TOEFL® Resources by Michael Goodine
Complete toefl essay templates (2023 update).
TOEFL essay templates can help you answer both of the TOEFL writing questions. To write a strong TOEFL essay just fill in the blanks with the required information from your notes (in the integrated essay) or from your experiences (the independent essay). Note that I also have a set of TOEFL speaking templates . If you want more personalized help with your essays you can sign up for our TOEFL essay evaluation service .
Integrated Essay Template (Writing Question One)
No matter what question style is used, write your introduction using the following template:
- The reading and the lecture are both about _____.
- While the author of the article argues that ____, the lecturer disputes the claims mentioned in the article.
- His position is that _____.
The Body Paragraphs
Use the following templates for the body paragraphs:
- According to the reading _____.
- The article mentions that _____.
- This argument is challenged by the lecturer.
- He claims that _____.
- Additionally, he points out that ______.
- Secondly, the author suggests ______.
- The article notes that _____.
- The lecturer, however, asserts that ______.
- He goes on to say that ______.
- Finally, the author puts forth the idea that _____.
- The author contends that _____.
- In contrast, the lecturer’s stance is _____.
- He says that _____.
You don’t need a conclusion.
Your TOEFL integrated essay should be about 280 to 300 words. To see this template in use, check out my collection of sample essays .
Independent Essay Template (Writing Question Two)
Paragraph 1 (introduction).
- Sentence One: Background This is a broad sentence that introduces the general topic of the essay. Try a generalization like: “ Most people in the world think that… “
- Sentence Two: The Main P oint This is your main argument. Start with “ Personally, I believe… “
- Sentence Three: The T ransition Just use: “ There are several reasons why I feel this way, which I will explore in the following essay .”
Paragraph Two (Body 1)
- Sentence One: The Topic Sentence Summarize your first supporting reason. Try: “ To begin with,… “.
- Sentences Two and Three : The Explanation Explain what you mean, without talking directly about a personal experience.
- Sentence Four: The Transition Just use: “ My personal experience is a compelling example of this. “
- Sentence Six to End: The Personal Example An example from your life that illustrates this argument. It should make up about 60% of the body paragraph.
Paragraph Three (Body 2)
- Sentence One: The Topic Sentence Summarize your second supporting reason. Begin with “ Furthermore,… “.
- Sentences Two and Three : The Explanation Explain what you mean. Shorten to one sentence if necessary.
- Sentence Four: The Transition Just use: “ For instance, “
- Sentences Five to End: The Personal Example An example from your life that illustrates this argument. Again, it should make up about 60% of the paragraph.
Paragraph Four (conclusion)
- Sentence One: Restate the Thesis Paraphrase your thesis. Begin with “ In conclusion, I strongly feel that… “.
- Sentence Two: Restate the Two Reasons Just use: “ This is because ______, and _______. “
Your whole essay should be between 380 and 400 words. See this template in action by visiting our collection of sample essays .
Further reading – need more help need speaking templates.
We also have in-depth guides to the independent and integrated writing tasks. Check them out! We also have TOEFL speaking templates .
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The best toefl writing templates for any prompt.
Even if English composition isn’t your forte, you can still earn a high score on the TOEFL Writing section by following a template. But what exactly is a TOEFL Writing template? Simply put, TOEFL essay templates teach you how to organize your thoughts, select strong pieces of evidence, and get the Writing score you want .
In this article, we’re providing you with two high-quality TOEFL essay templates for the Integrated and Independent Writing tasks. Before that, we’ll go over the differences between the two TOEFL Writing tasks and then discuss how our TOEFL essay templates can benefit you. After, we’ll teach you how to customize and use our templates.
What Essays Will You Write on the TOEFL?
The Writing section is the final section you’ll face on the TOEFL, and it consists of two separate tasks: an Integrated Writing task and an Independent Writing task . The Integrated task requires you to write a response comparing a lecture and an article, whereas the Independent task requires you to write an opinionated essay in which you agree or disagree with an idea.
Below, we examine the two TOEFL Writing tasks in detail.
Integrated Writing Task
For the Integrated task, you must read a passage on an academic topic for three minutes and then listen to a short lecture on the same topic. This lecture will either support or challenge what’s written in the passage. Your response must summarize the main points discussed in the lecture and explain how these points relate to the reading .
You’ll have a total of 20 minutes to write your response. Your response should be around 150-225 words . During this time, you may reread the passage; however, you may not listen to the lecture again.
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The score you receive for this task will be on a scale of 0-5 . According to the official rubric , a level-5 essay (i.e., a perfect essay) selects the most crucial information from the lecture and presents it in a coherent, accurate, and well-organized manner. A level-3 essay is satisfactory but overall vague, with fewer key points and several grammatical errors. Finally, a level-1 essay offers minimal coherency and fails to address any of the main points in the lecture. ETS (the creators of the TOEFL) offers several samples of scored Integrated essays online.
Below is an example of an Integrated Writing task borrowed from ETS :
Critics say that current voting systems used in the United States are inefficient and often lead to the inaccurate counting of votes. Miscounts can be especially damaging if an election is closely contested. Those critics would like the traditional systems to be replaced with far more efficient and trustworthy computerized voting systems.
In traditional voting, one major source of inaccuracy is that people accidentally vote for the wrong candidate. Voters usually have to find the name of their candidate on a large sheet of paper containing many names—the ballot—and make a small mark next to that name. People with poor eyesight can easily mark the wrong name. The computerized voting machines have an easy-to-use touch-screen technology: to cast a vote, a voter needs only to touch the candidate’s name on the screen to record a vote for that candidate; voters can even have the computer magnify the name for easier viewing.
Another major problem with old voting systems is that they rely heavily on people to count the votes. Officials must often count up the votes one by one, going through every ballot and recording the vote. Since they have to deal with thousands of ballots, it is almost inevitable that they will make mistakes. If an error is detected, a long and expensive recount has to take place. In contrast, computerized systems remove the possibility of human error, since all the vote counting is done quickly and automatically by the computers.
Finally some people say it is too risky to implement complicated voting technology nationwide. But without giving it a thought, governments and individuals alike trust other complex computer technology every day to be perfectly accurate in banking transactions as well as in the communication of highly sensitive information.
(Narrator) Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.
(Female professor) While traditional voting systems have some problems, it’s doubtful that computerized voting will make the situation any better. Computerized voting may seem easy for people who are used to computers. But what about people who aren’t? People who can’t afford computers, people who don’t use them on a regular basis—these people will have trouble using computerized voting machines. These voters can easily cast the wrong vote or be discouraged from voting altogether because of fear of technology. Furthermore, it’s true that humans make mistakes when they count up ballots by hand. But are we sure that computers will do a better job? After all, computers are programmed by humans, so “human error” can show up in mistakes in their programs. And the errors caused by these defective programs may be far more serious. The worst a human official can do is miss a few ballots. But an error in a computer program can result in thousands of votes being miscounted or even permanently removed from the record. And in many voting systems, there is no physical record of the votes, so a computer recount in the case of a suspected error is impossible! As for our trust of computer technology for banking and communications, remember one thing: these systems are used daily and they are used heavily. They didn’t work flawlessly when they were first introduced. They had to be improved on and improved on until they got as reliable as they are today. But voting happens only once every two years nationally in the United States and not much more than twice a year in many local areas. This is hardly sufficient for us to develop confidence that computerized voting can be fully trusted.
Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they oppose specific points made in the reading passage.
Independent Writing Task
For the Independent task, you will write about your opinion on a certain topic . You must provide clear reasons and specific examples for why you agree or disagree with the issue or statement. (This doesn’t have to be your real opinion, though!) You’ll have 30 minutes to write your response. A typical high-scoring essay is at least 300 words .
You’ll receive a score on a scale of 0-5 . According to the official rubric , a level-5 essay effectively addresses the topic, provides clear and ample details, and contains at most only minor issues with grammar and word choice. A level-3 essay offers a generally coherent response with occasional slips in clarity. Finally, a level-1 essay offers little to no detail and contains multiple technical errors. You can look at samples of Independent essays on the ETS website.
Here is an example of an Independent Writing task taken from ETS :
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Integrated Task vs. Independent Task
So far we’ve covered all of the basic components of the TOEFL Writing tasks. To briefly recap, here is an overview of the Integrated and Independent Writing tasks:
What Is a TOEFL Writing Template?
The purpose of a TOEFL Writing template is to help you compose a detailed and eloquent essay — and of course get you a high Writing score! But what exactly is a template?
It’s easiest to think of an essay template as a skeleton . While a skeleton is the framework for a body, a template is the framework for an essay . Thus, a TOEFL Writing template highlights basic structural patterns and phrases you can integrate into your own writing. What a template doesn’t do is write your essay for you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you’ll add the skin and muscles (i.e., the details and supporting evidence) to your “skeleton.”
Furthermore, writing templates are typically created to suit different types of essays . For example, a template for a compare/contrast essay will differ from a template for an editorial piece. This is why it’s so important you use a writing template specifically geared toward the TOEFL!
What Are the Benefits of a TOEFL Writing Template?
There are three major benefits to using a TOEFL Writing template.
It Organizes Your Thoughts
Using a TOEFL Writing template ensures you’ll have a focused and well-organized response . A high-quality template teaches you how to structure your response so that your introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs are all clearly defined. This way, even if your grammar and spelling aren’t perfect, your response will still have an overall strong framework that’s easy to follow.
TOEFL essay templates also show you what kinds of transitions you can use and where . Transitions are a key component of essays that allow you to connect your thoughts and progress to new ideas smoothly. Truth be told, you probably won’t score super highly on the TOEFL Writing section if you don’t use any transitions!
It Saves You Time
Another big benefit of using a TOEFL Writing template is that it saves you time on the Writing section. Since you’ll already have a sense of how you’re going to structure your essay, you’ll spend less time planning it out and coming up with transitions, openings, and closings. As a result, you’ll get more time to actually write out your response!
It Gives You Confidence
Lastly, a TOEFL Writing template allows you to feel more prepared on test day. Many test takers find it difficult to write out responses to English-language prompts in only 20 or 30 minutes. But TOEFL essay templates equip you with the skills you’ll need to feel more confident in your writing skills — and confidence is the first step toward getting a great TOEFL score!
2 TOEFL Essay Templates for You to Use
In this section, we offer you a TOEFL Integrated Writing template and an Independent Writing TOEFL template . We also provide you with a handy list of key transitional words and phrases you can incorporate into your essays.
Please note that you do not need to follow these templates directly. In fact, we strongly encourage you to replace our sample words and phrases with your own . We will talk more about how to customize our TOEFL essay templates in the following section. But for now, let’s take a look at the templates!
Template 1: Integrated Writing Task
Before we dive into our TOEFL Integrated Writing template, let’s get a quick reminder of what the Integrated task entails.
For this task, you’ll read a passage and then listen to a lecture. Your task is to summarize the lecture and explain whether the lecture challenges or supports what’s written in the passage. You’ll have 20 minutes to compose a response of around 150-225 words .
We’ll divide our template into four paragraphs: an introduction and three body paragraphs . You shouldn’t need a separate concluding paragraph for this task, as you can still score a 5 without one (plus, you likely won’t have enough time to write one!). But if you want to write a conclusion, just be sure you keep it short — two to three sentences at most.
Now, on to the TOEFL Integrated Writing template!
Paragraph 1 (Introduction)
Your first paragraph will introduce the lecture and how it relates to the reading. This paragraph doesn’t need to be long; a simple two or three sentences should suffice.
1. Begin with a topic sentence that summarizes the main point of the lecture.
- According to the lecture, …
- Based on the lecture, …
- The lecturer states/believes that …
- The lecturer talks about …
- The lecturer discusses …
2. Next, explain whether the passage refutes or supports the main point of the lecture.
- By contrast, the author of the passage explains/states/posits that …
- The author of the passage, however, disagrees with this idea/belief. Instead, he/she believes that …
- The author of the passage, however, doubts this idea/belief and thinks that …
- The author challenges this point, however, by explaining/suggesting/positing that …
- This line of thinking agrees with that of the author, who states that …
- The author of the passage agrees with this notion/idea/belief, stating that …
- Likewise, the author of the passage explains/states/posits that …
- The author of the passage supports this idea/belief, explaining that …
Paragraph 2 (Body)
In this paragraph, you’ll want to focus on one of the key points in the lecture and explain whether the passage refutes or supports this idea.
1. Introduce the main point you’ll be discussing.
- First, the lecturer asserts/claims/suggests that …
- For one, the lecturer thinks/believes that …
- The first point the lecturer makes is that …
2. Next, describe this particular point in more detail and then discuss how the passage either refutes or supports it. I suggest using one to two sentences here.
- On the other hand, the author asserts/claims/suggests that …
- Likewise, the author thinks/believes that …
- This concept is refuted/supported by the passage, which asserts/claims/suggests that …
3. Finally, conclude your paragraph by explaining what this difference or similarity means .
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- This difference/similarity ultimately means/indicates that …
- Basically, the lecturer/author is saying that …
- The lecturer and author are essentially in agreement with each other. Both think/believe that …
- Clearly, the lecturer and author maintain different views on …
Paragraph 3 (Body)
In this paragraph, you’ll focus on another key point in the lecture and again discuss how the passage either agrees or disagrees with this idea. The structure here is essentially identical to that of paragraph 2, so make sure you are using new transitions and varying your word choice.
1. Start by introducing the second point in the lecture you’ll be discussing. Because this is your second body paragraph, do not use transitions such as “first” or “first of all.”
- Second, the lecturer argues/contends/asserts that …
- Next, the lecturer suggests/proposes that …
- Another key point the lecturer makes is that …
2. Next, explain this key point in more detail and elaborate on how it is either refuted or supported by the passage. As with paragraph 2, I recommend using one to two sentences here.
- In other words, the lecturer is suggesting/proposing that …
- The author, however, agrees/disagrees with this idea/belief, suggesting/proposing that …
- Similarly, the author argues/contends/asserts that …
3. Finally, explain what this difference or similarity means .
- What this difference/similarity means is that …
- This difference/similarity in thinking tells us that …
- Evidently, the lecturer thinks/believes that … , whereas the author thinks/believes that …
Paragraph 4 (Body + Conclusion)
This final body paragraph will offer your last key point in addition to a brief conclusion . Once again, try to vary your transitions and words here so that your body paragraphs do not sound redundant.
1. Introduce and summarize the third point in the lecture . This is your third and final body paragraph, so do not use transitions such as “first” or “next.” Instead, use transitions such as “third,” “finally,” “last,” and “lastly.”
- Third, the lecturer explains/states that …
- Finally, the lecturer introduces the idea that …
- Lastly, the lecturer goes on to say that …
2. Then, explain this point in more detail and discuss whether the passage matches or challenges it. Use one or two sentences here.
- This point is also made in the passage, which argues/contends/asserts that …
- The passage supports this idea, suggesting/proposing that …
- On the contrary, the author writes that …
3. Finally, conclude your paragraph by explaining the significance of this similarity or difference . You should also look at this sentence as the conclusion to your entire response . Remember, you do not need to write a separate concluding paragraph for this task; it’s perfectly OK to combine it with your last body paragraph!
- In conclusion, the lecturer and author appear to be in agreement/disagreement about …
- All in all, the lecturer argues/contends/asserts that … , whereas the author argues/contends/asserts that …
Template 2: Independent Writing Task
For this task, you will read a short prompt and then write a response explaining whether you agree or disagree with the issue or idea. Unlike the Integrated task, here you’ll be writing an opinionated response (though you do not have to write about your actual opinion).
You’ll have 30 minutes to write an essay of at least 300 words . Because this essay should be longer than the Integrated task, it’s best to use the basic five-paragraph structure, with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Note that many of the example sentences below are based on the sample Independent Writing prompt used above . This means that these sentences will not apply exactly to other prompts! So don’t simply copy the sentences onto your test; instead, use them as a general guide to help you develop a better sense of style and flow in your writing.
Now, let’s take a look at our Independent Writing TOEFL template.
In this paragraph, you’ll introduce the main issue or idea and rephrase the prompt in your own words. Then, you’ll state whether you agree or disagree with the statement and why.
1. For your first sentence, you’ll want to come up with a hook that introduces the topic of your essay in a unique and creative way. Most people start broad and then get specific . This sentence is also a great opportunity to insert a hypothetical question.
- There is great debate about .. .
- It is said that .. . But is this always true?
- Many people wonder whether telling the truth at all times is necessary in order to maintain a healthy relationship with someone .
2. Next, introduce your opinion on the topic . You may list your specific reasons for your opinion here or in the following sentence(s). Remember, this doesn’t need to be your real opinion!
- In my opinion, …
- I believe that … is important because …
- I agree/disagree with this idea/suggestion because …
- For me, although telling the truth is important , there are many cases in which it’s OK to lie .
3. Here, state how many points (three is ideal) you’ll be discussing in your essay and then briefly summarize what these reasons for agreeing or disagreeing are . Your reasons may come from facts, predictions, personal beliefs, experiences, etc.
- In this essay, I will address three potential problems with lying in relationships .
- Lying is never a smart idea because it undermines trust in relationships, causes feelings of betrayal, and often leads to more lying.
In this paragraph, you’ll introduce your first key point about the issue and offer specific examples illustrating why you agree or disagree.
1. For the first sentence, introduce the key point you want to talk about.
- First of all, lying can make it difficult to trust someone in a relationship.
2. Next, provide an example to explain why you believe this is the case . I suggest using a hypothetical situation somewhere in your essay to help illustrate one of your points.
- For example, if a father lied to his daughter by telling her she was good at drawing, the daughter might begin to wonder whether her father has lied to her about other things, too.
3. Continue your paragraph by elaborating on your example . Explain any effect or consequence of the example and discuss how this outcome supports your viewpoint.
- The next time the father praises his daughter for something, she might believe he is lying, even if he isn’t. In other words, the daughter might find it difficult to trust her father, thereby damaging their relationship.
This paragraph will follow a similar structure to that of paragraph 2, only this time you’ll discuss your second key point . To prevent this paragraph from sounding too similar to the one before it, vary your word choice and choose a different type of example on which to focus.
1. In the first sentence, introduce your second key point . Because this is your second body paragraph (and second point), make sure you employ appropriate transitions, such as “second,” “secondly,” and “next.”
- Second, lying can cause feelings of betrayal in relationships.
2. As you did in paragraph 2, use these next few sentences to elaborate on your point and offer specific examples . Always clarify how your examples support your stance (agree or disagree) and how they relate back to the issue stated in the prompt.
- When I was young, I lied to my best friend about being able to attend her birthday party. She later told me I’d betrayed her and that we couldn’t be friends anymore. Essentially, because I’d lied to her, I destroyed our relationship.
Paragraph 4 (Body)
This is the last body paragraph in which you will introduce and explain your third and final key point .
1. First, introduce your third point . As this is your final body paragraph, make sure you’re using appropriate transitions, such as “finally,” “last,” “lastly,” and “third,” to introduce your point.
- Lastly, lying often begets more lying. This means that once you tell a lie, you will become more likely to tell other lies.
2. As you did in paragraphs 2 and 3, elaborate on this point by providing new evidence, details, and/or examples. Explain why this point is important and how it supports your stance on the issue.
- If you lie but nobody knows you’ve lied, you might begin to believe it’s OK to lie. As a result, you start to lie more and more. However, once people realize how often you lie, they’ll likely lose all trust in you and might even decide to end their relationships with you.
Paragraph 5 (Conclusion)
Like the Integrated Writing task, a separate concluding paragraph isn’t always necessary here . That said, if you have time, I recommend quickly wrapping up your points in a concise yet effective conclusion. One to three sentences should suffice.
1. In the first sentence or two, summarize your stance and explain why you feel this way . You may re-introduce your three main points here. You may also paraphrase the prompt and explain once more whether you agree or disagree with the issue and why.
- In the end, I believe telling the truth is the most important consideration in a relationship.
- Ultimately, lying can easily destroy relationships because it weakens trust, results in feelings of betrayal, and often causes more lying.
2. Finally, if you have time, bring together your concluding paragraph with a single general statement about your viewpoint .
- This is why it is imperative we always refrain from lying.
- Thus, the only way to ensure your relationships with others are healthy is to always tell the truth.
54 Key Transitions & Phrases
In addition to TOEFL essay templates, we offer you an assortment of common transitions and phrases you can use in your TOEFL responses. These words will allow your writing to flow more smoothly and connect your thoughts in a clearer, more logical manner.
To add information to a point, or to introduce a new (related) point:
- In addition, …
- Additionally, …
- Furthermore, …
- Moreover, …
- Besides, …
- Also, …
To introduce an example:
- For example, …
- For instance, …
To introduce an opinion:
- I believe that …
- I think that …
To start a new body paragraph:
- First off, …
- First of all, …
- To begin/start, …
- Secondly, …
- Last, …
To add similar or related information:
- Likewise, …
- Similarly, …
- On a related note, …
To restate information in a shorter or clearer way:
- In other words, …
- In short, …
- Simply put, …
- Essentially, …
- In essence, …
- Basically, …
To contrast information:
- That (being) said, …
- Nevertheless, …
- Nonetheless, …
- By/in contrast, …
- On the contrary, …
- On the other hand, …
To show cause and effect:
- As a result, …
- Because of this, …
- As such, …
- Consequently, …
- Therefore, …
To emphasize information:
- Evidently, …
- Clearly, …
- Certainly, …
To conclude information, a paragraph, or your overall response:
- In conclusion, …
- All in all, …
- As you can see, …
- In the end, …
- Ultimately, …
How to Customize a TOEFL Writing Template
Below, we offer you a few pieces of advice to help you customize your TOEFL Writing template.
Integrated Writing Template
Here are two ways to customize our TOEFL Integrated Writing template.
#1: Tweak Sample Sentences & Openers
The sample sentence and openers we’ve provided above don’t contain any specific information, so you are welcome to incorporate these examples into your own Integrated Writing response however you like.
That said, you don’t need to use these examples exactly as they are . If you’d like to tweak them, try replacing the verbs and transitions with other (synonymous) words. I also suggest adding adverbs to emphasize certain words. So for example, instead of writing, “The author, however, disagrees with this belief,” you could write, “The author, on the other hand, strongly challenges this concept.”
Just be sure that the examples you’re using in your essay fit with the type of lecture-passage relationship you’re given. Remember, this relationship can be either supportive (in which the lecture agrees with the passage) or contrastive (in which the lecture disagrees with the passage).
#2: Use Different Words to Emphasize Contrast
Most Integrated Writing tasks will give you a lecture that challenges what’s written in the passage. In these cases, it’s important you use a variety of transitions, conjunctions, and prepositions to emphasize this important contrast throughout your essay.
There is one caveat, though: do not use a single transition more than once in your response . For instance, if you were to consistently start your supporting sentences with “however,” your essay would lack balance and begin to sound redundant. So be sure to vary your word choice!
Here is a list of strong contrastive words you can use in your Integrated Writing response:
- Nonetheless …
- Even though
- In spite of
Independent Writing Template
Here are three ways you can customize our Independent Writing TOEFL template.
#1: Choose the Side That’s Easier to Support
Although the Independent Writing task asks specifically whether you agree or disagree with an idea, you do not need to write about your real opinion . What you should really do is choose the side that’s easier to argue — regardless of whether you actually agree or disagree with it!
In other words, it’s perfectly OK to make things up for this response and pretend you support something you don’t actually believe. Remember, you are not being judged on which stance you choose but on how effectively you support your stance.
#2: Do Not Copy Sample Sentences Word for Word
For this task’s examples, I’ve primarily supplied you with whole sentences, all of which were based on the sample Independent Writing prompt used above. Because our examples refer to a specific prompt, you cannot copy these sample sentences word for word and use them in your own essay . Failing to change these sentences means your essay won’t make a whole lot of sense, if any at all!
Therefore, what you should actually be doing is using these example sentences to learn what types of details to include in your Independent Writing response. You may also use our examples to get a feel for how you can change up your sentences and word choice.
#3: Vary Your Supporting Details
For your response, you must come up with specific details and examples to support your viewpoint. These examples can range from facts and statistics to experiences and hypothetical situations.
In order to produce a truly compelling response (and get a high essay score), you must incorporate a variety of effective examples into your essay. This means you’ll want to avoid using the same types of examples for each point you make . So if you were to discuss a personal experience for your first body paragraph, focus on a different type of detail, such as a universally accepted fact or a hypothetical scenario, for your second body paragraph.
How to Use a TOEFL Writing Template: 4 Tips
Finally, here are four general tips for using a TOEFL Writing template effectively.
#1: Employ a Variety of Transitions
The sample sentences and openers we’ve given you for each template above contain different transitions to help link ideas together; thus, we encourage you to use a variety of transitions in your own essays . For ideas, refer to our transition list above. This list can help you swap out some of our sample transitions for other ones you believe fit better with your writing.
Ultimately, varying your word choice is critical to ensuring your essay is well written . This means that a high-scoring TOEFL essay will not simply use transitions but use them well . So if you’ve already inserted “therefore” in one area, try using “as a result” or “thus” in another area. You’ll still get the same meaning but with a stronger, more versatile effect.
#2: Add Details Without Rambling
Don’t feel limited by the number of sentences we’ve included in each body paragraph in our templates. If you need to use two or three sentences to explain a point, that’s OK! You should always give a lot of detail for your points — so long as you are staying concise and focused.
For example, if you spend a paragraph discussing a hypothetical scenario but fail to offer any analysis, you probably won’t receive a high TOEFL score. Likewise, if you write a verbose introduction or conclusion, your score may end up being lower than you wanted it to be.
Basically, you must find the perfect balance between detail and analysis. A good way to monitor this balance is to always try to hit the word minimum for each task . Doing this means you’ll likely have an essay that’s sufficiently detailed. Just try not to exceed the maximum or you’ll risk rambling!
#3: 2 Strong Points Is Better Than 3 Weak Ones
Each of our TOEFL essay templates above has three body paragraphs and three main points. Although three points is a solid number of points, if you can only think of two points, just stick with those and try to support them as clearly and effectively as possible.
As you can see in the sample TOEFL essays here , many essays with scores of 2 and 3 actually address three points — but their points are altogether weak, with few supporting details and insufficient analysis. What this means is that just having three points in your essay isn’t enough to guarantee you a high essay score . Thus, it’s far better to write an essay with two strong points than three weak ones.
#4: Do Not Copy Entire Sentences From the Prompt
If you struggle with English, you might be tempted to borrow some sentences and phrases from the prompt. While it’s OK to paraphrase sentences, you should never copy exact sentences from your prompt .
Copying the prompt shows evaluators that you lack the English level necessary for writing creatively and analytically. On top of this, copying is also a form of plagiarism, which means you are essentially “stealing” another’s work.
So what does this mean for your score? If you copy entire sentences and phrases from the reading or topic, you will receive a score of 0 .
Additional Resources for TOEFL Essay Templates
In addition to our templates above, here are a couple of online resources offering high-quality TOEFL essay templates you can use for free.
- TOEFL Resources : This resource offers detailed templates for the Integrated and Independent Writing tasks along with useful transitional phrases and sentence openers.
- Magoosh : This handy PDF contains a lengthy list of transitions as well as various sample TOEFL essays.
Recap: How Can a TOEFL Writing Template Help You?
TOEFL essay templates are an especially useful component of TOEFL prep because they raise your chance of achieving a high TOEFL Writing score .
With TOEFL essay templates, you can organize your thoughts more clearly, spend less time outlining your responses, and prepare for the TOEFL with increased confidence. Our templates are also flexible , allowing you to customize certain elements to your liking and cater the templates to many different prompts.
When using a TOEFL template, always remember the following four tips:
- Employ a variety of transitions throughout your essay
- Add details but try not to ramble
- Two strong point are better than three weak ones
- Do not copy exact sentences from the prompt
Now that you’re equipped with our TOEFL essay templates and the knowledge of how to use them, you should have no trouble getting a great TOEFL Writing score!
Seeking additional help with the TOEFL Writing section? Start practicing with our 13 Writing topics and get information on what resources you can use for high-quality Writing topics .
What does a high-scoring TOEFL essay look like? Take a look at our analyses of two perfect-scoring TOEFL essays to learn what you can do to guarantee yourself a high essay score on test day.
Want more TOEFL templates? Check out our TOEFL Speaking templates to improve your English-speaking skills and confidence.
Ready to improve your TOEFL score by 15 points?
Author: Hannah Muniz
Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel. View all posts by Hannah Muniz
HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION FOR THE TOEFL INDEPENDENT ESSAY
- TOEFL WRITING
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The TOEFL independent essay can be a very challenging aspect of the TOEFL ibt. The length of the essay, the challenge of writing correctly on a subject in English, and of course the fact that it comes at the very end of the TOEFL when you and your brain are probably quite tired, all make this one of the most difficult part of the TOEFL ibt. Because of these factors, we need all the help we can get to get a great score on the TOEFL independent essay.
There is an expression in English:
“you never get a second chance to make a first impression”
What does that mean? It means that the very first impression, or the first interaction with someone, is how they will judge you.
The same is true with writing.
Think about this: The TOEFL essays are initially graded by a computer which checks for grammatical and spelling errors, and some basic structure and syntax. After that, they are eventually reviewed by a grader. That is a real person, who reads your essay, and judges your English ability. Because of this we need to make a good “first impression” on the TOEFL independent essay.
How do we do this?
We begin with a strong opening sentence.
There are many ways to do this, but in my opinion the best way to begin is this:
We make the first, or “opening” sentence of your essay, a question . This is an abstract, or “rhetorical” question. In other words, you don’t ask to get an answer. You ask to make the reader think and reflect.
Let’s look at some examples
If we have a writing prompt like this:
“People listen to music for different reasons and at different times. Why is music important to many people? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.”
An opening sentence, or “question” can look like this:
“Have you ever listened to a song that you hadn’t heard in a long time, and suddenly you are transported back to a memory, or a time in the past when you first heard that song?”
“Is there a song that, when you hear it, you always feel happy and full of energy?”
If we look at these “questions”, we notice a couple of things.
First of all, they don’t actually need a response, they are simply a creative and different way to begin the essay. The people who grade the essays spend hours reading essay after essay. If you begin your TOEFL independent essay in a different and creative way the reader will be much more interested in reading your essay, and will be much more likely to give you a higher score.
Secondly, when you ask someone a question, even if they don’t need to answer it, the brain immediately thinks of possible answers. We can’t help but start to answer the question, even if it’s just in our head. Because of this, beginning your essay with a question activates and engages the reader’s brain, and makes them think actively about your topic.
All of this means one thing: The reader likes your essay and will give it a higher score.
Below are a list of some Independent writing essay prompts for you to practice your “opening sentence question”.
If you’re looking for a complete strategy for the TOEFL independent essay, as well as all four sections of the TOEFL, be sure to check out our full TOEFL study program for our powerful course and full practice tests.
TOEFL Independent Essay Topics
“What discovery in the last 100 years has been most beneficial for people in your country? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.”
“The 21st century has begun. What changes do you think this new century will bring? Use examples and details in your answer.”
“What change would make your hometown more appealing to people your age? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.”
“If you could study a subject that you have never had the opportunity to study, what would you choose? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.”
“If you could invent something new, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed.”
Good luck, and keep it simple!
About the Author
Adam is the founder and lead instructor for the English Simple TOEFL program. He's taught English and TOEFL for over ten years, and developed curriculum all over the world. TOEFL is his business, but helping people is his passion. His "office" is always open, so feel free to drop him an email with any questions, complaints, compliments, or funny jokes. He speaks French, Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. But you gotta write him in English - you're prepping for the TOEFL!
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- Knowledge Base
- How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples
How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022.
A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.
The main goals of an introduction are to:
- Catch your reader’s attention.
- Give background on your topic.
- Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.
This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Table of contents
Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.
Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.
Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.
Examples: Writing a good hook
Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.
- Braille was an extremely important invention.
- The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly why the topic is important.
- The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
- The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.
Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.
Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.
Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:
- Historical, geographical, or social context
- An outline of the debate you’re addressing
- A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
- Definitions of key terms
The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.
How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:
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Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.
This is the most important part of your introduction. A good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.
The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.
Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.
As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.
For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.
When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.
It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.
You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.
Checklist: Essay introduction
My first sentence is engaging and relevant.
I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.
I have defined any important terms.
My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.
Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.
You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.
- Literary analysis
This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.
This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).
In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.
To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
Cite this Scribbr article
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TOEFL Sample Essays
- Updated on
- Dec 1, 2022
The Test Of English as a Foreign Language ( TOEFL ) is an esteemed language proficiency exam undertaken by those planning to study abroad. TOEFL is amongst the widely accepted English proficiency tests and is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). It aims to assess candidates on four parameters, i.e. Reading , Writing, Speaking and Listening. To all the aspirants preparing to get their dream score in this exam, here is a blog to providing with various TOEFL sample essays and preparation tips for the writing section of the test.
This Blog Includes:
Toefl writing samples- task 1, toefl sample essays: writing task 2, toefl sample essay type, toefl sample essay list, toefl writing tips .
Recommended Read: TOEFL Registration
TOEFL Writing Task 1- TOEFL Integrated Writing Task
The first TOEFL Writing task is Integrated Writing. This task expects you to use your reading, writing and listening skills. In this, you first read a short passage for three minutes, then you listen to an audio clip of the speaker discussing the same passage. Now you get 20 minutes to respond to the question with reference from these two sources.
During your answer, you can read the passage again but cannot listen to the clip again. This section is marked from 0-5 and you will be judged not only on your writing skills but also on your reading and listening skills.
The following Sample is from the official website of TOEFL iBT :
Were Dinosaurs Endotherms?
Reading passage: .
Endotherms are animals such as modern birds and mammals that keep their body temperatures constant. For instance, humans are endotherms and maintain an internal temperature of 37°C, no matter whether the environment is warm or cold. Because dinosaurs were reptiles, and modern reptiles are not endotherms, it was long assumed that dinosaurs were not endotherms. However, dinosaurs differ in many ways from modern reptiles, and there is now considerable evidence that dinosaurs were, in fact, endotherms. Polar dinosaurs One reason for believing that dinosaurs were endotherms is that dinosaur fossils have been discovered in polar regions. Only animals that can maintain a temperature well above that of the surrounding environment could be active in such cold climates. Leg position and movement There is a connection between endothermy and the position and movement of the legs. The physiology of endothermy allows sustained physical activity, such as running. But running is efficient only if an animal’s legs are positioned underneath its body, not at the body’s side, as they are for crocodiles and many lizards. The legs of all modern endotherms are underneath the body, and so were the legs of dinosaurs. This strongly suggests that dinosaurs were endotherms. Haversian canals There is also a connection between endothermy and bone structure. The bones of endotherms usually include structures called Haversian canals. These canals house nerves and blood vessels that allow the living animal to grow quickly, and rapid body growth is a characteristic of endothermy. The presence of Haversian canals in bone is a strong indicator that the animal is an endotherm, and fossilized bones of dinosaurs are usually dense with Haversian canals.
[Narrator] Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.
[Professor] Many scientists have problems with the arguments you read in the passage. They don’t think those arguments prove that dinosaurs were endotherms. Take the polar dinosaur argument. When dinosaurs lived, even the polar regions where dinosaur fossils have been found were much warmer than today—warm enough during part of the year for animals that were not endotherms to live. And during the months when the polar regions were cold, the so-called polar dinosaurs could have migrated to warmer areas or hibernated as many modern reptiles do. So the presence of dinosaur fossils in polar regions doesn’t prove the dinosaurs were endotherms. Well, what about the fact that dinosaurs had their legs placed under their bodies, not out to the side, like a crocodile’s? That doesn’t necessarily mean dinosaurs were high-energy endotherms built for running. There’s another explanation for having legs under the body: this body structure supports more weight. So with legs under their bodies, dinosaurs could grow to a very large size. Being largely had advantages for dinosaurs, so we don’t need the idea of endothermy and running to explain why dinosaurs evolved to have their legs under their bodies. OK, so how about bone structure? Many dinosaur bones do have Haversian canals, that’s true, but dinosaur bones also have growth rings. Growth rings are a thickening of the bone that indicates periods of time when the dinosaurs weren’t rapidly growing. These growth rings are evidence that dinosaurs stopped growing or grew more slowly during cooler periods. This pattern of periodic growth—you know, rapid growth followed by no growth or slow growth and then rapid growth again—is characteristic of animals that are not endotherms. Animals that maintain a constant body temperature year-round, as true endotherms do, grow rapidly even when the environment becomes cool.
Prompt: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the specific points made in the reading passage.
Life on Mars
For years, scientists have been trying to discover whether life exists on Mars. Most have concluded that the Martian environment today is too harsh to support living organisms. However, three recent discoveries lend support to the idea that there may very well be life on Mars after all. First, large amounts of methane have been detected in the Martian atmosphere. This suggests the presence of living methanogens, tiny organisms that release methane into the atmosphere as a by-product of their life processes. Methanogens get their energy from hydrogen in rocks and do not need oxygen or sunlight to live, so they can survive in harsh environments like Mars. Since methane can remain in Mars’ atmosphere only for a few centuries after it’s created, these methanogens must be present and producing methane today.
Second, the existence of life on Mars is also strongly supported by a meteorite discovered in Antarctica in 1996. The particular chemical composition of this meteorite indicates that it is a rock from the surface of Mars. The meteorite also contains chemically pure and flawless crystals of the compound magnetite. Such magnetite crystals are produced in nature only by bacteria. Third, observations of hydrogen on Mars made in 2001 by NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft suggest the presence of liquid water there that could support organisms. The spacecraft detected the hydrogen in the top layer of Martian soil. This hydrogen is just what one would expect if there were liquid water under the surface. A subterranean reservoir of liquid water is an extremely suitable environment for microscopic life.
[Narrator] Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.
[Professor] Mars is a very unfriendly place for life. The evidence that has been put forward as supporting there being life on Mars is actually very ambiguous. The facts as we know them can easily be accounted for without supposing life on Mars. First, methanogens are not necessarily the source of methane. Methane can be produced by non-biological processes like volcanic eruptions. The same experiments that detected the atmospheric methane also indicated recent volcano activity. Moreover, unlike methanogens, volcanoes have actually been found on Mars. So since no methanogens have been found yet, it’s more likely that volcanoes are the source of Mars’s methane. Second, while the magnetite crystals found in the meteorite from Mars were probably made by bacteria, there is no indication that the bacteria themselves originated on Mars. The meteorite arrived on Earth about 13,000 years ago, which means it has had thousands of years to become exposed to bacteria on Earth. So it could have been bacteria on Earth that formed the crystals we now observe. Indeed, recent research performed on the meteorite found that, in fact, it has become contaminated by Earth bacteria. Since the sample has been contaminated, the magnetite crystals on the meteorite cannot be used as evidence of life on Mars. Third, what about the supposed existence of liquid water near enough to the surface of Mars to support life? The recent investigations of Mars detected hydrogen; they didn’t detect liquid water per se. It’s actually much more likely that if there’s any water close to the Martian surface, it’s frozen; in other words, it’s ice, not liquid water. And that’s not a great environment for life.
Prompt: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on the specific points made in the reading passage.
TOEFL Writing Task 2- TOEFL Independent Writing Task
The second task of the Writing Essay is the Independent Writing Task. In this, you will be asked a question on a particular topic or issue. You get 30 minutes to write your views on the topic and explain your opinion. You must give reasons for your opinion and it is recommended that you finish the answer in 300 words.
Also Read: TOEFL Sample Test
Now that you know the key tips and tricks, take a look at the following TOEFL sample essays to understand the format, structure and style of writing that will get you a higher score:
Q. Few people prefer to live in urban areas or big cities. While some like to live in small towns. Which place would you prefer to live in for the rest of your life? Support your answer with specific examples.
I was born and raised in a small town but moved to a big city to seek a quality education. Beginning my early schooling in a small town, I was eager to switch to a high-end school in a big city. After completing my undergraduate degree in an urban metropolis, I decided to settle down in the city itself.
In my opinion, both small towns and big cities have unavoidable problems of their own. Willingly or unwillingly, we are bound to adapt to the situations that affect living in such areas. Further, one can easily afford to have a lavish lifestyle in small towns. While on the other hand, availing luxuries doesn’t come easy to those living in big cities. Basic amenities are also readily accessible in an urban city while it is not feasible for people living in remote areas to get a hold of the fundamental necessities especially, in times of emergency.
Moreover, there are more career opportunities available to those living in urban areas. I am fond of the challenges that I face living in a big city as conquering one makes me explore something new about myself. On the contrary, the setup of rural areas may develop a feeling of being content with lesser luxuries.
Whether one is living in a metropolis or a small town, both these two come with their own advantages and disadvantages. I love the bustling life that a big city experiences as well as the thrill of new challenges that it presents me with which seems far better to me rather than spending a monotonous life in small city.
Exploring TOEFL Sample Essays? You must also check out IELTS Sample Essays !
Q. Some students align with the idea of early morning studies while some feel nights are more peaceful to study. Which of the two is your preferred mode of study?
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. This common saying beautifully describes the advantages of starting your day by waking up early in the morning. Getting up with a fresh mind motivates you to kickstart your studies in the right way. The early morning time rejuvenates your senses thus accentuating your focus as well as memory retention. On the other hand, starting your preparation late in the night with a tired brain might not work in your favour. An early morning walk or exercise before starting your course of the day can work as the cherry on top. I have always made it a rule to start my studies early in the morning with an awake mind instead of purposely keeping myself up for late nights.
Here is a type of Questions that can be asked in the Independent Writing Task:
- Motion For or Against a Topic
- Explaining both sides of a topic
- Choosing your stance from different options
- What are your observations on the effects of widespread use of the internet?
- Movies and television tend to create certain notions of a perfect lifestyle/human being. How would you elucidate that?
- Do you agree or disagree with the idea that young people can teach older people?
- What do you think is the impact of the place in which a person spends his/her childhood?
- Parents are the best teachers. What’s your take on that?
- Do you believe that technology is helping people connect on a deeper level?
- What do you think brings out better solutions? A group or an individual?
- If you could change one thing about your family what would it be and why?
- At some point or other, you’ll have a co-worker in your life. What measures will you take to bring out the best in both of you?
- If your school announced that students with low GPAs will be kicked out of the school. What will you do in response to the situation?
- What’s your take on the compulsion for traditional schooling? What do you think will happen if we start studying whatever we want by ourselves?
The writing section is an integral part of language proficiency assessments. Thus, it becomes important to work on your writing skills as well as vocabulary and grammar before appearing for the exam. Here are the best TOEFL preparation tips for the writing section which will surely help you gain your desired score:
- You must wisely utilize your time and keep in mind that you only have 20 minutes to draft a 250-word essay.
- Take precise notes of the audio passage which will help you while writing the essay.
- Do not construct long and complex sentences but adhere to a simpler and concise style of writing.
- While writing the essay where you are asked to present your views on one side of an argument, do not dwell on both sides. Stick to one opinion and elaborate on the same.
- Conclude each body paragraph with a precise sentence.
- Using transitional words will help you connect better with the situation.
- TOEFL Speaking Topics
- Common Mistakes Made in TOEFL Listening Section and How to Avoid Them
- All you Need to Know About TOEFL
- IELTS vs TOEFL
- TOEFL Sample Speaking Questions
- TOEFL Reading Practice
- TOEFL Test Centres
- TOEFL iBT Vs TOEFL PBT
- Top Universities Accepting TOEFL Scores
There are a few things to keep in mind as you write the body paragraphs: Use a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences. Emphasize the examples. … Avoid very short sentences (less than seven words) and very long sentences (more than 60 words). Don’t start sentences with coordinating conjunctions.
The introduction is the most important paragraph of your TOEFL essay. The first paragraph of the essay. Usually 3 to 5 sentences long. Introduces the essay topic. Clearly gives your opinion. Has a strong thesis statement.
You can use percentiles to determine what a “good” TOEFL Writing score is. You might define “good” as anything that’s above average, or the 50th percentile. Using that definition, any scaled Writing score higher than 22 would be a good score.
Hopefully, these TOEFL sample essays have helped you get a better idea about the writing style required to ace this examination. Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will impart you with the best preparation tips and strategies that can help you get your dream score in your chosen English proficiency exam.
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TOEFL Independent Essay Structure
The structure of your independent essay is going to be at least a little different from that of the integrated essay you will have just finished. While your task in the integrated essay was to highlight similarities and contrasts, your task in this essay will be simply to defend your opinion. Because of this difference, you’ll probably find it hard to write an independent essay in the same way that you write your integrated essay.
Introduction and conclusion
I’ve mentioned before that you should start and end by stating your opinion. That’s the easiest way of saying that it’s important to have a clear introduction and conclusion. Without these, the reader may be confused, as your argument will lack context, and your essay will be awkward to read.
Checking your work
You’ll want to have an idea of the structure of your essay even before you start writing, so take a minute or two at the beginning of the writing period to jot down an outline. Then you can jump straight into writing. If possible, though, try to have all your thoughts on the screen at about the 27-minute mark. Use the last three minutes to read through your essay again in its entirety and be sure that it flows well. Since your mind will probably jump around a bit as you’re writing, it’s really important that you leave yourself this time at the end to smooth everything out. This is also a good opportunity to check for spelling/grammar errors and typos.
Below is a brief outline you can model your essays on. This isn’t something that you absolutely must follow every time to get a high score. It’s just a learning tool and something to fall back on if you don’t know how to tackle your topic on test day. Magoosh TOEFL’s lesson videos provide more detailed guidance through exactly how to write each part of the essay .
A. Very general statement about the world
B. Specify the topic
C. Optional: show the other side
D. Give your opinion
A. State your first reason
1. Explain the reason if needed
2 .Give a concrete example or detail
3. Optional: Second example or detail
4. Explain why the example supports your opinion
B. State your second reason
2. Give a concrete example or detail
3. Optional second example or detail
A. Restate main idea
B. Optional: Reference reasons or opposite opinion
C. Real-world result of your argument
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Kate has 6 years of experience in teaching foreign language. She graduated from Sewanee in 2012, where she studied and taught German, and recently returned from a year spent teaching English in a northern Russian university. Follow Kate on Google+ !
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TOEFL Sample Essays
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An Introduction to TOEFL
Tuesday | August 23, 2016 | by Kaitlin Ramby
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is one of the most widely administered and commonly accepted English language tests, particularly for students looking to gain admission into a U.S. university. Another common exam is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which is typically taken by students wanting to apply to U.K. universities. Although we will be focusing on the TOEFL in this post, you can read more in this blog for a comparison of the two exams.
Taking an official English language exam can potentially open many doors for you as an international student, so read on to learn some basics you should know when it comes to taking the TOEFL.
What is the TOEFL?
The TOEFL is a standardized test that measures the English language ability of non-native speakers looking to enroll in an English-speaking university or program. The test is made up of four components: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
How do I take it?
The TOEFL can either be taken online (internet-based testing, or IBT) where it is offered 50 times a year and administered in various locations around the world, or on paper (paper-based testing, or PBT) which is offered only in locations where the Internet version of the test cannot be administered.
How do I register?
Before registering, verify the location where you want to take the exam. Then, schedule the date you want to take the exam at least three months out because spots can fill up quickly. Registration for the exam is available online, by phone, in person, or by mail. When you go to register, you must have a current and valid form of identification, a method of payment ready (debit/credit card, electronic check, or PayPal account), and the names of institutions you want to send your scores to.
When should I begin studying for the exam?
The minimum recommended time to begin studying for the TOEFL is eight weeks before your exam date, although preparation even before that could be beneficial to students looking to achieve a high score.
How long is the exam?
The online exam takes a total of four and a half hours, with 30 minutes allotted for check-in. Be sure to arrive 30 minutes before the exam begins. Otherwise you may not be permitted to take it.
What should I expect the day of the exam?
You must confirm your identity to sit for the exam, so bring a current, valid form of identification with you (preferably the same one you used to register). A seat will be assigned to you; the only thing you are allowed to have at your seat is your identification (though test takers are sometimes allowed to keep cell phones and electronics in a bag under the chair). It is recommended that you dress in layers so you can be comfortable in different room temperatures.
When will test results be posted?
The results of the TOEFL exam are posted online about 10 days after the exam date, and if you are receiving your scores in the mail, you should see those about 13 days after your exam date.
Can the test be taken more than once?
Although there is no limit to how many times you can take the TOEFL, the exam cannot be taken more than once in a period of 12 days. You also want to make sure to take it on a date that gives you enough time to submit your scores to the universities you are applying to.
For more questions regarding the basics of taking the TOEFL exam, check the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website for more information. Be on the lookout for more articles about taking the TOEFL exam on our blog!
Want to know more about mastering the TOEFL? Be sure to read part two of this blog series, How to Study for the TOEFL Exam . Also, learn about how to prepare for the test day in part three, Best Practices for Taking the TOEFL Exam.
Did you like this article, or do you have insights for taking the TOEFL test? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Related Reading How to Prepare for the IELTS Test English Proficiency: Mastering the CELPIP Test
Kaitlin Ramby is the former Digital Content Producer and a Contributing Writer for World Education Services.
How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
The five paragraph essay for the toefl or toeic.
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- B.A., English, University of Michigan
Writing an essay can be a difficult enough task as it is; writing it a language that is your first language is even harder.
If you're taking the TOEFL or the TOEIC and have to complete a writing assessment, then read these instructions for organizing a great five-paragraph essay in English.
Paragraph One: The Introduction
This first paragraph, made up of 3-5 sentences, has two purposes: grabbing the reader's attention, and providing the main point (thesis) of the whole essay.
To get the reader's attention, your first few sentences are key. Use descriptive words, an anecdote, a striking question or an interesting fact related to your topic to draw the reader in.
To state your main point, your last sentence in the first paragraph is key. Your first few sentences of the introduction basically introduce the topic and grab the reader's attention. The last sentence of the introduction tells the reader what you think about the assigned topic and lists the points that you're going to write about in the essay. Here's an example of a good introductory paragraph given the topic, "Do you think teenagers should have jobs while they are still students?" :
I've worked ever since I was twelve. As a teenager, I cleaned houses for my family members, made banana splits at an ice cream parlor, and waited tables at various restaurants. I did it all while carrying a pretty good grade point average in school, too! I definitely believe that teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline, earns them cash for school, and keeps them out of trouble.
Paragraphs Two - Four: Explaining Your Points
Once you've stated your thesis, you have to explain yourself! The thesis in the example introduction was "I definitely believe that teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline, earns them cash for school, and keeps them out of trouble".
The job of the next three paragraphs is to explain the points of your thesis using statistics, examples from your life, literature, the news or other places, facts, examples, and anecdotes.
- Paragraph Two: Explains the first point from your thesis: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline.
- Paragraph Three: Explains the second point from your thesis: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job earns them cash for school.
- Paragraph Four: Explains the third point from your thesis: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job keeps them out of trouble.
In each of the three paragraphs, your first sentence, called the topic sentence, will be the point you're explaining from your thesis. After the topic sentence, you'll write 3-4 more sentences explaining why this fact is true. The last sentence should transition you to the next topic. Here's an example of what paragraph two would look like:
First, teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline. When I was working at the ice cream store, I had to show up every day on time or I would have gotten fired. That taught me how to keep a schedule, which is a big part of learning discipline. As I cleaned the floors and washed the windows of my family members' homes, I knew they would be checking up on me, so I worked hard to do my best, which taught me an important facet of discipline, which is thoroughness. But being disciplined isn't the only reason it's a good idea for teenagers to work during school; it can also bring in the money!
Paragraph Five: Concluding the Essay
Once you've written the introduction, explained your main points in the body of the essay, transitioning nicely between them all, your final step is to conclude the essay. The conclusion, made up of 3-5 sentences, has two purposes: to recap what you've stated in the essay, and leave a lasting impression on the reader.
To recap, your first few sentences are key. Restate the three major points of your essay in different words, so you know the reader has understood where you stand.
To leave a lasting impression, your last sentences are key. Leave the reader with something to think about before ending the paragraph. You could try a quote, a question, an anecdote, or simply a descriptive sentence. Here's an example of a conclusion:
I can't speak for anyone else, but my experience has taught me that having a job while being a student is a very good idea. Not only does it teach people to have character in their lives, it can give them the tools they need to succeed like money for college tuition or a good reputation. Sure, it's hard to be a teenager without the added pressure of a job, but with all the benefits of having one, it's too important not to make the sacrifice. Like Mike would say, "Just do it."
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TOEFL iBT ® Test
The premier test of academic English communication
Learn more by selecting any step in your TOEFL iBT ® journey.
TOEFL iBT Test Writing Section
The TOEFL iBT test Writing section measures your ability to write in English in an academic setting, and to present your ideas in a clear, well-organized way.
There are two writing tasks.
- Integrated writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture, then write in response to what you read and listened to.
- Independent writing task (30 minutes) — write an essay based on personal experience or opinion in response to a writing topic.
You'll type your responses on a computer keyboard (or hand write them for the TOEFL iBT Paper Edition).
Test time: You have 50 minutes to complete the Writing section.
Scoring: Writing tasks are scored based on the Writing Scoring Guides (Rubrics) (PDF) by a combination of AI scoring and certified human raters. Raw scores are converted to a scaled section score of 0–30.
Practice Your Writing Skills
Get The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT ® Test for a list of sample writing topics.
Watch these videos to learn about the questions in the Writing section, plus helpful tips.
Question 1: Integrated Writing
Question 2: Independent Writing
Do you need to be an expert on the topics.
The writing tasks measure your English proficiency, so you don't need deep knowledge on a specific topic to get a high score. Score raters recognize that each essay is a first draft, and you can receive a high score with an essay that contains some errors.
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On the TOEFL test, you'll get an independent writing question based on one of the following essay styles: Agree/Disagree Multiple Choice Paired Choice Imaginary Situation Below are samples of each type. At the bottom of the page are some sample TOEFL integrated essays.
The introduction is critical in making (or, let's say, "helping") the reader see the issue in question your way. Give some idea of the structure of the essay Generally speaking, you should present examples in your introduction in the same order in which you plan to introduce them in the body.
Your TOEFL integrated essay should be about 280 to 300 words. To see this template in use, check out my collection of sample essays. Independent Essay Template (Writing Question Two) Paragraph 1 (Introduction) Sentence One: Background This is a broad sentence that introduces the general topic of the essay.
The TOEFL Writing section is 50 minutes long (broken into two parts) and contains two tasks: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. It's the fourth and final section of the exam. You'll type both essays on the computer.
Simply put, TOEFL essay templates teach you how to organize your thoughts, select strong pieces of evidence, and get the Writing score you want. In this article, we're providing you with two high-quality TOEFL essay templates for the Integrated and Independent Writing tasks.
This video goes into depth about how to write the introduction to a TOEFL independent essay. For more, check out the main toeflresources.com site
Think about this: The TOEFL essays are initially graded by a computer which checks for grammatical and spelling errors, and some basic structure and syntax. After that, they are eventually reviewed by a grader. That is a real person, who reads your essay, and judges your English ability.
Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.
TOEFL Writing Preparation TOEFL Writing Introduction The writing section is the fourth section of the TOEFL iBT test and takes about 50 minutes to complete. It consists of two separate tasks: an Integrated Writing task and an Independent Writing task .
The TOEFL writing section is the fourth section of the TOEFL iBT test. It measures your ability to produce clear, organized academic writing. This section contains two tasks: an Independent Writing Task and an Integrated Writing Task. In this guide, we will give you a full introduction to the Writing section on the TOEFL.
The Test Of English as a Foreign Language ( TOEFL) is an esteemed language proficiency exam undertaken by those planning to study abroad. TOEFL is amongst the widely accepted English proficiency tests and is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
IELTS & TOEFL Writing Task 2 - The Introduction Adam's English Lessons · engVid 3.21M subscribers Subscribe 27K 1.7M views 9 years ago Learn English with Adam - ALL lessons: grammar, writing......
It's just a learning tool and something to fall back on if you don't know how to tackle your topic on test day. Magoosh TOEFL's lesson videos provide more detailed guidance through exactly how to write each part of the essay. I. Introduction. A. Very general statement about the world. B. Specify the topic.
TOEFL - Quick Essay Analysis This sample TOEFL Independent Essay is an argumentative one (agree/disagree). In this sample, the author . TOEFL Essay 2 - Telling the truth. TOEFL - Quick Essay Analysis Here is a sample essay for TOEFL Writing (Independent Essay). It is a topic about .
An Introduction to TOEFL. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is one of the most widely administered and commonly accepted English language tests, particularly for students looking to gain admission into a U.S. university. Another common exam is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which is typically taken by ...
TOEFL Writing Task 1: An Introduction Master TOEFL's Integrated Essay Free tutorial 4.5 (64 ratings) 2,042 students 1hr 34min of on-demand video Created by Kirstyn Lazur English Free Enroll now What you'll learn Course content Reviews Instructors everything you need to know about TOEFL's Writing Task 1: The Integrated Essay
Paragraph One: The Introduction This first paragraph, made up of 3-5 sentences, has two purposes: grabbing the reader's attention, and providing the main point (thesis) of the whole essay. To get the reader's attention, your first few sentences are key.
TOEFL iBT Test Writing Section. The TOEFL iBT test Writing section measures your ability to write in English in an academic setting, and to present your ideas in a clear, well-organized way. There are two writing tasks. Integrated writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture, then write in response to what ...
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