TOEFL® Writing Practice 170

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For this task, you will write an essay in response to a question that asks you to state, explain, and support your opinion on an issue. You'll have 30 minutes to write your essay.

Typically, an effective essay will contain a minimum of 350 words.

We recommend you practice organizing your essay for the first 5 minutes with a pen and paper like you will during your TOEFL exam.

Question: If you could invent something new, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed.
Word Count: 0

Question: If you could invent something new, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

It has been said that there are no more truly "new" ideas; for every idea or invention is based upon other ideas and concepts. However, people are constantly coming up with new ways to solve old and new problems and introducing concepts where they didn't previously exist. While it's not a totally new invention, if I were to create or invent something, I would build a free community garden that would be open to the public. I feel as though a community garden would be great in my area for the following three reasons: it would provide free fruits and vegetables, much-needed exercise, and healthy alternatives to fast, low-quality food.

First of all, vegetables and fruit are very expensive at most grocery stores here. The reason most people choose not to buy them is due to the price, but if free produce was available people would take advantage of this. The community members would be able to feed their family better quality on a small budget. Another benefit is that the vegetables and fruit would be organic and healthy for the community. This would, in turn, lessen the worry about eating GMO or pesticide-ridden foods.

Another benefit to creating a community garden in my area is that it’s a means for people of all ages to get more exercise. Most people in my area do not get the exercise they need. If a community garden was available, people could benefit from the exercise they would get while picking their crops and maintaining the garden without even knowing it. The simple acts of walking along the rows of carrots, potatoes, et cetera, then bending and pulling them up would provide some light exercise and a way to enjoy the outdoors without being too exhaustive.

Finally, a free community garden would provide people with a delicious, rewarding alternative to unhealthy snacks. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables would easily replace chips and candies, especially if they were free for all. A healthy alternative is always better especially when it is free, yet earned.

Thus, a community garden is what I would create if given a plot of land. It would yield many benefits for not only myself but for the community as a whole. At the same time, it would be very rewarding for everyone and build a true sense of community. I am not an inventor, so I feel that creating a garden would help everyone and allow me to use my creativity in the process.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - If / Imaginary Essays
Tip 1: Follow a standard TOEFL essay structure
Introductory Paragraph 1. Provide background information about the essay topic. Here are a few techniques:
  1. Begin with two sides of opinions on the essay topic
  2. Begin with the general public's opinions
  3. Introduce a fact that raises a question about the essay topic
  4. Introduce a debate on the essay topic
  5. Mention the advantage or disadvantage of a subject as a way to contrast
  6. your main opinion on the subject.

2. Write a strong thesis statement

Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL introductory paragraph part 1
Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL introductory paragraph part 2
Body Paragraph A
Body Paragraph B
Body Paragraph C (Optional)
1. Include a transition word/phrase at the beginning
2. Write a topic sentence
3. Include supporting sentences

Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL body paragraph
Conclusion Paragraph 1. Include a restatement of the thesis statement you wrote in your introduction
2. Provide a brief summary of your main ideas

Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL conclusion paragraph

There's no maximum length for your essay, but a good response is usually at least 300 words.

Tip 2: Use transition words and phrases

You need to use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas in your essay. You should have 2 transition words/phrases every 4-5 sentences.

Type of connection Transition words
These words can help you show the order of ideas. First/Second/Third
Firstly (or "First of all")/Secondly/Thirdly (or "Lastly")
For one thing/For another thing/Finally (or "Lastly")
In the first place/in the second place/Finally (or "Lastly")

Instead of "First", "First of all" and "Firstly", we can use "To begin with", "To start with", or "For starters". We can also use "First and foremost" to state that the first key point is the most important one among all key points.

Likewise, instead of "Finally" and "Lastly", we can use "Last but not least" to state that the final key point is just as important as the others, despite it being mentioned last.

These words can help you add information In addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what's more, on top of that
These words can help you conclude or to summarize: To sum up, in summary, in conclusion, to conclude, all in all, all things considered ,overall, taking everything into consideration, in a nutshell
These words can help you demonstrate contrast Conversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words can help you compare or demonstrate similarity Similarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words can help you state a result. As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words can help you state a generalization. Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words can help you clarify a point. That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words can help you give examples. For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words can help you state an alternative. Alternatively, as another possibility
Tip 3: Vary your sentence structure

To achieve a higher score or a perfect 5 out of 5 on the TOEFL English language criteria, you must show that you can accurately and flexibly use a variety of structures.

Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 1
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 2
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 3
Tip 5: Vary your vocabulary

You should avoid using the same vocabulary throughout your essay. Instead, you can use synonyms or phrases that have the same meaning of words.

Here are some ways you can improve on this area:

  1. Read our sample essays and pay attention to words you are not familiar with.
  2. Utilize our TOEFL Vocabulary system
  3. Utilize our TOEFL synonyms exercises
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