作者:北美考试院 托福写作组 张晟凯
总论点：American Burying Beetle数量下降的原因
本题考查的话题属于托福综合写作中占有一定比重的生物类话题，分析的是“美洲葬甲虫数量减少的原因”。在TPO中有大量的材料涉及到了生物类话题，如TPO 14，TPO 18，TPO 20，TPO 21，TPO 23 和TPO 26等，它们分别研究的是：树木回收性砍伐的好处、佛罗里达榧树的保护、大火给森林带来的损害、转基因树的好处、雪松数量减少、斑马贝的入侵等。考生可适度选择上述提到的TPO材料，熟悉相关话题，分析材料结构和写作结构。
TPO 23 综合写作
Main idea: Scientists have advanced several hypotheses to explain the decline of population of the yellow cedar.
· The yellow cedar decline may be caused by insect parasites, specifically the cedar bark beetle.
· A second hypothesis attributes the decline to brown bears.
· Gradual changes of climate may be to blame.
Main idea: We still do not know what is killing the yellow cedar. None of the explanations discussed in the reading is adequate.
· These healthy yellow cedars are generally much more resistant to insect infection than other tree species.
· Bears cannot be the reason for the decline, because islands cedars are decreasing without bears.
· Although the climate change may have made the cedar roots more sensitive than they used to be, this is not what killed them.
Independent Writing Task
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
It is (much) easier to be well-educated today than it was in the past.
Regarded as one of the most essential factors that influence ones’ future, education is attached great importance to. From past to present, people have been striving for a better upbringing and schooling through any possible ways. Recently, a heated discussion has arisen about whether it is easier to be well-educated nowadays than it was in the past. As far as I am concerned, the answer is definitely positive and my standpoint can be illustrated by the following reasons.
First and foremost, with the development of the society and the prevalence of the Internet, there are more and more channels to get access to a variety of educational resources. Apart from receiving formal education in regular schools like high schools and colleges, people nowadays are able to attend classes in training institutions, where they can be taught with a personalized plan, thereby improving themselves. In addition, online education makes it possible for the ordinary to take lessons provided by well-known professors from prestigious universities, which seems inconceivable decades ago. My friend Sam, for instance, was forced to discontinue his learning in high school due to an illness. During treatment, Sam kept studying computer science on Cousera, a famous website offering free online courses, which eventually assisted him to find a job as a programmer after leaving hospital. Obviously, under no circumstances could this happen in the past.
Besides, government’s mounting investment in education contributes to an increasing number of opportunities to be well-educated. On the one hand, motivated by governmental financial aid, compulsory education can be guaranteed, which enables the majority of people to master basic theories and techniques. On the other hand, those who aspire to devote themselves to academic activities can take measures to gain scholarships for the sake of covering their fees. There is no doubt that government plays a significant role in the development of education. Take my cousin Jack as an example. Jack lives a simple life in a small town, where the local government built a free library for the purpose of enhancing the public’s awareness of learning on their own. Jack, with other residents, frequently goes to the library to read books. As a result, Jack became indeed knowledgeable in spite of his poor educational background.
In a nutshell, I think it is much easier to acquire a good education than it was before, for the increasing sources to gain knowledge and the enormous support from government. In any case, the significance of education can never be overemphasized and being well-educated will be nothing difficult for everyone in the future.