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: Some people think governments should spend as much money as possible exploring outer space (for example, traveling to the Moon and to other planets). Other people disagree and think governments should spend this money for our basic needs on Earth. Which of these two opinions do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Whereas the exploration of space has potential long-term benefits, there are too many issues that first require immediate attention on Earth. First of all, there is an inordinate number of hungry people including small children. Secondly, many of the seven billion people on the planet don’t have adequate shelter day after day. Finally, our own planet’s environment is in dire need of attention and repair. Before dedicating millions of dollars to funding projects with results in the distant future, the government should spend money on solving current and immediate problems.
While there have been many advances in agriculture in the form of modified seeds and pesticides, somehow many people are still going hungry each and every day. Despite some countries having an abundance of food and extensive food waste, there are still millions who suffer without proper nutrition. Children who don’t get proper nutrition cannot grow adequately and cannot get the education they deserve. The immediate need of curbing hunger within our borders should be a priority. We cannot justify spending trillions on rockets while people die daily from hunger.
In the same vein, there are too many people across the planet without proper shelter that live on the streets. In large countries and small countries alike there are people without beds, without toilets, and without proper drinking water. Those basic tenets of a home are missing from people’s lives. Without those, people freeze to death, catch contagious diseases, and do not prosper. When this includes children we jeopardize all potential for the planet’s future. Again, spending superfluous amounts on space exploration while millions wallow in waste on the streets cannot be justified.
Finally, without the immediate funding of environmental protection, we will not have a home planet from which to explore space. As we continue to reclaim land from the natural world many plants and species are dying. As we pollute the atmosphere, land, and oceans, species die and the globe gets hotter. Without drastic changes to how we treat the planet, we will not be around long enough to see the benefits of space travel. Therefore, we need to support some immediate funding of services that seek to curb our destruction of our own planet.
In conclusion, no argument can justify the spending of money on space exploration over the pressing needs of our own home planet. The people of Earth need proper food resources and proper shelter before we think about other planets and galaxies. Also, our planet’s natural habitat, including plants and animals, need protecting the planet, as we know it, ceases to exist. The many urgent needs of Earth far outweigh the knowledge gained from exploring outer space.
Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Agree and Disagree Essays
Tip 1: Follow a standard TOEFL essay structure
1. Provide background information about the essay topic. Here are a few techniques:
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
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.||
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
Tip 4: Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes
You should avoid any grammar and spelling mistakes, otherwise your score will be deducted.Lesson: Countable nouns and Uncountable nouns
Lesson: Subject verb agreement rules
Lesson: Use the right article
Lesson: Relative pronouns and relative clauses
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 1 (Pay attention to the lesson content related to punctuation)
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 2 (Pay attention to the lesson content related to punctuation)
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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:
- Read our sample essays and pay attention to words you are not familiar with.
- Utilize our TOEFL Vocabulary system
- Utilize our TOEFL synonyms exercises