TOEFL® Writing Practice 32

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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? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Although there are multitudes of ways that people learn and grow throughout their lives, the role of parents in education cannot be underestimated. Parents have the potential to be the best teachers their children will ever know. A parent function as the first teacher a child has during their developmental years. Through time the parent then serves as a guiding light for a child to acquire values and morals. This role as a teacher can extend through the entirety of a parent’s life as a consistent presence, and therefore makes them a lifelong teacher.

    In modern times it is widely understood by doctors that a child does a great deal of learning in their developmental years, between birth and age five. Given that this time occurs before most children begin school, it places great emphasis on the role of the parent as a teacher. Parents, therefore, are present for teaching the basics of life such as walking and speaking. Parents can begin teaching their child many things from reading to math before they ever send them off to school, and so can prepare their child in those early years for the challenges of life ahead.

    Even as a child grows up and begins interacting with peers and teachers in school, where they undeniably learn much, parents maintain a role as the driving force behind morals and values. A child spends much time around their parents where they see how their parents handle themselves in joyful, stressful, and distressing situations, from which children learn how to handle themselves in similar situations. As a child grows up their parents are a source of encouragement and support when they achieve great things, but also are there to provide punishment and guidance when mistakes are made. This role has the potential to educate a child on what right and wrong behaviors are and what the consequences can be.

    Given that the role of parent begins early in a child’s life and establishes the set of values and morals that a child can have, the parent then becomes an enduring teacher. While other teachers and friends come and go, a parent is forever, allowing them to create consistency in the lessons and values they teach their children. A lifelong guide who cares deeply will ensure that their child is provided for and happy even as an adult. The role of someone who provides consistent support, encouragement, and advice as a teacher, is undeniably the most important role a person can obtain.

     Consequently, parents are the best possible teachers a child can have. They can begin teaching their children during their formative years, where they will be most influenced by learning. A parent can then continue, spending a lifetime influencing the values of their children, providing guidance and support through difficulties and success. A parent’s role as the teacher is undeniably important to the life of their children.

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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