Essay Making Good Choices

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At 277 words, the essay I wrote is longer than necessary or recommended, but I was racing to write the key points.

When you compare your own essay, remember that I had three big advantages. I was already familiar with the ideas in the selections, and I have a spell-checker on my computer.

If you want to write a timed essay, please read this whole section (without reading or listening to the linked passages) before you start the timer.

Treat the transcript of this TED talk by Bina Venkataraman as a reading passage, since the related passage is audio only. That’s 267 words, well within the 250-300 word range suggested by the TOEFL task guidelines.

While studying the TOEFL Integrated Writing Task, I wondered if I could make a similar task using related reading and audio passages. It's difficult to find related selections, especially some that are short enough for the TOEFL time limits. But it isn’t direct practice for the TOEFL Integrated Writing task.

It helped me appreciate the effort it takes to develop the materials for a truly integrated writing essay task! I didn’t feel qualified to write related reading and writing selections at the exact TOEFL level myself.His purpose was not to just make a new crop, but give farmers one that would have the soil benefits of peanuts. When University of Chicago professor Richard saylor wanted to help people save more for retirement, he realized he must make our cognitive biases work for us, not against us.So he designed a program that would start saving in the future, when people feel they will be more able.To avoid the risk aversion bias, he increased savings only when their salary went up, so it would not reduce the current amount of income to work with.Finally, to avoid the inertia bias, he made the program automatic, so people would be in it unless they opted out, rather than only starting IF they opted in.Then listen to just minutes - (2.5 min.) of Shamini Bini’s discussion (how cognitive bias affects our planning for the future).It’s right after paragraph 4 in this article on gaming human nature.Abbreviations I used in my notes (in case they’re not obvious):• ‘prob’= problem here (Sometimes I use it for ‘probably’)• ‘enuf’= enough• ‘ea’= each• ‘yr’ = year (I also use it for ‘your’)• ‘Univ of Chi’= University of Chicago • ‘prof’= professor (also could be professional)• ‘fut’= ‘future’• ‘co.’= company• ‘’= ‘less than/under’ When you take notes, use any abbreviations you know you will recognize.(That’s one good reason to practice note-taking in English. My Outline: How to get ppl 2 invest in long term values Ans fr rdg: make it pay enough in pre Ans spkr- use cog bias to help.You will develop your own system.)My actual notes:prob: 40% workers in US—not saving enuf for retirement“save more tom.”—ea yr Richard Saylor, Univ of Chi. Overcome cog bias by using them: fut, risk-averse, & inertia Use those biases—start in fut, link to raises to limit loss aversion, & must opt outtook time, but when a co. Integrated Writing Essay: How can we solve long-term problems when people most easily pay attention to our immediate future?One answer, according to Bina Venkataraman, is to look for solutions that not only resolve the most important long-term problems but also help us in the present.


Comments Essay Making Good Choices

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