are over. Our eldest son participates in a computer club there, while our youngest son practices photography. Their participation in these programs sets my mind at ease, as without access to the community center they would just sit at home all alone.  This situation compares favorably to a friend of mine who lives in a small town and recently had to hire an expensive babysitter to watch her children when they get home from school, as she was not able to locate any meaningful activities for them to take part in.

          Secondly,  large cities offer cultural experiences that adults can enjoy and appreciate.  Most major cities have a plethora of museums, ethnic restaurants, libraries, theater groups and other stimulating and cosmopolitan facilities.  My city is no exception. For instance, my colleagues and I spend every Friday evening visiting a new ethnic restaurant for dinner. Over the past three months we have enjoyed food from more than a dozen different national cuisines.  Meanwhile, my sons and I go to a different museum once a month and I have found that I enjoy our visits almost as much as they do. These are the sort of outings that are only possible in a heavily-populated urban area. Small towns offer easy access to beautiful natural scenery, but I prefer the intellectual and cultural stimulation that my city offers.

          In conclusion, I am of the opinion that living in a large city is preferable to living in a small town.  This is because cities are better places to raise children, and because they offer stimulating intellectual and cultural experience that grown-ups can enjoy.


This is a sample TOEFL paired choice essay written by a native speaker.  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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