Thursday, January 24, 2019

A possible format for the TOEFL independent essay

I was thinking that if you have to write an essay based on two choices, the following might be a good format to help you save time.

Write one or two reasons for the choice you are going to reject. Then state your choice with no reasons. The reasons will come in the next two paragraphs. 

So let's say the question is: There is a wilderness area with endangered species that can be developed economically to provide more food for a city's population. Should this area be preserved or turned into farm land? 

Personally, I would argue that the area should be preserved, but let's say you disagree with my point of view. Here is a possible intro and guide to writing an essay to support this type of argument.


Introduction: The preservation of endangered species is felt by some to be a moral imperative; it is asserted that we have no right to eliminate species from the face of the earth. It has also been asserted that the elimination of species can adversely affect ecosystems. Yet, when there is a conflict between preserving endangered species and developing land for economic reasons, I feel that wilderness areas should be sacrificed.

Reason 1: The human population continues to grow and we must provide for this growth. Explanation/example.

Reason 2: It is possible to preserve endangered species or relocate endangered species while pursuing economic development. Explanation/example.

Conclusion: In an ideal world we would be able to preserve wilderness areas and pursue economic development. At times, however, there is a conflict in regard to this issue. In this case, I would have to argue that the welfare of human beings trumps that of endangered species.


By the way, "to trump" is a verb and has nothing to do with the current president of the US. "to trump" something means to take precedence over something else, to be more important than something else. This verb has existed in the English language since the 1500s.

Here's a song that I like. It has nothing to do with the TOEFL. Please enjoy it.