About the TOEFL Writing Section

In the TOEFL writing section you'll get two essay questions.  First is the Integrated Essay where you must compare an academic article to a lecture on the same topic.  Second, is the Independent Essay, where you will give a personal response to a specific question.  The following sample essays demonstrate the types of questions you will face and how to structure your essays properly.

For detailed guides and templates for each TOEFL writing question, make sure to check out our main page.

Essay Evaluation and Scoring

You can now sign up to have your practice essays evaluated and scored by a native speaking tutor!  You can submit your essay by signing up for evaluation. It works!

 

Sample Independent Essays

There are four different types of TOEFL essay questions.  I call them "agree/disagree," "paired choice," "multiple choice" and "preference." For more detailed information about these types, and templates for structuring them, check out my video lesson on YouTube.

Agree/Disagree Style

Question 1

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Overall, the widespread use of the internet has a mostly positive effect on life in today's world.

Question 2

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.

Question 3

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Grades encourage students to learn. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Question 4

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People in today's world have become too dependent on automobiles. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 5

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?  In my country, young people have a better life today than their parents enjoyed when they were young.  Use reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 6

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Movies and television strongly influence the way people behave. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

Question 7

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People communicate with each other less than in the past because of the popularity of television. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Question 8

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? When people succeed, it is entirely because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with their success. Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

Question 9

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a large city. Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay. 

Question 10

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Human activity is making the earth a worse place to live. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 11

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? In the near future fewer there will be fewer cars being used than there are today. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Question 12

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People today spend too much time on personal enjoyment, and not enough time on more serious duties and obligations. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer

Question 13

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? My lifestyle is easier and more comfortable than the one my grandparents experienced when they were young. Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice. 

Question 14

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Sometimes it is better to be dishonest. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Question 15

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 16

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?  The knowledge we gain from personal experiences is more valuable than the experience we gain from books.  Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

 

Multiple Choice Style

Question 17

Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what type of neighbor is the best to have?

Use specific details and examples in your answer.

Question 18

When you face difficult problems in life, what do you feel is the best way to solve them?

Use specific details and examples in your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

Question 19

In general, people are living longer now. Which of the following do you think accounts for this phenomenon?

Use specific details and examples in your answer.  You may choose more than one cause.

Question 20

People have a lot of opinions about the value of advanced education.  Which do you think is the most important reason to attend college or university? Use reasons and examples to support your answer.

Use specific details and examples in your answer.

Question 21

Imagine you could improve the town where you live by changing one important thing about it. Which of the following would you choose to do?

Use specific details and examples in your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

Question 22

These days, people enjoy a lot of time away from their work and school obligations. Many people use this time to visit new places and learn about them. What do you think is the best way to learn about a place you are visiting for the first time?

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 23

People in society work in many different settings, and for a variety of reasons.  What do you think is the main reason why people have jobs?

Use specific examples and details to support your answer.

Question 24

Everyone wants to be as healthy as possible. Fortunately, in modern society there are many things that people can do to improve their physical condition. What do you think is the best way to stay healthy?

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 25

The people we work with have many different characteristics and all of them affect the quality of our time at work. Of the following, what do you think is the most important quality for a boss or supervisor to have?

You may choose more than one. Use specific details and examples in your answer.

Question 26 

All around the world, people are living longer than ever before. Which of the following do you think are the main causes of this phenomenon? You may choose more than one option.

Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. Do not use memorized examples. (version 2)

Question 27

During our careers, we work with many different kinds of people.  All of them have unique characteristics and personality traits. In your opinion, which of the following is the most important characteristic of a coworker? 

You may choose more than one of these options. Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer. Do not use memorized examples.
 

Paired Choice Style

Question 28

Some students prefer classes with frequent discussions between the professor and the students with almost no lectures. Other students prefer classes with many lectures and almost no discussions. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 29

Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

Question 30

Some people think that the government should use extra money to fund programs to improve the environment.  Others think that it is better for the government to spend money to support artistic programs.  Which option do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 31

Some people like to spend their money as soon as they earn it, while others think it is better to save their money for some time in the future. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Do not use memorized examples.

Question 32

Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Question 33

Some students prefer to study and do homework alone. Others prefer to study and work on class assignments with a group of fellow students. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 34

Some people prefer to eat meals at restaurants, while others prefer to prepare and eat food in their own home. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 35

Some people think that they can learn much more by themselves than if they work with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to get help from a skilled teacher. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to support your choice.

 

Preference Style

Question 36

The administrators of a university are revising their budget and have decided to change their funding priorities.  As a result, the university will now spend more money on sports and athletic facilities than they do on the campus libraries.  Do you think this is a good idea?  Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

Question 37

Many people welcome the opening of shopping areas near their homes.  On the other hand, some people are strongly opposed to the construction of such facilities.  If the opening of a large shopping center in your neighborhood were announced, would you support or oppose its construction? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Question 38

It is very important for students to learn as much as possible before their graduation from university.  For this reason, many schools require students to attend all of their classes in person in order to achieve a passing score.  Do you agree or disagree with this kind of policy?  Use specific reasons and examples to support your argument.

Question 39

It is important to improve our skills and knowledge as much as possible. Some people prefer to learn from individuals who have more experience than they do - like teachers and supervisors - instead of learning from peers, like their colleagues and classmates.  Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?

Question 40

Nowadays, the world is developing at a very rapid pace and we are constantly forced to make a lot of choices that can affect the rest of our lives. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that should always ask someone else for help when we need to make an important decision?  Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

Question 41

Consider a situation where you are asked by your supervisor to work with one of your co-workers on a project. This co-worker has opinions that are very different than yours and they feel very strongly about these opinions. Do you think this is a good idea? Use reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question 42

Imagine that your city government has given permission for a major company to build a large factory near your neighborhood. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Explain your position using specific reasons and examples.

 

Video Essays

We've got a bunch of essays on the YouTube channel as well.  These include explanations and comments about how they were written.  Here's the first:

Integrated Essays

I can't give you the reading and listening for these essays, but you might like looking at their structure and organization.