TOEFL® Writing Practice 123

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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: What are the important qualities of a good son or daughter? Have these qualities changed or remained the same over time in your culture? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: What are the important qualities of a good son or daughter? Have these qualities changed or remained the same over time in your culture? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Since everyone is someone’s son or daughter it is worth considering those characteristics that make a good son or daughter. One large idea, which can be manifested in many ways, is a child showing respect for their parents. A second quality that makes a good child is communication with their parents. Although these are important characteristics, they have also changed and adapted over time as history has changed. Nevertheless these qualities are important today.

    The first and best way any child can be good is through showing respect to their parents. One form of respect is to simply recognize that parents are providers of food, shelter, and clothing. Many children take these simple things for granted, but should perhaps recognize that this is a great burden on parents. Although parents chose to have kids and should provide for them, those children should still acknowledge when their parents do things on their behalf. This means that a good son or daughter shows respect through saying, “thank you”. This simple action goes a long way in showing parents that their sacrifices in providing are recognized and respected.

    A second quality that a good son or daughter has is communication. Parent’s love their children and want to know that they are happy and healthy. Therefore, constant communication between the two can assure parents and children that they care and want to be a part of each other’s lives. While no child wants to tell their parents everything, they should see their parents as a source of knowledge that they can utilize. This would lead to more questions and open dialogue about problems, success, and desires so that parents can help. The ability to communicate can create a healthier and more beneficial relationship for parents and children.

    Although respect and communication have always been positive characteristics of a good son or daughter, the way they look has changed with history. Nowadays many teenagers want cars, phones, and college educations, which their parents pay for. This means children are showing respect for very different things than children during the Great Depression. With the creation of computers and phones people now have very different means of communication, which has completely altered how we talk to each other. The qualities are the same, but what they look like is wildly different than even twenty years ago.

     In conclusion, the qualities of a good son or daughter can be narrowed down to two basics. The first is for children to show respect towards their parents for all that they provide. The second is for children to maintain open communication to have healthy relationships with their parents. Although these qualities haven’t changed in name over time, the way they look and sound is very different. They are, however, just as important as ever for good sons and daughters.

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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