TOEFL Speaking Question 1: Template and Guide

I’ve just finished my new video guide and complete template for the first TOEFL speaking question.

First of all, here’s a video that describes the various question types and provides a template that works every time:

Next, if you want to read a long article that describes the question, check this page out.  Most people coming here are looking for speaking templates, though, so if you just want those you can read on:

-Main point
“A time when I…”
“In my opinion…”
“I would advise my friend to…”
“I think that…”
“I feel this way for two reasons.”
“This was ——- for two main reasons.”
“I would make this suggestion for two main reasons.”
-First reason
“First…”  + “To be more specific…”
-Second reason
“Second…” + “For example…”

That template works just about every time.  The article I linked to above (as well as the video) contains a sample answer that makes use of this template.  They also describe the various question “types” in part one (pure experience, three reasons, giving advice and opinion) but note that the template is basically the same for each one.

If you have any questions just leave a comment below.

Integrated Essay Guide Updated

I’m happy to report that the Web version of our guide to the integrated essay has now been updated to match the content of the video version.  This means that the article now has new templates and new sample paragraphs.  It also includes all of the special vocabulary and grammar tips I mentioned in the video.

I’m working on the 2017 edition of our guide to the independent essay, meanwhile.  That should go online in just a few days, so keep an eye on the YouTube channel!

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!

New Video: How to write a high-scoring independent TOEFL essay

I’ve uploaded a new video!  Finally!

This one is all about how to write an independent essay that will score more than twenty-five points.  It is similar to my earlier video, but includes slightly more complex strategies for advanced students.

Let me know what you think.

IELTS Essay Templates

By popular demand (and because our TOEFL templates are the most popular section of the site), we’ve now got a collection of IELTS Type 2 essay templates.  I’m not planning on starting an IELTSresources website.  But hey… you never know!

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.

TOEFL Writing Templates Video

I just uploaded a video that shows how to write a TOEFL Independent essay using the templates that I’ve written about on this site many times. Let me know if you like it, as if the reaction is positive I will make one about the integrated essay as well.

Updated TOEFL Speaking Templates

As part of a major overhaul of the TOEFL Resources page, I’ve rewritten and improved our TOEFL Speaking Templates. Enjoy! And let me know if you think they should be altered in any way.

I find that templates are the best way to answer questions in the speaking section. Both preparation and answer time is terribly limited and recalling a template allows students to say everything they need to before the clock runs out and helps them to avoid using needlessly complex sentences that lead to grammatical errors.

TOEFL Resources

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