Sample TOEFL Agree/Disagree Essay


The Question

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People today spend too much time on personal enjoyment, and not enough time on more serious duties and obligations. Use details and examples to support your answer.

This is a revised version of a question found in Volume 1 of the Official iBT Tests book.

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The Sample Essay

         It is Personally, I feel that people today do not spend too much of their time on personal enjoyment. I feel this way for two main reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

         ​First of all, people today spend more time working than ever before, which means that they are spending a lot of time fulfilling serious obligations. Studies indicate that we spend more time at our offices than ever before, and that smart phones and internet access force people to continue working even when we are at  home. My own experience is a compelling example of what I mean. I work for a large investment banking firm where my scheduled workday is from nine o’clock to five o’clock, but I actually average about eight hours of overtime every week. I do not do this because I enjoy it, but because I feel obligated to serve my company and earn money for my family. Moreover, almost everyone else at my firm does the same thing. We often compare ourselves to our parents, who almost never worked overtime nor received calls from their bosses on the weekend. For this reason, I think that the present generation emphasizes professional obligations over  personal enjoyment.

         Secondly, success is usually the result of careful planning, research and education, all of which require a lot of work to achieve.  For instance, some people said that my uncle was lucky when his initial product offering was successful. However, he was confident that his product would be a hit even before he started manufacturing it. This is because he spent thousands of dollars on market research and focus groups. It was this investment of time and money, not luck, which assured the early success of his business.  Likewise, when his small firm merged with another firm just before that company rose to prominence some called him lucky. However, my uncle had spent weeks interviewing the research and development team at that company and predicted their success based on what they told him. Had he not been confident of their potential, he would not have completed the merger. Again, this victory was the result of diligence rather than luck, despite what some observers say about it.

          In conclusion, I firmly believe that success comes as a result of hard work.  This is because success takes a lot of time to achieve, and it also required very careful planning. (423 words)










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