image

  • TEFL Internship
  • TEFL Masters
  • Find a TEFL Course
  • Special Offers
  • Course Providers
  • Teach English Abroad
  • Find a TEFL Job
  • About DoTEFL
  • Our Mission
  • How DoTEFL Works

Forgotten Password

author Image

  • How to Write a TOEFL Essay
  • Learn English
  • James Prior
  • No Comments
  • Updated May 17, 2024

In this article, we’ll look at how to write a TOEFL essay covering both the integrated essay and the independent essay tasks.

How to write an essay for TOEFL

Are you gearing up to tackle the TOEFL exam? Whether you’re aiming to study abroad or enhance your career prospects, achieving a high score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) essay section is crucial.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essentials of crafting both the integrated and independent essays, providing you with the strategies and tips you need to excel.

Table of Contents

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is an acronym for Test of English as a Foreign Language . It is a testing service that allows non-native English speakers to certify their English language skills on an international scale.

The test is offered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which is one of the largest private educational organizations in the world.

Like its counterpart (IELTS), the TOEFL test consists of four main sections: reading , writing , listening , and speaking.

In this post, we will be focusing on TOEFL’s writing section, which is comprised of two separate writing tasks, to help you learn how to write great TOEFL essays.

If you use the right essay writing techniques it can help you uplift the overall scores for the test, and in turn, land your dream job or degree placement abroad!

Understanding the TOEFL Essay Section

Before delving into the specifics of each essay task, it’s essential to understand the structure and objectives of the TOEFL essay section. The TOEFL consists of two writing tasks: the Integrated Writing Task and the Independent Writing Task.

Integrated Writing Task: In this task, you’ll read a passage and listen to a lecture. Your goal is to write an essay that synthesizes information from both sources. You’ll need to demonstrate your ability to comprehend the main points of the passage and lecture, as well as to convey how they relate to each other.

Independent Writing Task: For this task, you’ll be presented with a prompt and asked to provide a well-organized essay expressing your opinion on the topic. You’ll need to support your viewpoint with reasons and examples drawn from your own experience, observations, or readings.

Tips on Writing Winning Essays on the TOEFL Test

Below, we have written down the tips and techniques to help you write the best essays for your TOEFL. We have divided this section into two parts to correspond to the two types of essays that come in the paper.

Writing An Integrated Essay (Task 1)

The integrated task consists of a passage of about 250 to 300 words and an audio of a professor’s lecture on a similar topic. The following tips will help you excel in this essay.

  • Understand The Instructions Carefully

The integrated essay task requires you to write a summary of the given passage and audio. The text generally contains an opinion about something, which is often opposed by the professor in the audio file.

The general instruction is to spend 3 minutes reading the passage and 2 to 2.5 minutes are reserved for the audio clip. The total time allotted for this task is 20 minutes, so managing time is critical.

Take the time to carefully read the prompt and understand what is being asked of you. Identify the main topic and the specific points that need to be addressed in your essay.

  • Read The Given Passage Attentively

Read the passage attentively, noting the main arguments and supporting evidence. Similarly, listen to the audio lecture with a critical ear, identifying the speaker’s perspective and how it contrasts with or complements the passage.

When reading the passage try to pay attention to each word and sentence. We know 3 minutes is quite a short time for an academic-style passage. However, it’s doable using techniques like skimming and scanning . This can enable you to extract the maximum amount of information from the passage in the least time.

You should always practice TOEFL tests regularly before taking the real exam to keep honing your skimming skills. Plus, time yourself properly so that you get accustomed to the challenge of the big day. You can use one of these online timers or just set the time on your phone.

  • Highlight The Key Points

When reading the passage, highlight key points using a pen, pencil, or a highlighter. Don’t highlight too much, otherwise, you will forget what was important and what was not.

You can also jot down key points and relevant examples. Organize your notes in a way that allows you to easily reference them when writing your essay.

Brainstorm and list all the points in chronological order . Try to keep the points short. Use short phrases, words, or sentences to avoid wasting too much time and energy on note-taking. However, good note taking IS a determining factor for the quality of your work and is a must-have skill .

  • Connect The Dots To Summarize

After you’re done listening to the correspondent audio clip , refer back to your notes. See how each main point of the given passage relates to the ones presented in the audio. Are the points supporting each other? Is there an opposition? If so, where?

When you’re done determining the nature of the provided materials, refer back to your notes. You are now ready to write your essay.

  • Create a Structure

Plan your essay before you start writing. Decide on the main points you want to cover and the order in which you’ll present them. This is where your note-taking should be really helpful. If you’ve taken notes well, you should already have a structure in mind. A clear and logical structure will make your essay more cohesive and easier to follow.

  • Synthesize Information

In your essay, aim to integrate information from both the passage and the lecture. Compare and contrast their perspectives, highlighting similarities and differences. Avoid simply summarizing each source; instead, focus on how they interact with each other.

  • Provide Examples

Support your analysis with specific examples from the passage and lecture. These examples should illustrate the points you’re making and strengthen your argument.

  • Use Transitional Phrases

To ensure smooth transitions between ideas, use transitional phrases such as “in addition,” “furthermore,” “on the other hand,” etc. These help guide the reader through your essay and signal shifts in your argument.

  • Edit and Revise

Leave time at the end to review and revise your essay. Check for grammatical errors, clarity of expression, and coherence of ideas. Make any necessary adjustments to strengthen your essay before submitting it.

Writing An Independent Essay (Task 2)

In this writing task, the job is to respond to a question prompt. Unlike task 1, the writing style must be personal . You should include your opinions and feelings towards the topic and gravitate to the narrative, accordingly.

Task 2 is allotted 30 minutes. The question can be about anything, but it mostly covers education, society, or work in general. The topic will be open-ended so you would get complete liberty to choose your stance for it.

Remember, there isn’t any word limit defined by ETS for the task. However, we would personally recommend writing somewhere around the 300-word mark. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Understand the Prompt

Carefully read the prompt and make sure you understand what is being asked of you. Identify the main topic and the specific aspects you need to address in your essay.

  • Brainstorm Ideas

Take a few minutes to brainstorm potential arguments and examples to support your viewpoint. Consider different perspectives on the topic and how you can effectively argue your position.

  • Make A Clear Structure For The Essay

Plan your essay for a smoother workflow. Create a clear structure for the document as the following.

Introduction:

Must contain your main stance on the topic. In other words, you need to create a Thesis Statement. Formulate a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument. This statement should appear in the introduction of your essay and provide a roadmap for the reader.

Body paragraphs:

These contain all the main points that you have for the topic. Usually, 2 to 3 points are enough to support a stance and each point must be represented in a new paragraph.

In the body paragraphs of your essay, you should elaborate on your thesis statement by presenting supporting reasons and examples. Each paragraph should focus on a single idea and provide evidence to strengthen your argument.

Support your arguments with specific examples drawn from your own experiences, observations, or readings. These examples should be relevant to the topic and help illustrate your points effectively.

You can also use these paragraphs to anticipate possible counterarguments to your viewpoint and address them in your essay. Acknowledging opposing perspectives demonstrates critical thinking and strengthens your argument.

To maintain the reader’s interest and demonstrate your language proficiency, try to vary your sentence structure. Incorporate complex sentences, transitions, and cohesive devices to enhance the flow of your essay.

  • Follow A TEAR Structure For The Body Paragraphs

The acronym TEAR stands for:

  • Topic sentence
  • Relate to the main topic

A topic sentence is a declaration of what the paragraph is about and must be written at the start. This should be followed by evidence (can be an anecdote) used to support your argument, followed by an analysis of the evidence that kicks back to the main topic.

Conclusion:

In your conclusion, summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement or reiterate your stance backed up by the points you used in your body paragraphs. Keep the points summarized to aid the reader’s understanding of the whole essay. End with a strong closing statement that reinforces the significance of your argument and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Also, quickly check for a logical flow of ideas in the essay. Ensure solid readability by keeping the tone consistent throughout the essay.

General Techniques For Both Tasks

  • Manage Your Time

Allocate your time wisely during the exam to ensure you have sufficient time to complete both tasks. Consider setting aside a few minutes at the end to review and revise your essays.

  • Write With Clarity And Conciseness

This is a general tip for both tasks, don’t write moot points, write clearly and concisely to stick to the point. If you try to inflate your word count with redundant arguments, the examiner will know.

Overly wordy answers can result in a bad impression of your work, possibly reducing your chances of doing well on the test.

  • Use Transitional Words And Phrases

Transitional words like ‘Furthermore’ , ‘Consequently’ , ‘Nevertheless’ , etc., can be used to shift the momentum of your thoughts smoothly. This helps the reader understand the tone and flow of your essay.

If you need help practicing this and don’t have access to a tutor, an AI essay typer might be a good option to review these transitional writing techniques and assess your overall writing skills. Such tools leverage their ML and NLP algorithms to assess tone and generate relevant responses. So, you can see what works and what doesn’t and get some writing inspiration.

  • Keep Things Nice And Simple

Many students make the mistake of writing very complicated, high-level English. Don’t do this unless you know exactly how to use it!

Stick to what you know and write as simply as you can. Try to include some high-level words and sentence structures sparingly if you’re confident with them, but don’t overdo it.

  • Stay Calm and Confident

Approach the TOEFL essay section with a positive attitude and confidence in your abilities. Remember to breathe and stay calm, even if you encounter challenging prompts.

  • Proofread To Correct Mistakes

Finally, proofread your work for any mistakes. Check your essay for any grammatical errors to avoid any deductions in your scores.

Proofread your work as the examiner. This role-play will result in an unbiased editing of the material from your side to produce a solid essay.

How Else Can You Prepare?

Aside from knowing what to do in the exam, there are some other things that you can do to help prepare you for the TOEFL writing tasks:

  • Practice Regularly

Familiarize yourself with the format and requirements of the TOEFL essay section by practicing regularly. Utilize sample prompts and timed writing exercises to improve your writing skills and build confidence.

  • Expand Your Vocabulary

Enhance your vocabulary by regularly reading English texts and noting down unfamiliar words. Incorporate these words into your writing to demonstrate a rich and varied vocabulary.

  • Seek Feedback

Share your practice essays with teachers, tutors, or peers for feedback. Pay attention to their comments and suggestions for improvement, and incorporate them into your future writing.

Final Thoughts

By following these strategies and tips, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the TOEFL essay section with confidence and achieve your desired score. Remember to practice regularly, stay focused, and strive for clarity and coherence in your writing. Good luck!

  • Recent Posts

James Prior

  • How to Motivate Yourself for Studying: 25 Study Motivation Tips - May 24, 2024
  • Cultural Immersion in Language Learning: Why It’s Important - May 18, 2024
  • Gamification in Education: Transforming Learning through Play - May 17, 2024

More from DoTEFL

Arrive home

Arrive Home or Arrive at Home? Which Should You Use?

  • Updated February 27, 2023

Summer words

221+ Words About Summer With Their Meanings

  • Updated January 17, 2024

Videos to teach English

How To Use Videos To Teach English

  • Updated May 2, 2024

Teach English online with no experience

Can You Teach English Online With No Experience?

  • Updated January 14, 2024

Language learning apps

15 Best Language Learning Apps for 2024

  • Updated January 28, 2024

The longest words in English

17 of The Longest English Words: Can You Pronounce Them?!

  • Updated January 29, 2024
  • The global TEFL course directory.

TOEFL iBT ®  Test

The premier test of academic English communication

Learn more by selecting any step in your TOEFL iBT ®  journey.

TOEFL iBT Test Writing Section

The TOEFL iBT test Writing section measures your ability to write in English in an academic setting, and to present your ideas in a clear, well-organized way.

There are two writing tasks.

  • Integrated writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture, then write in response to what you read and listened to.
  • Writing for an Academic Discussion task (10 minutes) — state and support an opinion in an online classroom discussion.

You'll type your responses on a computer keyboard.

Test time:  It should take about 29 minutes to complete the Writing section.

Scoring: Writing tasks are scored based on the  Writing Scoring Guides (Rubrics) (PDF)  by a combination of AI scoring and certified human raters. Raw scores are converted to a scaled section score of 0–30.

Practice Your Writing Skills

Explore a variety of official prep offerings to practice your English-writing skills with TOEFL ® TestReady ™ . Get insights and feedback on your grammar, usage, mechanics and more.

Writing videos

Watch these videos to learn about the questions in the Writing section, plus helpful tips.

Video About Integrated Writing

Question 1: Integrated Writing

Read a passage and listen to a lecture. Then write a response comparing them.

View Transcript

Video About Independent Writing

Question 2: Writing for an Academic Discussion

Share your opinion in an online discussion with a professor and other students.

Do you need to be an expert on the topics?

The writing tasks measure your English proficiency, so you don't need deep knowledge on a specific topic to get a high score. Score raters recognize that each essay is a first draft, and you can receive a high score with an essay that contains some errors.

How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC

The Five Paragraph Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC

  • Pronunciation & Conversation
  • Writing Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Business English
  • Resources for Teachers

how to write a good essay for toefl

  • B.A., English, University of Michigan

Writing an essay can be a difficult enough task as it is; writing it a language that is your first language is even harder.

If you're taking the TOEFL or the TOEIC and have to complete a writing assessment, then read these instructions for organizing a great five-paragraph essay in English.

Paragraph One: The Introduction

This first paragraph, made up of 3-5 sentences, has two purposes: grabbing the reader's attention, and providing the main point (thesis) of the whole essay.

To get the reader's attention, your first few sentences are key. Use descriptive words, an anecdote, a striking question or an interesting fact related to your topic to draw the reader in.

To state your main point, your last sentence in the first paragraph is key. Your first few sentences of the introduction basically introduce the topic and grab the reader's attention. The last sentence of the introduction tells the reader what you think about the assigned topic and lists the points that you're going to write about in the essay. Here's an example of a good introductory paragraph given the topic, "Do you think teenagers should have jobs while they are still students?" :

I've worked ever since I was twelve. As a teenager, I cleaned houses for my family members, made banana splits at an ice cream parlor, and waited tables at various restaurants. I did it all while carrying a pretty good grade point average in school, too! I definitely believe that teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline, earns them cash for school, and keeps them out of trouble.

Paragraphs Two - Four: Explaining Your Points

Once you've stated your thesis, you have to explain yourself! The thesis in the example introduction was "I definitely believe that teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline, earns them cash for school, and keeps them out of trouble".

The job of the next three paragraphs is to explain the points of your thesis using statistics, examples from your life, literature, the news or other places, facts, examples, and anecdotes.

  • Paragraph Two: Explains the first point from your thesis: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline.
  • Paragraph Three: Explains the second point from your thesis: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job earns them cash for school.
  • Paragraph Four: Explains the third point from your thesis: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job keeps them out of trouble.

In each of the three paragraphs, your first sentence, called the topic sentence, will be the point you're explaining from your thesis. After the topic sentence, you'll write 3-4 more sentences explaining why this fact is true. The last sentence should transition you to the next topic. Here's an example of what paragraph two would look like:

First, teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline. When I was working at the ice cream store, I had to show up every day on time or I would have gotten fired. That taught me how to keep a schedule, which is a big part of learning discipline. As I cleaned the floors and washed the windows of my family members' homes, I knew they would be checking up on me, so I worked hard to do my best, which taught me an important facet of discipline, which is thoroughness. But being disciplined isn't the only reason it's a good idea for teenagers to work during school; it can also bring in the money!

Paragraph Five: Concluding the Essay

Once you've written the introduction, explained your main points in the body of the essay, transitioning nicely between them all, your final step is to conclude the essay. The conclusion, made up of 3-5 sentences, has two purposes: to recap what you've stated in the essay, and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

To recap, your first few sentences are key. Restate the three major points of your essay in different words, so you know the reader has understood where you stand.

To leave a lasting impression, your last sentences are key. Leave the reader with something to think about before ending the paragraph. You could try a quote, a question, an anecdote, or simply a descriptive sentence. Here's an example of a conclusion:

I can't speak for anyone else, but my experience has taught me that having a job while being a student is a very good idea. Not only does it teach people to have character in their lives, it can give them the tools they need to succeed like money for college tuition or a good reputation. Sure, it's hard to be a teenager without the added pressure of a job, but with all the benefits of having one, it's too important not to make the sacrifice. Like Mike would say, "Just do it."

  • 40 Common English Idioms
  • How To Write an Essay
  • Passive Voice Usage and Examples
  • English Test Options for ESL Students
  • How to Format and Write a Simple Business Letter
  • Free Online TOEFL Study Guides
  • Paragraph Writing
  • Deciding Between the IELTS or TOEFL Exams
  • How to Teach Essay Writing
  • Sales Letters for English Learners
  • The TOEIC Speaking Test
  • What's a Good TOEIC Speaking and Writing Score?
  • Writing Cause and Effect Essays for English Learners
  • Good TOEFL Scores for Top Public and Private Universities
  • Beginning Writing Short Writing Assignments
  • How to Teach the Past Perfect Continuous

Student Reviews & University Rankings: EDUopinions

  • Admissions Advice

How to Write a Successful TOEFL Essay: 10 Best Practices

If you are in the process of preparing for the TOEFL exam, this article will help guide you through the writing section of the test. We will discuss the independent writing task and ten best practices to follow which will help make sure you give it your best shot. Continue reading to find out how to write a successful TOEFL essay!

What is the TOEFL?

TOEFL exam

TOEFL stands for “Test of English as a Foreign Language” and is basically that—a way for educational institutions and even potential employers to assess your level of fluency in English. The greatest advantage of TOEFL is that it offers people a reliable way to measure and compare English language skills. The test is composed of four sections—reading, writing, listening and speaking.

What is the TOEFL essay?

When we say “the TOEFL essay” we are referring to the independent writing task of the exam, which is essentially the second and lengthier part of the writing section. In addition, there is an integrated writing task based on the reading and listening sections. In this EDUopinions blog, we mostly will focus on the independent writing task, which requires students to write a short argumentative essay in response to a prompt in 30 minutes.

How to write a successful TOEFL essay:

1. planning.

GRE test

The first step for how to write a successful TOEFL essay is planning. Even though you only have 30 minutes to complete the task, spending 2-4 minutes planning will most likely pay off. After reading the prompt, use your planning time to decide on your clear and specific response—kind of like a thesis—and then create an effective structure to argue your point of view. Doing so will not only help you stay on topic; it will also help the marker follow your line of argument and more easily award points to your writing.

2. vocabulary

Next, a robust and varied vocabulary will also help you write a successful TOEFL essay. In the independent writing task, you should strive to be as concise and detailed as possible. Instead of writing that you are “not very good at tennis,” describing yourself as an “amateur” will score you more vocabulary marks. Another good tip: because the integrated writing task is based on the reading and listening sections, it is important that you paraphrase what was said in those sections rather than using the same vocabulary you encountered earlier in the exam.

3. Structure

As mentioned above, the structure is another important component for how to write a successful TOEFL exam. Since this task only lasts 30 minutes, your structure will be fairly basic, but that does not mean it is any less important. Right off the bat, you should state your response to the prompt (your thesis)—you can think of this as a condensed introductory paragraph. Next, the ‘body’ should include two reasons why you have taken this opinion as well as personal examples or evidence for your claim after each reason. After both body paragraphs, provide a brief conclusion that ties the two points you just made back to your opening line.

4. Transitions

TOEFL

Another great tip for how to write a successful TOEFL essay is to include smooth transitions in your writing. Rather than abruptly changing topic or immediately introducing an idea, incorporating transition words/phrases will help make your writing easier to read and demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge and skill. Think of words and phrases like ‘in addition,’ ‘moreover,’ ‘generally,’ ‘aside from,’ or ‘all in all’—using language like this in your TEOFL essay is a great way to elevate both your writing and score.

5. Paraphrase

This tip is specifically for the integrated writing task, which requires students to write extended responses to questions based on the reading and listening section materials and lasts 20 minutes. This section of the TOEFL assess your ability to engage with written and oral English, not your ability to repeat what you just read/heard. For this reason, paraphrasing is especially important for this section of the test. Instead of writing “the text says that ‘Annie was deeply saddened by the death of her dog.’” You should reword to include your own writing: “The text explains Annie’s profound sadness as a result of her dog’s death.”

6. Time management

TOEFL time

Time management is another best practice for how to write a successful TOEFL essay. Because the independent writing section is so short (only 30 minutes), it is imperative that you work efficiently yet calmly. In practice, this means allocating certain amounts of time to certain parts of the task. For instance, you could aim to spend 2-3 minutes creating a plan, 1-2 minutes writing your main point, 15 minutes writing your body paragraphs, 5 minutes of the conclusion and 5 minutes to make final touches. Ultimately, how you decide to structure your time depends on you, your strengths and your goals, but sticking to a time management arrangement can be a helpful way to reach your potential.

7. Know the question type

In the independent writing task, knowing what type of question/prompt you answering is essential to a successful TOEFL essay. Broadly, there are four types of questions asked in the independent writing task. Commonly, students must choose to defend one side of a debate. Another common prompt allows students to respond to an open-ended and oftentimes personal question or statement. Other less common question types include evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of something and choosing between three options presented in the prompt. Being able to identify which question type you are asked will help you write a detailed and relevant essay.

8. Practice tests

IELTS

One of the best tips for how to write a successful TOEFL essay is taking practice tests. While the above points have hopefully been helpful, there is no way for you to know what taking the TOEFL will be like unless you practice under similar conditions. Doing so will allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a test-taker and highlight specific areas you may need to revise. Check out the TOEFL website for resources on how to access practice tests.

9. Study companion

TOEFL practice

Study companions can also be great resources to help you write a successful TOEFL essay. Be it a textbook, a tutor or online learning materials, test preparation is a surefire way to improve your TOEFL essay. A good study companion will clue you in to the test’s format, what you will be assessed on, how to manage your time and more! In addition, many study companions include practice tests packs, meaning you will have multiple opportunities to put your skills to the test.

10. Confidence

TOEFL essay

Last but not least, confidence is another essential for how to write a successful TOEFL essay. Though it may be easy to overlook, being confident in your English level and the preparation you have invested into the TOEFL exam will hopefully help reassure you and calm your nerves. In addition, keep in mind that while the TOEFL may be an important step in your academic/professional career, it is not the be-all end-all of your English fluency.

Hopefully, you have found these ten tips on how to write a successful TOEFL essay helpful. If you have any questions about the TOEFL exam or other standardized tests used for university admissions, feel free to get in touch with one of EDUopinions advisors for free, individual support!

Check out these related articles on IELTS vs TOEFL. Which one to choose? and the 5 best English tests to get admitted to universities .

Grenoble École de Management logo

Grenoble École de Management

avatar

Recent Posts

How to Manage Stress During Exam Season

Everyone wants to do well in exams, but that pressure can sometimes lead to side effects like intense anxiety, nerves, and stress. Annoyingly, this ...

What It's Really Like to Be an International Business Student in France

France has always had a reputation for vigorous academic programmes. This year, HEC Paris topped the global rankings for Master's in Management ...

Best Countries for Masters Degrees

Suppose you know that you want to study abroad for your Masters degree, but you're not sure where exactly to go. There are so many great ...

University & Business School Reviews: EDUopinions

  • Universities
  • Advice for Students
  • Articles & Experiences
  • Work with us
  • For institutions

Receive more information immediately for free

5 Simple Tips For Writing Your TOEFL iBT Essay

The TOEFL iBT® test writing section includes two essays. Feeling unsure of your writing skills? Read our article to succeed on test day!

  • Preparing to Study Abroad
  • English Proficiency

how to write a good essay for toefl

The TOEFL iBT test is a great way to demonstrate your English language proficiency for university education. The test consists of 4 sections reading, listening, speaking and writing and is completed in about 3 hours.

The final writing section includes two essays, one independent writing task, and one integrated writing task. The integrated writing is 20 minutes long and is based on a reading and listening passage recreating a common academic setting. In this section, it is important to retain what you learned in the lecture and relay the ideas without copying words and phrases from what you have read. The independent writing task is based on an essay prompt only, with a 30-minute time limit. This essay gives you a chance to express your own ideas on a topic and to be more creative in your writing.

There are many different ways to improve your English language skills as well as prepare for your  TOEFL iBT test, and this article will focus on tips specific to the TOEFL iBT essay. Listed below are five tips for improving your TOEFL iBT writing skills. 

Are you prepared to take the TOEFL iBT test?

Take our quiz!

1. Create an essay plan

Having a plan for what you will write can help your TOEFL iBT essay to flow better and assist you when forming a discussion. Noting down a short essay plan before you start writing will help you to use your time efficiently. When you know what you are going to write next, you won’t have to pause in a panic between each paragraph to think.

There are a number of common TOEFL iBT essay plans that work very effectively. But what is most important is what works best for you and how your brain works. Having an organized plan is essential to succeed in the TOEFL iBT writing test because it ensures that the examiner knows where to look in your essay. You may have written some great work but if your essay is disorganized it can make it very difficult for you to achieve the grades you deserve.

2. Know what the examiner wants

Look at the writing rubrics for the TOEFL iBT writing test and have a goal for what grade you want to achieve.

The writing rubrics can give you clear notes of what the examiner expects from your TOEFL iBT essay. This can give you goals and skills to work towards, such as organization and clarity.

TOEFL iBT writing test examples with estimated grades can be found online and can give you a good idea of what to work towards when practicing for the writing section. When you are aware of what the examiner is looking for it can help you to feel more confident in what you write.

3. Give yourself a word limit

how to write a good essay for toefl

It is recommended that a good TOEFL iBT essay will contain a minimum of 150 words for the integrated task and 300 words for the independent task, but it is ultimately up to you to decide.

By giving yourself a word limit you will know when to stop writing to focus on reading through and correcting your essay. This will also force you to consider what is essential to your essay and give you a higher grade rather than wasting space. Quality not quantity certainly rings true when writing your TOEFL iBT essay.

4. Stick to the prompt  

Under pressure in the TOEFL iBT exam , it can be easy to get carried away and start to stray away from the essay prompt.

After each paragraph quickly read over what you have written to see if it is relevant to your TOEFL iBT essay prompt. It will ultimately save time if you do this after each paragraph rather than at the end when you realize you have written on a completely different topic. This will also help you to process how you will move into the next paragraph. 

With not much time available, it is best to ensure you stay on track throughout the TOEFL iBT writing test. While this is more applicable to the independent writing task it can also be good to keep in mind during the integrated writing.

5. Write, write and write some more

how to write a good essay for toefl

Practice is necessary for the TOEFL iBT writing test, as it can improve writing skills and writing speed. The more writing you do the more confidence you will feel when taking the exam.

Being great at writing doesn’t happen overnight and the best way to improve your grade on TOEFL iBT essay is through practice. Taking 30 minutes to practice a sample TOEFL iBT essay will help you significantly. By regularly returning to writing you will learn and retain your skills. By doing this, you will also become familiar with the essays, which will make them seem less daunting when taking the TOEFL iBT test.

Also, it is important to ensure that, when you practice, you time yourself. Sure you can write an amazing TOEFL iBT essay in an hour, but can you do it in 20 minutes?

how to write a good essay for toefl

Keystone Team Author

The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.

Read related articles

how to write a good essay for toefl

Where Can TOEFL iBT Scores Take You?

December 2019 Study Abroad in the United Kingdom Study Abroad in the United States Study Abroad in Canada Study Abroad in Australia TOEFL Study Abroad in North America English Proficiency Deciding Where to Study

how to write a good essay for toefl

These Exams Could Help Make Your Study Abroad Dream a Reality

December 2020 Master's Degree TOEFL Bachelor's Degree Preparing to Study Abroad GRE English Proficiency SAT & ACT

People gathered around the campfire

10 Reasons to Be a Camp Counselor in the US or Canada

December 2019 Career Advice Study Abroad in the United States Study Abroad in Canada Study Abroad in North America Why Study Abroad? English Proficiency

The Magoosh logo is the word Magoosh spelled with each letter o replaced with a check mark in a circle.

How to Write a TOEFL Essay Introduction

Even experienced writers often struggle with writing introductions and conclusions. From a thematic standpoint, they seem superfluous: if you’re going to make your point in the body, why do you have to keep repeating yourself? But a good introduction does more than just state the thesis. Here is a list of strategies to keep in mind as you craft your introduction.

Set the tone

In the introduction, you establish your relationship with the reader and with the subject matter. Make it clear from the very beginning what kind of essay this is going to be: will you be light-hearted? or is this a purely academic matter? If you’re planning to make an emotional appeal, start with a vivid description to get the reader emotionally engaged. The introduction is critical in making (or, let’s say, “helping”) the reader see the issue in question your way.

Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.

Give some idea of the structure of the essay

Generally speaking, you should present examples in your introduction in the same order in which you plan to introduce them in the body. For the TOEFL and similar kinds of essays, this is a simple matter of listing all the examples in the introduction. If you can make them seem interesting or controversial in some way, you give your reader extra motivation to read on.

Start with an example

One great strategy to starting your essay with style is to begin with something the reader can relate to. As mentioned above, this may be a description that allows them to visualize an image. If that’s not the best tactic for your topic, try giving an example that will relate your argument to something the reader already knows and understands. this will also give you something to relate back to at the end, making the whole essay come together into a nice, neat package.

Start with a “duh” statement

When you have limited space to make your point, you’re not shooting for philosophical genius. So if it works, save some space by starting with a statement that makes you say “Duh—everyone knows that.” That’s kind of what I did in this post: I started with a statement that’s pretty obvious. From there, you (I hope) said “Well, yes. Why should I care?” and then you continued reading to answer that question. It’s not the most beautiful beginning in the world, but it does the trick.

Start with a controversy

This follows nicely from a lot of “duh” statements. After you’ve got your first sentence, comment on the multiplicity of positions on the issue. “While many people may agree that…, others find ….a more compelling perspective.” By doing this, you acknowledge the complexity of the issue, and hopefully you’ve enticed your reader to continue to find out the opinion to which you subscribe.

Looking for more help? Check out TOEFL Writing Practice , or sign up for Magoosh TOEFL to get access to our TOEFL writing lesson videos. 🙂

Kate Hardin

Kate has 6 years of experience in teaching foreign language. She graduated from Sewanee in 2012, where she studied and taught German, and recently returned from a year spent teaching English in a northern Russian university. Follow Kate on Google+ !

View all posts

More from Magoosh

TOEFL Writing Task 1: The TOEFL Integrated Writing Practice Task

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TOEFL sample essays: Tips and techniques for a high score

TOEFL sample essays: Tips and techniques for a high score

The TOEFL exam is a standardised test that measures a non-native English speaker's ability to use and understand English at the university level. One of the components of the TOEFL exam is the writing section, which requires test-takers to write an essay in response to a prompt.

To score well on the writing section, it is essential to understand the requirements of the exam and the characteristics of a high-scoring essay.

In this article, we will explore tips and techniques for writing TOEFL sample essays that will help test-takers achieve a high score.

Table of Contents

Toefl writing section, integrated writing task, independent essay sample, 1. understand the task requirements, 2. plan your essay, 3. use effective paragraph structure, 4. use specific examples, 5. use varied sentence structure, 6. use academic vocabulary, 7. use correct grammar and punctuation.

  • TOEFL essay #1
  • TOEFL essay #2
  • TOEFL essay #3

Frequently asked questions

The TOEFL writing section is a crucial component of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), which measures the English language proficiency of non-native speakers of English who wish to study or work in English-speaking countries. The writing section evaluates a test-taker's ability to write effectively and clearly in academic English.

The TOEFL writing section comprises two tasks: the Independent Writing Task and the Integrated Writing Task. Both tasks assess different aspects of the test-taker's writing abilities, including their ability to express ideas clearly, organise thoughts, use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and demonstrate critical thinking and analytical skills.

Also read: TOEFL Writing Topics

The Integrated Writing Task assesses your ability to comprehend and synthesise information from both a reading passage and a lecture. This section evaluates your ability to use your reading and listening comprehension skills to comprehend the given content and then integrate and organize the information effectively in your writing.

The Integrated Writing Task is composed of two parts: a reading passage and a recorded lecture. The reading passage presents a topic, and the lecture provides additional information on that topic. Both the reading passage and the lecture are related and complement each other. Test-takers must read and listen carefully, as they will be asked to summarise the information presented in both in a written response.

The reading passage is approximately 230-300 words long and usually includes a definition of the topic, background information, and supporting examples. The lecture is approximately 3-5 minutes long and adds additional information and examples to the topic presented in the reading passage.

Independent Writing Task

The Independent Writing Task assesses your ability to write in English on a given topic. The task requires you to express your thoughts, ideas, and opinions coherently and effectively in written form. The task aims to evaluate your ability to organise your thoughts, use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and develop your ideas with sufficient details and examples.

The Independent Writing Task is a timed exercise, and you will be given 30 minutes to complete it. You will be presented with a prompt or a question, which you will be required to address in your response. The prompt may ask you to express your opinion on a particular issue or to describe a situation, problem or challenge and propose a solution. It is important to read the prompt carefully and understand what it requires you to do before starting to write.

Also read: TOEFL Exam Pattern

Prompt: Some people believe that it is better to live in a small town, while others think that life in a big city is more preferable. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each perspective and give your own opinion.

Living in a small town versus a big city has been a topic of debate for a long time. Some people prefer the peace and quiet of small towns, while others thrive in the hustle and bustle of big cities. In this essay, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each perspective and provide my own opinion.

Living in a small town has its advantages. First of all, it is generally quieter and more peaceful than living in a big city. There is less noise pollution, less traffic, and fewer crowds. Additionally, small towns are often safer than big cities, with lower crime rates and a stronger sense of community. People in small towns tend to know each other better and are more likely to look out for one another.

However, small towns also have their disadvantages. They can be isolated and lacking in opportunities, particularly when it comes to education and employment. Small towns may not have access to the same resources as big cities, which can make it harder to pursue certain careers or receive a top-notch education. Additionally, small towns can sometimes feel claustrophobic, with everyone knowing everyone else's business and limited options for socialising or entertainment.

Living in a big city, on the other hand, has its own set of advantages. Big cities are often cultural hubs, with access to museums, theatres, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. They also offer more diverse dining options and a wider range of shopping opportunities. In terms of education and employment, big cities often have more options available, with top-notch universities and a greater number of job openings.

However, big cities also have their disadvantages. They can be noisy, polluted, and stressful, with crowds and traffic adding to the chaos. Crime rates are often higher in big cities, and there is often a lack of community and a sense of isolation. Additionally, the cost of living in a big city is often much higher than in a small town, which can be a significant barrier for many people.

In my opinion, both small towns and big cities have their advantages and disadvantages, and which one is preferable depends on individual preferences and priorities. While I appreciate the peace and quiet of small towns, I also value the opportunities and diversity of big cities. Ultimately, the choice between living in a small town versus a big city comes down to personal preference and what one prioritises in life.

Also read: TOEFL study material and resources

Tips for writing high-scoring TOEFL essay

Writing a high-scoring TOEFL essay requires effective preparation, practice, and the use of a clear writing structure. Here are some tips to help you write a high-scoring TOEFL essay:

The first step in writing a high-scoring TOEFL essay is to understand the task requirements. Make sure you read the prompt carefully and understand the topic you are being asked to write about. Additionally, make sure you understand the type of essay you need to write. The TOEFL independent writing task requires you to write an essay expressing your opinion or providing your perspective on a given topic.

Once you understand the prompt and the requirements of the task, take a few minutes to plan your essay. Jot down some notes, create an outline, or even brainstorm on paper to organise your thoughts. Make sure you have a clear idea of the main points you want to make and the evidence you will use to support them. Organising your thoughts and creating an outline will help you stay on track and make your essay more coherent.

Paragraphs are the building blocks of your essay. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that relates to the main idea of the essay. Use supporting evidence and examples to back up your main point in each paragraph. Additionally, make sure each paragraph flows smoothly into the next. Using transition words and phrases can help link ideas and make your essay more cohesive.

One of the keys to writing a high-scoring TOEFL essay is to use specific examples to support your ideas. Use real-life examples, statistics, and facts to back up your argument. This will demonstrate your knowledge of the topic and show that you can think critically. Additionally, using specific examples will make your essay more interesting to read and help you stand out from other test-takers.

Varying your sentence structure can make your essay more interesting and engaging to read. Use short and long sentences, questions, and statements to add variety to your writing. This will help you avoid repetition and make your writing more engaging. However, make sure your sentences are grammatically correct and make sense in the context of your essay.

Using academic vocabulary can make your essay sound more professional and knowledgeable. Use vocabulary that is appropriate for the academic level of the test. Avoid slang, colloquialisms, and overly complex language. Additionally, make sure you use words correctly and avoid using words that you do not fully understand.

Using correct grammar and punctuation is essential to getting a high score on the TOEFL writing section. Make sure you use correct verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and sentence structure. Use appropriate punctuation to ensure your writing is clear and easy to read. If you are unsure about a grammar or punctuation rule, look it up or ask a tutor for clarification.

Also Read TOEFL Exam Syllabus

TOEFL writing samples

TOEFL writing samples provide valuable insights into the structure and content expected in the writing section of the exam. These samples showcase both the integrated and independent writing tasks, allowing test-takers to familiarise themselves with the types of prompts and the expected responses. 

Below we have provided three TOEFL writing samples with answers. By analysing and studying these TOEFL sample essays, students can understand the effective use of transitions, supporting evidence, and coherent arguments.

TOEFL essay sample #1

The importance of learning a second language

Learning a second language has become increasingly important in today's globalised world. It offers numerous benefits such as improved cognitive abilities, enhanced cultural understanding, and better job prospects. In this essay, we will explore the advantages of learning a second language and how it can positively impact individuals and society.

Learning a second language has been shown to improve cognitive abilities. It requires mental effort and helps develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and multitasking skills. Research has shown that bilingual individuals exhibit higher levels of creativity and have improved memory and attention spans.

Furthermore, learning a second language enhances cultural understanding. Language is deeply intertwined with culture, and by learning a second language, individuals gain insights into different cultures, traditions, and perspectives. This fosters empathy, tolerance, and a broader worldview, enabling individuals to engage and connect with people from diverse backgrounds.

In addition, knowing a second language opens up better job prospects. In today's global job market, multilingualism is highly valued. It allows individuals to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, and partners from different countries. Employers often seek candidates with language skills, as it demonstrate adaptability and a willingness to engage in cross-cultural interactions. Thus, learning a second language offers advantages in terms of career opportunities and professional growth.

TOEFL essay sample #2

The impact of technology on education

Technology has revolutionised the field of education, transforming the way students learn and teachers teach. In this essay, we will explore the positive impact of technology on education, including increased access to resources, improved engagement, and enhanced learning outcomes.

One significant impact of technology in education is the increased access to resources. Online platforms, digital libraries, and educational apps provide students with vast amounts of educational materials, regardless of their geographical location. Students can access textbooks, research materials, and interactive learning tools, empowering them to explore and learn at their own pace.

Moreover, technology has improved student engagement in the learning process. Multimedia elements such as videos, simulations, and gamification techniques capture students' attention and promote active participation. This not only enhances their understanding of the subject matter but also fosters creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Additionally, technology facilitates personalised learning experiences. Adaptive learning platforms analyze student performance and provide personalised feedback, allowing for targeted instruction and remediation. Online collaboration tools enable students to work together, fostering teamwork and communication skills. These personalised and collaborative learning experiences contribute to enhanced learning outcomes and student success.

TOEFL essay sample #3

The benefits of exercise for physical and mental health

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. It offers numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength and flexibility, stress reduction, and enhanced mood. In this essay, we will explore the importance of exercise for overall well-being.

Engaging in regular exercise improves physical health. It helps prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system, boosts metabolism, and enhances overall physical fitness. Activities like running, swimming, or weightlifting promote muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Exercise also plays a vital role in stress reduction and mental well-being. Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. These endorphins promote feelings of happiness and well-being, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Regular exercise can also improve sleep quality, increase energy levels, and enhance cognitive function.

Furthermore, exercise provides an opportunity for individuals to unwind, clear their minds, and focus on their physical well-being. It can serve as a form of self-care, allowing individuals to take time for themselves and prioritize their health. Incorporating exercise into one's routine can have a positive impact on their overall mental and emotional state.

In conclusion, regular exercise offers a multitude of benefits for both physical and mental health. It improves cardiovascular health, increases strength and flexibility, reduces stress, and enhances mood. By incorporating exercise into our daily lives, we can experience improved well-being and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

It is important to understand the requirements of the exam and the characteristics of a high-scoring essay to achieve a high score on the TOEFL writing section. By organizing your thoughts, using specific examples, using clear and concise language, focusing on coherence and cohesion, and proofreading and editing carefully, you can improve your essay writing skills and increase your chances of success on the exam.

What is the format of the TOEFL essay?

The TOEFL essay is a 30-minute written task where you are asked to express and support your opinion on a specific topic. The essay is typically four to five paragraphs long and should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Where can I find sample TOEFL essays to practice with?

You can find sample TOEFL essays in TOEFL preparation books or online. The official TOEFL website also provides sample essays and scoring guides.

How can I prepare for the TOEFL writing section?

To prepare for the TOEFL writing section, you should practice writing essays using sample prompts, develop your grammar and vocabulary skills, and learn how to organize and develop your ideas effectively. You may also want to work.

How to write a TOEFL essay?

To write a TOEFL essay, it is important to understand the prompt, brainstorm ideas, create an outline, and then write a well-structured essay with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Practice organising your thoughts and expressing them clearly within the time limit provided.

Is 27 a good writing score in TOEFL?

Yes, a score of 27 is considered a good writing score in TOEFL. It demonstrates a high level of proficiency in writing and indicates strong language skills, coherence, and clarity in expressing ideas.

What is the TOEFL essay format?

The TOEFL essay format consists of an introduction, two or three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction presents the main idea or argument, the body paragraphs provide supporting evidence or examples, and the conclusion summarises the main points and restates the thesis statement.

Is 24 a good TOEFL writing score?

A score of 24 in TOEFL writing is considered a good score. It reflects a strong command of English writing skills, including the ability to organise ideas coherently, use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and develop well-structured paragraphs.

Is TOEFL writing difficult?

The difficulty level of TOEFL writing can vary from person to person. It requires strong language skills, critical thinking, and the ability to express ideas clearly within a time constraint.

author avatar

Study Abroad Expert

Disclaimer: The views and opinions shared in this site solely belong to the individual authors and do not necessarily represent t ...Read More

Best books for TOEFL exam preparation

Best books for TOEFL exam preparation

10 tips to help prepare for the TOEFL exam

10 tips to help prepare for the TOEFL exam

TOEFL vs IELTS: Which is best for applying to top universities?

TOEFL vs IELTS: Which is best for applying to top universities?

What is the TOEFL exam eligibility criteria?

What is the TOEFL exam eligibility criteria?

What you need to know about TOEFL iBT: A beginner's guide

What you need to know about TOEFL iBT: A beginner's guide

TOEFL study material: The best resources to help you succeed

TOEFL study material: The best resources to help you succeed

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the best toefl writing practice: 300+ topics to study with.

author image

Writing is the last section you’ll complete on the TOEFL. You’re so close to finishing, yet you still have two essays to write before you can celebrate completing the exam. In order to finish the test on a high note, you’ll need to be prepared for this section.

In this guide, we explain the ins and outs of the Writing section and the materials you need to do well. We then go over all the best TOEFL Writing practice resources available , including free and official practice Writing topics. We'll end with final tips to keep in mind in order to ace the TOEFL Writing section.

Overview of TOEFL Writing

The TOEFL Writing section is 50 minutes long (broken into two parts) and contains two tasks: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. You’ll type both essays on the computer.

The Integrated Writing task requires you to use listening, reading, and writing skills. For this task, you will have three minutes to read a short passage, then you will listen to a short (approximately two-minute long) audio clip of a speaker discussing the same topic the written passage covers. You will have 20 minutes to plan and write a response that references both of these sources. You won’t discuss your own opinion.

For the Independent Writing task, you’ll receive a question on a particular topic or issue. You’ll have 30 minutes to plan and write a response to that topic that explains your opinion on it. You’ll need to give reasons that support your decision.

Each essay will receive a score from 0-5. The sum will then be scaled to a score from 0-30, which is your official Writing score. The Writing section makes up 25% of your total TOEFL score (from 0-120).

What You’ll Need to Be Prepared for the TOEFL Writing Section

As you likely expect, you’ll spend most of your time on the TOEFL Writing section, well, writing. However, you’ll also need to have solid reading and listening skills for the Integrated task. Since the Writing section requires multiple skills, you’ll need multiple study tools in order to be completely prepared. Some of the most important things you’ll need to prepare for TOEFL Writing include:

  • Complete practice Writing sections
  • Individual practice questions or TOEFL Writing topics
  • Opportunities to practice your writing skills
  • Opportunities to practice your listening skills

In the next section, we'll go over the best TOEFL Writing practice tests and questions.

The Best TOEFL Writing Practice Materials

This section contains links to the top practice materials to use while preparing for TOEFL Writing. What makes a practice material the best?

  • First, the practice questions must be similar in content and format to the real TOEFL Writing section to give you the best preparation for the real exam.
  • Second, it’s a major plus if the practice questions come with answer explanations that help you understand how to answer an essay prompt well.
  • Finally, prep materials that include useful tips and strategies for answering Writing questions are useful because they give you advice on how to raise your score on this section.

Official Prep Materials

Official resources are the best to use since you can be confident they’ll be very similar to the real TOEFL Writing section. The topics will be much more realistic in format and content.

Below are all the official TOEFL Writing practice materials available, both free and paid resources. ETS doesn’t provide just Writing questions, so each of these resources also have practice resources for the other sections of the TOEFL. Be sure to include at least some of these materials in your studying. The next section has more tips on how to make the most of official practice resources.

body_laptop-Apr-01-2024-08-20-53-1764-PM

TOEFL iBT Sampler

The TOEFL iBT Sampler is a program you can download with official practice questions, and it’s a great free and official resource to use. In addition to other TOEFL sections, it includes a complete TOEFL iBT Writing practice section (two tasks). Sample answers for both tasks are included so you can get an idea of what a good essay looks like. Unfortunately, the Sampler only works with Windows; you can’t download it with a Mac.

TOEFL iBT Sample Questions

This PDF is another free and official resource. In addition to other question types, it includes two Writing tasks: one TOEFL Integrated Writing practice question and one Independent Writing practice question. Each sample TOEFL Writing topic is followed by a sample essay as well as an in-depth score explanation, which is a great tool for studiers.

TOEFL iBT Quick Prep

The Quick Prep contains four different volumes, each of which contains one or two Writing prompts. The first volume is the best for TOEFL iBT Writing practice, since it contains two tasks (the others each only contain one) and also has an in-depth explanation of what your essays should include. The other three volumes only contain the essay rubrics without any advice on how to answer the specific essay prompt given.

TOEFL Practice Online (TPO) Tests

TPO tests are retired TOEFL exams now offered for test prep. They give the closest experience to the real TOEFL, and, because of that, they aren’t cheap. You’ll have to pay $45 for each complete TOEFL you buy (you can’t just buy individual TOEFL iBT Writing practice sections).

Your exam will be automatically graded after you finish it, although I was not particularly impressed with how the Writing section was graded when I took it. For the actual TOEFL, two human graders and a computer program review your essays and assign grades to each one. For this exam, a computer grades your Writing section within less than a minute of you completing the exam, and there is no explanation of how that grade was determined.

This is a useful resource, but if you don’t want to spend that much money on a practice test, it’s completely possible to do well just using the above practice resources.

Official TOEFL Prep Books

There are several official TOEFL prep books for sale by ETS. The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test , in addition to explaining the types of questions on the test, contains numerous practice questions and three full-length exams.  This is also the only official prep book that includes sample essays of varying scores along with scoring explanations, which can be a big help if you’re trying to guess what score your essays would get.

There’s also the Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volumes 1 and 2. Each of these books contains five unique practice tests, available on paper and the computer. However, no sample responses are given for Writing questions, which make them a less useful resource compared to The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test.

body-pencil-notebook-writing

Unofficial Prep Materials

You have to be more careful when using unofficial prep resources since not all of them are reliable. Some are high-quality and very similar to the TOEFL, others are not. For the Writing section in particular, because it’s so easy to make up essay prompts, there are many sites that claim to offer TOEFL Writing practice when their practice questions are actually low-quality. Below are some of the top unofficial prep resources out there. All of them (except the prep books, if you buy them) are free.

English Club

This site contains one TOEFL Integrated Writing practice task and five Independent Writing practice tasks. All six TOEFL Writing topics are similar to the real test, and the Integrated task as well as one of the Independent tasks have sample responses you can compare your answers to. At the bottom of the web page is a checklist of things your essays should include to help give you a guideline of what you should be aiming for when you write.

Magoosh offers one TOEFL Integrated Writing practice task. That’s not a lot of practice, but it is a high-quality question that includes a sample response. Magoosh also offers three complete TOEFLs, so you can use those Writing questions as well.

Good Luck TOEFL

This site has a huge number (several hundred) of Independent Writing tasks, separated into five different categories depending on question type. Some of the questions are more simplistic than you’ll see on the real TOEFL , and there’s no scoring information or sample responses, but there are a good source if you need more TOEFL Writing topics to write about.

Beat the Test

This site contains 155 Independent Writing tasks. Like Good Luck TOEFL, some of these TOEFL Writing topics are easier than you’ll find on the TOEFL, and there are no sample responses included, but they do give you the opportunity to practice writing.

Unofficial Prep Books

Prep books, even unofficial ones, often are a great resource for practice questions. Most books include sample Writing questions, along with scoring explanations , and then contain one or more complete practice TOEFLs at the end of the book. You can learn all about the best TOEFL prep books by reading our guide .

body_bookstack-1

Other TOEFL Writing Practice Materials

There are other ways to practice besides just answering sample Writing questions. TOEFL Writing is designed to measure how strong your English writing skills are, so, any practice you get writing English will help you with this section, even if you’re not directly answering practice exam questions. There are many ways to get writing practice; several of them are described below.

Duolingo is a popular free language-learning site. Users answer different types of questions, including writing questions. You can’t choose to only answer writing questions, so this isn’t the best resource for targeted writing practice, bu t it’s a good way to strengthen your overall English skills.

For advanced English learners, many of Duolingo’s beginning problem sets will likely be too easy, but you can take a quiz to figure out where in the program you should start.

Free Writing

Finally, you can also practice writing about topics that have nothing to do with the TOEFL. As long as you’re writing in English, you’re getting good practice. Writing about something that interests you can also encourage you to write more. Some ideas for free writing include:

  • Keeping a journal
  • Getting an English-speaking pen pal
  • Starting a blog about a topic that interests you

How to Get the Most Out of Your TOEFL Writing Practice

Now that you’re an expert on the best practice resources for TOEFL Writing, the next step is to put those materials to use in the most effective way in order to see results on test day. Follow these four tips in order to get the most out of your practice.

Practice Writing in English Regularly

The most important thing you can do to practice for the Writing section of the TOEFL is to practice writing English regularly. If you can practice every day, that would be ideal, but at the very least you should aim to practice writing 1,000 words in English a week.

Remember, this writing practice doesn’t only have to consist of answering TOEFL Speaking questions; any free writing, even just jotting down what you did that day in your diary, counts as writing practice.

body_typing

Make Use of Official Materials

As mentioned above, official TOEFL resources have the best practice questions out there, so you want to make the most of them. Spread these questions throughout your TOEFL studying; don’t use them all up at the beginning or save them all for the end. You want to be regularly seeing these questions as you prepare.

Also, when you answer official practice questions, make sure you set enough time aside to devote your full attention to them. Practice them in a quiet room with no distractions, and carefully compare your responses to the sample responses. These aren’t the questions to practice when you have a few minutes to spare and need some quick practice while scrolling through your phone.

Time Yourself When Writing Practice Essays

When you are writing practice essays, you should also time yourself. Give yourself 20 minutes to plan and write each Integrated Writing task and 30 minutes for each Independent Writing task.

Timing yourself when you write will help you be better prepared for test day because you’ll have practice planning and writing essays within a limited time frame. When you first begin writing practice essays, it can be easy to spend too much time preparing and run out of time before you finish writing. Taking timed practice essays will help you avoid this. You should also count how many words each of your essays contain after you’ve finished writing them. Integrated tasks should be 150-225 words and Independent tasks should be at least 300 words.

Review Your Practice Essays

After you write each TOEFL practice essay, you should also review it and think about how well it answered the question. This is easier to do if the practice question comes with sample answers that you can compare your answer to, but you should do this step for all practice essays you write, even if they don’t come with any answer explanation. You can also assign your essays a score or have a tutor or friend who’s also studying for the TOEFL score your essay.

It’s tempting to take a break from TOEFL studying as soon as you’ve finished your essays, but it’s important to do this step because it will get you thinking about what great essays look like and how yours can be improved. The ETS provides the rubric it uses to grade TOEFL writing tasks which you can use to evaluate your essays.

Conclusion: Getting the Most Out of Your TOEFL Writing Practice

In order to write two awesome essays for the TOEFL Writing section, you’ll likely have to put in some practice. Once you know what to expect from this section and how you’ll be graded, use a variety of official and unofficial practice resources during your studying.

As you’re preparing for the Writing section, you should also practice writing in English regularly, use official resources wisely, time yourself when writing practice essays, and review your essays after you write them.

What's Next?

Looking for more information on the TOEFL Writing section? Learn all the tips you need to know in order to ace TOEFL Writing !

What score should you be aiming to get on the TOEFL? Learn what a good TOEFL score is based on the schools you're interested in attending.

Looking for a great TOEFL prep book? A good prep book can be the most important study tool you use, and we have information on all the best TOEFL prep books you should consider .

Need to boost your TOEFL score?   We have the industry's leading TOEFL prep program. Built by Harvard grads and SAT full scorers, our program offers individual review, interactive lessons, and realistic online practice, at an affordable price. It's the fastest way to get your target TOEFL score.   And the best part? You can try it out for 5 days absolutely free of charge!

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

Follow us on Facebook (icon)

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”

Test Resources

TOEFL® Resources by Michael Goodine

How to write a fantastic toefl integrated essay (2023).

Here’s how the TOEFL Integrated Essay works:

  • It is the first writing task on the TOEFL test.
  • First, you will have three minutes to read an article (four paragraphs, 250 to 300 words) about an academic topic.
  • Next, you will listen to a lecture (about 2 minutes) about the same topic.
  • Finally, you will have 20 minutes to write an essay about the relationship between the two sources.  I recommend that you write about 280 words.
  • You can see the article while writing your essay, but you cannot hear the lecture again.

Essay Evaluation Service

Do you want some personal help with the essay?  You can sign up for my essay evaluation service and boost your score!

The Relationship

The relationship between the article and the lecture will be one of the following.

Argument Style (Frequent)

The reading presents an argument and the lecture presents a counter-argument.

Problems and Solutions Style (less common)

The reading presents a problem and the lecture presents solutions to the problem.

Solutions and Problems Style (less common)

The reading presents solutions to a problem and the lecture challenges the solutions.

The Article 

The article begins with an introduction which mentions the topic and the author’s main idea. Next are three body paragraphs.  Each body paragraph contains one supporting argument (opposition style), one problem (problems and solutions style), or one solution (solutions and problems style).

Here’s an example:

The idea of colonizing asteroids has long been a topic of fascination and speculation in science fiction and popular culture. In recent years, however, the idea of asteroid colonization has become more realistic and feasible, thanks to advances in technology and space exploration. There are many potential benefits to colonizing asteroids, and these benefits make the pursuit of asteroid colonization a worthwhile endeavor. One of the most obvious benefits of asteroid colonization is the scientific potential. Asteroids provide a unique environment for scientific research due to their small size, low gravity, and lack of atmosphere. Research conducted in these environments could provide valuable insights related to many different academic fields. Not only that, but asteroids could also serve as stepping stones for future missions to other destinations in the solar system, such as Mars or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Another benefit of asteroid colonization is the potential for economic growth and development. Natural resources mined on asteroids could create new industries and job opportunities, which would generate significant revenue for both governments and private companies. Asteroid mining could also reduce the need for resource extraction on Earth, which could help to preserve our planet’s natural environment. In addition to economic benefits, asteroid colonization could also have important implications for the long-term survival of humanity. Asteroids could serve as potential refuge for humans in the event of a large-scale disaster on Earth, such as an asteroid impact or a nuclear war. Even if such a disaster doesn’t occur, asteroids could provide valuable information regarding the origins and evolution of the solar system, and how life emerged here in the first place.

You have three minutes to read it and take notes.  Then you hear the lecture. You will be able to see the article again when the lecture is finished.

The Lecture

The lecture is on the same topic, and it is about two minutes long.  You can only hear it once, so take notes.

At the beginning of the lecture, you will hear the lecturer’s main idea.   The rest of the lecture consists of three opposing arguments, three solutions, or three problems.  These directly respond to  the three arguments/problems/solutions mentioned in the reading.  Not only that, but they are  in the same order as the reading. 

Here’s a transcript of that:

While some people argue that starting colonies on asteroids could have many benefits, this claim is not necessarily supported by evidence. In fact, there are several reasons why starting colonies on asteroids may not provide the advantages that are often claimed. One reason why asteroid colonization may not provide significant scientific benefits is our lack of knowledge about asteroids. Despite decades of space exploration and study, our knowledge of asteroids is still limited. We do not know how many asteroids exist, what resources they contain, or what conditions are like on their surfaces. Until we have a better understanding of asteroids, it is difficult to predict what scientific benefits colonization might provide. Next, we can’t exactly predict the economic benefits of settling on asteroids. While asteroids are known to contain valuable resources, such as metals and minerals, it’s not clear how much of these resources exist on asteroids, or how much they would be worth when transported back to Earth. We don’t know whether mining for resources in space would be more cost-effective or efficient than simply getting them through conventional methods here on earth. Finally, asteroids are just not suitable for long-term human settlement right now. Most asteroids are small and do not have enough mass to generate significant gravitational pull. This means that any human settlements on asteroids would need to be designed to cope with the challenges of low gravity, such as serious difficulty moving around and possible damage to our bones and muscles. These challenges could make living on asteroids extremely uncomfortable and dangerous.

The Question

After the lecture finishes, the question will be shown.  It will look something like this:

  • Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they oppose specific points made in the reading passage.
  • Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they answer the specific problems presented in the reading passage.
  • Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific solutions presented in the reading passage.

After you see the question, you will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise your essay.  Have fun!

Taking Notes

If you understand how the sources are structured, note-taking should be easy.  You can do something like this:

Taking Notes for the TOEFL integrated essay

Here are my notes from the above samples (colonizing asteroids):

how to write a good essay for toefl

Note-Taking Tips

  • Prepare your paper before the question beings by writing “reading” and “listening” and drawing arrows.
  • Even though you will see the article as you write, it is a good idea to take notes.  That will force you to pay attention during the three minutes you have to read it.
  • Use short forms like “grav” and “cond” and “effec” to save time.
  • Use “x” to refer to negatives (not, no, can’t, etc).
  • Immediately after the lecture finishes expand your notes with details still fresh in your head.  I used blue ink to show what I did.
  • You will use a pencil on test day.  Not a pen.  Practice with a pencil.

Writing Your Essay with Templates

Your TOEFL integrated essay should include an introduction  and  three body paragraphs . You don’t need to write a conclusion.

The following templates suggest a way to structure your paragraphs.  I don’t really think you should use the templates below word for word. Instead, use something similar to this and personalize it as you like.

The Introduction

No matter what question style is used, you can write an introduction that looks something like this.

  • The reading and the lecture are both about _____. 
  • While the author of the article argues that _____, the lecturer disputes the claims presented in the article.
  • His position is that _____.

The Body Paragraphs

You can use something like the following templates for the body paragraphs:

  • According to the reading  _____.
  • The article mentions that ____.
  • This argument is challenged by the lecturer.
  • He claims that ____.
  • Additionally, he points out that ______.
  • Secondly, the author suggests ______.
  • In the article notes that _____.
  • The lecturer, however, asserts that ______.
  • He goes on to say that ______.
  • Finally, the author puts forth the idea that _____.
  • The author contends that ____.
  • In contrast, the lecturer’s stance is  _____.
  • He says that _____.

You don’t need to write a conclusion.

Sample Essay 

Using the above notes and suggested templates I created this essay. Notice how I gently modified the template.  I didn’t use it word for word.  Feel free to follow it 100% or to personalize it to suit your preferences!

The reading and the lecture are about the possibility of starting colonies on asteroids. While the author feels that this is a good idea due to scientific benefits, economic benefits and the long-term survival of humans, the lecturer does not believe that the author’s claims are correct. His position is that it might not be a good idea to colonize asteroids. First of all, the author argues that asteroids are a great environment for scientific research because they are small, with low gravity and no atmosphere. Moreover, the article notes that they could be a way to start missions to more distant locations in the solar system. This argument is challenged by the lecturer. He says that we just don’t know enough about asteroids to be sure of their scientific value. We don’t know how many exist, or about conditions on their surfaces so it is difficult to really predict the scientific benefits of colonizing them. Second, according to the article, there could be great economic benefits of colonizing asteroids because they contain natural resources. Mining the resources could be very profitable, and reduce the need to mine them on Earth. In contrast, the lecturer notes that we don’t know exactly how many resources asteroids contain, nor how much they would be worth back on Earth. As a result, it isn’t clear if mining in space is more cost-effective than doing so on Earth. Finally, the author claims that colonies on asteroids could ensure the long-term survival of humanity. To be more specific, we could survive on them if a war or disaster affects the Earth. In contrast, the lecturer’s stance is that human settlements would have to be designed to deal with the unique challenges of the gravity found on asteroids. These challenges could make living on them extremely uncomfortable and dangerous in the long run.
  • The lecture summary is the most important part of the essay.  Shorten the reading summary if you need to save time.
  • I recommend between 280 and 300 words.
  • Use transitional phrases like “in contrast” and “moreover” and “finally” just like I did.
  • Always be sure to indicate where the details are from (the reading or the lecture).
  • Avoid copying from the reading word for word. Paraphrase as much as you can.
  • You don’t need fancy grammatical structures.  The accuracy of your details is more important in this task.
  • Save about one minute to proofread your work.
  • I maintain a collection of complete sample essays written using the above technique. Read them!

How about the Independent Essay?

If you haven’t seen it already, you might want to read my article about the independent writing task .

how to write a good essay for toefl

Sign up for express essay evaluation today!

Submit your practice TOEFL essays for evaluation by the author of this website.  Get feedback on grammar, structure, vocabulary and more.  Learn how to score better on the TOEFL.  Feedback in 48 hours.

Sign Up Today

HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION FOR THE TOEFL INDEPENDENT ESSAY

  • TOEFL WRITING
  • You are here:

The TOEFL independent essay can be a very challenging aspect of the TOEFL ibt. The length of the essay, the challenge of writing correctly on a subject in English, and of course the fact that it comes at the very end of the TOEFL when you and your brain are probably quite tired, all make this one of the most difficult part of the TOEFL ibt.  Because of these factors, we need all the help we can get to get a great score on the TOEFL independent essay.

There is an expression in English:

  “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”

What does that mean? It means that the very first impression, or the first interaction with someone, is how they will judge you.

The same is true with writing.

Think about this: The TOEFL essays are initially graded by a computer which checks for grammatical and spelling errors, and some basic structure and syntax. After that, they are eventually reviewed by a grader. That is a real person, who reads your essay, and judges your English ability. Because of this we need to make a good “first impression”  on the TOEFL independent essay.

How do we do this?

We begin with a strong opening sentence.

There are many ways to do this, but in my opinion the best way to begin is this:

We make the first, or “opening” sentence of your essay, a question . This is an abstract, or “rhetorical” question. In other words, you don’t ask to get an answer. You ask to make the reader think and reflect.

Let’s look at some examples

If we have a writing prompt like this:

“People listen to music for different reasons and at different times. Why is music important to many people? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.”

An opening sentence, or “question” can look like this:

“Have you ever listened to a song that you hadn’t heard in a long time, and suddenly you are transported back to a memory, or a time in the past when you first heard that song?”
“Is there a song that, when you hear it, you always feel happy and full of energy?”

If we look at these “questions”, we notice a couple of things.

First of all, they don’t actually need a response, they are simply a creative and different way to begin the essay. The people who grade the essays spend hours reading essay after essay. If you begin your TOEFL independent essay in a different and creative way the reader will be much more interested in reading your essay, and will be much more likely to give you a higher score.

Secondly, when you ask someone a question, even if they don’t need to answer it, the brain immediately thinks of possible answers. We can’t help but start to answer the question, even if it’s just in our head. Because of this, beginning your essay with a question activates and engages the reader’s brain, and makes them think actively about your topic.

All of this means one thing: The reader likes your essay and will give it a higher score.

Below are a list of some Independent writing essay prompts for you to practice your “opening sentence question”.

If you’re looking for a complete strategy for the TOEFL independent essay, as well as all four sections of the TOEFL, be sure to check out our full TOEFL study program for our powerful course and full practice tests.

TOEFL Independent Essay Topics

“What discovery in the last 100 years has been most beneficial for people in your country? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.”

“The 21st century has begun. What changes do you think this new century will bring? Use examples and details in your answer.”

“What change would make your hometown more appealing to people your age? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.”

“If you could study a subject that you have never had the opportunity to study, what would you choose? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.”

“If you could invent something new, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed.”

Good luck, and keep it simple!

About the Author

Adam is the founder and lead instructor for the English Simple TOEFL program. He's taught English and TOEFL for over ten years, and developed curriculum all over the world. TOEFL is his business, but helping people is his passion. His "office" is always open, so feel free to drop him an email with any questions, complaints, compliments, or funny jokes. He speaks French, Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. But you gotta write him in English - you're prepping for the TOEFL!

More like this

[VIDEO LESSON] TOEFL Independent essay

5 Step Guide – Raise Your TOEFL Writing Task 2 Score

Enjoy this post? Rate it!

TOEFL integrated writing

TOEFL integrated writing task 2023 | Examples and sample essay.

Want to excel in the toefl writing task elevate your skills with the most up-to-date examples, carefully crafted sample essays, and insights in 2023. maximize your potential to succeed in the integrated writing task., table of contents, introduction, toefl integrated writing task structure and format , toefl writing task topics , toefl writing task sample , toefl writing task pdf and other resources , strategies for toefl integrated writing task , scoring criteria for toefl writing task , key tips for success , example 1: environmental conservation , example 2: technological advancements in medicine , introduction: , body: , key takeaways .

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a critical stepping stone for students who aspire to study in English-speaking universities. The TOEFL writing task is one part of this examination that can often become a cause for concern. It not only tests your ability to understand English but also your ability to express thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a clear and precise manner. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various aspects of the TOEFL writing task, including topics, samples, format, and specific answers to common questions. The information provided is tailored to the 2023 edition of the test, ensuring relevance and applicability to your preparation. So, if you’re planning to take on this challenge in 2023, let’s begin by understanding the structure and requirements of the TOEFL writing task. 

The TOEFL integrated writing task is the first of the two writing tasks in the TOEFL exam. It’s designed to assess your ability to combine listening and reading skills to write a coherent and well-structured essay. Here’s a detailed breakdown: 

  • Reading passage : A passage around 200-250 words long is provided. You’ll have three minutes to read it. 
  • Listening clip : A short lecture related to the reading passage is played. You’ll be given time to take notes to remember the content better. 
  • Writing task : You will have 20 minutes to write a response of about 150-225 words, summarizing the points made in the lecture and explaining how they relate to specific points in the reading passage. 

The topics for the TOEFL integrated writing task are generally academic and range from subjects like history, science, art, and social sciences. Here’s an example of how the topics will be given: 

  • Reading passage : An excerpt will be provided about Renaissance art and its influence. 
  • Listening clip : A lecture discussing a specific Renaissance painting. 
  • Writing task : Compare and contrast the information in the reading passage and the lecture.

Practicing in advance by working on such topics will help you write and format your writing tasks better. Here’s a sample for you to practice: 

TOEFL integrated writing

  • Reading passage: Brief description of climate change and its effects. 
  • Listening clip : A lecture discussing various solutions to combat climate change.
  • Writing task : Summarize the solutions from the lecture and relate them to the problems mentioned in the reading passage. 

To support your preparation, TOEFL writing task PDF materials, containing practice questions and samples are available online. These resources often include: 

  • Guides on TOEFL writing format 
  • Collection of TOEFL writing samples with answers PDF 
  • TOEFL writing task 1 sample answers and TOEFL writing task 2 sample answers 
  • Practice tests for TOEFL writing task 2 

These materials are instrumental in understanding the pattern and honing your skills to succeed in the TOEFL writing task. 

  • Understanding the structure : Familiarize yourself with the TOEFL writing format, including reading, listening, and writing phases. 
  • Time management: Allocate time for reading, note-taking, and writing, keeping in mind the 20-minute time limit for the writing task. 
  • Note-taking skills : Practice jotting down crucial points from both the reading passage and the listening clip. Focus on the main ideas, supporting details, and the relationship between the reading and listening parts. 
  • Creating an outline : Before diving into writing, create a rough outline to organize your thoughts. This helps in maintaining coherence and connection between various sections of the essay. 
  • Practicing with samples : Utilize the TOEFL writing task sample, TOEFL writing task 1 sample answers, and TOEFL writing task 2 sample answers for regular practice. 

Understanding the scoring can guide you in preparing effectively. The TOEFL integrated writing task is scored on a scale of 0-5 based on the following criteria: 

  • Content : Accuracy, completeness, and connection between reading and listening. 
  • Organization : Logical progression, clear introduction, body, and conclusion. 
  • Language use : Grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and overall fluency.
  • Use transitional phrases : Transitional words like “however,” “in addition,” and “therefore” can help in maintaining the flow. 
  • Avoid repetition : While using keywords is vital, avoid unnecessary repetition. Make sure your content is varied and engaging. 
  • Proofread : Reserve some time at the end for revising and correcting errors.
  • Access Quality Resources : Consider TOEFL writing samples with answers PDF, TOEFL writing task PDF guides, and practice tests for well-rounded preparation.
  • Tables, quizzes, and other interactive elements: Incorporating tables and quizzes can be an excellent way to enhance the learning experience. For instance, a table comparing different TOEFL writing task topics or a quiz testing understanding of TOEFL writing format can be included in online learning platforms or books. 

TOEFL integrated writing

Examples of TOEFL integrated writing task 

The TOEFL integrated writing task presents a unique challenge to assess your ability to analyze information from both a reading passage and a lecture. In this task, you must demonstrate your comprehension of the material and your capacity to connect ideas between the text and the spoken content. To give you a clearer picture, let’s dive into a few illustrative examples of TOEFL-integrated writing tasks:

Reading passage : Description of deforestation and its impact on biodiversity.

Listening Clip : A lecture discussing various conservation methods employed globally. 

Writing task: 

  • Reading: The passage highlights the critical loss of forests, leading to a decline in biodiversity and environmental balance. 
  • Listening: The speaker introduces multiple conservation techniques such as reforestation, wildlife corridors, and legal enforcement. 
  • Essay: The essay must summarise the conservation methods mentioned in the lecture and relate them to the problems of deforestation and biodiversity loss detailed in the reading passage. 

Reading passage: An overview of the traditional medical practices and their limitations. 

Listening clip: A lecture elaborating on recent technological advancements in medical diagnostics and treatments. 

Writing task : 

  • Reading: The passage outlines traditional medical practices, emphasizing their limitations in accuracy and efficiency. 
  • Listening : The lecturer elaborates on cutting-edge technologies like AI-powered diagnostics, robotic surgeries, and personalized medicine.
  • Essay : The essay should connect the advancements discussed in the lecture with the limitations outlined in the reading passage, showcasing how technology is revolutionizing medical practice. 

In-depth Analysis of a Sample Essay | Environmental conservation 

The essay must have a good flow and cohesiveness. This makes it easier to understand and leave a good impression. Here is the in-depth analysis of an essay on environmental conservation.

“The loss of forests and biodiversity has long been a global concern. However, modern conservation methods, as described in the lecture, offer promising solutions to the challenges outlined in the reading passage.” 

  • Paragraph 1: Discuss reforestation, its importance, and how it directly addresses deforestation. 
  • Paragraph 2: Explore wildlife corridors and their role in preserving biodiversity. 
  • Paragraph 3 : Explain legal enforcement, international agreements, and their impact on conservation efforts. 
  • The TOEFL-integrated writing task involves reading, listening, and writing. Understand the flow and practice each part. 
  • Make use of TOEFL writing samples with answers PDF, TOEFL writing task PDF guides, and various other materials for practice. 
  • Your essay should logically connect the reading and listening parts, maintaining a clear and concise structure. 

The innovative conservation techniques described in the lecture provide a comprehensive approach to combating the grave issues of deforestation and biodiversity loss mentioned in the reading passage. These methods signify hope and progress in environmental preservation. 

We hope you found this article insightful. If you have any more queries please reach out to us and get them solved quickly!

Liked this blog? Read: TOEFL requirements 2023 | Documents and minimum requirements guide. 

1. How much time do I have for the TOEFL Integrated Writing Task? 

Ans. You have 3 minutes to read the passage, a listening time for the clip, and 20 minutes to write the essay. 

2. Can I take notes during the listening part of the TOEFL Writing Task? 

Ans. Yes, taking notes is allowed and advisable during the listening portion.

3. What types of topics are covered in the TOEFL Writing Task Topics? 

Ans. Topics are typically academic, ranging from history, science, art to social sciences. 

4. Where can I find TOEFL Writing Task 1 sample answers and TOEFL Writing Task 2 sample answers? 

Ans. Various online platforms, prep books, and official TOEFL guides provide these samples.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.3 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

how to write a good essay for toefl

People also liked

IELTS success

IELTS success| Tips to master each section

IELTS Grammar

Importance of IELTS grammar | Tips and tricks

TOEFL and IELTS

TOEFL and IELTS | Role of contextual & academic words

simulated tests

Simulated tests | Opportunity to overcome challenges

GRE exam structure

TOEFL, IELTS, & GRE exam structure | Key differences 2024!

GMAT exam

Ace the GMAT exam | Navigate quant & verbal difficulties!

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an answer in digits: 9 + 15 =

Start your journey with iSchoolPrep

Need help with your Test Preparations? Contact Us for more details

how to write a good essay for toefl

Inquire Now

Get e-books, expert guidance, live classes and more....

  • Trending Now
  • Foundational Courses
  • Data Science
  • Practice Problem
  • Machine Learning
  • System Design
  • DevOps Tutorial
  • Meet QuillBot - AI Paraphrasing & Writing Tool in 2024
  • How to Prepare a Word List for the GRE General Test
  • 10 Best AI Tools for Assignment Writing in 2024
  • How To Write a Professional Email
  • What Is a Good GRE Score for Graduate School Admissions?
  • How to Write a Transfer Request Letter and Email with Examples
  • English Essay Writing Tips, Examples, Format
  • 12 Best ChatGPT Prompts for Academic Writing Assistance in 2024
  • CUET 2024 Syllabus - Download Subject & Course wise PDF
  • Deloitte USI Interview Experience For DAS (On-Campus) 2023
  • A Guide to Writing an Essay for Job Interviews
  • How to write an Interview Experience?
  • How to Write JavaScript Articles on GeeksforGeeks ?
  • How to prepare in Last 10 days to score high in GATE?
  • How to Write a Research Paper - A Complete Guide
  • How to Use Transition Sentences for Smoother Writing?
  • How to Write DSA Articles on GeeksforGeeks?
  • CBSE Sample Papers II for Class 11 Economics with Solutions 2023-2024
  • Adobe Internship Interview Experience 2020

How to Write Good TOEFL Integrated Essay- Pro Tips 2024

TOEFL Integrated Essay: In the TOEFL writing section, candidates encounter two distinct tasks: Task 1, known as the TOEFL Integrated Writing Task, and Task 2, referred to as the TOEFL Independent Writing Task. Together, these tasks constitute a 50-minute examination assessing candidates’ reading, writing, and listening abilities in English.

This article primarily focuses on Task 1, providing detailed insights into its structure and a sample question for better understanding.

TOEFL-Integrated-Writing-Task-(1)

What is TOEFL Writing Task 1? – TOEFL Integrated Writing Task 

In the Integrated Writing section of the TOEFL, candidates are required to utilize their reading, listening, and writing skills to complete the task. They are given three minutes to prepare for an essay by reading a brief passage and listening to an audio clip on a single topic.

Following the preparation time, candidates have 20 minutes to compose an essay in response to the two sources. These sources can present two scenarios:

  • Contradictory: The audio clip contradicts the information presented in the passage.
  • Supportive: The audio clip supports the content of the passage.

Regardless of the scenario, candidates must summarize the topic within a range of 150 to 225 words. Moreover, they are expected to establish a clear connection between the information provided in the passage and the content of the audio clip.

Relationship Between Passage and Audio Lecture

  • Argumentative Style (Common): The passage presents a viewpoint, while the lecture presents a contrasting perspective.
  • Problem-Solution Style (Less Common): The passage introduces an issue, and the lecture offers potential solutions.
  • Solution-Problem Style (Less Common): The passage proposes solutions to a problem, and the lecture critiques or raises concerns about these solutions.

The Question

After the lecture finishes, the question will be shown.  It will look something like this:

  • Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they oppose specific points made in the reading passage.
  • Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they answer the specific problems presented in the reading passage.
  • Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific solutions presented in the reading passage.

After you see the question, you will get 20 minutes for planning, writing and revising the essay.

Note-Taking Tips

  • Prepare your paper before the question begins by labeling sections as “reading” and “listening” and drawing arrows to indicate connections between them. Even though you’ll have access to the article as you write, it’s advisable to take notes during the reading period to ensure attentive comprehension.

TOEFL-Integrated-Essay

TOEFL Integrated Essay

  • Employ shorthand such as “grav” for gravity, “cond” for conditions, and “effec” for effects to save time while taking notes. Use “x” as a placeholder for negatives like “not,” “no,” or “can’t.”
  • Immediately after the lecture concludes, expand upon your notes while the details are still fresh in your mind. Use a pencil for practice sessions, as this is the writing implement allowed on test day.

TOEFL Writing Integrated Task Exercises

Question 1: summarize the key points outlined in the passage and provide insights based on the lecture..

Sample Reading Passage: Sea Otters, once abundant along the west coast of North America from California to Alaska, have experienced a rapid decline in population in recent years. This decline has had a direct impact on the coastal ecosystem due to the important role Sea Otters play in maintaining balance. Investigators attribute this decline to two main factors: attacks by predators and environmental pollution. Environmental pollution, particularly from oil rigs along the Alaskan coast, has been identified as a significant contributor to the decline. Water samples taken by investigators revealed high chemical content that can affect the immune systems of marine life, leading to mortality. Similar declines in other sea mammals, such as seals, further support the hypothesis of water pollution as a primary cause. The uneven decline of Sea Otters along the coast is also attributed to pollution concentration influenced by ocean currents and natural factors.

Insights: The lecture provides additional insight into the decline of Sea Otter populations along the Alaskan coast. It emphasizes the role of environmental pollution, particularly from oil rigs, as a major contributing factor. The lecture highlights how pollution affects marine life’s immune systems, leading to increased mortality rates. Furthermore, it suggests that pollution concentration, influenced by ocean currents and natural factors, unevenly affects Sea Otter populations along the coast.

Question 2: Summarize the lecturer’s viewpoint and its relation to the provided reading passage.

Sample Reading Passage: The International Astronomical Union Conference announced the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet on August 24, 2006. Initially discovered in 1930, Pluto was thought to be similar in size to Earth but was later found to be smaller than Earth’s moon and other moons. The discovery of numerous planetary objects similar to Pluto, such as Eris, led to its reclassification. While the news may disappoint Pluto enthusiasts, it reflects the progress of science. Despite the emotional attachment to Pluto as a planet, its reclassification has been widely accepted, especially among current students who recognize only eight planets in the solar system.

Insights: The lecture reinforces the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet and its acceptance as a scientific advancement. It acknowledges the emotional attachment to Pluto as a planet but emphasizes the importance of scientific progress in understanding celestial bodies. Additionally, it highlights how current students recognize only eight planets in the solar system, reflecting the widespread acceptance of Pluto’s reclassification.

TOEFL Integrated Writing Template to Follow for Better Score

To effectively tackle the integrated writing task in the TOEFL exam, candidates should adhere to the recommended template outlined below:

  • Introduction Paragraph: Commence the essay by stating that both the lecture and the reading passage address the topic of (topic). Highlight that while the reading passage supports the notion that (thought), the lecturer expresses a different viewpoint by stating (sayings). Emphasize that there are points of agreement/disagreement between the lecturer and the author, which will be elaborated upon in the subsequent essay.
  • Body Paragraphs: In the first body paragraph, discuss the assertion made in the reading passage (statement 1) regarding (discussion). Provide context to the point and mention how it is either challenged or affirmed by the lecturer in the audio clip, who states (statement).
  • Move on to the second body paragraph , focusing on the second statement mentioned in the reading passage. Explain the point made by the author and how it relates to the topic. Then, present the lecturer’s response, which either aligns with or contradicts the statement. Provide the lecturer’s perspective by including (audio content) and elaborating on their stance with (discussion).
  • Transition to the third body paragraph , addressing the third statement proposed by the author. Clarify the suggestion made and its significance in the context of the topic. Subsequently, incorporate the lecturer’s stance, indicating whether they agree or disagree with the statement. Support the lecturer’s viewpoint with (statement) and provide further explanation with (explanation).
  • Conclusion (Optional): Optionally, conclude with a brief summary of the main points discussed in the essay, reinforcing the key arguments presented and the relationship between the reading passage and the lecturer’s perspective.

Tips for TOEFL Writing Tasks

Here are essential strategies for TOEFL writing success:

  • Allocate your time wisely, ensuring each paragraph fits within the 20-minute timeframe. Reserve the final 5 minutes for proofreading and correcting any grammatical mistakes.
  • Develop a habit of concise writing from the outset of your preparation.
  • While listening to the audio, actively jot down key points to ensure your essay encompasses all crucial details.
  • Incorporate transitional phrases to enhance the coherence and cohesion of your writing.
  • Utilize abbreviated notes during the listening phase to save time and aid in recall during the writing process.

TOEFL Integrated Essay is a chance for test-takers to show how well they understand and explain information from different sources. It’s not just about understanding—it’s about organizing thoughts clearly, giving reasons for ideas, and writing well.

To do well, it is important to practice and learn how to approach this task. With practice and focus, test-takers can do well on the TOEFL writing section.

Related Links

  • TOEFL Full Form
  • TOEFL Exam 2024
  • R ole of TOEFL Score for US Universities 2024
  • TOEFL Exam Dates 2024

TOEFL Integrated Essay- FAQs

What is the toefl integrated essay.

The TOEFL Integrated Essay is the first writing task on the TOEFL test. It requires test-takers to read a passage and listen to a lecture on the same topic. Then, they must write an essay that summarizes the key points and explains how they relate to each other.

How much time do I have for the TOEFL Integrated Essay?

Test-takers have a total of 20 minutes to complete the TOEFL Integrated Essay. This includes three minutes for reading the passage, listening to the lecture, and taking notes, and 17 minutes for writing the essay.

What is the structure of the TOEFL Integrated Essay?

The essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, test-takers introduce the topic and briefly mention the main points. Each body paragraph discusses one main point from the passage and the corresponding point from the lecture. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the overall relationship between the passage and the lecture.

How should I prepare for the TOEFL Integrated Essay?

To prepare for the TOEFL Integrated Essay, practice reading academic passages and listening to lectures on various topics. Work on taking effective notes during the reading and listening phases, and practice writing essays that summarize the main points and explain their relationship.

Please Login to comment...

Similar reads.

  • Study Abroad

Improve your Coding Skills with Practice

 alt=

What kind of Experience do you want to share?

how to write a good essay for toefl

30,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today

Meet top uk universities from the comfort of your home, here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.

how to write a good essay for toefl

Verification Code

An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify

how to write a good essay for toefl

Thanks for your comment !

Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.

Leverage Edu

  • School Education /

Write a Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About the Place You Live In: Check Samples and Format

how to write a good essay for toefl

  • Updated on  
  • May 25, 2024

Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About the Place You Live In

Life in cities is a wonderful one, full of excitement and lively places. Talking about your city in a letter to your friend can be a great way to discuss important features of your city. Today, we are here to discuss how to write a letter to your friend living in a village about the place you live in. These sample letters are part of academic and professional letter writing.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Sample 1: Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About Your Place 
  • 2 Sample 2: Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About Your Place 
  • 3 Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village Format

Sample 1: Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About Your Place 

Must Read: Letter To Your Friend Sharing Your Feelings And Ideas About Your College Life

Sample 2: Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About Your Place 

Quick Read: Letter Writing Topics for Students

Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village Format

Must Read: Letter to Your Friend Advising Him to Take Care of His Health

A.1 Open a letter to a friend about the village with an open greeting. Describe the sights of the village, sounds, and activities. Further, share personal experiences and updates about the village.

A.2 Use friendly language and easy-to-understand words to write a good letter to a friend. Keep your conversation with warmth and sharing. You can also refer to jokes and ask questions for good engagement.

A.3 A good letter focuses on the right structure, format and tone of the letter. Start your letter with a warm greeting. Paint your letter with vivid scenes of life and situations, tell amusing stories and express your feelings and thoughts. Close your letter with warm regards and say you miss them.

Similar Letter Writing Topics

For more information on such informative articles, visit our interesting topics, visit our Letter Writing page and follow Leverage Edu . 

' src=

Deepika Joshi

Deepika Joshi is an experienced content writer with expertise in creating educational and informative content. She has a year of experience writing content for speeches, essays, NCERT, study abroad and EdTech SaaS. Her strengths lie in conducting thorough research and ananlysis to provide accurate and up-to-date information to readers. She enjoys staying updated on new skills and knowledge, particulary in education domain. In her free time, she loves to read articles, and blogs with related to her field to further expand her expertise. In personal life, she loves creative writing and aspire to connect with innovative people who have fresh ideas to offer.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Contact no. *

how to write a good essay for toefl

Connect With Us

how to write a good essay for toefl

30,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today.

how to write a good essay for toefl

Resend OTP in

how to write a good essay for toefl

Need help with?

Study abroad.

UK, Canada, US & More

IELTS, GRE, GMAT & More

Scholarship, Loans & Forex

Country Preference

New Zealand

Which English test are you planning to take?

Which academic test are you planning to take.

Not Sure yet

When are you planning to take the exam?

Already booked my exam slot

Within 2 Months

Want to learn about the test

Which Degree do you wish to pursue?

When do you want to start studying abroad.

January 2024

September 2024

What is your budget to study abroad?

how to write a good essay for toefl

How would you describe this article ?

Please rate this article

We would like to hear more.

Have something on your mind?

how to write a good essay for toefl

Make your study abroad dream a reality in January 2022 with

how to write a good essay for toefl

India's Biggest Virtual University Fair

how to write a good essay for toefl

Essex Direct Admission Day

Why attend .

how to write a good essay for toefl

Don't Miss Out

how to write a good essay for toefl

TOEFL Prep Online Guides and Tips

What’s a good toefl writing score.

how to write a good essay for toefl

Have you been researching the TOEFL Writing section and are wondering what a good TOEFL iBT Writing score is?  What TOEFL Writing score do you need to get into your top schools? What do graders look for in essays? What do you need to include in your essays to help you get the scores you need? We answer all those questions and more in our guide.

How Is the TOEFL Writing Section Scored?

First, let’s do a quick overview of the Writing section, and then we’ll look at how it’s scored. TOEFL Writing is the final section of the TOEFL. It lasts 50 minutes and contains two tasks: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing.  You’ll have 20 minutes to plan and write the Integrated Writing Task and 30 minutes to plan and write the Independent Writing Tasks. Both essays will be typed on the computer.

After you complete the exam, your essays will be graded on a scale from 0-5. These are known as raw scores. The average of those raw scores will then be scaled to a score from 0-30, which is your official Writing score and the one you see when you get your score results.

Below is a conversion chart for raw and scaled Writing scores. The left column shows the average Writing raw score (from 0-5), and the right column shows the corresponding scaled score (from 0-30).

The TOEFL Writing Rubrics

Below are the key points from the rubrics for both Writing tasks. ( You can view complete rubrics for both essays here .) You can see what you need to include in your essays in order to earn certain scores. After each rubric, we also give some analysis to help you understand what a top-scoring essay needs to include.

By the way: we have built the world's best online TOEFL course . Get online practice (TPO-sytle!) and individual grading and feedback on Speaking and Writing.

Learn how you can improve your TOEFL score by 15 points today .

The Integrated Writing Task

For this task, you will have three minutes to read a short passage, then you will listen to a short (approximately two-minute long) audio clip of a speaker discussing the same topic the written passage covers.  You will have 20 minutes to plan and write a response that references both of these sources in order to answer the question. You won’t discuss your own opinion.

During the writing time, you’ll be able to look at the written passage again, but you won’t be able to re-hear the audio clip. You’ll be able to take notes while you listen to it though. The suggested response length for this task is 150-225 words.

To score well on the Integrated Writing task, the most important thing you need to do is show the graders that you understood the main points of both the written passage and audio clip and were able to apply those points to the prompt. You need to be able to pick out the main points from both passages and show how they relate to each other and the prompt.

Your essay will also need to be well organized, and it must be very clear within the first few sentences what your thesis statement or main idea of your essay is. Additionally, a high-scoring essay won’t have many spelling or grammar errors.

body_spelling

The Independent Writing Task

For the Independent Writing task, you’ll receive a question on a particular topic or issue. You’ll have 30 minutes to plan and write a response to that topic that explains your opinion on it. You’ll need to give reasons that support your decision. It’s recommended that your response to this task be at least 300 words.

The Independent Writing task’s rubric is pretty straightforward. In order to earn a high score, your essay must:

  • Fully answer the prompt: You must completely answer the essay prompt, and it must be clear from early on in your essay (definitely within the first paragraph) what your stance on the prompt is.
  • Include specific examples: In order to back up your stance, you need to give specific examples and explain how they strengthen your position. This is one of the most important things you are graded on, and not having enough examples, not making them specific, or not explaining the examples well enough can cause you to get a significantly lower score.
  • Be well organized: Your essay should have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion that flow together and form a clear and complete essay.
  • Have few or no spelling and grammar errors: You don’t need to be perfect, but the graders shouldn’t have trouble understand what you’re trying to say due to misspellings or grammar mistakes.

What’s a Good TOEFL Writing Score?

So your TOEFL iBT Writing score can be anywhere from 0 to 30, but what’s a good Writing score?  There are two ways to define a good Writing score. The first is by using percentiles, and the second is by using score requirements for the schools you’re applying to. We’ll look at both methods in this section.

Using Percentiles to Determine a Good TOEFL Writing Score

Percentiles show how well you performed on the test compared to everyone else who took the TOEFL. The higher your percentile, the better you did on the TOEFL.  For example, if you scored in the 40th percentile, that means you scored higher than 40% of everyone who took the TOEFL and lower than 60% of all the people who took it. And if you scored in the 95th percentile, then you did better than 95% of people who took the TOEFL.

Below are the raw and scaled scores that correspond to some key TOEFL Writing percentile ranks.  Remember, each essay is given a raw score from 0-5, so your total raw score for both essays will be from 0-10. (You’ll only be given scores in whole points, but we used half points below for rounding.) Your raw score is then converted to a scaled score from 0-30, which is the score you’ll see on your score report.

You can use percentiles to determine what a “good” TOEFL Writing score is. You might define “good” as anything that’s above average, or the 50th percentile. Using that definition, any scaled Writing score higher than a 22 would be a good score.  You might also define good as being in the top quarter of test-takers, or at least the 75th percentile. That would require a Writing score of at least 25.

An excellent Writing score in the 90th percentile would mean you scored higher than 90% of other test-takers on that section. This requires a score of at least a 27.

Using School Requirements to Determine a Good TOEFL Writing Score

While percentiles can be useful for getting a general idea of what a good score is, you’ll probably need more information to set your own TOEFL Writing score goal. The other, and usually more effective, way to figure out a good Writing score is to look at the TOEFL requirements of schools you’re applying to or thinking about applying to.  Almost every university or graduate program will list its TOEFL requirements on its website, typically on the “Admissions” page.

Using this guideline, a good TOEFL Writing score is simply one that gets you into each of the schools you’re interested in. In the next section we go over step-by-step how to use school requirements to set your Writing goal score.

body_target

How to Set a TOEFL Writing Goal Score

Follow four steps below to figure out which TOEFL Writing score you should be aiming for. We’ll use Ivan, an international student applying to several universities in America, as an example.

#1: Make a List of the Schools You’re Interested In

Your first step is to make a list of all the schools you’re interested in applying to. Then, put them in a table, like the one you see below. Right now you only need to fill in the first column. At this point, you don’t need to have a final list of the schools you want to apply to; a rough guide of schools you may be interested in attending is enough.

Ivan is applying to four schools: MIT, New York University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and American University. Below is his table.

#2: Find Each School’s Average/Required TOEFL Scores

The next step is to find the required TOEFL Writing score and total TOEFL score for each school. Schools will usually post this information on their admissions page. Some schools have required scores for each TOEFL section. This makes it easy to know what the required Listening score is. For others, there is simply a required total TOEFL score. This means you’ll need to do a bit of math to figure out about what score you’ll need for Writing. To do this, just divide the required total score by four, since there are four sections on the TOEFL.

For example, UW-Madison has a required total score of 92. That means Ivan will need an average of 23 on each section, including Writing, to meet that total score requirement. You may want to make a note that this is just an estimated minimum Writing score, and not required.

#3: Make Adjustments

Now you know the minimum requirements for your list of schools, but should you be aiming higher than those scores? Will getting higher than the minimum required score increase your chances of getting accepted?  In most cases, the answer is no. Getting a TOEFL score that’s significantly higher than the requirements definitely won’t hurt your application, and it will likely make navigating an English-speaking school easier, but, in most cases, it won’t help your application that much.

Most schools choose their TOEFL requirements based on the language skills they believe are required to do well there. As long as you meet the requirement, it’s assumed you’ll be able to manage the language barrier well enough.  However, this isn’t true for every school, and there are some schools where a higher than required TOEFL score can help improve your chances of getting in.

Sometimes this is mentioned directly on a school’s website. The admissions page may state that any TOEFL score that meets or exceeds the requirements is enough, or it may say that scores higher than the requirement help your application. For example, MIT has a required TOEFL score minimum of 80, but a total score of at least 100 is “recommended.” In this case, you should be aiming for a total score of 100 in order to be sure your TOEFL score doesn’t bring down the rest of your application.

Other schools don’t require TOEFL scores if you meet other requirements, such as a certain number of years of schooling at an English-speaking school or a high enough score on the Critical Reading section of the SAT.

Next to each school, include any of this additional information you find to give yourself the most complete picture of what TOEFL score you should be aiming for.  If you can’t find this information on the school’s website, it’s a good idea call or email the admissions office directly to be sure you have the most accurate information.

#4: Find the Highest Score From Your List

Now that you have your list of required and desired TOEFL scores for the schools you’re interested in, look through the list and find the highest score. This is your goal score, and getting it would mean you got a “good” TOEFL score since it would meet the requirements of all the schools you’re interested in.

For Ivan, he would need a Writing score of at least 25 in order to have the best chance of meeting the requirements of all the schools he’s applying to. Once you’ve found this score, write it down and tape it somewhere where you’ll see it, such as your desk. Keep it visible while you’re studying to remind you of the score you need to earn and motivate you to reach your TOEFL goal.

body_tips

Tips for Getting a Top TOEFL Writing Score

It’s important to know how the TOEFL essays are scored and what score you should aim for on TOEFL Writing. Follow these four additional tips in this section to help produce strong essays that’ll help you meet your goal score.

Tip 1: Take a Few Minutes to Plan Your Essays

Since you only have a limited amount of time to complete your essays, it can be tempting to start writing the second your time starts. You want to avoid doing this, however. Spending just a few minutes planning your essay can help keep your writing focused and on topic, and it can often help you write faster because you know what you’ll be discussing next.

Spend a max of two to three minutes writing a basic outline for your essay. It should include:

  • Your thesis statement (the main point you’re making and will discuss throughout the essay)
  • The main point of each paragraph you’ll have in your essay
  • Any specific examples you can quickly think of (either from the included passages or your own opinion, depending on the essay) to back up your claim

Before you begin writing, reread the essay prompt again to make sure your outline answers the question well (see next section for more details).

Tip 2: Discuss Specific Examples

For both essays, you’ll need to provide multiple examples that support your main argument. For the Integrated Writing Task, these examples will come from the written passage and the audio clip included with the essay prompt. For the Independent Writing Task, you’ll need to come up with your own ideas for examples.

One thing many test takers struggle with is making these examples specific enough. For example, say you’re writing an Independent Writing essay that focuses on the importance of telling the truth. If one of your points is that sometimes you need to tell small lies to protect a friend’s feelings, don’t just say that being honest can be cruel. Give a specific example instead. For example, says a friend asks whether you like her new hat. Even if you really think it’s ugly, it doesn’t harm anyone to say you like it, and it’ll help keep your friendship strong.

Using specific examples makes your argument stronger and can help you get a higher essay score.

Tip 3: Meet the Recommended Essay Lengths

It’s recommended that your Integrated Writing Task be 150-225 words and your Independent Writing Task be at least 300 words.  You should aim to meet both these recommendations because writing less than that will make it difficult to meet all the requirements you need in a strong essay, like an introduction and conclusion and well-supported examples.

However, you don’t need to worry about writing a lot more than the recommended word counts. For example, an Independent Writing Essay that’s 600 words won’t automatically get a higher score than one that’s 350 words. Aim to write the recommended length for each essay, but focus more on giving strong examples than simply writing in order to increase your word count.

Tip 4: Proofread Your Essays

You should always aim to leave at least a few minutes at the end of the section to proofread your essays.  Ideally, you’ll have 2-3 minutes to look over each essay, but even just a minute of extra time can be enough for you to find and fix obvious spelling and grammar errors.

While you can have some errors and still get a high essay score, it’ll be difficult to get a top score if your essays are filled with misspellings and grammar mistakes, even if the content of the essays is strong. Taking a few minutes to correct these errors can give your essay scores a boost.

Recap: What’s a Good TOEFL Writing Score?

What’s a good TOEFL iBT Writing score? That depends on your definition. If you’re basing your score on percentiles, or how well you do compared to other test-takers, a scaled score of 22 will make you above average, and a score of 25 will put you in the top quarter of Writing scores for test takers.

However, it’s better to look at the score requirements of the schools you’re interested in and base your goal score for Writing on that. You’ll need to write two essays, and for each, you’ll need to answer the prompt completely, provide specific and well supported examples, and keep spelling and grammar errors to a minimum in order to get a high score.

What’s Next?

Want more tips on how to prepare for TOEFL Writing questions? Check out our guide to over 300 Writing topics to practice with!

Looking for more information on the TOEFL Writing section? Learn all the tips you need to know in order to ace TOEFL Writing!

What does a high-scoring TOEFL essay look like? Take a look at our analyses of two perfect-scoring TOEFL essays  to learn what   you can do to get a high essay score on test day.

Ready to improve your TOEFL score by 15 points?

how to write a good essay for toefl

Author: Christine Sarikas

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries. View all posts by Christine Sarikas

IMAGES

  1. 10 tips to write a good TOEFL essay

    how to write a good essay for toefl

  2. (2) (ebook english)

    how to write a good essay for toefl

  3. Toefl Essay Structure Example

    how to write a good essay for toefl

  4. TOEFL iBT Independent essay sample topic + how to outline your response

    how to write a good essay for toefl

  5. How To Write A Good TOEFL Essay?

    how to write a good essay for toefl

  6. essay samples for toefl

    how to write a good essay for toefl

VIDEO

  1. BEST PRACTICE : How to Write Good Essay for Civil Services #upsc #civilserviceexam #upsc_mains_2023

  2. TOEFL Writing

  3. How to Start Essay Writing for UPSC Exam

  4. Speaking and Writing Strategies for the TOEFL iBT

  5. TOEFL Writing: Five things you need to know about the NEW writing question

  6. Toefl Listening, Writing, Speaking, Reading Bölümü Neler İçerir?

COMMENTS

  1. Master the TOEFL Independent Essay (2023)

    Paraphrase yourself. Don't copy and paste from either the thesis or the topic sentences when you write the conclusion. Don't introduce new arguments in the conclusion; Write about 40 words in the conclusion; Final Thoughts. That's how you write a strong TOEFL independent essay. There are a final few points that are worth mentioning here ...

  2. How to Ace the TOEFL Writing Section: 7 Expert Tips

    After you complete the exam, your essays will be graded by several (typically four) graders. Each essay will receive a score from 0-5. The sum of those two scores will then be scaled to a score from 0-30, which is your official Writing score. The Writing section makes of 25% of your total TOEFL score (from 0-120).

  3. 2 Perfect-Scoring TOEFL Writing Samples, Analyzed

    Below is an official TOEFL Integrated Writing sample question and as well as an essay response that received a score of 5. It includes a written passage, the transcript of a conversation (which would be an audio recording on the actual TOEFL, and the essay prompt. After the prompt is an example of a top-scoring essay.

  4. How to Write a TOEFL Essay

    Understanding the TOEFL Essay Section. Before delving into the specifics of each essay task, it's essential to understand the structure and objectives of the TOEFL essay section. The TOEFL consists of two writing tasks: the Integrated Writing Task and the Independent Writing Task. Integrated Writing Task: In this task, you'll read a passage ...

  5. TOEFL iBT Test Writing Section

    The TOEFL iBT test Writing section measures your ability to write in English in an academic setting, and to present your ideas in a clear, well-organized way. There are two writing tasks. Integrated writing task (20 minutes) — read a short passage and listen to a short lecture, then write in response to what you read and listened to.

  6. How to Write a Great TOEFL or TOEIC Essay

    To recap, your first few sentences are key. Restate the three major points of your essay in different words, so you know the reader has understood where you stand. To leave a lasting impression, your last sentences are key. Leave the reader with something to think about before ending the paragraph. You could try a quote, a question, an anecdote ...

  7. TOEFL Writing Sample Essays

    TOEFL Writing Introduction. The writing section is the fourth section of the TOEFL iBT test and takes about 50 minutes to complete. It consists of two separate tasks: an Integrated Writing task and an Academic Discussion Writing task.The Independent task requires you to write an opinionated essay based on your own knowledge and experience, whereas the Integrated task requires you to write a ...

  8. Complete TOEFL Essay Templates (2024 Update)

    TOEFL essay templates can help you answer both of the TOEFL writing questions. To write a strong TOEFL essay just fill in the blanks with the required information from your notes (in the integrated essay) or from your ideas (the writing for an academic discussion task). Note that I also have a set of TOEFL speaking templates.

  9. How to Write a Successful TOEFL Essay: 10 Best Practices

    The first step for how to write a successful TOEFL essay is planning. Even though you only have 30 minutes to complete the task, spending 2-4 minutes planning will most likely pay off. After reading the prompt, use your planning time to decide on your clear and specific response—kind of like a thesis—and then create an effective structure ...

  10. Master the New TOEFL Writing Section in 2024, Test Resources

    Video Lesson: The TOEFL Integrated Essay; Service: TOEFL Essay Evaluation . The TOEFL ® Integrated Essay. The first writing question is the Integrated Essay Task. For this task, you'll first read a short article on an academic topic. Next, you will listen to a short lecture on the same topic. Finally, you'll have 20 minutes to write an ...

  11. 5 Simple Tips For Writing Your TOEFL iBT Essay

    3. Give yourself a word limit. It is recommended that a good TOEFL iBT essay will contain a minimum of 150 words for the integrated task and 300 words for the independent task, but it is ultimately up to you to decide. By giving yourself a word limit you will know when to stop writing to focus on reading through and correcting your essay.

  12. The Best TOEFL Writing Templates for Any Prompt

    The score you receive for this task will be on a scale of 0-5.According to the official rubric, a level-5 essay (i.e., a perfect essay) selects the most crucial information from the lecture and presents it in a coherent, accurate, and well-organized manner.A level-3 essay is satisfactory but overall vague, with fewer key points and several grammatical errors.

  13. How to Write a TOEFL Essay Introduction

    Start with an example. One great strategy to starting your essay with style is to begin with something the reader can relate to. As mentioned above, this may be a description that allows them to visualize an image. If that's not the best tactic for your topic, try giving an example that will relate your argument to something the reader ...

  14. TOEFL sample essays: Tips and techniques for a high score

    The TOEFL exam is a standardised test that measures a non-native English speaker's ability to use and understand English at the university level. One of the components of the TOEFL exam is the writing section, which requires test-takers to write an essay in response to a prompt. To score well on the writing section, it is essential to understand the requirements of the exam and the ...

  15. The Best TOEFL Writing Practice: 300+ Topics to Study With

    Overview of TOEFL Writing. The TOEFL Writing section is 50 minutes long (broken into two parts) and contains two tasks: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. You'll type both essays on the computer. The Integrated Writing task requires you to use listening, reading, and writing skills.

  16. How to Write a Great TOEFL Integrated Essay in 2022

    It's my guide to the TOEFL integrated essay, updated for 2022. This video describes how ETS designs the question, provides a sample question and gives you a...

  17. How to Write a Fantastic TOEFL Integrated Essay (2023)

    It is the first writing task on the TOEFL test. First, you will have three minutes to read an article (four paragraphs, 250 to 300 words) about an academic topic. Next, you will listen to a lecture (about 2 minutes) about the same topic. Finally, you will have 20 minutes to write an essay about the relationship between the two sources.

  18. How To Write A Good TOEFL Essay?

    The writing segment is an essential component of language competence tests. As a result, it is critical to practice your writing abilities and your vocabulary and grammar before taking the exam. Here are the top TOEFL writing section preparation ideas that will undoubtedly help you get your goal score:. You must make good use of your time.

  19. 13 TOEFL Writing Topics to Help You Practice for the Exam

    For the Independent Writing task, you'll receive a question on a particular topic or issue. You'll need to write a response to that topic that explains your opinion, and you'll also need to give reasons and examples that support your opinion. Writing Time: 30 minutes. Suggested Essay Length: At least 300 words.

  20. How to Write an Introduction for The Toefl Independent Essay

    We begin with a strong opening sentence. There are many ways to do this, but in my opinion the best way to begin is this: We make the first, or "opening" sentence of your essay, a question. This is an abstract, or "rhetorical" question. In other words, you don't ask to get an answer. You ask to make the reader think and reflect.

  21. TOEFL Integrated Writing Task 2023

    The TOEFL integrated writing task is the first of the two writing tasks in the TOEFL exam. It's designed to assess your ability to combine listening and reading skills to write a coherent and well-structured essay. Here's a detailed breakdown: Reading passage: A passage around 200-250 words long is provided.

  22. How to Write Good TOEFL Integrated Essay- Pro Tips 2024

    To effectively tackle the integrated writing task in the TOEFL exam, candidates should adhere to the recommended template outlined below: Introduction Paragraph: Commence the essay by stating that both the lecture and the reading passage address the topic of (topic). Highlight that while the reading passage supports the notion that (thought ...

  23. Ultimate Guide to TOEFL Integrated Writing: Tips and Practice

    Keep an English journal to further hone your writing skills. Memorize transitional words you can use in your essays. Use scratch paper to take notes on the audio clip and to outline your essay. Consider practicing with an Integrated Writing template to help you feel more prepared for test day.

  24. Write a Letter to Your Friend Living in a Village About the Place You

    Q.3 How do you write a good letter? A.3 A good letter focuses on the right structure, format and tone of the letter. Start your letter with a warm greeting. Paint your letter with vivid scenes of life and situations, tell amusing stories and express your feelings and thoughts. Close your letter with warm regards and say you miss them.

  25. What's a Good TOEFL Writing Score? • PrepScholar TOEFL

    You might also define good as being in the top quarter of test-takers, or at least the 75th percentile. That would require a Writing score of at least 25. An excellent Writing score in the 90th percentile would mean you scored higher than 90% of other test-takers on that section. This requires a score of at least a 27.