TOEFL® Writing Practice 175

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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: If you could study a subject that you have never had the opportunity to study, what would you choose? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.
Word Count: 0

Question: If you could study a subject that you have never had the opportunity to study, what would you choose? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

If I were given the opportunity to study anything that I have previously not studied, I would pursue knowledge in the field of electrical engineering. With this new intelligence, I would better understand how important modern technology works. This would, in turn, lead to me being able to build or fix my own electrical gadgets. Finally, I would have the necessary skills to work in an occupation that is high paying. The benefits of studying electrical engineering are far reaching.

First of all, by studying electrical engineering I would learn the ins and outs of modern technology such as cars, planes, computers, and phones. All of this technology is widely used in our world and therefore would be important to understand. As of right now I know almost nothing about how all of this technology works. Yet, it seems important to know how something works if I am going to spend a lifetime utilizing its power. If I understand this technology I will be a wiser person in seeing the mechanisms that drive our world.

Secondly, since this knowledge would help me understand technology, it would also help me with fixing my technology. When my car has a problem I would not immediately need to turn to a mechanic, and have no idea what truths or falsities they are telling me. Similarly, I would be able to solve more problems with my computer or phone. Likewise, I would understand and be able to fix household items or electrical problems that would cost a great amount of money to have fixed. This knowledge would give me greater control over my own world.

Finally, this important knowledge would lead me to more prosperous career opportunities. There are many jobs that involve knowledge in electrical engineering. Some people work for technology companies, others work for the government, some work for private contractors. The common factor all of those jobs have is money. Given that electrical engineers have unique knowledge about their field, they are paid large amounts of money to utilize their intelligence. With a career in electrical engineering, I could guarantee a sound return on my education and a comfortable life.

All in all, the advantages of studying electrical engineering would be highly beneficial to many aspects of my life. I would gain a general understanding of how modern mechanisms work and drive the world. This would enable me to solve problems that other people cannot solve themselves. Finally, this would lead to a high paying career in a well-respected field. Overall the knowledge associated with engineering leads to great advantages to those who have the know-how.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - If / Imaginary 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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