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: In some countries people are no longer allowed to smoke in many public places and office buildings. Do you think this is a good rule or a bad rule? Use specific reasons and details to support your position.
There are differing opinions on whether or not the law of prohibition of smoking in public places should be enforced. Some people think that if smoking in public should be banned, vehicles which constantly emit harmful gases should be banned, too. Other people, however, argue that smoking is a harmful habit and when it is allowed in public places, nonsmokers are forced to suffer from secondhand smoke. In my opinion, it is a good rule to prohibit smoking in public places because it can reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, prevent people from starting, and help people quit.
First of all, reducing or banning smoking in public places and workplaces lowers health risks to those affected by secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke has several harmful effects. For one thing, people who breathe in secondhand smoke are at risk of getting cancer. For another thing, the smoke can affect those with asthma or irritate those with a chest cold or infection. Enforcing the law banning on public smoking would mean kids and teens are not be affected by smokers in restaurants, parks, and other public places, which is only beneficial.
Secondly, younger people who are around smokers are more likely to pick up the addiction, whether at a young age or later on in life. They will be more likely to pick up a cigarette because they want to be like their parents or friends. Secondhand smoke can make nonsmokers even more vulnerable to nicotine addiction once they take their first puff. By enforcing smoke-free areas, fewer people will become addicted to cigarettes. It is easier to prevent people from starting smoking than it is to stop people who are already addicted.
Lastly, the smoke-free rule can lead to a rise of people breaking the habit. Being unable to smoke at work, employees are more motivated to quit smoking and make more attempts to do so. Reducing how often a person smokes is one way to help them quit. People who cannot smoke at work have had more success in fighting their addiction and in their attempts to quit.
Overall, I believe enforcing the smoke-free rule to be a good thing. Fewer children will be affected by secondhand smoke and will not deal with many of the health risks that adult smokers do. The number of people that die because of secondhand smoke will be reduced. Certainly, it is healthier for everyone in the long run.
Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Description or Explanation Essays
Tip 1: Follow a standard TOEFL essay structure
1. Provide background information about the essay topic. Here are a few techniques:
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
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.||
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
Tip 4: Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes
You should avoid any grammar and spelling mistakes, otherwise your score will be deducted.Lesson: Countable nouns and Uncountable nouns
Lesson: Subject verb agreement rules
Lesson: Use the right article
Lesson: Relative pronouns and relative clauses
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 1 (Pay attention to the lesson content related to punctuation)
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 2 (Pay attention to the lesson content related to punctuation)
If you are a premium member, you will have up to 50 free essay grammar corrections.
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:
- Read our sample essays and pay attention to words you are not familiar with.
- Utilize our TOEFL Vocabulary system
- Utilize our TOEFL synonyms exercises