TOEFL Essay: Not everything that is learned is contained...


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It has been said, “Not everything that is learned is contained in books.” Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?

There are generally two types of knowledge - theoretical and practical. Theoretical knowledge is the one gained from books, whereas practical knowledge is get by experience. I do believe that hose two are co-existent, but I would rather say that practical knowledge is a bit more important.

Firstly, knowledge from books gives you useful theories that can give you general ideas and help you understand the real phenomenon better. This kind of knowledge is written down, you can read it. There are many books available in almost every field, and a lot of them are written by speacialists in a particular area. For instance, you can learn who Celts were only by reading books about them. In this case it is even impossible to get some kind of practical knowledge as you cannot take part in archaeological excavations unless you are specially educated to do so.

On the other hand, there is knowledge which can only by acquired practically - by trying and doing things. In your daily life there are many things that you learn this way. An example of this is a set of basic skills, succh as speaking, walking, running, eating. These are things you learn by practice, as you would not read about them in books before doing them. Another example of this would even date back to the prehistoric times, when primitive people learned how to use and even make different tools. In addition, this kind of information was not written somewhere down, as there were no books at that time, and the primitive people could not read.

Moreover, as a Chinese saying says it, “practice is the only criterion of nspecting the truth.” Let us take one example from the Renaissance. Before N. Copernick proved that the Earth is round actually, everybody believed that it is round. The reason for it was the fact that it was written somewhere. Therefore, you cannot trust every written word, but try to inspect things by yourself.

Taking into account the information about these two types of knowledge, it can be inferred that they both are important. Yet, you have to keep in mind that it is better to try to learn things practically as long as it is possible, as boos (even they would be written by specialists and experts) would probably contain some mistakes.

TOEFL listening lectures: A university arts lecture on Greek drama

Hi again,

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