TOEFL Writing Type 2 Video

And, finally, I have updated our guide to the independent TOEFL essay.  This version reflects everything I have learned over the past 14 months about writing solid essays and about which strategies are easiest for students to grasp.  Next, I plan to update all of my videos about the speaking section.  Stay tuned!

Sample Type Two Essay

I have just uploaded another sample essay.  This one is on the old “a restaurant is opening in your neighborhood” question that has been in the Official Guide for ages. I actually dreaded writing this one (and, indeed, skipped it last year) as I find the question a bit tedious, but I am happy that I was able to come up with something at least somewhat logical and convincing.  You can find the essay here.  Enjoy!

New Sample TOEFL Type One Essay!

For the first time in ages, I have uploaded a new sample essay.  You can find it in the usual spot.  The questions are taken from a Korean book (Hacker’s Actual Test) that you probably can’t find, but it does demonstrate the required structure and templates.

That will probably be my last sample integrated essay, as I am working on other stuff right now.  I plan to upload a sample independent essay in the next day or two and then write some guides to things like grammar and vocabulary.

Also:  I have reopened the old TOEFL Resources Forum and I will providing a few free evaluations each week.  These will be at the same level as our paid evaluations, so stop by today if you need some help getting ready for the test.

How to Write a Perfect TOEFL Integrated Essay

Well, this is an old video that I made a few months ago, but I forgot to post it here on the blog.

The video demonstrates how to structure an integrated essay using the templates included on my site that I’ve been perfecting and modifying over the past few years.  It uses an example from the “Official Guide” to walk students through the process of crafting an excellent introduction and three good body paragraphs.

Check it out!  The method works.  Really!

TOEFL Writing Type 2 Templates

These have been on our main site forever, but I thought our blog readers might like to see our Type 2 Essay structures.  So here they are!

Paragraph 1 (introduction):

  • Sentence one:  A “hook.”  This is an interesting sentence that describes the topic of the essay without yet stating your main opinion.  Example:  “Children have a variety of interests and so there are many possible gifts to give them on their birthday.”
  • Sentence two:  Your main point/opinion.  Example:  “In my opinion, the very best gift to give to a child is…”
  • Sentence three:  A transitional sentence.  Example:  “I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.”
  • Sentence Four:  “First…..” (quickly summarize your first reason) // Optional
  • Sentence Five:  “Second….” (quickly summarize your second reason) // Optional

(Leave out the last two sentences if you are running out of time)

Paragraph 2 (body paragraph 1):

  • “First of all… FIRST REASON.”
  • One or two sentences that give general information about this reason
  • “For example…” (a personal example from your life that proves this reason)
  •  Three or four sentences that talk about this example

Paragraph 3 (body paragraph 2):

  • “Secondly… SECOND REASON.”
  • One or two sentences that give general information about this reason
  • “My own experience is a good example of this.”
  •  Three or four sentences that talk about this example

Paragraph 4 (conclusion):

  • In conclusion… MAIN POINT.”
  • “This is because REASON ONE and REASON TWO.”

You can see these in action by visiting our collection of sample essays.

New Sample TOEFL Essay!

I’ve written a few more sample TOEFL essays. Here’s the one about “books vs Internet.”

The Question

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is better to use printed material such as books and articles to do research than it is to use the internet. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


Sample Essay

When students conduct research for their class assignments they use both printed and online sources, and both types have distinct advantages and disadvantages.  However, I agree that it is better to use printed materials rather than Internet-based resources.  I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

To begin with, printed materials such as books and articles are more reliable than online sources of information.  This is because websites can be edited by anyone in the world, regardless of whether or not they are qualified academics.  As a result of this, articles in online encyclopedias often contain faulty and biased information.  I have even heard that some people insert incorrect facts into online databases as a mischievous joke.  My own experience demonstrates the danger of relying too heavily on online sources of information.  Two semesters ago, I was assigned a research paper in a freshman history class.  I cited data that I found on Wikipedia which turned out to be completely incorrect.  The information that I included in my essay was so hopelessly wrong that my professor spotted it immediately, causing me to fail the assignment and receive a fairly low grade in the class at the end of the semester.  If I had taken the time to compare what I had read online to a book or a scholarly article I would not have included it and not have received such a bad score in the class.

In addition, books are superior to online articles because they provide a greater depth of information.  Books are much longer than online articles, which makes them useful to learners of all ages.  Students who use printed resources when doing research also benefit from the meticulously curated bibliographical information which they include.  I have personally experienced some of these benefits during my time as an undergraduate student.  For example, when I wrote a paper last semester in a history class, the very first book that I consulted contained a long description of the both the underlying causes and long-term effects of the historical event I was writing about.  In contrast, most of the online articles that I consulted contained little more than facts and dates.  As a result of basing my research on the book rather than the articles, I was able to write an insightful and nuanced essay.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that print resources are more useful than online resources.  This is because printed sources of information are less likely to be biased or error-prone, and because books provide a superior level of detail on most topics.


Sample TOEFL Independent Essay

I’ve started writing sample TOEFL essays. My first essay answers the following question:

“The widespread use of the internet has given people access to information on a level never experienced before. How does this increase in the availability of information influence life in today’s world?”

Here’s the first paragraph:

Most people agree that the Internet affects society in many different ways. In my opinion, the most prominent effect of the Internet is that it has strengthened democracy. I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

You can find the entire essay on our main page. Enjoy!

TOEFL Resources

This blog complements TOEFL Resources, a collection of guides to the TOEFL iBT.