View Full Version : TOEFL TWE: OK to agree and disagree? Can we "sit on the fence"?

09-04-2002, 05:18 AM
Hi All,

I have some doubt about essay topic "agree or disagree"

We must choose one side of them (I mean that we must strongly agree or disagree in our conclusion) or we can pick up the good views from both sides.
If we pick up both sides, we do sit on the fence, don't we?
I have read some essays form Barron book. There are some cases like this.

09-04-2002, 04:03 PM

I think nobody really knows :), but somehow I believe that you can sit on the fence. TOEFL doesn't test your oppinion, it tests your grammar, etc. I think it doesn't really matter what point of view you support as long as you stay on the topic.

HTIT! Renata

09-04-2002, 11:24 PM
I think it's better to choose one side. Then you strongly supports that side with clearly ideas and correct grammar. I spend less time to show the reasons of one side than showing reasons of both sides because I need to explain and weigh reasons of both sides. Moreover, It seem I am writting under compare/contrust question if I select to sit on the fence.;)

Just my two cents:o
At noon

12-10-2002, 03:32 AM
I agree that we should clearly sit on one side to make our essay stronger and more concise. But, sometimes, we cannot make a decision, so I think it's still fine to list the whole idea of both sides.

And, in my opinion, I think the most important thing about writing essay is an "ORGANIZATION".

First, after reading the whole question carefully, try to list the advantages and disadvantages.

Second, should the side that you have the most lists or more interesting.
It doesn't matter to choose the same side as your opinion or opposite side!! because TOEFL doesn't care about you but your organization in essay.

Third, organizing your idea. Write down the thesis statement.

After all, write your essay in time.

P.S. I'm new in English, so my grammar is still poor. Please forgive me.

12-10-2002, 05:17 PM
We've talked about this several times before, and I always say that I prefer to talk about both sides of an issue, and choose one. I wouldn't call this "sitting on the fence," as that term implies a 50/50 stance, which wouldn't be acceptable. I usually recommend a 60/40 or 70/30 stance, depending on the topic of course.

01-09-2003, 09:19 PM
Hi there all....

I have a few doubts regarding the essays.....

1) Some topics have a point where in we have to take a position "If A is better or B is better" Can we, in such cases say that A is good bcoz of these reasons & also B is gud bcoz of these reasons... So we are giving the plus points of both the options... Is that correct or are we supposed to take one stance only ?

2) Can we use personal examples in our essays to support or oppose an opinion. Is that allowed ?

3) If I have strayed from the main topic over the course of the essay, i.e. I start with it but by the mid portion I stray slightly & then comebak to topic for the conclusion, then how could I be rated as in how many points wud I lose ???

These Are some of the questions that I have If u can guide me on these points ... wud hlp out (BTW I am givin my toefel on the 21'st of jan...)


01-14-2003, 12:50 AM
First, can you post one question per thread? It's much more helpful for others, PLUS it's easier for us to find questions that we can answer.

The first rule is this: You must follow directions. If it says choose one, then choose one. If it says discuss both and choose one, you must do that.

In general, though, you must always take a stance, and not "sit on the fence."

Personal examples are perfectly acceptable; do not stray from the topic. You will lose points.