TOEFL® Writing Practice 4

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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: A company has announced that it wishes to build a large factory near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the factory? Explain your position
Word Count: 0
 

Question: A company has announced that it wishes to build a large factory near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the factory? Explain your position

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

Considering the many pros and cons of a new factory in any community will elicit different feelings. Factories are widely thought to be ugly and unsanitary blights on a community. On the other hand, factories have been the lifeblood of many towns and cities. Overall if a factory were proposed for my community, I would feel obligated to support the construction because the positive effects outweigh the negative influences.

Initially looking at the negative aspects of a new factory in a community, the prospect seems bleak. Factories are notorious for pollutants, both to the surrounding air and water. Sometimes the pollutant is harmful to the atmosphere and sometimes it is an offensive smell, either way, it is unwanted in any community. Pollutants and the ugly architecture of factories create an industrial look that makes an area undesirable and drives down property values, which are often linked to schools and other community features. These reasons seem like enough justification for rejecting a factory proposal.

On the other hand, it’s important to recognize that many stereotypical images of factories are dated pictures of the coal burning factories of the Industrial Revolution. These are not the factories of modern times or the future. Many factories are now controlled by government regulations that limit the levels and types of pollutants a factory produces. Another benefit is that many companies want the best in shipping capabilities, which means that they will often construct new and improved roads throughout communities. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, a new factory produces jobs, which encourage more people to a community, thus generating more infrastructure and development.

All in all, a comparison of the disadvantages and benefits to a new factory shows that the positive outcomes compensate for any possible negative influences. With regulations placed on modern factories, the economic benefits to the public are great. As a community member, I would be concerned with the job opportunities and improved lifestyles of all people in my area.  Understanding our modern expectations for cleanliness, environmental awareness, and positive production, a modern factory would not be a pollution producer, but an opportunity producer. A factory would create a better community through higher employment rates, improved roads, and an improved economy. Those advantages would trickle into other parts of the community including schools, government projects, and small businesses. Therefore, I would feel compelled to approve of a new factory in my community.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Support and Oppose 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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