TOEFL® Writing Practice 14

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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? Dancing plays an important role in a culture. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Dancing plays an important role in a culture. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

It is an undeniable fact that dances play an important role in every culture. Across the planet every large civilization or small group of people has come up with dances. These dances have been important because they help to mark important occasions. Additionally, many cultural activities involve going to see dances or see something that incorporates dance. Therefore, dancing has been and still is a very important part of human experience across all cultures.

    To begin with, everyone from the earliest tribes, to ancient civilizations, to modern countries create dances. Some dances are folk or tribal dances for weddings or religious ceremonies. Some dances have been group dances in which all people learn the same moves. While established countries have modern dance clubs, tribes of African also have dances, and Indian cultures use dances to mark important occasions. All across the globe and all through time people have gained great joy from dance and used it as a marker of cultural occasions.

    Another indicator of dance as important to culture is the very fact that these dances are often used for special ceremonies. It is an integral part of western weddings to have a first dance between couples, followed by ceremonial dancing between father and daughter, and son and mother. Similarly, many cultures have coming of age dances. In Hispanic culture, a girls fifteenth birthday is marked with a large dance. Also, countries from American to Thailand have high school proms in which students host a dance to celebrate. Dance events are a crucial part of each culture‚Äôs festive holidays both secular and religious.

    Alongside these festivities that incorporate dancing, people also attend cultural events in which they simply watch others dance. In European culture ballet used to play an important role in society for showcasing music, acting, and costumes. In many countries, plays and musical shows are accompanied by dancing. People are constantly attending events that include dancing, including the Olympic Ceremonies or the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Dance plays an important role, even in a secondary capacity, at most social gatherings through every culture.

    All in all, dances are an obviously important part of cultural experience. Given that each culture through all of time has invented dances, signifies the utter importance it plays. Also, dancing has been incorporated in important ceremonies and events both personal and religious. Alongside actually dancing, viewing dancing has been important at all social events. Dances help to reflect the various cultural intricacies that distinguish each people of the world as a unique culture.

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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