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Class Supplement,TOEFL Essay, Why go to college?


☆Writing Topic
There are many different reasons to attend a college or university. What do you think are some of the main reasons so many people are interested in attending college or university? Include specific reasons and details in your response.

☆Let’s think
The first sentence of the writing topic says that people go to college for “many different reasons.” It is probably true. Some might go to a higher school so that they can study the subject they are really interested in, while others might go to college just because they feel it is better for them to do so although they are not so sure why, and still others may intend to make friends with as many interesting people as possible during their college years.

The question requires you to name some of the MAIN reasons why people think of going to college. Minor reasons such as personal reasons cannot be included in your points.

☆Ideas and expressions
Taken from
1. INDEPENDENCE: You could get the chance to live away from home during term time and won’t have somebody telling you to tidy your room and do your homework. It’s a great way of finding your feet before you move out completely.

2. OPPORTUNITIES: You get to meet people from all over the world who are interested in the same subject as you. You can join clubs and societies for almost every interest you can think of.

3. COURSES AND CHOICES: If you are thinking about university, then hopefully you have a course in mind that you may like to study. If you enjoy the subject and find it interesting, university allows you to explore and expand your knowledge for three years, normally with the use of fantastic facilities and experts in that subject who teach you.

4. SOCIAL LIFE: You get to socialize and take advantage of some fantastic facilities right on your doorstep! Never again will entertainment be so cheap and you’ll meet people who might possibly end up being your friends for life.

5. JOBS: Graduates are much more likely to get a job, particularly at a ‘professional’ level and when they are working, graduates earn about a third more money than non-graduates. If you want to work in certain areas like medicine, teaching or law, you’ll need a degree in the subject before you start.

☆One-paragraph essay = the framework of the full essay
Now let’s write a one-paragraph essay before writing a full essay. You could use each sentence as the main idea (topic sentence) of each paragraph of your full essay.
Sample one-paragraph essay:
【Main Idea】 I think people think of going to college to become a better adult, for academic pursuit, and for their future careers.
【Reason 1】Spending another four years at school is attractive for many people who feel that they need some more years to be ready for adult life.
【Reason 2】 Pure interest in the subject may well be another reason.
【Reason 3】 People go to college to get a good job.
【Conclusion】Many people are interested in going to college because they want to become a well-rounded, intelligent person equipped with college diploma.

Your one-paragraph essay:
【Main Idea】

【Reason 1】

【Reason 2】

【Reason 3】


☆Paragraph development
A paragraph of the body of an essay often develops its main idea as follows:
【Main Idea】People go to college to get a good job.
【Explanation】They think having a college degree is an advantage in the job market.
【Detail / Example】 Most good jobs require at least a Bachelor’s degree.
【More Specific Detail / Example】If you take a look at classified ads, you will find that to apply for almost all the high-paying or professional jobs you need to have a college degree or graduate degree in addition to other qualifications such as experience and skills.
【Counterargument & Counter-counterargument】It is true that having an undergraduate degree is not so much an advantage in getting a job as before, since most people go to college nowadays. Also, it is well-known that one’s academic background is hardly a hiring priority for human resources managers. However, it is obvious that a candidate with a college diploma has more chances to get a job than a person without one if all the other conditions are the same.
【Conclusion】 It is natural to think that it is safe to get a college degree before becoming independent and start work.

☑Let’s deal with counterarguments
A counterargument is a bonus-point icon in an essay writing game. If you venture to take it up and deal with it successfully, your essay will jump up to the upper level and you will be awarded with a good score. On the other hand, if you fail to be aware of an inevitable counterargument, your essay will become vulnerable to the attack on it. Your raters may regard the neglected counterargument as a flaw in logic. Think of the debate for which you had not prepared carefully. Although you do not have to demonstrate how smart you are, as TOFFL essay writing is an English test, you may well show that you can think and write objectively in English.

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 and focus on the logic and ideas.

【Main Idea】


【Detail / Example】

【More Specific Detail / Example】

【Counterargument & Counter-counterargument】



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