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             20 March, 2023

Category:  Articles » Writing & Speaking » Writing


Show Me The Method To Decoding The TOEFL IBT Writing Task?

         Views: 1646
2012-02-16 01:38:07     
Article by Jesse Robinson

Before beginning the TOEFL iBT Writing Task, You'd Better Read This!
Before you begin the TOEFL Writing Exam, it is important to read the question very carefully. You should know what the writing task is. To illustrate the importance of this, consider the following situation: Your wife tells you to remove a food stain from the carpet. She asks you to use a special product called "Stain Be Gone." You venture into the laundry room and instead of getting "Stain Be Gone", you get another chemical called "Clorox," a type of bleach. You start to clean the carpet with the chemical and what happens? The brown carpet turns an awful color shade of yellow! Even though you had good intentions and you worked diligently to clean the carpet, you did not get the results you or your wife expected because you used a different chemical; consequently, you ruined the carpet.

It is the same with TOEFL iBT writing. If you fail to follow the instructions the prompt gives you, it does not matter how hard you work, the end result will not be what the grader expected. As a result, you will not get the score you deserve. Think about the following three writing prompts:
1. Many people in the world say that it is ideal to be loyal and to work for one company during one's life. However, there are other people who take the opposite view and say it is better to change jobs frequently in one's life. Discuss these two positions by using specific examples of both situations. Afterwords, tell which position you agree with and explain why you agree.
2. Students should be required to take general education classes in a university, in addition to specialized classes in their major. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give specific examples to support your position.
3. The automobile and the airplane are important inventions of the 20th century. Both of these inventions have had an important effect on our lives. Choose another invention that you think is important. Give specific reasons for your choice.

Can you say that these three prompts look the same to you? Do they have the same requirements or different? If you answered different, you are well on your way to being able to craft a successful essay.
The first prompt may be broken into four different tasks: The essay asks you to discuss both positions, which signifies (1) you must write a little bit about why some people say that it is best to be loyal to work for one company during one's life; (2) you must write a little bit about why others say it is better to change jobs frequently in one's life; (3) you need to tell which of the positions you agree with; and (4) you should defend why (i.e., give reasons). It is best to remain neutral until near the end, you do not state your opinion first in this type of writing style.

The second prompt can be broken into two argumentative tasks- (1) that of choosing whether you agree or disagree with the statement: "In addition to their specialized classes in their major, students should also be required to take general education classes in a university." (2) You should also give reasons to support your opinion. Stating your argument in the introduction in this type of essay, you assert which view you support. Then in the remainder of the essay, you defend why you support that view.

During the third writing prompt, yet another style of argumentative essay is introduced, the task is straight forward- (1) that of using another invention that you believe is important. (2) You have to give specific reasons for your choice. The word "another" means something other than the automobile or the airplane. Consequently, if you begin to write about the airplane or the automobile, you will be penalized for not following the instructions provided for this writing prompt.

The concept is simple: think before you write. Make sure you understand what the writing task is.

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