TOEFL Thesis Statements

TOEFL thesis statements–perhaps the most important writing skill to help you score high. Yet, many students rely on the tired overly-templated thesis statements that they find all over the Internet. How many times have you seen these sentences?

TOEFL thesis statements

  • I have several reasons to support my point of view.
  • I agree with……………., which I will explain in the following essay.
  • I will explain my argument in the following paragraphs.
  • I feel this way for two main reasons which I will explain in the following essay.
  • . I have this opinion for two reasons which I will be explaining in the following essay.
  • I feel this way for two main reasons, and I will develop these ideas in the subsequent paragraphs.
  • I would definitely agree with this opinion for two reasons and I will develop these ideas in subsequent paragraphs.
  • In the subsequent paragraphs, I will develop the ideas to support this claim.
  • I truly believe that……..I’m going to develop my reasons in subsequent paragraphs.
  • In this essay, I will explain my point of view by using some examples.

TOEFL Thesis Statements: General Tips

  • The more words your thesis is, the less likely that the TOEFL iBT human raters will recognize it as a templated thesis.  As you can learn here, you do not want to use templates during the writing section of the TOEFL iBT.
  • Use precise, not generic, words in your thesis statement.
  • Make sure your thesis is arguable–if the prompt is asking you to take a position.
  • Your thesis should be sharply-focused.

Your purpose in completing this lesson is not to memorize the thesis statements you read here. Rather these examples give you ideas of different sentence structures that you can use when framing thesis statements for the independent writing task. As you do your writing practice, you should create your own thesis statements based on the requirements of the writing prompt in front of you. Remember that you should not be using generic thesis statements during the independent writing task.

TOEFL Thesis Statements: Agree or disagree writing prompt

One common independent writing prompt asks you to agree or disagree with a statement:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Essay exams are a more effective type of test than multiple choice exams. Use examples and reasons to support your point of view. 

Here are some thesis statements with various sentence styles for this type of writing prompt:

Essay exams encourage more critical thinking, these written tests give students a chance to practice their writing skills, and they demonstrate a much deeper understanding of the subject matter. Therefore, I agree that essay exams are a better way to test students’ knowledge.

Essay exams encourage more critical thinking. These written tests give students a chance to practice their writing skills. They demonstrate a much deeper understanding of the subject matter. Therefore, I agree that essay exams are a better way to test students’ knowledge.

Because essays exams encourage more critical thinking, give students crucial writing practice, and show students’ in-depth knowledge of subject matter, they are a better form of testing than multiple choice tests.

Essay exams, which encourage more critical thinking, give students crucial writing practice, and show students’ in-depth knowledge of subject matter are a better form of testing than multiple-choice tests.

Essays exams encourage more critical thinking, give students crucial writing practice, and show students’ in-depth knowledge of subject matter, which is why they are a better form of testing than multiple choice tests.

(The fact) That essays exams encourage more critical thinking, give students crucial writing practice, and show students’ in-depth knowledge of subject matter prove they are a better form of testing than multiple choice tests.

Essays exams encourage students  to think critically, to practice their writing skills, and to show in-depth knowledge of subject matter, thereby proving that these written tests are a better form of testing than multiple choice tests.

Because essays exams encourage more critical thinking, give students crucial writing practice, and show students’ in-depth knowledge of subject matter, they are a better form of testing than multiple choice tests.

Explain both sides writing prompt

Another common writing prompt asks you to explain both sides ( i.e., the advantages of disadvantages of something):

You are a student at a university, and you have the choice of taking classes in the morning or the afternoon. What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking morning or afternoon classes.

Since this type of writing prompt is not asking for your opinion, you should use a more objective tone by not explaining which time slot is more beneficial. Below are example thesis statements with different sentence styles to frame this type of writing prompt:

Students attending universities will discover advantages and disadvantages of taking classes in the morning or in the afternoon.

Morning and afternoon classes offer advantages and disadvantages to students enrolled in universities.

Advantages and disadvantages of morning and afternoon classes should be considered by university students when selecting their classes at the beginning of the term.

Before choosing their courses at the beginning of a university term, students should consider the advantages and disadvantages of taking morning or afternoon classes.

After enrolling in college, students will need to decide whether they want to take morning or afternoon classes. Each time slot has both advantages and disadvantages.

Some students prefer to take morning classes; in contrast, others prefer to take classes in the afternoon. Each time slot has advantages and disadvantages.

Some students prefer to take morning classes. However, others prefer to take classes in the afternoon. Each time slot has advantages and disadvantages.

Make an argument from multiple sides

The last common writing prompt asks you to make an argument from multiple sides:

What is the single most important factor in choosing a new house? Be sure to give reasons and examples to support your choice.

Even though this is an open-ended question, you should dramatically narrow your answer. That way you have enough time in 30 minutes to develop a well-written and coherent response.

 Location is a critical factor when buying a house, for it affects the appreciation value, the crime possibilties, and the closeness to work.

Where I purchase a home may affect its appreciation value, the likelihood of crime, and the proximity to where I work.

Because location will affect the future value of my home, the potential for crime to happen near me, and the closeness to where I work, it is indeed the most important factor when buying a house.

Although I should consider several factors when buying a home, location is most important because of appreciation possibilities, the potential for crime to happen near me, and the closeness to where I work.

Location is indeed the most important factor when buying a house because of the future value of my home, the potential for crime to happen near me, and the closeness to where I work.

Location affects the future value of my home, the potential for crime to happen near me, and the closeness to where I work, so it is the most important factor when choosing a house.

Choosing the right location will benefit the buyer in several important ways: appreciation, safeness, and proximity to work.

Thesis statements for integrated writing task

During the task, your TOEFL thesis statements should state the main point in the reading passage and then show how the listening passage relates to that main point. Be careful that you do not spend too much time on writing your thesis since you only have 20 minutes for this writing task.

How does the information in the listening passage support the points made by the author in the reading passage?

Below are differing sentence styles that represent this type of thesis.

The author in the reading passage explains three advantages of the self-determination theory related to teaching, and the speaker in the lecture casts doubt on each point made.

According to the author, the self-determination theory of teaching has three advantages; in  contrast, the speaker questions the validity of each theory discussed by the author.

The author in the reading passage explains three advantages of the self-determination theory related to teaching. However, the speaker in the lecture casts doubt on each point made.

The self-determination theory has three advantages, asserts the author in the reading passage, but the speaker contradicts each of the author’s points.

Notice:  Please note that I did NOT use any subordinating conjunctions (i.e., “although,” “even though,” and “whereas”) to connect main points from the reading and listening passages. These types of conjunctions subordinate one of the sentences.  In other words, subordinating conjunctions make one of the sentences a support point. However, you should create sentences that state the reading and listening passages as main points.

If you are ready to begin your speaking and writing practice with TOEFL thesis statements, I am ready to provide you the feedback you need to monitor your progress, as you can learn more about here. One of my students, as you can learn here, scored 27 on the speaking and 24 on the writing sections after using service. He reached his target scores in three weeks.

Good luck!

Michael Buckhoff, mbuckhoff@aol.com

http://onlinetoeflcourse.com

 

 

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