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 TOEFL Type One Essay: 2017 Edition

I’m happy to report that I have finally finished the 2017 edition of my guide to the integrated TOEFL essay.  While the question itself hasn’t really changed since last year, I have learned a lot more about writing good essays and about which strategies work best for my students.  I’ve tried to include all of those things in this new video.  I hope you like it!

I will be working on new versions of all of the videos in my channel, so stay tuned.

Compound Sentences: TOEFL Grammar Guide

New today is a guide to using compound sentences in your TOEFL Type Two essays.  As I always tell my private students, you need to use both simple and compound sentences in your essays.  The e-rater is programmed to recognize sentences of both types.  Even if your grammar is strong, you won’t get a high score if you write only simple sentences.

The guide includes a short explanation of what a compound sentence is, as well as a definition of what a conjunction is.  Most importantly, it provides a ton of example sentences drawn from actual TOEFL essays (which are linked).


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.

TOEFL Android App

I’m happy to announce that we now have an Android App.  It is mostly a repackaging of the content on the main site, but I do hope you will take some time to check it out.  It includes most of our sample essays, templates, guides ad videos.  I’ll be updating it as time progresses, of course.  Let me know what you want to see in the app.

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.

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.

TOEFL Resources

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