TOEFL® Writing Practice 96

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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: Businesses should hire employees for their entire lives. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0

Question: Businesses should hire employees for their entire lives. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Company loyalty is a continually slippery slope concerning both the employer and the employee. However, the idea that companies should hire people for their lifetime is not a viable option. The ultimate goal of a company is to make money for owners and investors, which sometimes requires that people are fired or hired. Likewise, as businesses grow they have to change needs that must be addressed sometimes through evaluating personnel. Finally, innovative ideas sometimes require competition, and the security of a job does not inspire imaginative thinking. Therefore, it would be a poor practice for companies to implement a practice of hiring employees for life.

   To begin with, many companies have one major goal, make money. If this is the goal of a company then they often need to take steps that ensure the success of their business. The owners and investors of a company are trying to see a return profit on their initial money. This means that hiring an employee, giving them annual raises, and never firing them is likely to be a poor idea. Those employees will be making a large amount of money by the time they retire without perhaps changing jobs for their entire career. If a company could hire someone younger for less money, then it is in their best interest to do so. A company should thus hire people who will do the work for the least amount of money while turning maximum profits.

    Similarly, as businesses change with the times they will need to model their hiring and firing processes to accommodate change. When companies began using computers more and more it became necessary to have a workforce that was computer literate. Therefore some companies needed to fire employees who couldn’t meet the needs of the business and hire more qualified people. This same line of thought remains sound for any company that needs to be hiring constantly for adaptations to business.

    A final important reason for not hiring people for a lifetime is the role of competition in generating innovation. When a person’s job requires that they be constantly imaginative and inventive they need something motivating them. The fear of being replaced by someone better qualified and more talented encourages him or her to be the best employee. Competition among possible employees encourages the best work. Without that fear, they can easily become complacent, and a business is hurt by that person lacking motivation.

    These many important reasons justify hiring practices that don’t guarantee employees jobs for life. A company needs to constantly do what is best for making money and that doesn’t guarantee employment all the time. Similarly, businesses need to be competitive, which requires that they hire the most qualified people year to year, and constantly encourage innovative thinking. Only through these principles and contingent employment can a business be successful.  

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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