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Class Supplement, TOEFL Essay, The most important room in a house

2011年12月29日

☆Writing Topic
What room of a house do you consider the most important? Why does this room have such importance? Include specific reasons and details to support your choice.

☆Let’s think
The question uses the verb “consider,” not “prefer.” It is asking about the room of a house you regard as the most important. Therefore, you are supposed to tell your view, not your preference.

☆Functions of each room
the living room – communication, socializing, family events, ceremonies, memories with family
the bedroom – relaxation, concentration, creation, reflection, purification of mind, solitude/privacy
the kitchen / dining room – cooking/eating, food preservation, communication
the bathroom – hygiene, relaxation, self-check

☆Hints for points
♦ the living room: Man is a social animal. / This room is located in the best area in a house. / It is used for important purposes. / Most important things of the family are in the living room. / The simplest house designs like those of pit houses or houses of nomads are similar to a living room. This shows that it is the essence of a house.

♦ the bedroom: Everyone needs to be alone sometimes. / Personal things are in the bedroom. / The main function of a house in society is rest and relaxation. / Bedroom is often the only place where you can be involved in deep mental activities such as reflection or creation.

☆Ideas and expressions
♦Living Room (Ideas taken from http://www.findscore.com/twe/essays/397.html)
1. In my recollection, the living room reminds me of a lot of rosy memory. In the past, our living room was always a center of family gathering. All family members sit together here. Sometimes, we watched TV. Other times, we played chess. Our living room was always full of happiness and pleasure.
2. The living room is also a place for parties and guests. When our family friends come to visit, we always entertain them in our living room. Sometimes, we even buy some ornaments such as flowers to decorate our living room. The purpose for all of these is to show our sincere welcome to our guests. We always make our living room spotless. If we take our friends to a messy living room, perhaps our friends will not visit us again. Therefore, a living room always plays a very important role in our social activities.
3. In a word, a living room always plays an important role in both our family life and our social activities.

♦Bedroom (Ideas taken from http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic17116.html)
1. Obviously, we spend the great amount of time in our bedrooms. I not only sleep but also study and work here. It’s very important for me to relax in my cozy room after a hard working day. I can simply read a book, see movies or enjoy the beautiful scenery from the window.
2. Everyone needs a room to keep his personal possessions. All necessary things, which I use in my daily life, are in my bedroom. I have a good bed to sleep in and see incredible dreams. I have a computer here, which helps me study and get information for many purposes. I also have a piano in my bedroom, despite the fact that it takes up much space, and I could improve my musical skills any time.
3. There are many memories of my childhood related to my bedroom. I remember the time when I put my first step in to the room and smiles on my parents’ faces at that time. I still recall how I played here with my first serious toy – plastic constructor. My first touch of the piano and computer keyboards in my bedroom also will never go away from my memory.

☆Paragraph development
A paragraph of the body of an essay often develops its main idea as follows:
【Main Idea】The main function of the living room is more important than those of other rooms.
【Explanation】 The living room is for activities that have significance for the family and the society.
【Detail / Example】 Family events and meetings with visitors are held in the living room.
【More Specific Detail / Example】When celebrations such as birthday parties and anniversaries are held, family members and guests gather in the living room. Also, visitors such as sales people and representatives of the community are invited into the living room.
【Counterargument & Counter-counterargument】 Of course, the importance of these events are rather superficial in a sense. More profound events in life such as emotional interactions or self-reflection happen in other rooms. However, even when family members go through all those critical moments in life in the kitchen or in the bedroom, the living room always exist in their minds as a special place for official presentation of their attitude toward their family and society. The living room is almost always chosen as the place for a serious announcement or confession.
【Conclusion】 We see the living room as a sacred place for formal purposes and this makes it the most important room of a house.

Your test paragraph development
Now let’s practice paragraph development. Choose one of the reasons you have come up with, make it the main idea, and develop it using the following form. As this is a tentative part of your real essay, use simple words and sentences for supporting details and focus on the logic and ideas.

【Main Idea】

【Explanation】

【Detail / Example】

【More Specific Detail / Example】

【Counterargument & Counter-counterargument】

【Conclusion】

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