TOEFL® Writing Practice 55

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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? Children nowadays have too much freedom. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children nowadays have too much freedom. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Just as society continues to evolve, opinions regarding childhood development have also changed over time. For instance, some people believe that children have an overabundance of liberties in present-day society, while others reckon that adolescents have an adequate amount of freedom. I, myself, agree with the latter. Currently, children are given a healthy amount of freedom which encourages responsibility, fosters creativity, and prepares them for adulthood.

First off, allowing children to gain independence from an early age will likely encourage them to manage responsibilities more efficiently. With more freedom to choose hobbies in addition to academic pursuits and extracurricular activities, adolescents can develop responsible habits. For instance, if a teenager is given the opportunity to spend the weekend with friends, he or she will be more apt to complete necessary assignments and meet deadlines beforehand. Thus, the mere fact that adolescents have freedom in their personal lives could help them successfully manage important responsibilities.

Secondly, the prevalence of social media platforms has provided the current generation of youths with an unprecedented freedom of expression. Thanks to the increasing ability to connect and communicate with a diverse set of peers, children can utilize these opportunities to further their creative skill sets. For example, with the freedom to create social media profiles, ranging from an online photography portfolio to a collaborative video network, teenagers can express themselves while potentially learning necessary, artistic skills. Consequently, this positive, creative license can create well-rounded, bright individuals with a plethora of interests.

Lastly, introducing autonomy naturally to children will better prepare them for life as adults. As such, the standards in present-day society allow children to adequately experiment with appropriate amounts of independence. In some areas of the United States, for example, fifteen-year-olds are legally permitted to begin driving and work part-time, in addition to attending school. It is important that young people experience these liberties first-hand, as they will be less likely to become overwhelmed with the pressures of adulthood in the long-run.

To sum up, adolescents do not have an excessive amount of freedom, but rather, have been given an appropriate amount that is on par with an ever-changing society. By instilling positive traits, such as creativity and responsibility, this sense of liberty will also prepare children to become successful adults.

Word Count: 377

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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