The Question

Imagine you could improve the town where you live by changing one important thing about it. Which of the following would you choose to do?

  • Build additional parks
  • Construct more libraries
  • Improve public transportation

Use specific details and examples in your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

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The Sample Essay

           There is no shortage of things that could be changed in my hometown.  However, if I had the opportunity to make one major improvement, I would choose to create more parks and green spaces.  I feel this way for two major reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

           First of all, parks help people to relax and find serenity, two things which are both in short supply in today’s hectic world.  Here in my hometown people are usually surrounded by high rise apartments made of dull grey concrete. Moreover, they often deal with long commutes, traffic jams and crowded sidewalks.  These sorts of problems make residents of this town very anxious. In many cases, our anxiety gets so extreme that we experience health problems. I strongly believe that building parks could offer a permanent solution.  My father is a compelling example of what I mean. For thirty years, he lived and worked in the same city that I do now, but several years ago he was forced into early retirement following a minor heart attack brought about by high blood pressure and workplace stress.  However, after his retirement he moved to a more rural location, surrounded by trees, rivers and wildlife. In a short period of time, his stress was alleviated and he began to live a happier and healthier life. I am certain that by building some parks in the city where I live, my neighbors and I could enjoy similar benefits.

           Secondly, the construction of parks will not just benefit our mental health, but will also encourage physical fitness among the population. Not everyone is able to afford a gym membership, and our crowded sidewalks and streets are not suited for jogging or bicycling.  The construction of parks would provide children with a place to run around and adults with a location to participate in team sports. When my father moved to the countryside, it was not only his worries that went away. He also lost a considerable amount of weight because he made the decision to begin each morning with a brisk walk in the forest.  Even if I wanted to follow his example, doing so would be impossible where I live as the streets are too crowded for casual walking. While my father is recovering from his illness, I fear that I might get worse and worse if things do not change soon.

           In conclusion, if I could change one thing about my hometown I would choose to convert some of our concrete and steel surroundings to beautiful parks and green spaces.  This is because such spaces would benefit both the mental and physical health of me and my neighbors. (446 words)


This is a sample TOEFL 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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