TOEFL® Writing Practice 131

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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: The expression "Never, never give up" means to keep trying and never stop working for your goals. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0

Question: The expression "Never, never give up" means to keep trying and never stop working for your goals. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

The phrase, “Never, never give up”, when reading without the double negative, means to continually pursue a goal. This is valuable, sound advice. Without goals in mind, whether big or small, life loses much of its meaning. However, it is important for people to know that great goals take time and perseverance. These long-term goals are important because they inevitably lead to trials and successes which enable people to learn a great deal about themselves. Therefore, these goals, which are a vital part of human life, can lead to self-satisfaction and knowledge.

The act of pursuing and attaining goals is one of the essential parts of human existence. Some goals are personal, for example, to find a good and beautiful wife. Some goals are career oriented as in becoming a doctor. No matter a person’s goals, they are primary motivating factors every day. Without goals to motivate people what reason would they have for getting out of bed and tackling the day? Therefore, when people find something they want, they should pursue their ambitions to give life meaning.

Also, people need to understand that many goals and objectives take a great deal of time and work. Small baby-steps are the beginning and they fill every day of human life. Although people may easily be discouraged, they should never give up because some goals are time-consuming. Writing a novel takes years of dedicated work, but the world is ultimately grateful for the time spent on attaining this goal. Becoming a doctor takes years of school and many frustrating hours of study. Nevertheless, the world is immensely thankful that people dedicate themselves to this daunting goal. Even though some goals seem impossible the world has taught us time and again that they can be attained.

Furthermore, the process of pursuing goals allows people to learn valuable information about themselves. Through trials and successes humanity has constantly learned what it means to work hard, what it is to offer resilience, and what the glory of triumph feels like. The dedicated struggles of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists has enabled us to recognize and use knowledge acquired through facing challenges posed by goals. A goal teaches people about themselves, but also teaches others about the means to achieve great things.

Thus, the saying, “Never, never give up,” offers sound guidance for almost everyone. Pursuing goals gives meaning to a person’s life. Although a goal will most likely entail struggling and a great amount of time, the end result is satisfaction. Additionally, the quest to attain a goal enables people to gain valuable knowledge about their characters. It also teaches others about the methods used to aspire to great things. Goals drive the world to bigger and better ends.

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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