TOEFL Writing Topics

The Writing section of TOEFL is a section in which students can utilize their creativity and vocabulary to demonstrate their abilty in the English language, in the best way. TOEFL writing is a two step process; the first step is similar to precis writing while the second step requires creative writing. TOEFL writing topics for the first step are in the form of written passages that may or may not include audio-visuals. The students are required to read the given passages and follow the audios and then, in their own words, write about what they have read and heard. Candidates are expected to add to the matter without digressing from the central theme of the given passages which mostly pertains to academic topics.

The second step of the Writing section of TOEFL requires creative writing that needs to be done independently without reading or listening to any reference material on the topic. TOEFL writing topics for this step are varied. More often than not, they require the candidates to write their own point of view on the given subject. A clause, paragraph or phrase is given and the candidates need to write an essay to explain their views about the topic and also support, with illustrations, the reasons behind their views. For example, in an essay against smoking, if a candidate is accepting that smoking is hazardous to health then they can quote diseases like lung cancer, asthma etc. that are caused by smoking to prove their point. TOEFL writing topics for the Writing section are designed in a way that the candidates can express their true ideologies and feelings.

The following topics have been extracted from the official list of TOEFL writing topics that is provided on the TOEFL website to give the students a feel of the actual test. These topics are only for the essay-writing part of the Writing section.


Some people think that the automobile has improved modern life. Others think that the automobile has caused serious problems. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


This is one of those TOEFL writing topics in which students are required to give their views on a general issue. The given argument means that though some people think that automobiles are an invaluable addition to modern life, others would like to believe that they cause problems like traffic, air and noise pollution and other health concerns. TOEFL candidates need to be sure of the hazards caused by automobiles if they are of the view that automobiles cause problems. If they think that automobiles are advantageous to modern life then they should also be well aware of the advantages of automobiles. Any stance that they take needs to be backed by examples and illustrations. Meaningless sentences and sentences without logical reasoning are not accepted in TOEFL.


If you could study a subject that you have never had the opportunity to study, what would you choose? Explain your choice, using specific reasons and details.


Such TOEFL writing topics are framed to assess the capacity of a candidate to write about personal choices and give examples for their feelings and emotions. This topic in particular, is asking a student to write about a dream subject. A subject that he/she has always wanted to pursue but, due to any reason, has not been able to. The candidates can use their creativity to come up with bizarre subjects but they have to remember that however out-of-the-box their subject might be, it still needs to be backed by examples and details. In TOEFL writing topics like these, it is best to be truthful and write about a subject that you were good at in school or college but, did not or could not, pursue it. The subjects can also be vocational.


Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Classmates are a more important influence than parents on a child's success in school. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


This topic is an instance of the opinion oriented TOEFL writing topics. Candidates have to agree or disagree with the given argument and back it up with logical references and illustrations. Newspaper articles that they might have read and that can support their stand on the topic can also be sited to prove their point of view. Candidates should remember never to quote information that they are not sure about. They can also site personal examples but they should remember that those examples should not be vague or left loose ended. This particular topic is asking candidates if they agree or disagree that students get affected more by their counterparts in school than by their parents. The effect of its peers on a child's performance in school is being questioned and, the candidates need to support their stance with examples.


If you could travel back in time to meet a famous person from history, what person would you like to meet? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

This is one of those TOEFL writing topics that require candidates to use their knowledge of the world. Thought not very explicitly, but such TOEFL questions do try and probe candidates to assess their knowledge of history, general sciences and social studies. In many essay topics, students are expected to know famous personalities, famous cities and other general and historical data. In this particular topic, the students not only need to mention a famous personality from history but they also have to know why the person was famous and what are the reasons anyone, including them, would want to meet him/her. The students, especially in topics like these, cannot write open ended or vague sentences. Their sentences should not demonstrate that they have just barely heard of the personality that they want to meet and, due to lack of factual data are writing correct but flimsy sentences. In short, you may have written correct sentences but if your matter is weak then chances are that you will lose points for that.

Just like the other sections of TOEFL, the Writing section is a very interesting and involving section of the test. Some form of English writing is involved in every section of TOEFL and therefore, students should go through the list of TOEFL writing topics that are provided in the official website to improve their overall writing skills.

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