Is It Better to Agree or Disagree on the Independent Writing Task?

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Do you know how to structure and write an essay in which you must agree or disagree with a given topic? If you have ever taken a TOEFL exam, it is highly likely you encountered an agree/disagree question topic on the independent task of the writing section. The category of question “agree/disagree” on the writing section is the most common type of question which will arise on the exam day. It does not matter whether you agree or disagree on this writing task. The key is to choose one quickly and develop your reasons and examples on topic. Select whichever is easiest for you to give concrete details. Knowing a potential list of agree/disagree topics will make your life a whole lot easier when you come across one of these questions. Look over the topics in the list below, and you can begin to prepare yourself to respond with your opinion in an essay.

  • Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

63 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinions.

64 “When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success.” Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

65 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should give the same amount of money to their students’ sports activities as they give to their university libraries. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

66 It is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a big city. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay.

67 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People should sometimes do things that they do not enjoy doing. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

68 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to personal lives of famous people such as public figures and celebrities. Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.

69 Businesses should hire employees for their entire lives. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

70 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Attending a live performance (for example, a play, concert, or sport event) is more enjoyable than watching the same event on television. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

71 Do you agree or disagree that progress is always good? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

72 Learning about the past has no value for those of us living in the present. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

73 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the help of technology, students nowadays can learn more information and learn it more quickly.   Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

74 The expression “Never, never give up” means keep trying and never stop working for your goals. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

75 Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

76 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication, such as letters, e-mail, or telephone calls. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

77 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The most important aspect of a job is the money a person earns. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

78 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? One should never judge a person by external appearances.  Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

79 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A person should never make an important decision alone. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

80 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Businesses should do anything they can to make a profit. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

81 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Games are as important for children as they are for adults. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answers.

82 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents or other adult relatives should make important decisions for their older (15-18 year old) teenaged children. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

83 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Most experiences in our lives that seemed difficult at the time become valuable lessons for the future. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

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

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

86 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The best way to travel is in a group led by a tour guide. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

87 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should begin studying a foreign language as soon as they start school. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

88 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Boys and girls should attend separate schools. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

89 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Technology has made the world a better place to live. Use specific reasons and examples to support your statement.

90 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Advertising can tell you a lot about a country. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

91 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Modern technology is creating a single world culture. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

92 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Telephone and e-mail have made communications between people less personal. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

93 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Dancing plays an important role in a culture.  Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

94 Some people think governments should spend as much money as possible exploring outer space (for example, traveling to the moon and other planets). Other people disagree and think governments should spend this money for our basic needs on earth. Which of these two opinions do you agree with?  Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

95 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Teachers should be paid according to how much their students learn. Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

96 Schools should ask students to evaluate their teachers. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

97 Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age and should spend most of their time on their school studies. Others believe that young children should spend most of their time playing. Compare these two views. Which view do you agree with? Why? (Discuss BOTH.)

98 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People behave differently when they wear different clothes. Do you agree that different clothes influence the way people behave? Use specific examples to support your answer.

99 Decisions can be made quickly, or they can be made after careful thought. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The decisions that people make quickly are always wrong. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

100 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People are never satisfied with what they have; they always want something more or something different. Use specific reasons to support your answer.

101 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People should read only those books that are about real events, real people, and established facts. Use specific examples and details to support your opinion.

102 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is more important for students to study history and literature than it is for them to study science and mathematics. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

103 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? All students should be required to study art and music in secondary school. Use specific reasons to support your answer.

104 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? There is nothing young people can teach older people. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

105 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Reading fiction (such as novels and short stories) is more enjoyable than watching movies. Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

106 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Only people who earn a lot of money are successful. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

107 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A person’s childhood years (the time from birth to twelve years of age) are the most important years of a person’s life. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

108 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should be required to help with household tasks as soon as they are able to do so. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

109 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Playing a game is fun only when you win. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

110 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? High schools should allow students to study the courses that students want to study. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

111 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is better to be a member of a group than the leader of a group. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

112 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Playing games teaches us about life. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

113 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Watching television is bad for children. Use specific details and examples to support your answer.

114 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A zoo has no useful purpose. Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.

115 It is sometimes said that borrowing money from a friend can harm or damage the friendship. Do you agree? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.

116 Many people say that the internet is the most important invention ever. Do you agree or disagree with this and if not, what do you believe to be more important? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

117 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People pay too much attention to the less important things in life and fail to see the larger issues. Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.

118 A job should mean a job for life. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

119 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the help of technology, life is easier today than in the past.   Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

120 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A problem shared is a problem solved. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

198 Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  All university students should take basic science courses even if science is not a major field for them.

199 Do you agree or disagree with following statement? The most important characteristic of a leader and a politician is a good communication skill.

200 Do you agree or disagree that face-to-face communication is more effective to produce better work than e-mail communication?

201 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the rules that societies require young people to follow and obey are too strict? OR Today, young people are expected to follow or obey rules that are too strict. Do you agree or disagree?

202 Do you agree or disagree movies and televisions have more negative effects than positive effects on young people?

203 Do you agree or disagree? Some people think that to go on field trips (such as a museum) is an important part of an education for a child. Others think that a child should spend time on classwork at school.

204 Providing internet access to people is as important as services such as building roads, so the government should provide internet access to all citizens at no cost. Do you agree or disagree?

205 Do you agree or disagree with using security cameras in public space in daily activities in the city/country to protect public safety?

206 Do you agree or disagree that using a lot of time to decide is a good quality for a person to have?

207 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? One of the best ways that parents can help their teenage children prepare for adult life is to encourage them to take a part-time job. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

208 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Young people nowadays do not give enough time to helping their communities.

209 Do you agree or disagree with starting classes at school earlier than normal time?

210 Do you agree or disagree with following statement? People will spend less time for cooking and preparing meals in twenty years than they do today.

211 Do you agree or disagree with the idea? Providing the Internet access to people is as important as services such as building roads, so the government should provide the Internet access to all the citizens at no cost.

212 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? In today’s world it is more important to work quickly and risk making mistakes than to work slowly and make sure that everything is correct.

216 Agree or disagree? It is important for children in some way to take care of a pet animal.

217 Do you agree or disagree? Kids should be given a chance to do whatever they want to, like study and music, rather than adults force them to do school homework and organizational events like sports.

  • Do you agree or disagree? Kids should be given a chance to do whatever they want to, like study and music, rather than adults force them to do school homework and organizational events like sports.

If you like this blog, you will find Make an Argument Essay informative.

Transitions and Structure Create a Smooth Flowing TOEFL Essay

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One of the essential keys to a well-written essay is integrating transitions into your essay, whether that be the integrated task or the independent task on the writing section of the TOEFL exam. Transitions and transitional phrases are words or groups of words that connect ideas between or within sentences. When you write a paragraph, you should present ideas that flow; consequently, connector words or phrases are useful to make the paragraph cohesive. By inserting smooth connections, ideas can relate more logically so that no gaps exist. If you are able to connect your thoughts in a manner which leads the reader through your essay, you will effectively paint a clearer argument. For this reason, though you may already have presented a strong argument and supporting details, your opinion, reasons, examples and support need to also connect with transitions in order to make your persuasion seem stronger to any reader. Proper selection of transitions makes your written passage much more enticing to read

Moreover, you will need to decide which transition word or phrase to use in a particular spot in your writing. So, examine your essay overall. Look at the organization. When you give ideas that build on one another in the same way, use ‘like meaning’ transitions. If you have presented ideas which are opposing, then you would insert transitional phrases that are contrasting meaning. Sequential words also help to delineate the organization of time in paragraphs and keep sentences in clear order.

Sample transitions

SEQUENTIAL WORDS–First, at first, initially, first of all, in the first place, second, secondly, in addition, as well, next, later, after that, now, recently, at the same time,

EXAMPLE WORDS: for instance, for example, to illustrate, to exemplify, to demonstrate, to show,

EMPHASIS WORDS–in particular, specifically, even, especially, in fact, no doubt, doubtless

LIKE WORDS–similarly, like, as, likewise, in the same way, in addition, plus

CONTRAST WORDS—but, yet, however, nevertheless, yet, still, on the other hand, despite, although, though, even though, while, whereas

CONCLUSION WORDS–In conclusion, in summary, lastly, consequently, finally, hence, therefore, thus

Sentences example without a transition and with transitions

  • I built a house. It was one story. [no transition]
  • For instance, I built a house; initially, it was one story. [two transitions for smooth flowing logic]

Not only are transitions vital to your writing on the TOEFL, but also a solid structure makes your essay more convincing to the reader. The structure of an essay commences with an introduction, an initial paragraph which starts off with catching the attention of the reader with a lead-on on the topic. For instance, you begin with a general statement or question on the topic to entice a reader. The introduction moves from general to more specific: at the end of the introductory paragraph, in the last sentence, you state your thesis statement. A thesis is the main idea of your essay. Whatever main purpose you have (your argument,) you would mention that viewpoint to control the thesis and add your reasons why.

To follow the introduction, you would have a body of a few paragraphs which explain the support of your reasons why. In this way, your reasons each have concrete examples and details, which become more and more detailed to make a convincing argument. Each body paragraph follows a similar structure. You begin with a transition to refer back to the previous paragraph or move forward to a new idea. Thus, your writing will not jump from one idea to the next without logical reasoning. The first topic sentence of each body paragraph contains a controlling idea and one reason, which refers back to one reason stated in the thesis in the introduction. After proposing your reason, you give an example or evidence to support the topic. Following an example, you can include numerous details, which become more concrete as you move through the body paragraph. Those ideas support the argument, reason and example. If you wish to conclude the body paragraph, you may want to rephrase the topic sentence in other words to emphasize the point you are making.

The final part of the structure of an essay is to restate your thesis and express why that is important. In that concluding paragraph, you would start with an ending transition such as “In conclusion,” or “In summary,” or “To sum up.” One of those transitions smooths your writing so that moving from the body to the conclusion is not jumpy. To follow would be a short summary of your opinion and the reasons paraphrased with new word choice. Your concluding line should end strong. It would be a recommendation or suggestion on topic or a universal call to action. Be sure not to introduce new ideas in the conclusion or that would weaken the ending.

Of course, by using both the proper transitions in the correct location within your writing and by organizing your essay structure according to the standard set above, you can impact the reader positively. He/she will be able to readily comprehend your argumentative viewpoint and capture supporting points clearly to give you a better TOEFL writing score.

If you liked this post, try reading the article Writing a TOEFL Independent Essay with a Story as an Example.