TOEFL® Writing Practice 38

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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: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Boys and girls should attend separate schools. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Boys and girls should attend separate schools. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

I agree with the statement that boys and girls should be educated separately, but only with the understanding that this should occur during the high school years. At that stage in human development boys and girls have incredibly different learning styles and needs from teachers. Similarly, this is an age when the different genders simply become a distraction to each other and take away from the learning process. Finally, this separation actually encourages social activity to a greater extent because those relationships require more work. There are a great many advantages to single sex education.

First of all, It is widely understood given their biological differences that boys and girls also learn in different ways. Girls more quickly aim to please and are good at book based or artistic activities. Boys generally prefer hands on activities that are more physical or involve tinkering to learn. This poses a problem in classrooms where one style of learning is preferred by a teacher and doesn’t accommodate the needs of both genders. In a single sex school, however, teachers can focus on the research-based methods associated with learning for that particular group.

Moreover, during the ages of puberty and immediately after is when the sexes express a heightened interest in each other. This leads to much distracting and non-pertinent conversation and interactions at school. Since school should primarily be a place of learning it’s in the best interest of students to remove distractions and spend their time focusing on learning. Therefore separating the boys and girls can lead to a more focused and productive use of time while at school. This is a benefit to boys, girls, teachers, and in the end society as a whole since students will be smarter.

Finally, despite the potential argument that separation limits social potential and hinders development, quite the opposite is possible. Since students cannot utilize their class time for socializing they are forced to seek out alternative circumstances for meeting those needs. This thus encourages greater social skills since boys and girls have to attend events or approach each other in places where they are not forced to sit together and interact. School forces social interactions, but real life requires spontaneous interactions. It is, therefore, more beneficial to challenge boys and girls to socialize in circumstances outside of school.

Consequently, I highly encourage the idea that boys and girls should attend separate schools during their high school years. This allows teachers to focus on the different learning styles of each gender and promote better learning. This also removes obvious distractions from the classroom and allows for more focused learning. In the end this also promotes social skills through challenging students to seek alternative opportunities for interacting. The benefits of single sex education are undeniably beneficial to overall learning.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Agree and Disagree 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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