TOEFL WRITING SECTION
TASKS: 50 MINS. LONG
Based on a question. You must discuss your personal opinion
Based on reading and listening. Do not include or discuss your personal opinion. (20 mins.)
3 mins. to read a passage on X topic
2 mins. to listen to an audio clip discussing the same X topic
20 mins. to plan and write the essay
An effective response is 150 to 225 words
In an effort to encourage ecologically sustainable forestry practices, an international organization started issuing certificates to wood companies that meet high ecological standards by conserving resources and recycling materials. Companies that receive this certification can attract customers by advertising their products as “ecocertified.” However, it is unlikely that wood companies in the United States will do the same, for several reasons.
First, American consumers are exposed to so much advertising that they would not value or even pay attention to the ecocertification label. Because so many mediocre products are labelled as “new” or “improved,” American consumers do not place much trust in advertising claims in general.
Second, ecocertified wood will be more expensive than uncertified wood because in order to earn ecocertification, a wood company must pay to have its business examined by a certification agency. This additional cost gets passed on to consumers. American consumers tend to be strongly motivated by price, and therefore they are likely to choose cheaper uncertified wood products. Accordingly, American wood companies will prefer to keep their prices low rather than obtain ecocertification.
Third, although some people claim that it always makes good business sense for American companies to keep up with the developments in the rest of the world, this argument is not convincing. Pursuing certification would make sense for American wood companies only if they marketed most of their products abroad. But this is not the case– American wood businesses sell most of their products in the United States, catering to a very large customer base that is satisfied with the merchandise.
- Take good notes the key points of the reading passage and the audio clip.
- Summarize the points made in the lecture and compare/contrast them to points made in the reading passage.
What to do?
HOW TO COMPARE/CONTRAST
You receive a question on a particular topic
Support your opinion with reasons and examples
30 mins. to plan and write the essay
An effective response is 300 words
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Television advertising directed toward young children (aged two to five) should not be allowed.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
- Type 1: Agree or disagree
- Type 2: Explain both sides
- Type 3: Pick a stance from many options*
What to do?
HOW TO AGREE/DISAGREE
HOW TO EXPLAIN BOTH SIDES
HOW TO PICK A STANCE
(e.g.: Which age group do you believe the majority of television advertising should be directed towards?)
PRACTICE USING A QUWERTY TYPE OF KEYBOARD
MAKE CLEAR LINKS BETWEEN TEXT AND LECTURE
PERSONAL OPINION (INTEGRATED TASK)
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GO BACK AND FIX GRAMMAR/SPELLING MISTAKES
Although there is not a grammar section on TOEFL, graders pay attention to correct grammar (speaking and writing sections) It will make a difference between you in a conversation with your friends, and you talking and writing about campus-based content/situations.
Many and very obvious reasons
You will find mistakes in your speech and writing; that is perfect, if you do not, it means you were not making any progress
DO NOT follow the "2 steps process" (grammar in English courses: 1. rule, 2. exercises) Instead, do the following:
SEE & HEAR the rules as they are combined in texts or used by people (p.s. read as there is no tomorrow)
Check/remember the rules
Imitate what you hear (expressions, sentences, etc.) Build a bank of chunks.
Use the rules
Find a source to practice this:
Advanced Parallel Structure
Gerunds After Adjectives And Prepositions
Adjectives And Word Order
Apostrophes And Possessives Pronouns
Period, Comma, Colon And Semicolon
How To Avoid : Clichés And Platitudes, Plague Words, Intensifiers, Pleonasm