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The TOEFL Independent Writing Task

Posted on 16 March 2006 by admin

The TOEFL Independent Writing Task

The writing section of the next generation TOEFL test measures your ability to write in English in an academic setting. There are two writing tasks in the Next Generation TOEFL test:

Customers may also be interested in:

* Writing based on reading and listening
* Writing based on your own knowledge and experience

This book contains detailed explanations on how to prepare for the knowledge and experience based writing task (e.g. the independent writing task), as well as 185 sample essays written on all the ETS official essay topics. This book will also walk you through on how to write the reading and listening based writing task (the new addition to the TOEFL test).

In the following chapters, we will take you through steps on how to organize your ideas, form an outline and develop organization, write the essay, and finally proofread your essay.

For students who’s English is their second language, the best way to prepare for the TOEFL writing test is to familiar themselves with all the official writing topics, read through sample essays in this book, and practice to write at least ten essays.

The writing section directions and sample questions can be found at ETS’s official website:

Download a full collection of official TOEFL Writing Topics:

You can find the TOEFL essay scoring guide at:

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Test of Written English Guide and sample essays:

1.1.1. Understanding the question

For the independent writing task (writing based on knowledge and experience), there are eight types of essay questions:

* Agree/Disagree
* Choice/Preference
* Compare/Contrast
* Good/Bad
* If/What
* What/How
* Why
* Describe

The purpose of this classification is to help you get started with understanding the essay questions, and avoid spending too much time on the planning phase.

Types of Questions

1. Agree/ Disagree – This type of question lists an opinion and asks if you agree with it or not, then explain
2. Choice/ Preference – This type of question lists two options and asks you to take a side, then explain your choice
3. Compare/ Contrast – You need to compare and/or contrast 2 or more things/views
4. Good/ Bad – First decide which is good, and then explain. Sometimes you need to discuss both sides (advantages/disadvantages)
5. If/What – What will do you in a certain scenario?
6. What/How – Answer the topic question then explain your answer
7. Why – Answer the topic question then explain your answer
8. Describe – Describe something or a phenomenon.

* For more information about the book, How to Prepare for the TOEFL Essay – Next Generation TOEFL – A Complete Course with 187 Sample Essays, click here.

6 Comments For This Post

  1. Himanshu Pokharel Says:

    subject:- how can I got score near about “660” ?

    Respected sir,
    I am a student of Bachlor level. I have registered for the toefl exam date:- May 12,Saturday. I have got one reply letter about which i had registered. I love U.S.A. from child. Now I am young ,age:- 22.I want to come there. So I had registered for the TOEFL. Many friends told me to register in IELTS. But I didn’t listen them.I decide, if I will go foreign country that is only America otherwise I will not go any other countires.
    So I registered in TOEFL.
    So please sir, tell me how can I get good score (about 660) that I can come there easily?
    If i disturbed you then i am really sorry sir!
    reply me soon as possible.
    your’s sincerly
    country:- NEPAL

  2. Po Tashi Says:

    It is very easy for you to get the TOEFL score of 660 by your level of english. Just sleep for 24 hours (continious) before you appear for the TOEFL. If you can do that without any break between 24 hours of sleep, You will easily score 660 and even more….

  3. sara Says:

    himanshku you need to study each day and start preparing a couple months before the test dates.Read and listen to material for the TOEFL.Check out all the secrets of getting a high score on different websites.If you plan to get a tutor or sign up for a course, check the reputation. Vary your study schedule.Try different things. Before the test, get a good nights rest and eat a good,hearty breakfast. You seem to be a pretty good writer and a smart person and I believe that if you try hard enough you will succeed.

  4. Hoang Hai Says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am a teacher of English in Viet Nam. I am very interested in your books. They must be useful for my students who are preparing for The TOEFL_ibt examination. I’d like to know if I take any advantages from my introduction to my students your books. May I get your books with discount price or fee?
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    Hoang Hai

  5. maurine Says:

    Dear sir.
    I’m very much willing to penetrate United State but I dont know how can i start it.I have difficulties in speaking English and writing an impressive essay.My employer told me to pass my toefl exam first before they process my Visa.I feel uncomfortable,flustered and hesitant to be qualified on that examination.Kindly help me,what should I need to do to get the satisfying score.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    hii i’m sushmitha..
    i’ve completed my computer science engg and looking forward to do MS in USA.
    i’m having my TOEFL exams on 9th of the next month.
    i’m preparing for it daily.However i’ve some worry regarding whether i can get good score on my exams.I’ve some problem with my speaking side…could u please give me guidance regarding speaking??if so,I’ll be really thankful to you.
    awaiting for ur response,

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