Sample Essay 1

Here’s a sample essay I wanted to post here just to illustrate some of the points I’ve been making so far in my posts. Please note the following attributes of the essay (which is very short – only about 300 words or so) :

  • The main point (thesis) is stated immediately
  • The thesis statement provides a quick overview of all main sections
  • Since this is a comparison essay, each section contains two parts: A – Science and Math; B – Literature and History
  • Each paragraph discusses its own part of the topic and nothing else

Science and mathematics courses are more beneficial to students than literature and history classes for three reasons. First, the knowledge of science and math is essential to learning other important disciplines. Second, it is more important in everyday life than literature and history. And finally, science and math courses develop logic skills the way the humanities courses can’t.

First and foremost importantly, science and mathematics are essential for learning economics, finance, or mechanics, which are disciplines that are invaluable in today’s marketplace. Anyone who lacks such knowledge will also have difficulty grasping computers, internet, stocks, insurance, etc. But the knowledge of literature and history barely has any effect on any skills that are vital to today’s economic atmosphere.

Science and mathematics are indispensable in daily and professional lives. They show people how to avoid electric shock when doing electrical repairs. They also help people optimize their incomes and expenses effectively. These subjects also play an important role in the workplace. Operating machinery and being responsible for market or finance analysis call for the knowledge of math. But the humanities are hardly helpful in the workplace. Literature and history can only be valuable to the people who teach them, providing them with income. But these teachers represent only a small percentage of population.

Finally, science and mathematics are great logic training. They train students how to analyse numerous variants, and show how to cope with conflicting factors. They cultivate mental perception and stimulate the development of intelligence. History and literature, on the other hand, provide only limited value by providing examples from the past and the writers’ imagination. The lessons of history are not likely to help solve difficult logical problems that the modern person may encounter almost every day.

The basis for this essay was kindly provided by Zhai Jia. I only edited and changed it around a bit. Please note also that the paragraphs don’t begin with complete lead sentences that introduce both sciences and humanities – that would make this simple essay needlessly long. Enjoy.

Questions? Go ahead and post a question.

Tutor Phil


  1. Zhaij Jia says

    Great, Tutor Phil. : )
    Thank you for your guidances.

    I will go to work tomorrow, see you a few days later.

    • TutorPhil says

      When I used to teach essay writing in college, I didn’t require my students to write either introductions or conclusions. Here’s my new blog post that explains why:

      Introductions and Conclusions

      Read the post – it will clarify it for you. Just remember – if you’re writing an essay for TOEFL, then you need to write a conclusion, because it seems to be required. Here’s also a nice link to How to Write a TOEFL Conclusion.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. says

    Dear Tutor Phil
    It was my good fortune that I came across your site.
    I am from a small town in Punjab, India and train students for the IELTS test as a hobby.
    Basically, i am a gynaecologist by profession.
    I’ve found all the posts on your site very very helpful.
    As i don’t know much myself, i look forward to help from people like you to pass it further.
    Please help me with this essay
    In many countries, good schools and medical facilities are available only in cities. Some people think new teachers and doctors should work in rural areas for a few years, but others think everyone should be free to choose where they work. Discuss and give your own opinion.

    • TutorPhil says


      I think it’s wonderful that you are doing this – helping students in your spare time. Keep it up.

      To start you off with this topic, here are a couple of tips:

      1. Because it says “Some people think A, and others think B,” it is naturally a comparison essay. You’ll be comparing the two opinions. The essay question also asks you to give your opinion.

      So, my advice in this case would be to divide this into three sections:

      A. What would be the positive and negative consequences of imposing the new rule.
      B. What would be the positive and negative consequences of keeping the free choice for the professionals.
      C. Your own judgment of which consequences are more important than others and, as a result, whether or not you think the new rule should be enforced.

      2. Note that in sections A and B you’ll be holding off any judgment. Just state the facts without expressing your opinion. Why? Because your opinion comes in section C.

      I’d also advise you to go to the Get Started page on this site and read an article on how to write an opening paragraph. Then you may post your essay for me to review as a comment under that article.

      Hope this helps,


  3. abbas muhammad says

    i need an essay on youth’s life style . plz give me an essay on this topic.
    i will be grandful to you…..

  4. says

    Dear tutor Phil
    Here is my essay which I have tried to make according to your guidelines. Please edit and polish it. Thanks a lot for your help.

    As a big gap is there between the urban and rural areas, some people opine that teachers and doctors who are fresh out of college should work in villages for a few years. However, others believe that the choice of where to work should be left on the teachers and doctors. In this essay I shall discuss the merits and demerits of both approaches and finally give my opinion.

    There are many advantages of having teachers and doctors work in rural areas. Firstly, the people in the villages will have access to medical care and education which they are deprived of normally. Secondly, it would be good for the teachers and doctors who are fresh from university to translate their theoretical knowledge into practice. In urban areas there already so many experienced teachers and doctors. Therefore, people would naturally not opt for fresh ones. In a rural setting, they would gain a lot of confidence very early on in their career. Finally, a few of these doctors and teachers may choose to live permanently in those villages to serve humanity.

    On the other hand, this compulsory policy may have some negative effects. To begin with, we belong to a democratic country and everyone has a right to work where one pleases. Such enforcement may result in working passively and there will be no motivation. So the rural residents may not get appropriate treatment and service. Secondly, fewer and fewer students would choose such majors and careers and so in the long run there would be shortage of such professionals.

    In my opinion, it would be better to have such a rule. It would be a win-win situation for both, rural people and the professionals. It would also help to bridge the gap between the cities and the countryside. The government can, however, make fresh teachers and doctors want to work in the rural areas by offering higher salaries and other incentives.

    To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, sending doctors and teachers to rural areas would be an ideal situation but the government should offer some financial and non-financial schemes.

  5. Remula says

    Hi, Tutor Phil. Here’s my essay. Analyze it, please

    Have automobiles improved modern life?

    The invention of the first automobile has changed our lives tremendously, but people have controversial opinions regarding its effect on human life. Some think it has brought a lot of conveniences, whereas others consider it a reason of various problems. In my opinion, people should overcome its disadvantages taking into account its advantages like the reduction of travel time and distance.
    First, the use of automobiles allows people to cut the time spent on way. Today time is the most important and expensive factor to all human beings. As it is said “time is money”. With help of automobiles we can save our precious time, and spend it on more important and pleasant things. For example, my friend wasted 4 hours to overcome the distance from one city to another by train every day, because she lives and works in different cities. After buying a car, it takes her only half and an hour per day.
    Second, automobiles are very effective for the transportation of goods from one country to another. They allow people to overcome long distances at low costs. Therefore, many cargo transportation companies prefer to use various kinds of lorries and trucks than planes and trains; and the share of automobiles in cargo transportation exceeds all other transports.
    However, the coin has two sides, and it is referred to the usage of automobiles. It is undeniable that increasing number of cars causes traffic accidents, air and noise pollution, traffic congestion etc., which in its turn negatively influences the environment and human health.
    Nevertheless, in my opinion we should not and cannot relinquish automobiles. They have turned into an integral part of our lives. We should only work on the elimination of the abovementioned troubles by widening highways, fortifying traffic rules, applying facilities restricting emission of noise and gas. Society cannot develop if refuses innovations; they improve our mode of life.

  6. Sanjay says

    Hi Phil !
    Pl. suggest some unique points to start a debate essay on “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

  7. Zhaij Jia says

    hello, Tutor Phil. I got your blog by Google.
    My name is Zhai Jia, and I come from Chian. Now, I am preparing for the TOEFL. I need someone like you, a native speaker, to help me improve my English. I also wish we can be good friends and chat someting else.
    There is my TOEFL Independent Writing below, please correct it.
    Thank you for your help.
    Here are the TOEFL iBT Independent Writing Scoring Rubric
    An essay at this level largely accomplishes all of the following:
    *Effectively addresses the topic and task
    *Is well organized and well developed, using clearly appropriate explanations, exemplifications, and/or details
    *Displays unity, progression, and coherence
    *Displays consistent facility in the use of language, demonstrating syntactic variety, appropriate word choice, and idiomaticity, though it may have minor lexical or grammatical errors

    An essay at this level largely accomplishes all of the following:
    *Addresses the topic and task well, though some points may not be fully elaborated
    *Is generally well organized and well developed, using appropriate and sufficient explanations, exemplifications, and/or details
    *Displays unity, progression, and coherence, though it may contain occasional redundancy, digression, or unclear connections
    *Displays facility in the use of language, demonstrating syntactic variety and range of vocabulary, though it will probably have occasional noticeable minor errors in structure, word form, or use of idiomatic language that do not interfere with meaning

    An essay at this level is marked by one or more of the following:
    *Addresses the topic and task using somewhat developed explanations, exemplifications, and/or details
    *Displays unity, progression, and coherence, though connection of ideas may be occasionally obscured
    *May demonstrate inconsistent facility in sentence formation and word choice that may result in lack of clarity and occasionally obscure meaning
    *May display accurate but limited range of syntactic structures and vocabulary
    here is my essay, please correct it:
    Topic:124 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is more important for students to study history and literature than it is for them to study science and mathematics. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
    Every subject is important as it benefits us in different aspects. In view of usefulness of these subjects in our modern life, I have to say: science and mathematics are more important.

    First and foremost, science and mathematics are essential for most subjects. No matter which subject you want to learn, economics, finance or mechanics, you must have sufficient science and mathematics knowledge to understand it. Anyone who lacks such knowledge will have difficult in grasping computers, internet, stock, insurance, etc. So the knowledge of science and mathematics is an essential ingredient to understand modern technology and social.

    Besides, science and mathematics are indispensable in our daily life and professions. They tell us how to bypass electric shock when we are repairing our electric lights. And they also assist us to optimize our income and expense reasonably. Such subjects also play an important role in our jobs. Someone need to operate machinery, and someone is responsible for market or finance analysis. Someone may argue that he is a photographer or journalist, but he ineglects the face that he have to utilize cameras and computers. No one can deny that science and mathematics give us a competitive edge. Anyone blind to this may pay a heavy price.

    last but not least, science and mathematics are of great importance to our logic training. They train us how to analyse numerous variants, and they indicate us how to cope with conflicting factors. With these trainings, we can cultivate our discrimination and stimulate our development of intelligence. Of course, history and literature had provided us considerable precedents which can be taken in to consideration when we face labyrinths. But that does not mean we can solve the labyrinths wisely only by precedents. Analysis and discrimination are supposed to be more important in handling dilemmas.

    In conclusion, I would like to say that I personally agree with the statement that It is more important for students to study science and mathematics than it is for them to study history and literature. Science and mathematics should be the two most necessary and impotent subjects in our modern life.

    • TutorPhil says

      Hello, Zhai Jia!
      Hey – you’ve done a pretty good job here. You state your main point in the thesis statement. Your essay has three distinct sections. And your evidence is logical. So, that’s very nice.
      Here’s where we could improve:

      1. Your thesis statement:
      Every subject is important as it benefits us in different aspects. In view of usefulness of these subjects in our modern life, I have to say: science and mathematics are more important.

      Make sure your thesis statement goes straight to the point. And it should also outline the entire body of the evidence. Watch:

      It is more important for students to study mathematics and science than literature and history for three reasons. First, science and mathematics are very helpful in understanding other subjects. Second, these disciplines can be very useful in daily life. And finally, they help to develop logical skills.

      This is a bit longer, but cleaner and without all the fluff.

      2. A little tip on how to improve some of your sentences: Get rid of the word ‘you’ :

      No matter which subject you want to learn, economics, finance or mechanics, you must have sufficient science and mathematics knowledge to understand it.

      Sufficient science and mathematics knowledge is required to understand economics, finance, or mechanics.

      This is shorter and cleaner. As a result, your reader is impressed and your score goes up.

      Other than those things, your essay is pretty clean. It should get you a full Score of 5, if not for one concern, and this could be a big one.
      You see, this is really a comparison essay – you compare sciences with the humanities. This tells me that your essay should address both – each paragraph should compare math and science with lit and history. Now, if you’re constrained by the word count (if your essay cannot be longer than 300 words, then you probably won’t have the space to discuss literature and history with regards to how useful or not they are).
      So, if you’re sure that you should only discuss one part but not the other, then you’ve done a very good job. Don’t get me wrong – there is always room for improvement. But your English is pretty good. Keep it up! And stop by again,

      Tutor Phil

      • Zhaij Jia says

        Thanks for your advice, Tutor.
        This is my first TOEFL essay.
        Absolutely, I should address both sides. It makes the essay more reasonable.
        The word count of TOEFL eassay shoud be a little more than 300 words but less than 400 words. In fact, I am not sure about this.
        We can discuss everything you want. I should introduce myself more, cause it’s the good first step to start chat/discussion. It’s time to sleep in China. I will do it the next time.
        I will review the essay, and I will stop by again and again.
        Thank you again.

        • TutorPhil says

          You’re welcome, Zhai Jia.

          And look into that word count requirement – it’s good to know how many words they want in a TOEFL essay.

          Good to have you here,

          Tutor Phil

  8. Sanjay says

    Thanks Phil!
    Your ideas are great. I salute them. Now can you provide some Dos and Don’ts for attempting Debate essays.
    Should students mention clearly FOR or AGAINST when they write a debate topic?
    What does ‘walking the talk’ and ‘walking the walk’ means?
    “When the chips are down.” What does it mean?

    • TutorPhil says

      Debate essays are argumentative essays. The idea is the same.
      In a debate essay, more possible counterarguments will be given.
      This means that when writing a debate essay, you anticipate your opponent’s arguments and answer them in the essay.
      This makes your argument so much more powerful. If you’ve done it enough, your opponent may run out of arguments completely before he can even begin answering your position.

      And, of course, the student must state his exact position in the thesis. That’s a given.

  9. Saran says

    Hi Tutor Phil,

    I’m glad I discovered your helpful website. Could you please help me edit my paper about WWI. My assignment is to advise the president of United States if he should join WWI or not. Suppose I am the senior advisor of the president back in 1917. FYI I’m currently in grade 10.

    Here we go:

    I advise the president not to enter World War I. World War I is a battle between countries in Europe. There is no reason for United States to be involved in a war that does not benefit us. United States should not join the war for these three reasons. It will cause conflicts within the country, trigger financial issues and cause issues between countries.
    Citizens will start to fight for neutralization once United States declares war with the Triple Entente. United States is a new country and there are a lot of immigrants who just arrived in America. This means that immigrants still have some feeling of engagement for their home country. The people that emigrated from the countries in the Triple Entente will protest for America to be neutral. Eventually, this will lead to a break up in the country and economic depressions.
    America will suffer economic depressions if it enters the war. War is a burden for countries. A lot of tax money will be spent on war supplies, soldiers, food, and medical car. Since America is not a strong country economically, it will be undergoing a high risk. Manufacturing industries will be losing laborers. There is a high probability that America will lose because Germany has the eight million men army. America currently has about one hundred thousand men in the army. If it loses, its economy will go down and it will be hard to regain the economic conditions Americans currently have. In addition, the United States will lose all the money they loaned to the Allies and the Germans which is 2.52 billion dollars.
    Not only the United States will lose money but, it will lose its international relations between the countries in Europe. Embargos from the Triple Entente will definitely start. It is better for America to stay neutral as it is. Countries that are with the Triple Entente will certainly not trade with America. It wouldn’t be counted as a neutral country anymore which creates more enemies.
    Being neutral is the best way for America since it is a new country and it has a moderate economy. By maintaining its neutralization America will improve its economy significantly from interests they receive from loans. There would also be no conflicts in the country as immigrants are satisfied with the United States’ decision of not entering the war. International relationships will improve since United States is a neutral country and anyone can rely on it.

    Thank you very much Tutor Phil.

    • TutorPhil says

      Very well done, Saran!

      Sorry about the late reply, but I’ve been swamped by comments and questions over email.

      But this is really well-written. I think you’ve almost mastered my method!

      It looks like you’ve been really reading the articles and applying what you learned.

      You state three clear and distinct reasons in the thesis statement, and you support each in its own section. Very well done.

      Now, here’s something you must see about this essay:

      It really has two parts the way you wrote it. The first part is about how America would suffer if it engaged in the war.

      The second part, which is in your concluding paragraph, is about how it will actually benefit America not to remain neutral!

      So, your conclusion really states completely new information that needs to be supported just like the first part.

      My advice would be to do one of three things:

      1. Get rid of the concluding paragraph altogether (this is what I would have said to the students in my own writing class).

      2. Change the conclusion so that it simply restates the main points using different words (this is what the majority of instructors would find acceptable).

      3. Consciously divide the paper into two main sections.
      You already have the first section – about how America would LOSE by getting involved.
      Now, you could write two more paragraphs to expand on how America would GAIN by staying neutral.

      Why two paragraphs? Because, if you read your conclusion, you’ll see that America will benefit in two ways: it will improve its economy AND international relationships.
      Note that the part about “no internal conflicts” is not an improvement, but simply things remaining the same.

      Yes – you have to be that meticulous when you write. Remember, people will always judge you based on your communication, whether in writing or in speech.
      When writing, you have an advantage of giving it an extra thought before submitting. Use it.

      Overall, nice work. Only an intelligent person could write like this!

      Tutor Phil

  10. Sherellee Nilsson says

    Hi Tutor Phil, This is my first time with you and my first time studying uni all a bit threatening right now Im studying Law so Im going to look at your things and then hope fully I can get some ideas and pass thios course im glad I found you here thanks i got no idea what im doing regards Sherellee

    • TutorPhil says


      Hey Sherellee,

      Good to have you here. Feel free to ask questions, okay?

      And good luck with uni – I’m sure you’ll love it!


  11. qhuong says

    Hi tutor phil, I’m preparing for TOEFL and writing is a part that I haven’t master it yet. I try to write everyday. Here is my essay. Please check it for me.

    Topic: It has recently been announced that a new restaurant may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan.

    Some people think that building a new restaurant can generate loud noises which interfere with the life of residents . Others think that the more restaurants are built, the more options are made when eating out. In my opinion, I support the second group because its advantages overweigh its disadvantages. There are two reasons why I hold this opinion.

    The first reason strengthen my opinion is that if a new restaurant is contructed, people can have more choices when they want to eat out. In this competitive world, adults are always inundated with making end meat, while children are busy with their homework. Therefore, a warm dinner with family members is valuable. Because of their limited time, a nearby restaurant is the best choice for everyone. In addition, there are diverse ranges of food in the restaurant which can meet everyone’s requires. People can enjoy many cuisines from various countries just next to their house rather than taking some time going to city center. Also, it is a good place for improving family sentiment as well as helping relieve stress after working.

    Another reason makes me support this opinion is that builing a new restaurant can improve our life quality. People tend to go to the restaurant for eating other than enjoy street food which we are not sure for the food hygiene as well as nutrition facts. Moreover, it is a sign for a thriving residential area. I would rather living in a crowded place in which there are schools, markets nearby than desolate areas. Preceding the plan of building restaurant are tons of other promise plans such as trade centers, skyscapers which help enhance intellectual standard and decrease crime rate as well. I’m not afraid going home late because of well- lighted buildings.

    In conclusion, building a new restaurant in my neighborhood is not a bad idea. It creates chance for people to lead a more convient life.

  12. David says

    I have an Research Essay due soon and I have never in my life done one. All I know is that I have to write one on the title of Network System Administration with some citation of the 6th edition along with APA format. I have 3 days to have this done and turned in. I sure can use you help.

    • TutorPhil says


      Sorry about the belated response – I have been swamped with work lately.

      If you need help with writing papers, here are the best ways I can help you:

      1. Free videos and articles on this website – a lot of effective techniques here.
      2. My FREE report – you can grab it by entering your name and email on the right and hitting the button. You will download the report right away and learn a powerful writing technique.
      3. My FREE newsletter – yet get it when you grab your free report.
      4. My ebook Stop Essay Pain – find the link on the home page or the Product Catalog page.
      5. My video program Advanced Essay Writing Techniques – find it on the Product Catalog page.

      This is a lot of stuff to absorb – and very effective.

      Best of luck.


    • TutorPhil says

      Yes, you can, but I can’t guarantee I’ll get to it. Just swamped with work right now.
      Hope you understand,


  13. Hareya says

    Hi tutor Phil.
    I’m struggling with something. I have to write an essay with the title Game theory and Ethics based on an article about the development of Game theory in years. The article is full of dates and important events that revolutionized this area of study. The problem is that I don’t know how to start, how can I ask a question or come to a conclusion when all I have is a bunch of dates and theories already proven. If you have time to give me a few tips, I could send you the link of the article, not to read it but just to have an idea of what I’m talking about. I’ve never written an essay before and I have no idea where to start.

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