The TOEFL Writing Section

It is the last task of the TOEFL examination. It tests the candidate’s ability to write essays in academic English. There will be two essays in this section and the candidates are expected to write both of them. The two tasks are the Independent writing task and the Integrated writing task. Independent Writing task: A general question will be given and the candidate will be asked to write an essay on that topic. The main purpose of this task is to assess the candidate’s ability to express their opinion on the topic with suitable examples to support their view. The essay should neither be too brief nor too lengthy. It should be suitably long, with 3-4 paragraphs and must be at least 300 words. The time for this task will be 30 minutes.

Integrated Writing task: In this question, the candidates must read a small paragraph and listen to a monologue or a dialogue related to the paragraph and answer a question that requires integrating both the paragraph and the audio. This essay will be based on some academics-related topic only, for example, about a new library building or some additional courses etc.
Here are a few tips to improve one’s writing skills:
Typewriting Practice: If you can type pretty fast on a computer keyboard, then typing in the essays will be a lot easier and time saving. It would help to take a month or so practice of typing on a keyboard or a type-writer.
Vocabulary building- the smart way: Make a mini wordlist everyday with new words and learn them. Use these words in speaking and writing practice so you’ll remember them easily.
Improving Grammar: Grammatical skills are very essential while writing essays. You don’t want to lose marks for incorrect sentence structures, verbs or patterns. Learn new words, grammar patterns as good grammar is always appreciated in an essay.
Read a few essays to learn the essay structure and remember it: You could use the structure in your test to score well. A well known structure is having an opening paragraph of 2-3 sentences, body of about 2-3 paragraphs with a total 10-12 sentences and one concluding passage with 3-4 sentences.
Organize your essay: Before beginning to write your essay, take 2 minutes to outline your essay. Brainstorm yourself for ideas and examples and note them, so you can use them later in your essay. This avoids re-writing and thinking during essay writing.
Use transition verbs: While writing the essay, when one has to switch between paragraphs and ideas, use transition verbs to do this effectively. Examples of the transition verbs are furthermore, for example, to sum up, firstly, secondly, finally, etc.
Make good use of your time: In the beginning of the section, you may feel that you’re behind your time schedule, but do not avoid the brainstorming section even then. As you keep writing, try finishing up quickly. First write one paragraph of the body, then the introduction and then the conclusion and continue filling up the rest.


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