TOEFL® Writing Practice 98

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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: Some people prefer to work for a large company. Others prefer to work for a small company. Which would you prefer? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.
Word Count: 0

Question: Some people prefer to work for a large company. Others prefer to work for a small company. Which would you prefer? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

If I had my choice, my preference would always lay with working for a small rather than a large company. A smaller work environment allows people to know each other better and build personal relationships. Choosing to work for a smaller business usually means the work I would be doing is more interesting because of its specialized nature. This same small scale means that I would know the process of the business from beginning to end. A small business can offer an experience that is nonexistent in larger companies.

    First off, working for a smaller business means fewer employees and as such a more personal work environment. An office with twenty or fewer employees allows for everyone to know each other on more than a name-by-name basis since they will work closer on all projects. This personal environment brings joy to employees, as they feel more valued and less like a nameplate on a cubicle. When employees feel more appreciated they will be more invested in their work and perform better. A more personal environment is good for employees and the business as a whole.

    Secondly, a small business usually has a more specialized role within the economy. This means that a person can work more directly in an area of interest rather than for a large company that maybe deals with their interests but also with many other aspects of business. Working for a large company such as REI is less fulfilling than working for K2 if a person is interested in working in the ski industry. When a person is involved in a field of interest they are more likely to do good work and the company benefits. Thus a small business again produces happier employees and a better work environment.

    Lastly, a small business environment allows for employees to be involved in the entire process of business. In large companies people often times have a singular task that limits their knowledge of the larger process. In a small company, however, an employee will be more involved in the business process from beginning to end. This makes employees more knowledgeable, and offers them the satisfaction of seeing something begin and end. A small business can then create smarter, harder working people, which is good for them and the company.

    Conclusively, a small business has a number of benefits to offer employees that cannot be gained from a large company. I would choose a small company because of the personal relationships that can be built. Simultaneously I would be able to work in a more specialized field that holds a greater interest for me. This would also be an environment where I can see the entire business process. A smaller business is undeniably beneficial and clearly my choice.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Preference 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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