Having TOEFL thesis and topic sentences in your speaking and writing tasks will help you to stay organized.
What is a TOEFL Thesis Statement? TOEFL Thesis and Topic Sentences
Suppose you are taking the TOEFL exam, and you see the following writing prompt:
Many people want to have strong, enduring relationships with others. Choose one of the following character traits and explain why it will be important to helping you make lasting friends.
- Making sure to display complete honesty in relationships
- Showing a respectful attitude toward others
- Being a good listener
To make sure that your essay begins with a focused organization, you should create a 100-word introduction ending with a thesis statement that frames the body paragraphs.
- Thesis statement: Showing reciprocal respect, an important character trait in friendships, helps others in avoiding arguments and (in) improving communication in their relationships.
The above thesis uses two reasons, “avoiding arguments” and “improving communication” to explain why showing respect is an important character trait in friendships.
What are TOEFL Topic Sentences?
In addition to having a clearly-focused thesis, you should also use topic sentences that restate the key points from your thesis. That your topic sentences connect to your thesis in the introduction will make it easier for TOEFL iBT human raters to understand your organization. To illustrate, using the above thesis that I wrote in the previous section of this blog post, pay attention to the following two topic sentences:
- Topic sentence 1: First of all, friends who show mutual respect will most likely avoid arguments, thereby lengthening the longevity of their friendships.
- Topic sentence 2: Second of all, respectful friends are more likely to discuss their feelings when misunderstandings arise, hence enhancing the communication of their relationships.
TOEFL Thesis and Topic Sentence Writing Practice
In each practice exercise, you will read an example writing prompt. Based on the prompt, write a two-point thesis, around which you could organize two body paragraphs. Then, write the topic sentence of each body paragraph like the examples already provided. Finally, compare your thesis and topic sentences to the examples provided.
Thesis Generation Tips
- Your thesis should be at least 20 words long.
- Use precise language.
- Your thesis should be arguable, especially for the TOEFL independent speaking and writing task.
Topic Sentence Creation Tips
- Likewise, write original topic sentences that are at least 20+ words.
- Each topic sentence should restate one of the key points mentioned in your thesis.
- Do not use exactly the same grammar/vocabulary from your thesis statement that you are restating.
- TOEFL thesis and topic sentences should clearly address the prompt.
1. Which of the following is the best approach to prepare for a difficult test?
- Preparing the test with a small group
- Studying the exam materials on your own
- Consulting with your professor as you prepare a test study guide
2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Banning the sale of all gasoline-powered cars will tremendously benefit the environment.
3. What solution will have the greatest impact on lowering crime in your city
- Making consequences for committing a crime more severe
- Offering free educational programs for low-income families
- Helping drugs users to recover from their addictions
4. Some workers would rather be paid more but have fewer benefits such as retirement and healthcare. Others, on the other hand, prefer to be paid less but with a good healthcare and retirement package. Which option do you prefer? Use specific examples and reasons to support your choice.
5. Imagine that you are the Chief Executive Officer of a large company. Would you rather hire older workers with more experience at higher wages or younger, less experienced workers at lower salaries?
6. What is the best way to handle an experienced employee who has been accused of sexually harassing another worker?
- Immediate firing
- A written warning followed by mandatory training
- 10% pay cut + 6 months probation
7. Some people like to live in smaller towns where they know most of the residents. Others prefer to live in larger towns which they believe provide more opportunities. Which type of town do you prefer to live in? Give reasons and examples to support your point of view.
8. Consider a situation in which you are given 10 million dollars. You must donate 1/2 of the money to either a school or a hospital. Which facility will you donate the money to and why? Give reasons and examples to support your choice.
9. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? When you buy a house, the most important factor to consider is how close you live to your job.
10. Some students think that they should study 1-2 days before an important exam, whereas others prefer to study a week or more in advance before an important test. Which method of study do you prefer? Give reasons and examples to support your choice.