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Class Supplement, TOEFL Essay, Children and Chores -rewritten-)

2011年11月17日

☆Writing Topic
Consider the following statement. It is important for children to be required to help with household work as soon as they are old enough to know how to help their parents with the tasks that must be done around the house. Do you agree or disagree with this idea? Support your response by including specific reasons and examples.

☆Let’s Think
Note the condition at the end of the sentence, “as soon as they are old enough to know how to help their parents with the tasks that must be done around the house”. This excludes the case in which the assigned household work is so hard that it stunts the growth of the child.

☆Hints for Points
1. They can learn basic skills to lead a daily life.
2. Chores are good for the emotional development of children because they can acquire patience, a sense of independence, a sense of responsibility, and self-esteem.
3. Doing chores will also help physical and intellectual development. Trying to do chores well can train children’s body and brain.
4. Of course playing and studying is necessary, but then chores are probably the best educational tool.

Essay for Ideas and Expressions
As long as they are not exploited, it is good for children to help with household chores as soon as they are old enough to do them. Doing chores helps children’s development in many aspects.
Unfortunately, because of poverty or negligence, many children on this planet are still forced to help with household work at the expense of other important activities they need to go through for their development such as playing and studying. Purpose of having children do chores should be part of their education.
Assigning chores commensurate with their abilities is quite beneficial in helping children become independent. They can learn basic skills to lead a daily life such as making beds, cleaning, and cooking. There is no denying that having these skills will make their lives much easier in the future than not having them. It is parents’ responsibility to teach their children these skills so that they can function well in society.
Chores are good for the emotional development of children. Acquiring patience, sense of independence, sense of responsibility, and sense of bond with others are just a few of the good emotional effects doing chores has on them. Chores will give children good work ethic and natural joy of doing tasks by using their body and mind. As long as it does not make children feel taken advantage of, doing chores will help children’s emotional development.
Doing chores will also help physical and intellectual development. Households involve various small tasks which require various physical and intellectual efforts. Thinking of better ways and carrying them out can develop children’s body and brain. Dish washing, for example, can be done quickly and economically if planned well and done neatly. Of course playing and studying is necessary for their education, but then chores appropriate for the age and assigned for a fraction of their leisure time are probably the best tools for their education, for they are part of reality, which should be the starting point of good education.
Assigning children chores will help their emotional, mental, and physical development, as well as giving them basic skills of daily life unless it interferes with other crucial activities for growth.

☆To write more
You might have noticed that the ideas in Hints for Points are expressed in longer sentences in Essay for Ideas and Expressions. For example, “… chores are probably the best educational tool” had become “chores appropriate for the age and assigned for a fraction of their leisure time are probably the best educational tool”. It is true that writing extremely long, complicated sentences is not good, but adding enough information to a sentence to express your idea as accurately as possible is good, and sentences with enough necessary details will make your essay long enough as a result.

To increase the volume of your essay, …
1) describe/develop the main idea well: If a paragraph has only one or two sentences, chances are that you have not described/developed well enough. Make sure that each paragraph has its main idea, supporting details (examples), conclusion, and additional supporting details like counter-argument treatment if necessary.
2) describe/develop each sentence well: A statement usually has some exception or needs some condition or concession. Look for a sentence that you can add a reason, condition, concession, or any other additional information, and add “except …”, “as long as …”, “although …”, etc.
3) describe words well: Which of the following sentences gives a clear picture of someone’s pet? A) I have a pet. B) I have a cute cat. C) I have a little fluffy kitten. With two adjectives and a specific noun, Sentence C) depicts an adorable pet well and it happens to be the longest of the three.
4) discuss other choices: Even if the Writing Topic does not say, “Discuss the two views” or “Compare and contrast the choices,” you can write about other choices. Doing so will make your essay more convincing and longer. Make sure that you do not digress.
5) take up counter-arguments if necessary: While you are writing, sometimes a counter-argument, “Well, but what about this case?” comes up to your mind. Then it is better not to ignore it but take it up and give a counter-counter-argument or two. By doing so, you can confirm your argument. If you can do it well, you will get a high score.

The key to remember is to try to put what you want to say into words as accurately as you can. Then you cannot help adding some more words and sentences, and some more… In the end, your essay will have many words.

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