Beginner’s Guide to the TOEFL Independent Essay
This guide is actually for low-level students writing their TOEFL that is first independent. Advanced students may wish 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 an overview of the essay. Consider the picture below:
The student starts by writing a “main point” at the top of the chart. This is her “answer” to your question posed by the exam.
Underneath the main point the student writes two “reasons” to guide the main point. They are broad and not too specific. However, they have to be unique. The reason why should not be just like each other.
The student writes two “details. below each one of the reasons” These are more specific. They offer the good reasons and explain why they have cited the reasons. They might likewise incorporate examples from the student’s life that support the reasons.
Here’s an example outline for the question: “What is the gift that is best to give to a young child?” It absolutely was published by an student that is actual. Think of it closely:
The student has filled when you look at 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 details from the first reason are “learn responsibility” and “learn stages of life.” The details through the second reason are “never judgmental” and “children often alone these days.” The student has bigger ideas. this woman is likely to write on how taking care of the pet teaches responsibility and this woman is likely to write that students are along because their parents tend to be away. but the outline is merely her initial ideas.
The rest of this article will show just how to turn this outline into a complete essay. I’ll use simple English for the article. Advanced level students should probably use more advanced vocabulary and sentence structure.
I teach my students to create a four paragraph essay into the writing section that is independent. This kind of essay is long enough and that can be finished in the right time allowed. High level students might try writing a five paragraph essay.
The four paragraph structure is:
- 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 strategy to write their introductions. The technique is this:
- Sentence one: A “hook.” This is an interesting sentence that comes before your main point. It references the question and draws your reader in to the essay.
- Sentence two: most of your point. Within one good, clear sentence state your main point. Don’t be too long. Arrive at the purpose!
- Sentence three: a sentence that is transitional. Try something like “I feel this real method for two reasons.”
- Sentence four: A one sentence summary of one’s 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 your 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 utilising the given template, you could write an introduction like this:
“There are many great gifts that could be given to a kid. I think that the best gift to offer a kid is a pet. I feel that way for just two significant reasons, that we will explore into the essay that is following. First, a pet can be quite educational. Second, a pet can be a great friend to a child that is young.
Remember that there aren’t any references to your details in this paragraph. Save those when it comes to physical body paragraphs.
Third step: Writing a physical body paragraph
It’s your possiblity to show your essay off writing ability. I don’t teach a strict model for this an element of the essay.
I actually do however, possess some rules that are basic. They are:
- Each reason gets its very own paragraph. Don’t combine your reasons into one paragraph.
- Start very first paragraph with a word that is transitional phrase like “first,” “to start out with,” and your second paragraph with “second” or “secondly.”
- At the beginning of each physical body paragraph, clearly state your reason. Don’t use a hook, get to the just point. Next, state your details one after another, expanding every one to three or four sentences. It is possible to expand by including a example that is personal your life. Including personal examples from your daily life into the essay is okay. In reality, i would recommend it.
- You will need to use transitional phrases in in the middle of your details (“moreover,” “furthermore,” “also”).
Here’s a good example body paragraph made using the above outline:
“to start with, a pet is a very educational gift. Having a pet teaches children responsibility. A pet needs to be fed every day and get given to be able to exercise. Who owns a pet also has to see the ongoing health of the pet and take action if it becomes sick. Practicing this type of responsibility can certainly make a child more mature. Moreover, a pet often helps teach a child in regards to 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 child and watching it grow from a baby to a adult that is full-sized me a lot and got me very interested in biology and nature.”
Remember that the outline was followed by this paragraph paper writer above quite closely. I stated my reason and then supported it with details. I expanded the details significantly through the point-form found in my outline.
My second body paragraph is written in much the same way:
“Secondly, personally i think that a pet makes friend that is great. It really is advantageous to children to have pets since they’re never judgmental. A young child might have a bad day at school or he might get in a fight together 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 tend to be too busy to spend time using their children. They often times leave their kids home alone. This could leave some kids feeling lonely, but people that have pets will never feel alone.“
And that is the whole body of my essay! Pay attention to the way I used words that are transitional”moreover” and “furthermore”) in the middle the two details in each paragraph.
I’m not a big fan of lengthy concluding paragraphs, mainly because the essay that is independent pretty short. But i really 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: once more, restate your main point but use different words
Here’s a conclusion for the essay we’ve been dealing with:
“To sum it up, personally i think that a pet may be the very best gift to provide to a young child. This is because pets are very educational, in addition they make great friends. There actually is no better gift that a child can receive than a pet.”