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? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication, such as letters, email, or telephone calls. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Although I believe that face-to-face communication is highly valuable, it is untrue to say that it’s better than other forms of contact such as letters, email, or telephone calls. Letters allow people to be more thoughtful in their communication. Email likewise provides the ability to be more thoughtful but is also quick. Similarly telephones allow people to talk over large distances instantaneously. These additional forms of communication are neither better nor worse they are merely different.
Perhaps one of the oldest forms of communication aside from directly speaking is the letter. Letters can be better than face-to-face talking because they allow a person to be more thoughtful. Some subjects need to be brooded over and expressed clearly, which a letter can provide. A direct conversation doesn’t give a person time to think and so sometimes people can’t say what they mean. A letter allows that time. Also, a letter shows that even when two people can’t speak directly that one of them is still thinking of the other. A letter provides highly thoughtful and personal means of conversing.
An additional form of communication that has benefits a direct conversation doesn’t have is the email. Email also lets someone take his or her time to compose a thoughtful statement to someone. An added benefit is the ability to communicate with many people at the same time by sending a group email. This can’t happen through direct conversation unless a group of people gets together to talk. Also, and email can be sent and received instantaneously, which creates a means for faster and more frequent conversation with people many miles away. Email provides thoughtful, quick conversation over great distances.
A final method of conversation that has benefits is the telephone. While it tries to mimic direct conversation, it allows people to converse from anywhere in the world. People can feel closer to their loved ones by hearing their voice and speaking in real time. This has made the world a smaller place and helps keep people close. Modern telephones also have the added benefit of being able to send emails, or create video chats that are virtual face-to-face communication. Telephones make conversation easy and available almost everywhere in the world.
Therefore, the benefits of alternative types of communication are very different than the benefits of direct conversation. Letters create thoughtful conversation given their format and time consumption. Email allows people to be more thoughtful but communicate instantaneously. The telephone likewise provides quick easy voice-to-voice conversation across great distances. These methods of communication are too different to claim that one is better than another.
Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Agree and Disagree Essays
Tip 1: Follow a standard TOEFL essay structure
1. Provide background information about the essay topic. Here are a few techniques:
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
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.||
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
Tip 4: Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes
You should avoid any grammar and spelling mistakes, otherwise your score will be deducted.Lesson: Countable nouns and Uncountable nouns
Lesson: Subject verb agreement rules
Lesson: Use the right article
Lesson: Relative pronouns and relative clauses
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 1 (Pay attention to the lesson content related to punctuation)
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 2 (Pay attention to the lesson content related to punctuation)
If you are a premium member, you will have up to 50 free essay grammar corrections.
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:
- Read our sample essays and pay attention to words you are not familiar with.
- Utilize our TOEFL Vocabulary system
- Utilize our TOEFL synonyms exercises