The writing section is the last section of the TOEFL test and tests your ability in writing well-formed essays. For people who have not studied essay writing formats, it can be challenging to master at first. Fear not, as in this blog we will look at how to write an awesome essay based on these TOEFL Writing model essays.
But first, some details about the writing section. This section has two writing tasks.
Integrated Writing Task
You are first given a short reading passage and a lecture. You then write a summary and to what you read and listened to. Given time 20 minutes. Some common question types are:
- Opposition: Summarize the main points made in the lecture and explain how they oppose the points made in the reading passage.
- Three Problems: Summarize the main points and explain how they answer the problems presented in the lecture.
- Three Solutions: Summarize the main points and explain how they strengthen/challenge points made in the lecture.
Independent Writing Task
In response to a given topic, write an essay based on your personal experiences and opinions. Given time 30 minutes. Some common question types are:
- Agree/Disagree: Do you agree or disagree with…
- Paired Choice: Which do you prefer?
- Multiple Choice: In your opinion, which is the best?
TOEFL Independent Model Essay:
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
It is more important to use the land for human needs like farms, houses, and factories than for saving endangered animals.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Model Essay [Word Count 414]
As the human population gradually increases over time, more land has become necessary to accommodate the increasing number of people, resulting in the reduction of habitats of wild animals. In this situation, many people question whether the land should be used for the needs of human beings or for saving endangered animals. In my opinion, I firmly believe that it should be used to save endangered animals for two reasons.
To begin with, land should be used for endangered animals rather than human beings because the land is essential for animals, while it is not the case for human beings. In the case of human beings, due to the developments in architecture and technology, it has become possible to use less land to accommodate a larger number of people by constructing taller buildings. For example, the tallest building built by human beings is the Burj Khalifa, which is more than a hundred stories tall and can accommodate tens of thousands of people. While human beings can solve their need for land this way, this is not possible for animals, since animals require to stay in their natural habitats where they have their natural prey to feed on. If the surrounding environment does not fit the animals’ requirements, they are sure to become extinct, which is why it is much more preferable to use the land for endangered animals.
Second, all living species on Earth are interconnected. The global ecosystem sustains life with a sophisticated yet delicate food chain and nature cycles. Endangered species have to be in constant care and monitoring, so there has to be a space for building facilities that allow doing so. When there is no space to conserve the animals, then the chain will collapse, and it will lead to a severe chain reaction to extinction. Many studies conclude that when one species in a food web goes extinct, then the next in the hierarchy will consequently go extinct, too. Because of this, interruption of the interconnection between species should not happen, as this will ultimately affect the lives of human beings, such as through the loss of food sources.
Because of these two reasons, the land should be used to preserve endangered animals. The human population is increasing, and the demand for food and shelter is also on the rise. However, this does not mean that saving endangered animals should become a lower priority because if the endangered animals go extinct, humanity will be in danger too.
TOEFL Integrated Model Essay:
Whenever an earthquake occurs, countless loss of lives and severe damages to the society follow suit. Since it is out of human power to prevent earthquakes, many different methods to predict earthquakes have been suggested instead of trying to reduce the damages.
One way of predicting earthquakes is through observing animal behavior. It is a well-known fact that animals are far more intuitive than human beings, which is why an unusual change in animal behavior can be an indication of an earthquake. In fact, there are some records that prove so. There is a record from 373 B.C. Greece, which states that various animals such as rats, snakes, and weasels left their dwellings several days before an earthquake. Their sensory abilities may have reacted to the subtle changes in the environment before an earthquake.
Another way of predicting earthquakes can be by headaches occurring in people. The presence of magnetite in the human brain makes this possible. Magnetite is a mineral that helps animals such as bats adjust to the electromagnetic field of the earth. This mineral can also enable human beings to notice the changes in the electromagnetic field by causing headaches before an earthquake.
Finally, measuring radon emissions can also be a way to predict earthquakes. Most rocks release small amounts of gases whenever a seismic change occurs. One of these gases is radon, and it can be easily detected as the gas is radioactive. Since earthquakes are caused by seismic waves, it can be said that a high concentration of radon in an area can be a sign of an earthquake.
When we think about predicting earthquakes, the various methods suggested in the reading may seem valid. But they do not hold clear evidence, and therefore, the reasons for each method are questionable.
Let’s start off with the animal behavior. Well, it is actually not true that animals act differently before earthquakes. Instead, it is likely that these animals are simply reacting to mild shaking rather than foretelling that a destructive earthquake is striking. And of course, minor trembling does not always lead to earthquakes. So, blindly relying on the changes in animal behaviors is not the best option.
Second, headaches are not a reliable sign of the natural disaster. As a matter of fact, headaches are one of the rarest symptoms before earthquakes, meaning not many people go through the pain as a prior notice. Because the amount of magnetite inside our brains is so small, the sensitivity system may barely be influenced. And you know, most importantly, we don’t encounter headaches just because of earthquakes, do we?
And lastly, relying on radon emission is also not a practical way to predict earthquakes. Unfortunately, radon emission from rocks does not always forecast earthquakes. In some cases, radon emission can also be caused by landslides, crushing rocks, or other impacts that lead to rock fractures. So, we should not dismiss other factors that can increase the concentration of radon in our atmosphere. I mean, relying on radon emission might just be responding to false alarms.
Model Essay [Word Count 282]
First, the reading passage mentions observing animal behaviors. According to the reading passage, there are records that show animals leaving their habitats right before an earthquake. However, the lecturer claims that the animals may only be reacting to mild shaking of the ground. Since this shaking does not always result in strong earthquakes, it is hasty to generalize that change in animal behavior always leads to earthquakes.
Second, the reading passage suggests that earthquakes can be predicted by headaches that occur in people because of the magnetite in the human brain. However, the lecturer argues that this method is not reliable since it is the least common symptom before an earthquake. We can barely feel the electromagnetic shift during earthquakes because the amount of magnetite in our brain is very small.
Third, the reading passage presents measuring radon emissions to predict earthquakes. Due to the radon emissions that occur during a seismic change, it is possible to calculate when earthquakes would happen. However, the lecturer casts doubt on the claim by stating that this method is not practical. According to the lecture, radon emissions do not forecast earthquakes because radon emissions can occur even during landslides and other rock fractures. Since other factors can also cause radon emissions, this can lead to false alarms.
In conclusion, while the reading passage proposes different methods of predicting earthquakes, the lecturer contradicts each of the methods mentioned in the reading passage using reasons and evidence.