TOEFL® Writing Practice 165

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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? Technology has made the world a better place to live. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Word Count: 0

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Technology has made the world a better place to live. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

I am most certainly of the opinion that technology has made the world a better place to live. Modern systems for communication have improved our ability to keep in touch and also to share ideas. New transportation has made the world smaller and allowed for greater cultural diffusion. Most importantly new technology has made more knowledge widely available to nearly all people. With these few and great examples, it is obvious that technology has improved life on earth.

The first advantage modern technology has created is concerned with forms of communication including mail, email, and telephones. Although very different in their format or delivery, all of those ways of communicating have allowed people to keep in contact with their families and friends. This has allowed people to forge lasting and important relationships that they otherwise wouldn’t have. These new forms of communication have also allowed people to share ideas across the globe. As social beings, our ability to communicate is of the utmost importance and technology has made dialogue infinitely easier.

In a similar vein, transportation has improved dramatically, creating a more culturally aware world. Even as far back as the train, the world became an easier place to occupy and move through. However, with new abilities of airplanes, high-speed trains, and the spread of automobiles, people have even greater potential for traveling. People can now visit other countries with great ease, learning more about other people and cultures. They can then take this knowledge back to their homes and have a more understanding view of a greater number of people and places. It’s highly important for people of the world to have familiarity and appreciation of each other.

The most important advantage of modern technology is related to communication and transportation, knowledge. The two other benefits have made more information available than ever before in human history. People in Peru can learn about the history of Bangladesh with ease. Students in Australia can read about German scientific research because of the effortlessness of looking something up online. This knowledge is not only greater than ever before, but also reaches a larger number of people. The spread of ideas allows for greater creativity, inventions, and solutions to the problems of the world.

Thus the world is absolutely a greater place because of the technological innovations of the recent centuries. People have greater capabilities for communication and sharing ideas. Additionally, people can transport themselves, their goods, or their ideas easily across the globe. This has led to more knowledge being available to more people and an overall smarter population. Technology has created the world that previously was something of dreams.

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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