This guide is for low-level students writing their first TOEFL independent essays. Advanced students may decide to skip straight to our advanced guide.
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(note, students in a hurry may decide to skip directly to our TOEFL essay templates)
Start by making a plan of one’s essay. Go through the picture below:
The student starts by writing a point that is“main at the top the chart. This will be her “answer” to the question posed by the exam.
Underneath the main point the student writes two “reasons” to support the main point. These are broad rather than too specific. However, they need to be unique. The causes should not be much like each other.
The student writes two “details. below each one of the reasons” These are more specific. They support the reasons and explain why they have cited the reasons. They might likewise incorporate examples through the student’s life that support the reason why.
Here’s an example outline for the question: “what’s the best gift to offer to a young child?” It had been written by an student that is actual. Think of it closely:
The student has filled within the outline point-form that is using (not complete sentences). Her main point is “Best gift = pet.”
Her two reasons are “it is educational” and “it is a great friend.”
The main points through the first reason are “learn responsibility” and “learn stages of life.” The main points through the second reason are “never judgmental” and “children often alone these days.” The student has bigger ideas. she is likely to come up with how care that is taking of pet teaches responsibility and she is going to write that students are along because their parents tend to be away. however the outline is simply her ideas that are initial.
The rest of the article will show simple tips to turn this outline into a complete essay. I’ll use simple English for the article. High level students should probably use more advanced vocabulary and sentence structure.
I teach my students to publish a four paragraph essay into the writing section that is independent. This kind of essay is long enough and can be finished in the right time allowed. High level students might try writing a five paragraph essay.
The four paragraph structure is:
- essay writer
- Introductory Paragraph
- Body Paragraph 1
- Body Paragraph 2
- Concluding Paragraph
Let’s begin with the paragraph that is introductory
My students use a sentence-by-sentence technique to write their introductions. The technique is this:
- Sentence one: A “hook.” It is an interesting sentence that comes before your primary point. It references the question and draws your reader to the essay.
- Sentence two: most of your point. In a single good, clear sentence state most of your point. Don’t be too long. Arrive at the idea!
- Sentence three: a sentence that is transitional. Try something like “I feel this means for two reasons.”
- Sentence four: A one sentence summary of the first reason. Begin this sentence with “first” (you can leave this out if you’re low on time).
- Sentence five: A one sentence summary of the second reason. Begin this sentence with “second” (you can leave this out if you’re low on time).
Referring to the question above and with the given template, you can write an introduction such as this:
“There are many great gifts that can be provided to a child. I believe that the gift that is best to provide a young child is a pet. Personally I think in this manner for two main reasons, that we will explore within the following essay. First, a pet can be very educational. Second, a pet may be a great friend to a child that is young.
Note that there aren’t any references to your details in this paragraph. Save those for the physical body paragraphs.
Third step: Writing a body paragraph
It’s your opportunity to show your essay off writing ability. I don’t teach a model that is strict this the main essay.
I do however, have some rules that are basic. These are typically:
- Each reason gets its own paragraph. Do not combine your reasons into one paragraph.
- Start your first paragraph with a word that is transitional phrase like “first,” “to begin with,” and your second paragraph with “second” or “secondly.”
- At the start of each physical body paragraph, clearly state your reason. Avoid using a hook, get to the just point. Next, state your details one after another, expanding every one to three or four sentences. You can expand by including a personal example from your life. Including personal examples from your daily life within the essay is okay. In fact, i suggest it.
- Try to use transitional phrases in between your details (“moreover,” “furthermore,” “also”).
Listed here is an illustration body paragraph made making use of the above outline:
“to start with, a pet is an extremely gift that is educational. Having a pet teaches children responsibility. A pet has got to be fed every day and stay given an opportunity to exercise. The owner of a pet even offers to see or watch the health of the pet and do something if it becomes sick. Practicing this type or kind of responsibility will likely make a child more mature. Moreover, a pet can really help teach a young child in regards to the stages of life. Animals grow much faster than humans and a child that is young learn a great deal by observing how their pet grows up. I had a pet gecko as a kid and watching it grow from an infant to a full-sized adult taught me a great deal and got me very thinking about biology and nature.”
Note that this paragraph followed the outline above quite closely. I stated my reason after which supported it with details. I expanded the information significantly from the point-form used in my outline.
My second body paragraph is written in much the same way:
“Secondly, I feel that a pet makes friend that is great. It is good for children to own pets since they’re never judgmental. A kid might have a bad day at school or he could get in a fight together with his friends, but he will never fight together with pet. It shall love him unconditionally. Furthermore, pets can prevent children from being lonely. These days parents tend to be too busy to pay time due to their children. They often times leave their kids home alone. This may leave some kids feeling lonely, but people that have pets will feel alone. never“
And that’s the body that is whole of essay! Look closely at the way I used transitional words (“moreover” and “furthermore”) in the middle the 2 details in each paragraph.
I’m not a huge fan of lengthy concluding paragraphs, mainly because the independent essay is pretty short. But i really do teach a three sentence technique:
- Sentence one: re-state your main point and start with a phrase like “to sum it up…”
- Sentence two: restate your two reasons, you start with a phrase that is transitional “this is because…”
- Sentence three: Once again, restate your point that is main but different words
Here’s a conclusion for the essay we’ve been working together with:
“To sum it up, personally i think that a pet may be the absolute best gift to provide to a child. This is because pets are extremely educational, and additionally they make great friends. There actually is no better gift that a young child can receive than a pet.”