TOEFL® Writing Practice 128

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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? People should sometimes do things that they do not enjoy doing. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People should sometimes do things that they do not enjoy doing. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Throughout life people should most definitely push themselves to do things they don’t think they will enjoy. The justification for this thinking boils down to one big reason with many benefits, expanding a person’s comfort zone. Through this process a person can learn about new activities, learn valuable knowledge about their character, and acquire information for fun stories. These benefits far outweigh the slight unease of trying something new or scary.

    When people push themself to try a new activity they can gain valuable knowledge that they wouldn’t have otherwise. If people are scared of heights but force themselves to go sky diving they will learn much about the procedure and process behind flying, parachutes, and gravity. Any time a person tries a new activity they learn unexpected things. If a person tries a new type of food they may learn about a new cultures cuisine, methods for preparation, or something about their own palate. There is no accounting for the many new ideas a person will gain when they try a new activity.

    Alongside the trivial knowledge gained, people will learn much about themselves when they reach outside their comfort zone. The same person sky diving for the first time will learn about what they can do to conquer their fears. Learning how to overcome a fear is a valuable piece of knowledge that has incalculable repercussions. When people face their fears they become stronger and braver, which encourages them to be bolder at other times in their life. When people learn about themselves and can use that knowledge to be better people, then they can truly claim that a new experience, even if scary, was highly beneficial.

    While learning many new things about activities and themselves, people will also gain fun stories. Humans are social creatures and often telling stories of those things that were daring and scary provides some of the most interesting conversations. People can then use their experiences to teach or encourage others. A person who has been skydiving can use their stories to encourage others to be brave and try something new that they might find scary. The power of stories to teach and inspire others is of vast importance to all people.

    Due to these many paybacks, people should push their comfort zone through trying things they don’t want to. Until people give something a try they cannot predict what they will learn about the activity in general, and themselves particularly. The stories and experiences gained from pushing people’s comfort zone provide the rest of the population with a valuable firsthand viewpoint. By pushing their comfort zone people conquer their fears and gain valuable life assets.


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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