On this web page, you will find a TOEFL writing sample for task 1. In addition, you will also read a TOEFL writing sample for task 2. Furthermore, you will learn some simple tips and tricks to improve your writing for both of these tasks. Finally, useful links for more practice will be available so you can practice your writing more.
TOEFL Writing Sample for Task 1
This writing sample is based on the following video:
Model Essay for Task 1: 337 Words
The topic of the reading passage is the use of credit cards as a way of payment. The reading passage discusses the advantages of credit cards, such as making the purchase easier, having a credit history, and getting protection. However, the listening passage analyzes the disadvantages of paying with credit cards.
The first point discussed in the reading passage is that credit cards offer an easier way of paying things since the buyer doesn´t need to carry a large amount of money in his or her pocket. In addition, the reading passage asserts that many companies just accept credit cards as a way of payment. Conversely, the lecture opposes this idea in that, while a person believes that the payment is easy, he or she doesn´t realize at that moment that the payment will cost more because of the interest the company will charge for borrowing the money.
The second point the reading passage considers as an advantage is the development of a credit line, which will allow the buyer to get loans, rental applications, or even jobs. On the other hand, the listening passage refutes this point in that a damaged credit history may be developed because of late payments. Therefore, this irresponsible act may cost the buyer to be denied when applying for a house or a car.
The reading passage also mentions a third advantage of paying with credit cards. It emphasizes that this way of payment may protect a buyer when the original receipt is lost or stolen. In contrast, the lecture points out that the buyer is no longer protected when he or she has to pay interest at the end of the month. As the lecture indicates, high interest rates, such as 20% to 25%, may lead the buyer to bankruptcy if he or she has no money to pay.
To sum up, the reading passage remarks some advantages of paying with credit cards, which are refuted by the lecture that gives some examples of why credit card payments sometimes may be dangerous for buyers.
TOEFL Writing Strategies for Task 1
- Use a five paragraph format: introduction (reading and listening main points), body paragraph 1 (reading point 1 + listening point 1), paragraph 2 (reading point 2 + listening point 2), body paragraph 3 (reading point 3 + listening point 3).
- Include voice markers to give attribution to the reading and listening passages
- Use simple present tense verbs to summarize the most important points from the reading and listening passages.
- Use chunking compare and contrast organization in which you spend 1/2 of a body paragraph explaining a reading passage and 1/2 of a body paragraph summarizing a listening passage.
TOEFL Writing Sample for Task 2
Writing Prompt: Your government has announced that it wishes to build a military base near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the military base? Explain your position.
Model Essay for Task 2: 468 Words
People in a society want to be protected and feel safe so that they will have a feeling of security in their own neighborhoods. Additionally, because they want to adequately provide for the needs of their families, people appreciate a thriving economy where unemployment is low and job pay is high. Upon construction, a military base could provide some of these things but at what price to the community?
The advantages to building a military base near a community, according to some, might be an increase in jobs. Many soldiers will live at the base, and they will go to the city to buy clothes, food, and entertainment. An increase in spending from these soldiers could cause the owners of economic establishments to hire more employees due to all the increasing economic activity. For instance, in South Korea a new United States military base was built near a small rural city, and 8,700 soldiers began going to the town. As a result of all the new spending at a local grocery store, an owner had to hire 13 more employees to keep pace with all the new spending. This example proves why some believe a military base could increase employment.
The disadvantages to constructing a military base could be an increase in crime and pollution. First, opponents of military bases point to Okinawa, Japan as an example. Sometimes, some of the soldiers go into the city to drink and party, and then a young girl gets raped and some fights happen. Many are hurt and lives are shattered because of crime caused by the soldiers from the military base. In addition, there could also be an increase in pollution since many military vehicles emit harmful fumes to the environment. Noise pollution could also be a problem since military bases often engage in “war games” by setting off explosions and shooting machine guns. In addition, helicopters, planes, and other aircraft will be taking off and landing at the military’s airport on a daily basis. Opponents argue that these aircraft will create additional noise to surrounding communities.
All in all, however, I favor having a military base in my community for financial and respect reasons. Some day I hope to own a small business in my community, and I think a military base could bring me more money. For example, after I finish my MBA graduate studies, I am leaning toward building and operating a gas station, and a newly constructed military base would bring more customers to my business, which would help me to become profitable, thus helping me to increase my standard of living. Additionally, the construction of a military base could bring more respect to my town, especially since most of the residents where I live are patriotic and hold the government and the military in high esteem.
TOEFL Writing Strategies for Task 2
- In most cases, use a five paragraph format, and limit each body paragraph to 100 words.
- At the end of your introduction, include a sharply-focused thesis that is at least 20 words long. Do not use a generic templated thesis.
- Make sure that each topic sentence clearly restates one of the key points in your thesis.
- In each of your 100-word body paragraphs, use 1-2 details to illustrate the topic of the paragraph.
- To help cohere each paragraph, use 4-7 transition words.
- Use a combination of basic and advanced grammar and vocabulary.
Additional Writing Resources
May the next TOEFL exam you take be your last!