Family Tradition Toefl Essay Prompts

“What will my topic be?”

“Will I have enough time to finish my essay?”

“How badly will my hand (and brain) hurt at the end of the test?”

When you sit down to write the TOEFL Integrated essay, there will probably be many questions going through your mind.

While the other test-takers around you might be bothered by those questions, you will take a deep breath, relax and write with confidence.

Why? Because you will have read this post, your guide to Integrated Writing success!

The first thing to understand is that on the TOEFL, the Integrated Writing section is different from the Independent Writing section. These two essays test different skills. They allow you to show your English knowledge in different ways.

The Integrated essay tests your ability to understand how a reading passage and listening lecture are connected.

The TOEFL Integrated Essay: What Is It?

The Integrated essay asks you to first read a short passage, and then listen to a selection on the same topic.

You will be able to refer to the reading passage (and your notes from the listening lecture) throughout the test. Plan on an academic topic in one of the following areas: Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Physical Science or Humanities.

You will then have 20 minutes to write an essay that combines both the reading passage and the listening lecture. Sound difficult? Never fear! Just follow the steps below to Integrated Writing success.

But first, let’s look at how you can prepare for the Integrated essay.

Before the Test: Prepare!

Great news: You can definitely prepare for this part of the TOEFL.

Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Set a goal of doing one or two practice essays each week. You will notice your essays improve. You can test your skills with Integrated practice test questions online, or even make your own practice test by using passages from books and free lectures online.
  • Practice your listening skills daily. You can do this by listening to podcasts, and the best English podcast to start with is EnglishClass101 by Innovative Language. It is designed for English students at all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and it can help you improve your listening in an easy, friendly way.
  • Read current events about major topics in Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Physical Science and Humanities. There are sites on these subjects that are made for English language learners, like Discovery Earth. Sites like this are great resources for learning about common TOEFL topics. Of course, you can never guess exactly what topic you will get on the day of the TOEFL, but at least you will get plenty of reading practice!
  • Take a full, scored practice exam. Don’t just take a practice exam at home, alone. Take a full practice exam that gives you a real score and feedback from TOEFL-certified educators instead. BestMyTestis the best place to find all of this. Not only can you take practice TOEFL exams and get scores here, but the feedback will tell you exactly how you can improve your essay writing overall.
  • Find a TOEFL tutor. If you would prefer to meet with a tutor online in your free time, then start looking for TOEFL tutors on Verbling. If you would prefer to meet your TOEFL tutor in person, then look on Wyzant—there are even tutors on Wyzant who have a specialization in teaching English writing, so look for these tutors if you need essay help more than anything else.

Finally, after all your preparation…it’s test day!

Writing the TOEFL Integrated Essay Without Fear: A 7-step Plan

1. Find the Topic

Start by finding the shared topic of the reading and listening passages. The topic is the general idea that is found throughout the passages, and will be just a few words. To find it, look (or listen) for repeated words and ideas throughout the passages.

Let’s Practice!

What do you think the topic of this passage is?

Lemon, strawberry, chocolate…no matter what the flavor, birthday cake has been a tradition for thousands of years. Often decorated with flowers or candles, birthday cake is an important part of any birthday celebration.

Answer? Birthday cake. These repeated words are the most general idea throughout the paragraph!

2. Find the Claim

Ask yourself, “What is the author or speaker saying about the topic?” The answer to this question is your claim. Often, you will hear the claim after a brief introduction to the topic.

Let’s Practice!

Can you find the claim in this example? Remember, it’s the author’s main point about the topic (birthday cake).

Often decorated with flowers or candles, birthday cake is an important part of a birthday celebration for a few reasons. First, it helps the birthday person feel special. It also provides a fun activity for the party and a way for each guest to be included in the celebration.

Answer? It’s in the first sentence: “Birthday cake is an important part of a birthday celebration.” That’s the author’s main point: their claim that they are proving. If you need some extra practice identifying topics and details, check out this free interactive lesson.

3. Find the Reasons

Next, listen or read for reasons that explain or prove the claim in both the reading and listening passages. These may be examples, facts or other details. If you are starting to feel lost, don’t panic! Listen for addition transitions like “next,” “also” and “furthermore.” These transitions give you a clue that important details are coming!

Let’s Practice!

Let’s look at our example again. This time, let’s find the reasons that the author believes birthday cake is so important. Don’t forget, those transition words give you clues to find the reasons!

Often decorated with flowers or candles, birthday cake is an important part of a birthday celebration for a few reasons. First, it helps the birthday person feel special. It also provides a fun activity for the party and a way for each guest to be included in the celebration.

Answer? There are three reasons:

  1. Birthday cake makes the birthday person feel special.
  2. It provides a fun activity for the party.
  3. It provides a way for each guest to be included.

Tip: Some students find it helpful to note the topic, claim and reasons (using their own numbering system or symbols) as they are reading or listening. This way, they are able to easily organize their essay later. But don’t try to write down every word you hear! Just note the topic, claim and reasons as best as you can. You will want to write your essay in your own words, anyway.

4. Find the Connection Between the Reading and Listening

The goal of the TOEFL Integrated essay is to consider how the reading and listening passages connect to each other. Take a look at the claims that you identified in the reading and listening passages. Do they agree or disagree?

Let’s Practice!

Take a look at these two claims. Do you think they agree or disagree?

Claim #1: Birthday cake is a positive tradition because it helps people celebrate with family and friends.

Claim #2: Birthday cake is a negative tradition because people should be able to celebrate their birthdays with whatever dessert they like, not just birthday cakes.

Answer? These two claims disagree.

5. Organize Your Essay!

There are two options to organize your essay: block style or point by point.

Block Style 

For a block style essay, you start with an introduction that explains the connection between the reading and listening lecture.

Then, you combine all of the points from the reading in one paragraph, and combine all of the points from the listening in another paragraph.

This is an especially good option if you had a hard time understanding some of the details in the reading or listening passages (or both).

Let’s Practice!

How could you organize these ideas in a block style?

Reading Claim: Birthday cake is a positive tradition because it helps people celebrate with family and friends.

Listening Claim: Birthday cake is a negative tradition because people should be able to celebrate their birthdays with whatever dessert they like, not just birthday cakes.

Answer? For block style, just make two paragraphs! Put all of the ideas from the reading in the first paragraph, and all of the ideas from the listening in the second one. In this case, the first paragraph would talk about birthday cake being a positive tradition, and the second would talk about it being negative.

Point by Point

This type of organization starts out similar to block style, with an introduction explaining the relationship between the claims.

But instead of separating the reading and listening in blocks, each paragraph is organized around a single point. The reading and listening are connected through the detail that they share. This type of organization shows a deeper understanding of the reading and listening lecture.

Let’s Practice!

How could you organize these ideas in a point by point style?

Reading’s Claim: Birthday cake is a positive tradition because it helps people celebrate with family and friends.

Listening’s Claim: Birthday cake is a negative tradition because people should be able to celebrate their birthdays with whatever dessert they like, not just birthday cakes.

Answer? For a point by point essay, you would have a paragraph focused on “Celebrations.” Here, you would explain the detail in both the reading passage (people should celebrate by having birthday cake with family and friends) and the listening passage (people should celebrate in whatever way they choose).

6. Use Transition Words

Okay, so you have identified the topic, claim and details. You have decided which type of organization to use. Now, how do you write the essay?

First, use your transition words. A transition shows the reader how your sentences are related to each other. These words are often at the beginnings of sentences.

If the reading and listening passages have opposite viewpoints, you will want to show that you understand that by using contrast transitions like “however,” “but” and “although.”

If the viewpoints are similar, use comparison transitions—like “similarly,” “also” and “equally.” You can also use number transitions at the beginnings of paragraphs. For example: “first,” “next” or “lastly.”

7. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing (or restating the ideas in your own words) is key for high scores!

Check out the official TOEFL Writing Rubrics to see how important paraphrasing is. Try to avoid using the exact same words, phrasing or idioms as the reading or listening passage.

Here are some things you can do to make it easier to paraphrase while writing your essay:

  • Learn lots of synonyms (words that have the same meaning).
  • Build your English vocabulary.
  • Learn lots of sentence structures and verb forms.

Remember, you will get a chance to share your own opinion in the TOEFL Independent essay. For the Integrated essay, you want to stick to the points that you have heard or read. Don’t add any of your own opinions, even in the conclusion paragraph.

This essay is all about understanding the connection between the reading and the listening passages, and restating it in your own words as much as you can.

So when it’s time to take out your pencil and start the TOEFL Integrated essay, write with confidence.

You’ve got this!

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TOEFL Writing Topics


1. People attend school for many different reasons (for example, expanded knowledge, societal awareness, and enhanced interpersonal relationships). Why do you think people decide to go to school? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Coaches are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

3. Nowadays, with the invention of the microwave and with the popularity of fast food restaurants, food has become easier to prepare than ever. Do you think microwave ovens and fast food restaurants are beneficial to society? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

4. It has been said, "Not all learning takes place in the classroom." Compare and contrast knowledge gained from personal experience with knowledge gained from classroom instruction. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?

5. Your government has announced that it wishes to build a military base near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the military base?

6. If you could change one important thing about your country, what would you change? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

7. How does advertising influence people's behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

8. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The invention of the Internet has had negative effects on your civilization. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

9. Some students prefer to attend a small university. Others prefer to attend a big university. Discuss the advantages of each. Then indicate which type of university you prefer? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

10."When people succeed in life, it is because of hard work. Being lucky has nothing to do with success in life." Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position. 

11. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should give the same amount of money to their students' sports activities as they give to their university libraries. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

12. Many people visit museums when they travel to new places. Why do you think people visit museums? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

13. Some people prefer to eat at food stands or restaurants. Other people prefer to prepare and eat food at home. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

14. Some people believe that university students should be required to attend classes. Others believe that going to classes should be optional for students. Which point of view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.

15. Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbor? Use specific details and examples in your answer.

16. It has recently been announced that a new restaurant may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

17. Some people think that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to have a teacher. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to develop your essay.

18. What are some important qualities of a good supervisor (boss)? Use specific details and examples to explain why these qualities are important.

19. Should governments spend more money on improving roads and highways, or should governments spend more money on improving public transportation (buses, trains, subways)? Why? Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

20. Some people prefer  to cook at home. Other people prefer to eat out. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

21. It is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a big city. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay.

22. In general, people are living longer now. Discuss the causes of this phenomenon. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

23. We all work or will work in our jobs with many different kinds of people. In your opinion, what are some important characteristics of a co-worker (someone you work closely with)? Use reasons and specific examples to explain why these characteristics are important.

24. In some countries, teenagers have jobs while they are still students. Do you think this is a good idea? Support your opinion by using specific reasons and details.

25. A person you know is planning to move to your town or city. What do you think this person would like and dislike about living in your town or city? Why? Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

26. It has recently been announced that a large shopping center may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

27. It has recently been announced that a new movie theater may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

28. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People should sometimes do things that they do not enjoy doing. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

29. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people such as public figures and celebrities. Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.

30. Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed (damaged) by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

31. It has recently been announced that a new high school may be built in your community. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details in your answer.

32. Some people spend their entire lives in one place. Others move a number of times throughout their lives, looking for a better job, house, community, or even climate. Which do you prefer: staying in one place or moving in search of another place? Use reasons and specific examples to support your opinion.

33. Is it better to enjoy your money when you earn it or is it better to save your money for some time in the future? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

34. You have received a gift of money. The money is enough to buy either a piece of jewelry you like or tickets to a concert you want to attend. Which would you buy? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

35. Businesses should hire employees for their entire lives. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

36. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Attending a live performance (for example, a play, concert, or sporting event) is more enjoyable than watching the same event on television. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

37. Choose one of the following transportation vehicles and explain why you think it has changed people's lives.

• automobiles

• bicycles

• airplanes

38. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Do you agree or disagree that progress is always good? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

39. Learning about the past has no value for those of us living in the present. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

40. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the help of technology, students nowadays can learn more information and learn it more quickly. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

41. The expression "Never, never give up" means to keep trying and never stop working for your goals. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

42. Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

43. What is a very important skill a person should learn in order to be successful in the world today? Choose one skill and use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

44. Why do you think some people are attracted to dangerous sports or other dangerous activities? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

45. Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

46. Some people prefer to get up early in the morning and start the day's work. Others prefer to get up later in the day and work until late at night. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

47. What are the important qualities of a good son or daughter? Have these qualities changed or remained the same over time in your culture? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

48. Some people prefer to work for a large company. Others prefer to work for a small company. Which would you prefer? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

49. People work because they need money to live. What are some other reasons that people work? Discuss one or more of these reasons. Use specific examples and details to support your answer.

50. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication, such as letters, E-mail, or telephone calls. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

51. Some people like to do only what they already do well. Other people prefer to try new things and take risks. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

52. Some people believe that success in life comes from taking risks or chances. Others believe that success results from careful planning. In your opinion, what does success come from? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

53. What change would make your hometown more appealing to people your age? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

54. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The most important aspect of a job is the money a person earns. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

55. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? One should never judge a person by external appearances. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

56. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A person should never make an important decision alone. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

57. A company is going to give some money either to support the arts or to protect the environment. Which do you think the company should choose? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

58. Some movies are serious, designed to make the audience think. Other movies are designed primarily to amuse and entertain. Which type of movie do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

59. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Businesses should do anything they can to make a profit. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

60. Some people are always in a hurry to go places and get things done. Other people prefer to take their time and live life at a slower pace. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

61. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Games are as important for adults as they are for children. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

62. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents or other adult relatives should make important decisions for their older (15 to 18year-old) teenage children. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

63. What do you want most in a friend someone who is intelligent, or someone who has a sense of humor, or someone who is reliable? Which one of these characteristics is most important to you? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your choice.

64. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Most experiences in our lives that seemed difficult at the time become valuable lessons for the future. Use reasons and specific examples to support our answer. Some people prefer to work for themselves or own a business.

65. Others prefer to work for an employer. Would you rather be self-employed, work for someone else, or own a business? Use specific reasons to explain your choice.

66. Should a city try to preserve its old, historic buildings or destroy them and replace them with modern buildings? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

67. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Classmates are a more important influence than parents on a child's success in school. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

68. If you were an employer, which kind of worker would you prefer to hire: an inexperienced worker at a lower salary or an experienced worker at a higher salary? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

69. Many teachers assign homework to students every day. Do you think that daily homework is necessary for students? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

70. If you could study a subject that you have never had the opportunity to study, what would you choose? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.

71. Some people think that the automobile has improved modern life. Others think that the automobile has caused serious problems. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

72. Which would you choose: a high-paying job with long hours that would give you little time with family and friends or a lower-paying job with shorter hours that would give you more time with family and friends? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.

73. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Grades (marks) encourage students to learn. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

74. Some people say that computers have made life easier and more convenient. Other people say that computers have made life more complex and stressful. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

75. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The best way to travel is in a group led by a tour guide. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

76. Some universities require students to take classes in many subjects. Other universities require students to specialize in one subject. Which is better? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

77. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should begin learning a foreign language as soon as they start school. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

78. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Boys and girls should attend separate schools. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

79. Is it more important to be able to work with a group of people on a team or to work independently? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

80. Your city has decided to build a statue or monument to honor a famous person in your country. Who would you choose? Use reasons and specific examples to support your choice.

81. Describe a custom from your country that you would like people from other countries to adopt. Explain your choice, using specific reasons and examples.

82. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Technology has made the world a better place to live. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

83. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Advertising can tell you a lot about a country. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

84. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Modern technology is creating a single world culture. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

85. Some people say that the Internet provides people with a lot of valuable information. Others think access to so much information creates problems. Which view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

86. A foreign visitor has only one day to spend in your country. Where should this visitor go on that day? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

87. If you could go back to some time and place in the past, when and where would you go? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

88. What discovery in the last 100 years has been most beneficial for people in your country? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

89. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Telephones and E-mail have made communication between people less personal. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

90. If you could travel back in time to meet a famous person from history, what person would you like to meet? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

91. If you could meet a famous entertainer or athlete, who would that be, and why? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

92. If you could ask a famous person one question, what would you ask? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

93. Some people prefer to live in places that have the same weather or climate all year long. Others like to live in areas where the weather changes several times a year. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

94. Many students have to live with roommates while going to school or university. What are some of the important qualities of a good roommate? Use specific reasons and examples to explain why these qualities are important.

95. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Dancing plays an important role in a culture. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

96. Some people think governments should spend as much money as possible exploring outer space (for example, traveling to the Moon and to other planets). Other people disagree and think governments should spend this money for our basic needs on Earth. Which of these two opinions do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

97. People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties of modern life. Some read; some exercise; others work in their gardens. What do you think are the best ways of reducing stress? Use specific details and examples in your answer.

98. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Teachers should be paid according to how much their students learn. Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

99. If you were asked to send one thing representing your country to an international exhibition, what would you choose? Why? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

100. You have been told that dormitory rooms at your university must be shared by two students. Would you rather have the university assign a student to share a room with you, or would you rather choose your own roommate? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.

101. Some people think that governments should spend as much money as possible on developing or buying computer technology. Other people disagree and think that this money should be spent on more basic needs. Which one of these opinions do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

102. Some people like doing work by hand. Others prefer using machines. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

103. Schools should ask students to evaluate their teachers. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

104. In your opinion, what is the most important characteristic (for example, honesty, intelligence, a sense of humor) that a person can have to be successful in life? Use specific reasons and examples from your

experience to explain your answer. When you write your answer, you are not limited to the examples listed in the question.

105. It is generally agreed that society benefits from the work of its members. Compare the contributions of artists to society with the contributions of scientists to society. Which type of contribution do you think is valued more by your society? Give specific reasons to support your answer.

106. Students at universities often have a choice of places to live. They may choose to live in university dormitories, or they may choose to live in apartments in the community. Compare the advantages of living in university housing with the advantages of living in an apartment in the community. Where would you prefer to live? Give reasons for your preference.

107. You need to travel from your home to a place 40 miles (64 kilometers) away. Compare the different kinds of transportation you could use. Tell which method of travel you would choose. Give  specific reasons for your choice.

108. Some people believe that a college or university education should be available to all students. Others believe that higher education should be available only to good students. Discuss these views. Which view do you agree with? Explain why.

109. Some people believe that the best way of learning about life is by listening to the advice of family and friends. Other people believe that the best way of learning about life is through personal experience. Compare the advantages of these two different ways of learning about life. Which do you think is preferable? Use specific examples to support your preference.

110. When people move to another country, some of them decide to follow the customs of the new country. Others prefer to keep their own customs. Compare these two choices. Which one do you prefer? Support your answer with specific details.

111. Some people prefer to spend most of their time alone. Others like to be with friends most of the time. Do you prefer to spend your time alone or with friends? Use specific reasons to support your answer.

112. Some people prefer to spend time with one or two close friends. Others choose to spend time with a large number of friends. Compare the advantages of each choice. Which of these two ways of spending time do you prefer? Use specific reasons to support your answer.

113. Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age and should spend most of their time on school studies. Others believe that young children should spend most of their time playing. Compare these two views. Which view do you agree with? Why?

114. The government has announced that it plans to build a new university. Some people think that your community would be a good place to locate the university. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a new university in your community. Use specific details in your discussion.

115. Some people think that the family is the most important influence on young adults. Other people think that friends are the most important influence on young adults. Which view do you agree with? Use examples to support your position.

116. Some people prefer to plan activities for their free time very carefully. Others choose not to make any plans at all for their free time. Compare the benefits of planning free-time activities with the benefits of not making plans. Which do you prefer — planning or not planning for your leisure time? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your choice.

117. People learn in different ways. Some people learn by doing things; other people learn by reading about things; others learn by listening to people talk about things. Which of these methods of learning is best for you? Use specific examples to support your choice.

118. Some people choose friends who are different from themselves. Others choose friends who are similar to themselves. Compare the advantages of having friends who are different from you with the advantages of having friends who are similar to you. Which kind of friend do you prefer for yourself? Why?

119. Some people enjoy change, and they look forward to new experiences. Others like their lives to stay the same, and they do not change their usual habits. Compare these two approaches to life. Which approach do you prefer? Explain why.

120. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People behave differently when they wear different clothes. Do you agree that different clothes influence the way people behave? Use specific examples to support your answer.

121. Decisions can be made quickly, or they can be made after careful thought. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The decisions that people make quickly are always wrong. Use reasons and specific examples to support your opinion.

122. Some people trust their first impressions about a person's character because they believe these judgments are generally correct. Other people do not judge a person's character quickly because they believe first impressions are often wrong. Compare these two attitudes. Which attitude do you agree with? Support your choice with specific examples.

123. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People are never satisfied with what they have; they always want something more or something different. Use specific reasons to support your answer.

124. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People should read only those books that are about real events, real people, and established facts. Use specific reasons and details to support your opinion.

125. 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.

126. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? All students should be required to study art and music in secondary school. Use specific reasons to support your answer.

127. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? There is nothing that young people can teach older people. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

128. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Reading fiction (such as novels and short stories) is more enjoyable than watching movies. Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

129. Some people say that physical exercise should be a required part of every school day. Other people believe that students should spend the whole school day on academic studies. Which opinion do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

130. A university plans to develop a new research center in your country. Some people want a center for business research. Other people want a center for research in agriculture (farming). Which of these two kinds of research centers do you recommend for your country? Use specific reasons in your recommendation.

131. Some young children spend a great amount of their time practicing sports. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

132. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Only people who earn a lot of money are successful. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

133. If you could invent something new, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed.

134. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A person's childhood years (the time from birth to twelve years of age) are the most important years of a person's life. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

135. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should be required to help with household tasks as soon as they are able to do so. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

136. Some high schools require all students to wear school uniforms. Other high schools permit students to decide what to wear to school. Which of these two school policies do you think is better? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

137. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Playing a game is fun only when you win. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

138. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? High schools should allow students to study the courses that students want to study. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

139. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is better to be a member of a group than to be the leader of a group. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

140. What do you consider to be the most important room in a house? Why is this room more important to you than any other room? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

141. Some items (such as clothes or furniture) can be made by hand or by machine. Which do you prefer — items made by hand or items made by machine? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your choice.

142. If you could make one important change in a school that you attended, what change would you make? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

143. A gift (such as a camera, a soccer ball, or an animal) can contribute to a child's development. What gift would you give to help a child develop? Why? Use reasons and specific examples to support your choice.

144. Some people believe that students should be given one long vacation each year. Others believe that students should have several short vacations throughout the year. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

145. Would you prefer to live in a traditional house or in a modern apartment building? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

146.Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

147. Some people prefer to spend their free time outdoors. Other people prefer to spend their leisure time indoors. Would you prefer to be outside or would you prefer to be inside for your leisure activities? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your choice.

148. Your school has received a gift of money. What do you think is the best way for your school to spend this money? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

149. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Playing games teaches us about life. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

150. Imagine that you have received some land to use as you wish. How would you use this land? Use specific details to explain your answer.

151. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Watching television is bad for children. Use specific details and examples to support your answer.

152. What is the most important animal in your country? Why is the animal important? Use reasons and specific details to explain your answer.

153. Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources, such as forests, animals, or clean water. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

154. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A zoo has no useful purpose. Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer. In some countries, people are no longer allowed to smoke in many public places and office buildings. Do you think this is a good rule or a bad rule? Use specific reasons and details to support your position.

155. Plants can provide food, shelter, clothing, or medicine. What is one kind of plant that is important to you or the people in your country? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

156. You have the opportunity to visit a foreign country for two weeks. Which country would you like to visit? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

157. In the future, students may have the choice of studying at home by using technology such as computers or television or of studying at traditional schools. Which would you prefer? Use reasons and specific details to explain your choice.

158. When famous people such as actors, athletes and rock stars give their opinions, many people listen. Do you think we should pay attention to these opinions? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

159. The twentieth century saw great change. In your opinion, what is one change that should be remembered about the twentieth century? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

160. When people need to complain about a product or poor service, some prefer to complain in writing and others prefer to complain in person. Which way do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

161. People remember special gifts or presents that they have received. Why? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Some famous athletes and entertainers earn millions of dollars every year. Do you think these people deserve such high salaries? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

162. Is the ability to read and write more important today than in the past? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

163. People do many different things to stay healthy. What do you do for good health? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

164. You have decided to give several hours of your time each month to improve the community where you live. What is one thing you will do to improve your community? Why? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

165. People recognize a difference between children and adults. What events (experiences or ceremonies) make a person an adult? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.

166. Your school has enough money to purchase either computers for students or books for the library. Which should your school choose to buy —computers or books? Use specific reasons and examples to support your recommendation.

167. Many students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.

168. People listen to music for different reasons and at different times. Why is music important to many people? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

169. Groups or organizations are an important part of some people's lives. Why are groups or organizations important to people? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.

170. Imagine that you are preparing for a trip. You plan to be away from your home for a year. In addition to clothing and personal care items, you can take one additional thing. What would you take and why? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

171. When students move to a new school, they sometimes face problems. How can schools help these students with their problems? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.

172. It is sometimes said that borrowing money from a friend can harm or damage the friendship. Do you agree? Why or why not? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.

173. Every generation of people is different in important ways. How is your generation different from your parents' generation? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.

174. Some students like classes where teachers lecture (do all of the talking) in class. Other students prefer classes where the students do some of the talking. Which type of class do you prefer? Give specific reasons and details to support your choice.

175. Holidays honor people or events. If you could create a new holiday, what person or event would it honor and how would you want people to celebrate it? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

176. A friend of yours has received some money and plans to use all of it either

• to go on vacation

• to buy a car

Your friend has asked you for advice. Compare your friend's two choices and explain which one you think your friend should choose. Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

177. The 21st century has begun. What changes do you think this new century will bring? Use examples and details in your answer. What are some of the qualities of a good parent? Use specific details and examples to explain your answer.

178. Movies are popular all over the world. Explain why movies are so popular. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. In your country, is there more need for land to be left in its natural condition or is there more need for land to be developed for housing and industry? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

179. Many people have a close relationship with their pets. These people treat their birds, cats, or other animals as members of their family. In your opinion, are such relationships good? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

180. Films can tell us a lot about the country where they were made. What have you learned about a country from watching its movies? Use specific examples and details to support your response.

181. Some students prefer to study alone. Others prefer to study with a group of students. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

182. You have enough money to purchase either a house or a business. Which would you choose to buy? Give specific reasons to explain your choice.

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