How to write a high-scoring TOEFL paragraph

This blog post will teach you how to write a high-scoring TOEFL paragraph.

How to write a high-scoring TOEFL paragraph

How to write a high-scoring TOEFL paragraph: Take a look at this low-scoring practice test

To understand how to write a high-scoring TOEFL paragraph, you will benefit by seeing an essay that I evaluated and scored at 13-15 pts. out of 30.  When you take the TOEFL exam, do NOT write your essay like this:

I personally choose to live with roommates while in an educational program by several reasons. Roommates will give the hand on me if I have any difficulties. Roommates will give good habit in daily life.
If I have some problems in the study materials, so I can ask my roommates how to solve it. However, loneliness-life person is more difficult than social-life person. People who live in the loneliness will be doing everything by themselves, but people who live socialized will have another person will help them.
In this daily life, people need support and motivation from their friend for doing sports or another good habit. As ordinary people, we will feel lazy sometimes. We need another person to give support to make up our day. 
Those are my two reasons why I choose to live with roommates than live lonely.
This essay has several problems driving down its TOEFL writing score:
  • The essay is only 172 words; to score higher this student will need to write 450-550 words.
  • The body paragraphs are undeveloped; they do not contain any specific details. Each paragraph should be between 100-150 words.
  • The average sentence length is 14.1 words; this student’s sentences should be 20-30 words.
  • In short, this essay does not represent academic writing. Therefore, I gave it a low score.

How to write a high-scoring TOEFL paragraph: Compare the student’s original second paragraph to my edited, more developed one.

 

Below is the original paragraph and an edited version that I wrote:

Original: If I have some problems in the study materials, so I can ask my roommates how to solve it. However, loneliness-life person is more difficult than social-life person. People who live in the loneliness will be doing everything by themselves, but people who live socialized will have another person will help them.

Edited: First of all, a good roommate should be helpful, so if I have some problems in the study materials,  I can ask my roommates how to solve it. To illustrate, last semester I had an assignment to write a 10-12 paper analytical research paper in my expository English class. However, I had no idea how to complete that difficult project, so I spent many sleepless nights worrying about it.  One day I asked my roommate if he had any idea how to write this type of project, and he told me that he had written a similar paper to the one I was working on. In fact, my helpful roommate showed me how to formulate a research question, how to make an outline, and even how to conduct the research in order to complete the difficult assignment. Because of his willingness to help me complete this assignment, I was able to receive a B + in that course.

Watch this video to see the writing feedback I gave to the actual student who wrote this essay:

Michael Buckhoff

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