Beginner’s Help 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.

Special Offer: TOEFL Essay Evaluation and Scoring Now Available!

Do you want to have your practice essays reviewed and scored by a TOEFL expert? We now offer an express essay evaluation service. Have your essay reviewed and corrected (line by line) by a native speaker! Learn what you should change in order to enhance your score. Packages start at only $7.50 per essay.

(note, students in a rush may wish to skip straight to our TOEFL essay templates)

Start by making an outline of your essay. Look at the picture below:

The student starts by writing a point that is“main at the top of the chart. This will be her “answer” into the relevant question posed by the exam.

Below the main point custom writing the student writes two “reasons” to guide the main point. They are broad and never too specific. However, they need to be unique. The reasons really should not be comparable to one another.

Below each of the reasons, the student writes two “details.” These are more specific. They support the reasons and explain why they will have cited the reasons. They may likewise incorporate examples through the student’s life that support the causes.

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

The student has filled in 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 facts through the reason that is first “learn responsibility” and “learn stages of life.” The information from the reason that is second “never judgmental” and “children often alone these days.” The student has bigger ideas. she actually is going to talk about how taking good care of the pet teaches responsibility and this woman is planning to write that students are along because their parents in many cases are away. nevertheless the outline is simply her initial ideas.

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

I teach my students to write a four paragraph essay in the independent writing section. This type of essay is long enough and can be completed in the time allowed. High 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 start with the introductory paragraph:

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

  • Sentence one: A “hook.” This can be an sentence that is interesting comes before most of your point. It references the relevant question and draws your reader in to the essay.
  • Sentence two: Your main point. In one single good, clear sentence state most of your point. Don’t be a long time. Get to the point!
  • Sentence three: a sentence that is transitional. Try something such as “I feel this real way 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 should be 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 are low on time).

Referring to the question above and using the given template, you might write an introduction similar to this:

“There are many great gifts that could be given to a kid. I really believe that the gift that is best to offer a young child is a pet. Personally I think in this way for two main reasons, that we will explore when you look at the following essay. First, a pet can be quite educational. Second, a pet can be a great friend to a child that is young.

Remember that there are no references to your details in this paragraph. Save those when it comes to body paragraphs.

Third step: Writing a body paragraph

This is your possiblity to show your essay off writing ability. I don’t teach a model that is strict this area of the essay.

I do however, possess some rules that are basic. These are generally:

  1. Each reason gets a unique paragraph. Do not combine your reasons into one paragraph.
  2. Start your first paragraph with a word that is transitional phrase like “first,” “to start out with,” and your next paragraph with “second» or «secondly.»
  3. At the beginning of each physical body paragraph, clearly state your reason. Avoid using a hook, just arrive at the point. Next, state your details one after another, expanding each one of these to three or four sentences. You can easily expand by including a example that is personal your daily life. Including examples that are personal your life into the essay is okay. In fact, i would recommend it.
  4. Attempt to use transitional phrases in between your details (“moreover,” “furthermore,” “also”).

Here’s an illustration body paragraph made using the outline that is above

«To begin with, a pet is a very educational gift. 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 the health of these pet and take action if it becomes sick. Practicing this kind of responsibility can certainly make a child more mature. Moreover, a pet will help teach a child concerning the stages of life. Animals grow even faster than humans and a child that is young learn a lot by observing how their pet grows up. I had a pet gecko as a kid and watching it grow from a baby to a full-sized adult taught me a great deal and got me very enthusiastic about biology and nature.»

Note 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 from the point-form utilized in my outline.

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

«Secondly, I feel that a pet makes friend that is great. It is great for children to own pets since they’re never judgmental. A kid could have a bad day at school or he might get in a fight together with friends, but he will never fight along with his pet. It shall love him unconditionally. Furthermore, pets can possibly prevent children from being lonely. These days parents in many cases are too busy to blow time with regards to children. They frequently leave their kids home alone. This may leave some kids feeling lonely, but people that have pets will never feel alone.«

And that’s the body that is whole of essay! Look closely at 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, for the reason that the independent essay is 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, starting with a transitional phrase like “this is because…”
  • Sentence three: yet again, restate your point that is main but different words

Here’s a conclusion for the essay we’ve been working with:

“To sum it up, I feel that a pet is the very best gift to give to a child. It is because pets are particularly educational, plus they make great friends. There really is no better gift that a young child can receive than a pet.»