Superior Essays Contain Examples

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Examples are vital to creating a superior essay on the second task, the independent essay, in the TOEFL writing section. To create strong writing, you need to insert quality content with solid reasons on the topic and clear examples. Each example may be different since the topics are varied. Use a particular example from one of these below depending on which question you encounter on the exam day. Here are some samples of what types of examples you may integrate into your body paragraphs to give stronger support to your argument.

Your own experience

The majority of independent essay arguments can come from your own experience since your viewpoint is something you can grasp readily when you are in a time crunch. For example, you may consider referring to your family, friend, neighbor, classmate, boss, peer, or elder. If you have an independent (task #2) question that asks about family, community, children, school, education, work, career, or life, you can easily draw from your own experience to respond to the question and stay on topic. It saves time in planning your argument, and it makes your development more personalized with your experience. For structure in your example, keep the same main subject throughout a body paragraph for consistency.

Sample preference question

  • Some people prefer to live in places that have the same weather or climate all year long. Others like to live in areas where the weather changes several times a year. Which do you prefer?

Subject knowledge

Of course, you will not need any previous expertise on the subject to answer an independent question on the TOEFL. However, if you know something about the topic that is listed in the question, they you can use your subject knowledge to help you develop your argument. If you have a question related to social issues or politics, for example, it is useful to use subject knowledge for those types of questions.

Sample agree/disagree question

  • Agree or disagree? Technology has made the world a better place to live.

Someone famous or a global situation

Aside from using your personal experience or knowledge, you can use a global example. For instance, consider what renowned person you could write about as an example. Some questions may be a topic about time, about history, or about a country.

Sample independent questions:

  • If you could go back to some time and place in the past, when and where would you go? Why?
  • If you were asked to send one thing representing your country to an international exhibition, what would you choose? Why?

When giving evidence in the body to substantiate your claim, it is quick and helpful to illustrate an example from your own experience or knowledge, or from a well-known person or situation. Using those types of examples is effective in the body paragraphs, depending on which topic the question asks you.

If you liked this post, try reading the article: The TOEFL Independent Task Five-Paragraph Essay Structure.

Identify causes of anxiety to deal with test stress

In order to deal with anxiety on any exam, in particular a TOEFL test, first think about whether your stress is a “truth” or a “lie.” If, for instance, you have not studied for the test, the fear may be a truth. However, if in your head you are feeling worried and your nerves are tense since you do not feel ready or prepared even though you studied a preparation course or prepared in advance, this kind of stress anxiousness is a lie and not logical, but emotional. Focus on reducing your worried thoughts by telling yourself positive self-talk such as “I’m succeeding on the exam. I am ready. I will do the best I can since I studied. When you have managed your time to prepare yourself well beforehand, carefully let go of the emotional lies that fill your mind, and replace those with a truth of confidence before entering the exam.

Anxiousness before a test is when a student thinks about the test before the day of the test; this kind of anxiety is a worry of anticipation. Other students lose their nerves (possibly for good cause) during the actual exam, and that is known as situation stress. Whether the test anxiety comes before or during the test, it can be attributed to either organizational, mental, or behavioral habits.  First, there are students who do not know how to effectively be organized and use time wisely or study in an orderly fashion, so they do not develop their confidence of organizing their study. Next, some students may not have confidence if mentally they are blocked. Let’s say they failed other tests in the past or they had poor test-taking experiences previously, it will affect their way of thinking. They may have a great fear of failing. They may also have negative chatter in their head, which is a voice telling them they will not succeed. It will cause them to worry about the exam process, questions, and results, and it will bring an immensely strong pressure to worry about performing on a test. Lastly, there are other students who do not study enough in advance because they are busy with other things; perhaps they lack of materials or procrastinate, or they form poor study groups, have non-motivational friends, lack sleep, or lack proper food nutrition for the brain. All of these can affect behavior. Once you know where your anxiety comes from—either from poor organization, poor mental strength, or poor behavior— then you can begin to tackle how to reduce your worry before and during an exam.