TOEFL® Writing Practice 8

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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: It has recently been announced that a new movie theater may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: It has recently been announced that a new movie theater may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

If a new proposal to build a movie theater were suggested for my neighborhood I would adamantly approve of this idea. Movie theaters provide communities with many positive qualities as gathering spaces for youth, and locations for family outings. Aside form appealing to people of all ages a new movie theater would also offer new jobs to people in my neighborhood. The communal benefits of such a proposal would help it to gain my support.

    An initial positive repercussion of a movie theater has to do with its role in youth culture. Many teenagers, in their endless search for activities outside of the house, often attend movies. Without a movie theater the youth in my neighborhood might resort to activities that are less wholesome and more dangerous. Although teenagers can at times be annoying in large groups, I would highly prefer that they are getting together to watch movies at a community space rather than any other illegal or unsafe alternatives that youth often fall into. I can therefore approve of something that provides positive entertainment for the youth of my community.

    Aside from offering amusement to teenagers, movie theaters are also enjoyed by people of all ages. Given the diversity of movies that are released throughout the year a theater will attract young children, couples on dates, families, the elderly, and people of all backgrounds. A theater is therefore provides entertainment that can be enjoyed by anyone in the community. Anything that provides wholesome entertainment while bolstering the economy is worth supporting.

    The final reason for supporting this plan is the economic benefits of a new movie theater. This new business would require hiring many people to sell tickets, sell snacks, run the films, and clean the theaters. This would thus provide many people in my community with jobs that didn’t exist otherwise. Many of those jobs would go to teenagers and provide them with lessons in responsibility and money management. Those same youth would then be spending money in other shops in the neighborhood, which would provide the whole area with an improved economy.

    A movie theater would thus be of great advantage to my community and have my support. By providing positive entertainment for the youth of the neighborhood it helps to ensure a safe and healthy environment for kids. A theater will also provide entertainment to a variety of people and families, while also providing needed jobs and an improved economy. Therefore a new movie theater would provide a multitude of benefits to many people and would receive my support.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Support and Oppose 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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