TOEFL Independent Writing Tips for Success

If its your first time here, welcome! Today, we’re going to go over the scale in which you’re graded + the different tips and break down of each paragraph. This will be very useful for you, so keep this handy at all times to grade yourself!

TOEFL Independent Writing Tips for Success

These are general tips that will appear on all Independent writing questions.

TIP 1: FOLLOW A STANDARD TOEFL ESSAY STRUCTURE

Introductory ParagraphProvide background information about the essay topic. Here are a few techniques:

Begin with two sides of opinions on the essay topic Begin with the general public’s opinions Introduce a fact that raises a question about the essay topic Introduce a debate on the essay topic Mention the advantage or disadvantage of a subject as a way to contrast your main opinion on the subject.

2. Write a strong thesis statement
Body Paragraph A
Body Paragraph B
Body Paragraph C (Optional)
1. Include a transition word/phrase at the beginning
2. Write a topic sentence
3. Include supporting sentences

Conclusion Paragraph1. Include a restatement of the thesis statement you wrote in your introduction
2. Provide a brief summary of your main ideas

There’s no maximum length for your essay, but a good response is usually at least 300 words.

TIP 2: USE TRANSITION WORDS AND PHRASES

You need to use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas in your essay. You should have 2 transition words/phrases every 4-5 sentences.

Type of connectionTransition words
These words can help you show the order of ideas.First/Second/Third
Firstly (or “First of all”)/Secondly/Thirdly (or “Lastly”)
For one thing/For another thing/Finally (or “Lastly”)
In the first place/in the second place/Finally (or “Lastly”)


Instead of “First“, “First of all” and “Firstly“, we can use “To begin with”, “To start with”, or “For starters”. We can also use “First and foremost” to state that the first key point is the most important one among all key points. Likewise, instead of “Finally” and “Lastly“, we can use “Last but not least” to state that the final key point is just as important as the others, despite it being mentioned last.
These words can help you add informationIn addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what’s more, on top of that
These words can help you conclude or to summarize:To sum up, in summary, in conclusion, to conclude, all in all, all things considered, overall, taking everything into consideration, in a nutshell
These words can help you demonstrate contrastConversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words can help you compare or demonstrate similaritySimilarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words can help you state a result.As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words can help you state a generalization.Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words can help you clarify a point.That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words can help you give examples.For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words can help you state an alternative.Alternatively, as another possibility

TOEFL iTP | Listening Part C | Longman | Bookstore Conversation

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! And today is a TOEFL iTP special! I know many of you have been waiting, but also be sure to tune into my Patreon! I do lots of exclusive TOEFL iTP material over there, as well as you get two coaching hours per month to learn with me (and a discount for additional hours you may need). Nonetheless, let’s get into the listening Part C!

Podcast

Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | High Performance Habits | Prolific Quality Output

Often times, as business people, workers, or students in general, we find ourselves focusing on tasks that aren’t giving us meaning.  Instead of myself, focusing on podcasts and creating videos, I would focus on mundane tasks such as emails and meetings.  That doesn’t take me one step closer to reaching my goal. Some of you focus on producing non-essential quality rather than the prolific aspect of it. In today’s podcast, with prompts, questions and all, you’ll be focusing on what brings you the most return on investment.

(Patreon Early Access!)Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 2 | Mobile Phone Etiquette & How to Improve Yours

Proud supporter? Been following me for a while? Want exclusive audiocasts, videos and webinars? $5 a month gets you just that! Here is next Monday’s episode on Patreon (Early Access Badge). Tune in by hitting the link down below!

Often times we’re so caught up in our own lives that we forget about everyone else around us, even those who go out with us for a meal. This could be problematic because then you would lose relationships and not exactly sure why you had lost them, to begin with. In this episode, you’ll be taking a Mobile Phone quiz to see where your etiquette is and how to improve it.

Patreon

UDEMY Course Re-Launch Coming Soon! — Podia Platform!

It’s not failure; it’s feedback.

So, I entered UDEMY very enthusiastic about landing potential clients and students. Other than 3 purchases at the beginning of January, two from people I knew; and an additional student who sent me an email…..UDEMY was a FLOP.

Now, some people would say “wait, maybe it was your course?”

Well, I had 6k students! The problem is, if you offer something free, which the majority of UDEMY’s courses are, people will expect only FREE FREE FREE. UDEMY’s Marketplace is comprised of India and Arab countries — that’s not saying that this is a People-Without-Money-Market, but this is a “takers” market. Most of the people on UDEMY feel that everything should be free, at the marketplace is saturated with takers rather than people who are willing to pay. 6k students buy only three paid?

Not only that, but the comments from users in Arab nations, even giving two stars at times, was ignorant as hell. I know my courses aren’t even close to being 2-star. I’m open to feedback, but I’m not open to ignorance. One user said “you’re not funny. I skipped everything you had to say.” Again, ignorance on UDEMY is GRAND.

So, I pulled my courses and deleted my profile because I don’t need a marketplace…I AM the marketplace and I want 100% of my revenue on my own! Because my brand has finally reached significant heights, I can now market my courses on my podcast and have everyone go over to Podia!

With an all-in-one approach, I will slowly start putting my courses on Podia, as well as a variety of other courses that will help users learn-as-they-go.

So here’s the relaunch! I no longer need a marketplace — I AM THE MARKETPLACE!

TOEFL iTP | Listening Part C | Longman | Bookstore Conversation

(Early Access Podcast) – Available on UDEMY!

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! And today is a TOEFL iTP special! I know many of you have been waiting, but also be sure to tune into my Patreon! I do lots of exclusive TOEFL iTP material over there, as well as you get two coaching hours per month to learn with me (and a discount for additional hours you may need). Nonetheless, let’s get into the listening Part C!

Note: This is not the TOEFL iTP badge, only the early access badge. So this episode will be available to the public. TOEFL iTP audios/videos are exclusive to the badge. 😉

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 193 | Listening | Successful Teams & Conflict

I never looked at it from this perspective, but conflicts are actually sometimes good. You have to choose the right grounds though. You have five different types: compromise, collaboration, avoidance, competing and accommodating. In this podcast, you’re going to learn a lot about the stages of a conflict, as well as the different ways of compromising.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 192 | Critical Thinking | Making Counter Arguments and Concessions

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! In today’s podcast, we’re going to look into ways that are effective in terms of strengthening your own argument.

By including and dealing with opposing views in the form of counter-arguments, you anticipate objections, demonstrate you have considered the issues in-depth, and provide strong support for your own conclusions.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Exam Success | Episode 1 | Ann Succeeding In IELTS

Such an amazing talk with someone who I had just met a day before the exam. After reaching out to people in the group to try and be of service, I ended up coming across Ann, who was preparing to take her IELTS test in just a day’s time. She got her results within five days times, and to her astonishment, she achieved the band in her speaking. Well, to kick off this new series, I’m going to bring on people who have achieved success in different test preparation courses. Welcome to a new series!

Podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/165390/5294193

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 191 | Presentation Skills | How to Cope with Different Presentation/Lecture Styles

Many people, like me, enjoy different presentation styles — based on tonality, energy, story-telling, etc.  I have my favorites, and then there are presenters that put me to sleep. So, if you’re someone who not only has to listen to a presentation but also engage in meetings with foreigners who speak monotone….how can you cope? Well, that’s today’s discussion. Tune in!

  1. Think of two lecturers you have had during your academic/professional career. Describe the style and approach of each one in the comment section on this blog.
  • organization of material
  • speed of delivery
  • style of lecture
  • visuals and support material provided

If you regularly have the same lecturer, you will become familiar with the speed of delivery, the amount of support provided, and the organization of material. When the lecturer is new to you, be prepared with your notebook and audio recorded. Access all available support material, and listen for clues to the organization of the lecture in the opening to the lecture.

Listen to two parts of a lecture in the podcast down below. Identify which lecturer does each thing, Speaker A (Brett Wilson) or Speaker B (Sofia Lang).

  1. Provides pre-reading
  2. Starts with examples and then moves to general statements
  3. Encourages interaction
  4. Gives clear verbal signposts for the organization
  5. Speaks faster
  6. Relies on visuals for showing organization