TOEFL® Writing Practice 94

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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: We all work or will work in our jobs with many different kinds of people. In your opinion, what are some important characteristics of a co-worker (someone you work closely with)? Use reasons and specific examples to explain why these characteristics are important.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: We all work or will work in our jobs with many different kinds of people. In your opinion, what are some important characteristics of a co-worker (someone you work closely with)? Use reasons and specific examples to explain why these characteristics are important.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Considering the majority of jobs require working alongside other people, we should always be mindful of what characteristics make a good co-worker. The multi-faceted features of a positive working relationship are the ability to be friendly towards others, share in work responsibilities, and the ability to communicate effectively. When these characteristics are met people enjoy their job more because positive co-workers surround them.

    The first seemingly simple task to being a good co-worker is an attempt to be friendly. When we are forced to work in close quarters for much of the day with other people it can make the days seem long and unpleasant if we cannot be on friendly terms. Therefore the simple actions of smiling and saying hello can go a long way in making people feel welcome at work. Another slight aspect of preserving a friendly work environment is kindly minding other people‚Äôs space and things. To maintain a friendly atmosphere co-workers should be amicable but mindful of each other in order to preserve harmony.

    An additional attribute that ensures a good co-worker is the ability to share responsibility. In offices across the world people perform small tasks that are part of a larger process. Each employee must recognize the importance of their job and the importance of the others around them; only then can they share in the success or failure of their company together. A restaurant is a different example but has the same motivating idea. The hostess, cooks, bartenders, and waiters rely on each other to do their jobs and help elsewhere when necessary in order for a restaurant to work effectively. Without sharing the responsibilities of the company, no employee is being the best co-worker.

    In the end, a co-worker cannot be friendly and responsible if they cannot also be an effective communicator. When people are able to communicate in good and bad times they can ensure that all their co-workers will understand what needs to be done and by whom. When problems arise in the work world people need to be able to express their perspective of the problem and then appropriately offer solutions or elicit help from others. Thus a good co-worker is someone who can converse with others in positive and efficient ways to help promote an enjoyable workspace.

    At an average of eight hours a day five days a week people end up spending a vast amount of time at work. Since people generally seek an enjoyable life they must also create a pleasant workspace. Therefore a good co-worker will seek to be friendly, responsible, and communicate effectively. These characteristics will ensure that a person is a valued co-worker.

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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