TOEFL® Writing Practice 153

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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: In general, people are living longer now. Discuss the causes of this phenomenon. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: In general, people are living longer now. Discuss the causes of this phenomenon. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

An undeniable fact exists that people live longer today than at any time in human history. This phenomenon is due to many factors that have to do with how human lives changed during the twentieth century. Two of the main influences on life’s longevity are the availability of food sources and also the widespread accessibility to vaccinations. Another major change to people’s lives has been the work options people have and the accompanying repercussions. Therefore people’s life expectancy has risen due to the many advances of the last hundred years.

    The creation of new technologies in recent centuries has allowed for greater and easier food production. People now have the ability to grow a wider variety of crops in places with previously limited water access. Concurrently new technology has made it possible to ship food long distances without it rotting in transit. The availability of large amounts of food and in greater variety has led to humans having the best diets they have ever had access to in our entire history. A wider variety in diet yields more positive nutrients. The food production advancements are most certainly a key player in creating longer lives.

    A second important advancement in recent history has been the creation and spread of vaccinations. This medical advantage has eliminated many of the diseases that previously shortened human lives. The creation of vaccinations and the ability to ship them around the world has done miracles for reducing infant mortality rates, allowing for more people to have potentially long lives. These same vaccinations stay with people through their entire lives and allow us to not worry so much about the possible diseases around us. Without vaccinations we would have fewer people and less potential for long lives.

    The same great scientific advancements that created better food production and healthcare have also created safer jobs. Compared to centuries past, nowadays far fewer people are employed in dangerous activities. The safety features involved in typically dangerous jobs, such as construction and factory work, have limited the number of injuries in those fields. At the same time more people are now employed in offices rather than working in manual labor. People’s occupations have simply become less life threatening.

    Overall the influences on generating longer life expectancy can be reduced to technological advancements. These new technologies have made food production abundant and foods healthier. The creation of vaccinations has eliminated many diseases and made others far more treatable. Finally, new technology has provided safer working environments to the point that most people have safe office jobs. These many varied factors have all combined to create healthier longer living people.

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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