TOEFL® Writing Practice 118

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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: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Watching television is bad for children. Use specific details and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Watching television is bad for children. Use specific details and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Kids will be delighted to hear this, but I don’t believe there are any detriments to children watching television. I believe children should be able to watch television for three main reasons. The first reason is it can be engaging and used as downtime for the parents. Next, children are tomorrow’s future and exposing them to what is going on in the outside world will educate them. Last, watching T.V. can expose the children to different jobs that they didn’t know existed, which can lead to higher aspirations and dreams. I will discuss these reasons in the following essay.



First of all, there are many different types of children all around the world. Some kids love to fool around and are very restless. This becomes difficult for a parent to run around and keep up with them at all times. For this reason, a television program will definitely capture their attention and help them settle down. For example, kids love watching cartoons and animations. Once they set their eyes on a particular cartoon show, they will relax and sit still for a little while. This will give the child’s body a rest, as well as some downtime for the parents.




In addition to this, if children are allowed to watch television, they will be engaged with other areas of life and become more aware of things going on around them. Children at this stage are very inquisitive, so whenever they are watching something on TV, questions may come up. This enhances their thinking ability and opens up a dialogue within the family. Watching television gives the children the ability to learn a lot and become more aware.



Lastly, watching T.V. can lead to children having different dreams and goals. For example, imagine a child who didn’t like school or doing his homework. If he watches a show with a main character having a job he thinks is really cool, for example, a detective, he may dream to be a detective. A parent can use this to their advantage, explaining that the detective had to work very hard in school, and in return the child should work hard at school.




In conclusion, I feel that children should be allowed a moderate amount of time to watch TV as it can help their overall growth. T.V. allows for downtime between both parents and kids, encourages conversation between the family members and can lead to bigger dreams and goals.
Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Agree and Disagree 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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