About the TOEFL Writing Section

                                            About the TOEFL Writing Section

About the TOEFL Writing Section

In the TOEFL writing section, there are two essay questions.  First is the integrated essay question, and Second is the independent essay question. The integrated essay requires you to write an essay comparing an article and a lecture on the same topic.  Write about 300 words in that essay.

For the independent essay, you’ll give your personal opinion on a single topic (often related to education, work, life choices, technology and society).  Aim for about 400 words.

Improve your TOEFL writing score by checking out the sample essays on this page and modeling your own essays after them.  They all follow a commonly accepted format for academic writing – introduction, body, conclusion.

Sample TOEFL Independent Essays.

There are four different styles of independent questions in the TOEFL writing section

agree/disagree, multiple choice, paired choice and preference.  We’ve created samples for each type and designed them to include the elements that the graders are looking for.

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.” Use reasons and details to support your opinion.

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

3) 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.” Use reasons and details to support your opinion.

4) 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.

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

6) 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.

7)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.

 8) “In twenty years there will be fewer cars in use than there are today.” Do you agree or disagree?

9) 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 details and examples to support your answer.

10) 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 details and examples to support your answer.

11)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.

12)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.

13)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.

14)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 details and examples to support your answer.

15)Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Sometimes it is better to be dishonest with people than to always tell them the truth. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

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

Multiple Choice Style TOEFL Essays

1)Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what type of neighbor is the best to have?
-someone who is quiet
-someone who we are similar to
-someone who is supportive
Use specific details and examples in your answer.

2) When you face a difficult problem in life, what do you feel is the best way to solve it?
asking someone with more experience for advice about the problem
finding information about the problem using the Internet
taking a long time to think about the problem
Use specific details and examples in your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

3) In general, people are living longer now. Which of the following do you think accounts for this phenomenon?
Technological improvements
Changes to education systems
Improvements to our diets
Use specific details and examples in your answer.  You may choose more than one cause.

4) 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?
new experiences
career preparation
increased knowledge
Use specific details and examples in your answer.

5) 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?
Build additional parks
Construct more libraries
Improve public transportation
Use specific details and examples in your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

6) 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?
Going to a museum
Joining a guided tour of popular attractions
Visiting a popular shopping area
Talking to a local resident
Watching a local television station
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Do not use memorized examples.

7) 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?
Going to a museum
Joining a guided tour of popular attractions
Visiting a popular shopping area
Talking to a local resident
Watching a local television station
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Do not use memorized examples.

8) 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?
to feel happier about their lives
to save money for the future
to develop new skills
Use specific examples and details to support your answer.

9)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?
a serious attitude about their work
a lot of related experience
a tendency to always tell the truth
You may choose more than one. Use specific details and examples in your answer.

10) 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.
The development of new technology
Changes to our eating habits
Improvements to our working conditions
Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. Do not use memorized examples.

11) 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?
a serious attitude regarding their work obligations
a willingness to learn new things
the ability to make other people laugh

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 TOEFL Essays

1) 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.
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. (Adapted from a question in the

2)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.

3) 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.
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.

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

5) 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 TOEFL Writing

1) 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?

2) 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.

3)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.

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