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Class Supplement, TOEFL Essay, A very good/bad advertisement


Writing Topic
Advertising is a constant presence in our lives. Some advertisements are enjoyable and effective, but others are annoying. Choose an advertisement you think either very good or very bad, and explain why you either like or dislike this particular advertisement. Include specific details to explain your response.

☆Let’s think
To answer this question is rather easy. Everyone has an experience of being impressed or disgusted by an ad. The difficult part might be how you describe and explain. You have to tell yourself that the reader might not know the ad you are writing about, so you have to describe it in detail. Also, you have to explain the reason why you think it is good/bad. Sense is personal, and it requires careful explanation, or you will fail to convey to the reader the excitement you got from the ad.

☆Ideas and Expressions
Choose one of the following ads you like/dislike, and explain why.

A. Color-blind world

B. Love your enemy

C. Quit smoking!

D. Disease prevention (hepatitis B)

E. Donation

F. Try it on!

G. Got a car for Christmas

H. Green tea

I. Wanna coffee?

J. Vegetarian restaurant

☆Essay for ideas and expressions
Walking down a street in downtown Tokyo, I looked up and forgot where I was for a second due to an advertisement. It had a simplest design. I thought it was very good because it was eye-catching, stimulating, and practical.

The advertisement that caught my eye was a bulletin board of the biggest size on top of a tall building in Shibuya, one of the biggest cities in Tokyo. It had nothing on it except for a small phone number in the center. Like a copy of The White Album of The Beatles placed on a blue table, it cut a huge white square out of the sky.

First, I thought that the bulletin board was empty and wondered why no one was interested in putting up an ad in such a crowded area. Next, I noticed the phone number, and then I realized that it was the number of the bulletin board company. It was the advertisement of the advertisement. I smiled because it made my mind light as things with good ideas always do.

I thought this ad was very good because it attracts attention and makes you think. Among numerous ads in all colors and designs, a huge blank white square stands out by itself. The ad gives you joy of question-solving and, by doing so, it gives you a good impression about the advertiser. Also, you can call the company on the spot if you are interested.

If I were the advertiser, I would have been tempted to put the name of the company next to or above the phone number. However, an ad with a company name and its phone number is too ordinary for anyone to pay attention to. Actually, you won’t be bothered by the absence of the name. It is not the name but the number that you need first to use the service. The witty design shows how good the company is. Then before trying to find out its name, you take out your phone from your bag. You see the ad and you call.

Even if this design is actually often used when an advertising company advertises itself, there is no denying that it stimulates your mind when you see it for the first time. An advertisement which challenges conventional ideas and your intelligence always wins. I think this simplest bulletin board is one.

☆Let’s make the framework
Now let’s make the framework of your essay following the basic essay structure before you write a full essay. As this is a sketch, make it as simple as possible.
Sample essay framework
【Main Idea = Outline】
a simplest design, eye-catching, stimulating, and practical
【Description of the advertisement】
a huge bulletin board on top of a building in Shibuya, nothing except for a small phone number in the center
【Reaction to the advertisement】
Thought it was empty, and wondered why. Then noticed the phone number, the number of the bulletin board company. I smiled.
【Why you think the advertisement is very good/bad】
attracts attention, makes you think, joy of question-solving, good impression about the advertiser, can call the company on the spot
【Counterargument & Counter-counterargument】
the company name with the phone number, too ordinary
【Conclusion = Wrap-up】
challenges conventional ideas and your intelligence

Note: A counterargument is an expected rebuttal. While writing an essay, sometimes you ask yourself, “Well, but what about this case? My point is vulnerable to this case.” Then this “case” is the counterargument. Hitting a counterargument is a chance to grade up your essay because you have found an untied end of a rope (your logic). If you can tie it well, you can confirm your point, making your essay more persuasive. Thus, taking up a counterargument when necessary is important to get a higher score. You can deal with a counterargument in an appropriate part of a paragraph or use a whole paragraph to deal with it

Your essay framework
【Main Idea = Outline】

【Description of the advertisement】

【Reaction to the advertisement】

【Why you think the advertisement is very good/bad】

【Counterargument & Counter-counterargument】

【Conclusion = Wrap-up】


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