HOW TO SUCCEED on the TOEFL Writing Section
TOEFL, TOEFL Writing, TOEFL Integrated Writing, TOEFL Independent Writing

Wondering how to prepare for the TOEFL Writing Section? The Writing Section of the TOEFL has two tasks, the Integrated Writing task and the Independent Writing task. Here we will countdown the top 10 tips for how to be successful on the Integrated Writing, the Independent Writing or both writing tasks of the TOEFL Writing Section.

Tip #10 – Know How to Identify the MainPoints (Integrated Writing)
On the Integrated Writing Task, you will be expected to identify and summarize three main points on a particular topic made in a reading passage. You will also have to identity and summarize three conflicting main points on the same topic made in a listening passage. Therefore, it is critical that you know how to identify the main points an author or lecturer is making. A good way to practice this before the TOEFL exam is to read academic articles, listen to the news and watch speeches, then practice identifying and summarizing the main points.

Tip #9 – Take Good Notes (Integrated Writing)
On the Integrated Writing Task, you will first read a passage of approximately 250-300 words. You will have 3 minutes to read this passage. Then you will listen to a lecture about the topic from passage you just read. This audio clip is typically 2-3 minutes long. You only get to hear the listening passage once. After that you are expected to write about the main points from the reading passage, the lecturer’s conflicting main points from the listening passage and their supporting reasons for his or her position. In order to be able to accomplish all this in just 20 minutes, it is critical to take notes, especially on the listening. First, while reading the passage, quickly identify the author’s main points, and write them down. This will help you to anticipate what the lecture will be about. Then use more of your preparation time taking notes on the listening. The reading passage will appear again if you need to refer to it while writing.

Tip #8 – Outline Your Answer First (Independent Writing)
On the Independent Writing Task, you will have 30 minutes to write about your opinion to a proposed question. While it might not seem like a lot of time, a large portion of your grade comes from the way you are able to structure and articulate your opinion, which is best done by following an outline. So, spend the first 2 to 3 minutes of your Independent Writing outlining. You need to determine your position on prompted question, two reasons for your position, and supporting information, preferably from a personal experience, for each of those reasons before you start on your essay. You will find that writing the Independent Writing Task is much easier and ultimately flows better by following an outline.

TOEFL writing correction service
Tip #7 – Know How to Express Your Opinion (Independent Writing)
On the Independent Writing Task, you will be given a question prompt. Typically, these questions will ask you to do one of the following: 1) choose a side of a controversial argument, 2) state your preference between two or three conflicting options, or 3) explain why you agree or disagree with a given statement. It is important to only pick one of the options or sides of the argument to write about. Don’t try to write about both sides. You are also expected to write passionately about your opinion. So, even if you don’t have a strong position, or if you feel you could go either way on the topic, choose a position a stick to it. And remember to make sure your position is clear from the very beginning of your Independent Writing Task.

Note, you should never express your opinion on the Integrated Writing Task.

Tip #6 – Don’t Plagiarize, Paraphrase! (Both Writings)
As mentioned, on the Integrated Writing Task you will be shown the reading passage again so that you can refer to it while you are writing your essay. It is critical that you do not plagiarize the reading passage. Make sure you paraphrase the points that the author makes in your essay without copying them word-for-word.

On the Independent Writing Task, you will be given a specific question that you have to give your opinion about. In your answer, you should not copy the language of the question verbatim. Instead, rephrase the question when giving in your position in your essay.

Tip #5 – Use a Template (Integrated Writing)
Because you have so much to cover on the Integrated Writing Task, the best way to structure your essay is to use a template. Before test day, develop your own template for the Integrated Writing Task. Here is an example template:

The reading passage is about (insert topic). The author believes (insert author’s opinion on the topic), but the lecturer in the listening passage disagrees. He/She feels (insert lecturer’s opinion on the topic). The author provides three main points to support their opinion, and the lecturer provides three contradictory points.

First, the author says that (author’s first main point). However, the lecturer explains (lecturer’s first main counterpoint). The lecturer goes on to state that (supporting details that link back to the reading).

Next, in the reading passage, the author claims that (author’s second main point). To the contrary, the lecturer provides (lecturer’s second main counterpoint). Furthermore, the lecturer also mentions (supporting details that link back to the reading).

Finally, the author in the reading states (author’s third main point). In contrast, the lecturer in the listening passage is of the opinion that (lecturer’s third main counterpoint). Additionally, he/she points out that (supporting details that link back to the reading).

Tip #4 –Don’t Forget the Question (Independent Writing)
On the Independent Writing Task, one big mistake students happen to make on this task is that they go off topic. The best way to stay focused on the question is to first clearly and passionately state you position in the first sentence or two of your introduction. Then, continue to refer back to this sentence from time to time while you are writing. This will help you to remember exactly what you are being asked so that you don’t forget the question.
TOEFL writing correction service
Tip #3 – Use ComplexSentence StructuresCorrectly (Both Writings)
On both Writing tasks, you will need to show your grammar skills. The best way to do this is to practice using three different grammar constructs when summarizing your own or another’s opinion. For example, use a mix of the conditionals to express hopes and regrets, use gerunds as the subject, object and verb in different sentences, and use a variety of connecting words to form complex sentences.

Tip #2 – Proofread, Proofread, Proofread! (Both Writings)
On both the Integrated and Independent Writing Tasks, it is extremely important to go back and read your essay. You could lose points for silly spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors that you could save by spending a little extra time looking back through your essay. In fact, you should save the last minute or two of your time for proofreading and editing your work.

Tip #1 – Do Practices Tests (Both Writings)
The best way to make sure you are prepared on test day is to do practice exams of the Integrated and Independent Writing Task. And, you should write the practice essays under the same conditions as you will be under on test day. So, do your practice tests under the same time restraints. Also, type your essays on an American keyboard with the spell check turned off. Afterwards, be sure to also review your practice essays afterwards to see where you went wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.