TOEFL Essay Topics

TOEFL Writing Section

Writing is a very important aspect of the English language. In TOEFL, your writing skills will also be assessed. Basically, it is administered in two different formats. One is the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) and the other is the TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT). In each of the test formats, there is a Writing section. The Writing section of the iBT consists of two writing tasks. For each of the tasks, you are expected to present an essay. The writing section of the PBT is called the Test of Written English (TWE).

In the iBT test format, you are allotted 25 minutes for each writing task. In the PBT format, you are allotted a total time of 30 minutes for the essay. You have to frame your essay, develop good content and then review it within the allotted time itself. For this, you will have to be fast and proficient in writing. It all depends upon your practice. Writing a good essay can only be possible with rigorous practice.

How Are Your Skills Assessed?

On the whole, your writing skills are purely assessed based upon your essay responses for the given questions. For the iBT format, you must present essays based upon the given reading and listening tasks by typing into the computer. For the PBT version, you have to frame an essay in response to the given task and present it in manual writing. So, you can imagine the dimension of skill-set testing. Often, essay writing largely depends upon the topics. Similarly, based upon the essay topics that you will be given, a large number of your skills will be assessed by the evaluators.

Merely writing an essay following all the basic rules is not just sufficient. Your essays must be in coherence with the given essay prompts. The topics are general in nature and reflect public opinions, topics of general interest etc. They might ask you to either support an idea or contradict it. They may ask you to list out features of any particular aspect from your point of view. Irrespective of what you are asked, you must present your opinions by supporting them with relevant examples. Merely expressing your idea or opinion isn’t sufficient. You must explain why you prefer it and present the reasons that made you consider any particular point of view. So, you must practice a lot by learning from various essay prompts that you will find online.

How Should You Deal With the Writing Section?

The key to success in the writing section is practice. You must practice not only writing an essay but also developing ideas that can genuinely be reasoned with relevant examples. Remember that you are just given 25 minutes for a task in the iBT format. In that short time interval, you must frame ideas on the given task, develop content with negligible errors and present it in an impressive way. Refer to as many essays as you can during your preparation period. Since you go extempore in the exam, you must be quick yet complete and impressive. ETS has published a document that contains some sample topics which you must go through for sure. Presented below are some from the said document for your reference.

Topic 1

Should a city try to preserve its old, historic buildings or destroy them and replace them with modern buildings? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

The given topic expects you to present your opinion in regards to the replacement of historic buildings with modern buildings. Some might prefer retention of historic buildings because they speak of the city’s enduring heritage and they are construction masterpieces while others think that replacing old buildings with modern buildings would improve the overall efficiency in terms of electricity usage and capacity. Either way, you must provide examples that can support your point of view.

Topic 2

Many teachers assign homework to students every day. Do you think that daily homework is necessary for students? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

If you feel that daily homework is necessary, then make sure that you give out relevant examples. You have to remember one important point here. Do not state an example concerning homework that was a situational incidence in your personal life. Make up general examples.

Topic 3

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Telephones and email have made communication between people less personal. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

This topic is a bit different from the ones listed above. Here, you are given a statement that you can accept or contradict. Either way, you must provide examples that convincingly explain your point of view.

Topic 4

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Grades (marks) encourage students to learn. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

This is another topic similar to the one given above. Here, you must provide suitable and relevant examples for supporting your opinion in relation to the given topic.

Topic 5

Is it more important to be able to work with a group of people on a team or to work independently? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

This topic is in contrast to the previous one. Here, you will have to answer the given question by either supporting team work or independent work. Needless to say, you have to support your point of view with relevant examples.