Toefl essay: living in a dorm or in an apartment?

Question: 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.

University is one of the best periods in everyone’s life. In order to make the most of university days it is so important where you choose to live. Students usually have two options. Some students prefer to live in university dormitories while others choose to live in apartments in the community. I would rather live in off-campus apartment.

Dormitories are less expensive than apartments because universities typically don’t charge students for accommodation and also students don’t have to pay the bills. One of the greatest perks of living in a dorm is the cleaning service so students don’t have to waste time cleaning the bathrooms or vacuuming the common areas. The other advantage that saves students’ time is proximity to classes so there is no need to spend a lot of time commuting. Moreover, Students never feel lonely as there are a lot of other students around them. Plus, it is easy to gather people to play group sports such as soccer, volleyball, or basketball. An indirect advantage is that students have to adapt with dormitory conditions such as lights-out, sharing a room with other students, or having less freedom in spending leisure time that makes them more patient and adaptable for their future lives. In addition, students can ask other students for help in case a problem arises. For example, if someone needs help with his exam, he can easily find a strong student to ask his questions. Another advantage is that as university campuses have security cameras and/or security patrols they are more secure especially for girls. Therefore, living in dorms has lots of advantages.

Although living in apartments is more expensive because students have to pay the rent and the bills, apartments have a lot of advantages. The main advantage is the quietness. Since students have to study a lot so they need a quiet place in order to be focused when studying. Furthermore, students will have more freedom in planning their days. For instance, they can plan when to wake up; to have breakfast, lunch or dinner, to go to bed. And also living in an apartment will significantly improve the quality of pastime activities because students will have many choices for their free time such as staying up late for watching movies, listening to music loudly, reading books in calm, or staying out late. Plus, everyone can decorate his apartment according to his taste. As you can see, living (in an off-campus apartment) off-campus brings about much more comfort.

All things considered, if I had the opportunity to choose between on-campus dorms or an apartment in the community, I would definitely opt for (go for) off-campus apartment because calm and quietness is the most important factors to me. What’s more, I am used to stay up late studying or watching movies. And also reading good novels in a quiet place is one of my favorites. Thus, an apartment is more suitable for me.


Hi Ahmad, your writing in this essay is very clear and you have done a good job of addressing the prompt correctly by comparing the advantages of both housing choices and ending with your own opinion. My main complaint is that I think you have too many reasons. It ends up making your paragraphs read like a list of bullet points. I think you could improve the flow and development of your paragraphs by grouping the advantages into categories. For instance, I think the main advantages of dorm life you state are the close proximity of many fellow students and the structure provided by the university. Then you could give details and examples of each - having study partners, impromptu game opportunities, and chances to meet friends. Then on the structure front you can talk about safety and formation of good habits and time scheduling assistance. And make sure to give specific examples. It is better to have two or three well-developed reasons than a whole laundry list of reasons, none of which are developed much at all. Also in this way, you can better “compare” by stating that in apartment living, you are trading off the advantages of proximity to fellow students for peace and quiet, and although you lose the structure of university housing, you gain more freedom and independence.

Here are some other suggestions:


Hi Luschen
Thank you so much.
I have made lots of mistakes in this essay. that’s disappointing.
you’re right, actually, I didn’t know how to deal with “advantages and dis advantages” questions.

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That is a great topic to write on. I’ve chosen to live in a dormitory because it is cheaper and more fun. Now everything is closed due to coronavirus and I’m staying home. Our teachers have gone crazy because we have online classes and they give us too many essays to write. It is impossible to finish everything and I had to look for help. I found this website smartpapers247 which has people who will write your essays for you. They write on any topic you want and they write really good essays. They have saved my life during this online classes thing, I just hope that everything will go back as it was.

Hi Tom, apparently the essay writing service hasn’t helped you much.