Beginner’s Guide to the TOEFL Independent Essay

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Beginner’s Guide to the TOEFL Independent Essay

This guide is for low-level students writing their first TOEFL independent essays. Advanced students might wish to skip right to our advanced guide.

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(note, students pretty quickly may decide to skip directly to our TOEFL essay templates)

Start by making an overview of the essay. Consider the picture below:

The student starts by writing a “main point” at the top the chart. That is her “answer” to your relevant question posed by the exam.

Underneath the main point the student writes two “reasons” to guide the main point. These are broad rather than too specific. However, they have to be unique. The causes shouldn’t be comparable to one another.

The student writes two “details. below all the reasons” These are more specific. They offer the good reasons and explain why they have cited the reasons. They may likewise incorporate examples through the student’s life that support the causes.

Here’s an example outline for the question: “what’s the gift that is best to provide to a child?” It absolutely was written by an student that is actual. Look at it closely:

The student has filled into the outline using point-form notes (not complete sentences). Her main point is “Best gift = pet.”

Her two reasons are “it is educational” and “it is an excellent friend.”

The information through the reason that is first “learn responsibility” and “learn stages of life.” The main points from the reason that is second “never judgmental” and “children often alone these days.” The student has bigger ideas. she actually is going to write on how care that is taking of pet teaches responsibility and this woman is planning to write that students are along because their parents are often away. however the outline is merely her initial ideas.

The remainder of this article will show how to turn this outline into a essay that is complete. I’ll use English that is simple throughout article. Advanced level students should probably use more vocabulary that is advanced sentence structure.

I teach my students to create a four paragraph essay into the independent writing section. This kind of essay is for enough time and certainly will be finished in the right time allowed. Higher level students might try writing a five essay that is paragraph.

The four paragraph structure is:

  • Introductory Paragraph
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Concluding Paragraph

Let’s focus on the introductory paragraph:

My students use a sentence-by-sentence technique to write their introductions. The technique is this:

  • Sentence one: A “hook.” That is an interesting sentence that comes before most of your point. It references the relevant question and draws your reader into the essay.
  • Sentence two: Your main point. Within one good, clear sentence state your main point. Don’t be too long. Arrive at the point!
  • Sentence three: A transitional sentence. Try something such as “I feel this real means for two reasons.”
  • Sentence four: a single sentence summary of your first reason. Begin this sentence with “first” (you can leave this out if you are 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).

Talking about the relevant question above and utilizing the given template, you might write an introduction like this:

“There are many gifts that are great could be provided to a kid. I really believe that the gift that is best to give a young child is a pet. Personally I think this way for 2 significant reasons, that we will explore into the essay that is following. First, a pet can be extremely educational. Second, a pet can be a great friend to a child that is young.

Remember that there are not any references to your details in this paragraph. Save those when it comes to physical body paragraphs.

Step three: 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 really do however, have some rules that are basic. They are:

  1. Each reason gets its own paragraph. Don’t combine your reasons into one paragraph.
  2. Start your first paragraph with a transitional word or phrase like “first,” “to start with,” and your next paragraph with “second” or “secondly.”
  3. At the start of each physical body paragraph, clearly state your reason. Avoid using a hook, just get to the point. Next, state your details one after another, expanding each one to three or four sentences. It is possible to expand by including a personal example from your daily life. Including examples that are personal your life into the essay is okay. In fact, i would recommend it.
  4. Make an effort to use transitional phrases in in the middle of your details (“moreover,” “furthermore,” “also”).

Here’s a good example body paragraph made making use of the outline that is above

“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 and be given a chance to exercise day. The owner of a pet comes with to see or watch the ongoing health of their pet and do something if it becomes sick. Practicing this type of responsibility can make a child more aged. Moreover, a pet might help teach a child about the stages of life. Animals grow considerably faster than humans and a child that is young learn a whole lot by observing how their pet grows up. I had a pet gecko as a young child and watching it grow from an infant to a full-sized adult taught me a lot and got me very interested in biology and nature.”

Keep in mind that this paragraph followed the outline above quite closely. I stated my reason and then supported it with details. I expanded the important points significantly through the point-form utilized in my outline.

My second body paragraph is created in much the way that is same

“Secondly, personally i think that a pet makes great friend. It is advantageous to children to have pets because they’re never judgmental. A young child may have a bad day at school or he could be in a fight along with his friends, but he can never fight along with his pet. It will love him unconditionally. Furthermore, pets can possibly prevent children from being lonely. These days parents in many cases are too busy to expend time with regards to children. They often leave their kids home alone. This might leave some kids feeling lonely, but those with pets will never feel alone.

And that’s the entire body of my essay! Focus on how I used words that are transitional”moreover” and “furthermore”) in the middle the two details in each paragraph.

I’m not a large fan of lengthy concluding paragraphs, due to the fact the essay that is independent pretty short. But I do teach a three sentence technique:

  • Sentence one: re-state your point that is main and with a phrase like “to sum it up…”
  • Sentence two: restate your two reasons, beginning with a phrase that is transitional “this is because…”
  • Sentence three: yet again, restate your main point but use 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 is the absolute best gift to give to a kid. This is because pets are particularly educational, plus they make great friends. There actually is no better gift that a young child can receive than a pet.”

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