TOEFL Essay Writing Tips
I. Understanding the TOEFL question:
There are different types of TOEFL questions. You never know which question you will receive, so you must be prepared to write on ALL the types of questions. It is very important that you completely understand the question BEFORE you begin to write. Below are some different essay question types.
1. Choose a point of view and support that view.
For example:Some people believe that university students should be required to attend classes. Others believe that going to classes should be optional for students. Which point of view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.
This type of question asks you to look at only ONE side of the issue - the side you agree with. DON'T write about both sides. You tell which side you agree with and support your ideas with details and examples.
2. Describe something.
For example:If you could invent something NEW, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed?
In answering this type of question, you must use a number of adjectives in order to effectively describe something. The reader should be able to really "see" what you are describing. In this particular question, you must also be creative as they are asking you about something that doesn't even exist.
3. Compare two points of view and tell which one you agree with.
For example: Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age and should spend most of their time on school studies. Others believe that young children should spend most of their time playing. Compare these two views. Which view do you agree with?
In this type of question, you must write about BOTH sides of this issue and then tell which side you agree with. You may NOT say that you agree with both sides. You MUST make a choice. First, give support, details and examples of both sides of the issue. Then, tell which side you agree with and why.
4. Agree or disagree with something.
For example: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: ONLY people who earn a lot of money are successful. Do you agree or disagree with this definition of success? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
In this type of question, you MUST agree or disagree. You cannot be unsure or indecisive. After you have said whether you agree or disagree, you must give convincing reasons and examples for your choice.
5. Explain why something is true.
For example:People remember special gifts or presents that they have received. Why? Give specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
In this question, you should use lots of examples. (For this question, you could use examples of gifts one might receive and tell why those gifts are memorable). Do not write in the first person, “I.” Write in more general terms.
6. Support an idea or plan.
For example: It has recently been announced that a new restaurant may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
In this question, first tell whether you support or oppose the plan and then tell why. Since this question is somewhat personal, it is ok to use personal pronouns such as: “I, me, my” in your answer.