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Toefl Ibt Essay: That Friends Have Greater Influence Than Family On Young Adults--with A Free Essay Review

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In my view, young adults are influenced the most by their friends. Although families have significant influence on their adolescent members, the effects that friends have on teenagers are much stronger. This will be proven by analyzing the facts that adolescents tend to spend a lot of time with their friends, be affected by peer pressure, and avoid their parents.

First of all, young adults prefer spending their time with their friends and hanging out with them. Take myself for instance. I am a teenager, and I usually have the feeling that staying at home with my parents is somehow boring. In fact, I like to go to school where I can meet a lot of my friends, and chat and play with them. Also, I love going to parties in which there are a lot of teenagers so that I can make new friends. Hanging out with friends is one of the most interesting things I can do while being a teenager. I believe that other young adults have the same interest. That is the reason why they hold a lot of parties, trips and even volunteering activities. Young adults want to be more sociable and outgoing. Because young adults spend a lot of time with their friends, they are strongly influenced by them.

Secondly, young adults are significantly affected by peer pressure. When a teenager joins a group, under peer pressure, he or she has to change in order to conform to the trends in that group. The most obvious place where peer pressure of teenagers can be seen is in school. In school there is a large group with subgroups inside. A member of a group must adjust his attitude and action to fit in the group, which can be a positive or negative adjustment. If a student is put in a group with other ambitious and hopeful members, he or she will try not to be excluded. The reason why an adolescent is affected significantly by peer pressure is that he or she does not have enough maturity to choose what is best for them. Instead, he or she feels it is right to do the same thing as other members do. For that reason, young adults are affected greatly by their friends.

Thirdly, young adults tend to avoid their parents. During one's childhood, it is obvious that one is influenced the most by the family. However, the influence of family becomes smaller as a person grows into a teenager. Apparently, there are a lot of things that an adolescent cannot easily talk about to his or her parents, such as sexual problems. They discuss such issues with their friends instead. Moreover, parents usually misunderstand their children when they grow up, which may even lead to arguments. If this is a continuing problem, teenagers will avoid their parents because they do not want to cause disagreement. Therefore, an adolescent is less influenced by family than by friends.

To conclude, people have the tendency to be influenced by their friends more than by their families when they grow into teenage age. The influence from friends can be positive or negative, however, and is essential to the development of a person. When the person matures, that kind of influence will decrease.

Essay Review:

Welcome back to and thank you for submitting your new toefl essay for review. I have silently edited a few grammatical errors and would like here to point to a few other aspects of the essay worth considering for revision.

1. Concision: Aim to reduce the number of words that convey little information of importance, and increase the number of words that convey a lot of important information (i.e., more signal, less noise). In the first paragraph, for instance, you could replace “this will be proven by analyzing the facts that” with the single word “because” thus: “Although families have influence etc., the effects that friend have on teenagers are much stronger because teenagers spend a lot of time with friends, are affected by peer pressure, and tend to avoid their parents.” You now have a clearly articulated thesis in a single sentence.

2. precision and rigor: The logic of the second paragraph is not compelling, but it’s probably a matter of your not precisely saying what you mean rather than a question of poor logic. You say that “because young adults spend a lot of time with their friends, they are strongly influenced by them.” Technically, you are mixing up correlation and causation. You could argue that spending a lot of time with friends makes being influenced by them more likely, but the fact of spending time with others doesn’t necessarily entail being influenced by them.

3. Begging the question: You start the third paragraph apparently by begging the question; that means assuming the thing you are purportedly trying to prove. Since peer pressure is essentially the influence of friends, your third paragraph in effect argues that teenagers are more influenced by friends than by family because teenagers are influenced by friends. You could potentially avoid this problem by defining the term “peer pressure” narrowly to refer to a specific type of psychological influence that is inherently and arguably powerful, and you seem to be heading in that direction in the third paragraph, but obviously for such an argument to be compelling, it would need to be articulated with greater rigor and clarity.

4. Confusion of terms. This problem affects the whole essay. The terms “young adult,” “teenager” and “adolescent” are used as synonyms in the essay. Following normal usage, however, a teenager is adolescent, while a young adult is sexually mature (of course you could make a case for young adulthood starting at, say, 18 years old, the age of majority in many countries). Some of the arguments that you advance are as applicable to young adults as they are to teenagers, but the argument as a whole tends to be a bit muddled because of the imprecise terminology, and the problem is especially acute in the fourth paragraph where you are talking largely about adolescent issues that lead to avoidance of parents (whereas the second paragraph deals more obviously with issues relevant for older teenagers or young adults).

Hope that helps. Best, EJ.

Original Essay Question: Topic 114: Some people think that the family is the most important influence on young adults; other people that friends are the most important influence on young adults. Which you do you agree with? Use examples to support your position.
Submitted by: coolmam9x


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August,06 2011

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