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Class Supplement, TOEFL iBT Essay, Transportation -partly rewritten-

2012年6月1日

Writing Topic
Suppose that you wish to travel from your home to a place 100 miles (160 kilometers) from your home. Discuss the different types of transportation you might use, and compare the merits of the various forms of transport. Which manner of travel would you choose, and why?

☆Question that requires you to discuss possible choices under some conditions and choose one
This writing topic sets a specific condition and directs you to discuss the choices under the condition before writing about your choice. You could use your thought process to answer this type of question, because a thought process of finding the answer with regard to the conditions is logical.

♦A model of a thought process
1. Discuss the conditions and narrow down the choices according to the conditions.
2. Discuss the choices that have been left.
3. Make a conclusion giving reasons.

♦Practice question
A foreign visitor has only one day to spend in your country. Discuss the different possible destinations. Where do you think this visitor should go? Why?

♦Sample answer following the model of a thought process
1. Discuss the conditions, and narrow down the choices according to the conditions.
A foreign visitor might want to experience something that represents the country. Also, he or she might want to see as many aspects of the country as possible, in the case of my country, Japan, probably both the old and new aspects of it. However, there is only one day to spend, so the person might not want to waste time for transit unless the transit itself serves as an experience like riding the bullet train. Considering these conditions, a beach in Okinawa or a ranch in Hokkaido would not be at the top of the list, for you can see the same things elsewhere, so that they might not be places that represent Japan. Also, visiting places too far apart is out of question because of the travel time. Seeing contemporary Japan in Tokyo and then traditional Japan in a mountain village in Shikoku in a day is, while attractive, impossible because it takes half a day to move from one to the other.

2. Discuss the choices that have been left.
Visiting Shibuya, the center of the Japanese pop-culture, and then Kyoto, the center of the traditional Japanese culture, is possible if you take the bullet train. But then, there are many other places with both old and new aspects of Japan such as Shinjuku, where you find high-rising buildings next to an old alley with a shrine and old bars.

3. Make a conclusion giving reasons.
I think the visitor should visit Tsukishima, Tokyo. Although not famous, it has both the high-technology and the traditional life of Japan existing side by side with a great contrast. Juxtaposed to state-of-the-art buildings are good old residences, small factories, and eateries serving the local specialty, monja. Businessmen quickly pass an old lady pushing a cart slowly on the sidewalk. This is an old business district near Tokyo Bay that has been experiencing a rapid development over the past ten years. After strolling here for a few hours and feeling a fragment of real Japan, the visitor could go to the Sky Tree Tower and Asakusa, the latest and the oldest sightseeing spots nearby for postcards and souvenirs.

Now let us go back to today’s topic and follow the model thought process.
Preparation:
♦If your house is in Tokyo, a place 100 miles from your house is in Mito, Shizuoka, or Nagoya.
This destination is farther than 【your school, a nearby shopping district】 and closer than 【your grandparents’ place where you usually go by car; Kyoto, to which taking an airplane is a choice】

1. Discuss the condition and narrow down the choices according to the conditions.
e.g For a 100-mile trip, taking an airplane would not be a good idea because it is too expensive and rather bothersome. Bicycle would also not be an ideal choice because it consumes your energy.
【Transportations: an airplane, a bullet train, a train, a bus, a car, a motorbike, a bicycle, etc.】
【Reasons: expensive, time-consuming, troublesome, tiresome, slow, etc.】

♦For a 100-mile trip/using/taking/riding —– would not be a good idea because it —–.

♦ —– would also not be an ideal choice because it —–.

2. Discuss the merits of the choices that have been left. Compare their merits.
e.g I could take a train because it allows me to do my work or sleep. It is also punctual and safer. Riding a bus would also be good because it has a good view.

【Transportations: a bullet train, a train, a bus, a car, a motorbike, etc.】
【Reasons: fast, safe, inexpensive, punctual, spacious, relaxing, flexible, free, environmentally-friendly, no traffic jam, allows you to many sings in it, lets you enjoy the view, you don’t have to carry your baggage around, you don’t have to worry about missing your stop, etc.】

♦I could ride/take —– because it —–.

♦Taking/Riding —– would also be good because it —–.

3. Make a conclusion giving reasons.

Note! The question does not require that you reach an objective conclusion. It about your choice, in other words, about your preference. Therefore you could choose a car because, for example, you like driving.

e.g I would ride my car to get to the destination because I can start and stop whenever I like.

I would … because ….

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