TOEFL® Writing Practice 87

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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: Plants can provide food, shelter, clothing or medicine. What is the one kind of plant that is important to you or the people in your country? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: Plants can provide food, shelter, clothing or medicine. What is the one kind of plant that is important to you or the people in your country? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Plants have been used by people around the world for millennia for medicine, sustenance, and other uses; they are critical to life on earth. Each country has a variety of plants, many of which are unique to that one geographic area. There are many kinds of plants in Thailand since its land and climate are very suitable for growth and agriculture. In terms of the most important plant in my home country, Thailand, it is undoubtedly rice. For, it is a necessary plant as it is the main source of food and the number one export.

Firstly, rice is the main source of sustenance in Thailand. Even though there are a lot more plants that provide food in Thailand, almost all Thai people have always eaten and still eat rice as their daily traditional, staple dish. Moreover, rice provides us with substantial energy so we have enough energy to complete our daily activities. In some other countries, people eat some sort of meat and eggs for breakfast. For me, a breakfast without rice is simply not filling and leaves me feeling hungry.

Secondly, as an agricultural country, the export of rice is the main source of Thailand's income. Of course, Thailand exports several other kinds of plants to other countries, however, rice is the top exported product. In fact, Thailand ranks first in rice exports in the entire world. I cannot imagine if we did not have rice as it is the vital economic product and source of sustenance for our nation - without it, our country could not survive.

Furthermore, the significance of rice is further demonstrated in the United States' eager attempt to grow and cultivate rice. Obviously, no other plants can replace rice in terms of it being an essential source of food and the vital economic value it has offered throughout time. Thus, even though several kinds of plants are also cultivated here, rice is the most important plant to myself and the people of Thailand.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Description or Explanation 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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