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For many students preparing to take the TOEFL, the essay becomes almost insurmountable difficulty. But not so scary as it seems…
Step 1: Diagram
I always teach my students to write individual essays following a certain plan.
When my students write an essay, the first thing they make the scheme a future text. This scheme can be used for all similar tasks. Look at the picture below:
First the student writes on the top “main idea”. This is the answer to the question.
Under the “main idea” you need to write two “argument”, which we agree with “main idea”. They should not contain specifics, just the main points. However, they cannot be repeated and be the same.
Under each of the two arguments, students write two “explanations”. That’s the specifics. “Explanation” needed for the explanation of “arguments” and why these arguments even here. In addition, you can paste the examples from the author’s life, which he confirms his “arguments”. Parts should not contradict each other and disagree with the arguments that explain.
Here is an example of a schematic answer to the question: “What is the best gift for a child?”. This scheme amounted to one of my students. Look closely:
A student made the circuit using formula (not whole sentences). “The main idea” she: “the Best gift = pet”.
The arguments for such a gift: “it helps the development of the child” and “pet – a good friend.”
Explanation of the first argument are: “the child learns to be responsible and be able to study the life stages of a living being”. Explanation the second argument – “pet will love the child unconditionally” and “the kids are often alone.” Of course, these ideas then develop into something more. The student will write in detail about how children learn responsibility, caring for a pet, and how the permanent absence of parents leads to the loneliness of a child… but in the diagram we only see the initial idea.
Here you will read how you can turn such a scheme in the present essay. I will give simple examples. But remember that the students with high language level required to use more complex vocabulary and sentence structure.
Step 2: How to write introduction
I teach students how to divide an essay for TOEFL Independent Writing into four parts. Then it turns out enough volume of essays that, nevertheless, you can manage to write for the allotted test time. Students need advanced levels you can try to write an essay of five paragraphs.
Structure the essay in four paragraphs:
To write the introduction, my students use a sequential technique, where each sentence carries a specific function. Here’s how it looks:
First sentence: “Zavlekalochka”. The proposal does not contain the main ideas of the essay, but support an interesting idea. It is necessary to recall the question and “draw” the reader into the essay.
A second proposal. The main idea. It is necessary to Express clear, correct sentence. It should not be too long. Brevity – sister of talent!
Third sentence: Transition. Something like: “I think so, because of that, and that’s why”.
Fourth sentence: Sums up your first argument. Start with “first, …”.
Fifth sentence: Sums up your second argument. Start with “second, …”.
The sixth sentence: the summary conclusion confirming the main idea.
“Children can give many wonderful gifts. But I believe that the best gift for a child – a pet. I think so for two reasons. First, a pet helps the child’s development. Secondly, a pet is your baby good friend. So I think that the best gift for a child – a pet”.
Step 3: How to write the main text
Here you will have the opportunity to show how well you have mastered the written language. For this part of the essay, I do not give specific schemes.
But there are basic rules. Here they are:
1. For each argument, make a separate paragraph. Do not connect different arguments in a single paragraph.
2. Start the first paragraph with a transitional word or phrase. For example: “first, …”, “First of all, …”. The second paragraph is convenient to begin with “second, …”.
3. At the beginning of each paragraph of the main text give a clear argument. Do not write “enticing” offers – keep it short. Then describe the explanations one after the other, each select three to four suggestions. There can, for example, to cite examples from your own life. I would even say necessary.
“First of all, a pet contributes to the development of the child. When a child has a pet, it teaches them responsibility. A pet needs to be fed every day, to walk, to play with him. In addition, the need to monitor the health of your pet and heal him if he gets sick. This responsibility will help the child to grow up. Moreover, the example of the pet, the child can observe the development of a living organism. Animals grow much faster than people, so the children can observe how they grow their favorite. For example, when I wasa little girl, I was hand-Gecko. I was very interested to see how he was at first tiny and then grew large. That is why I love biology and science of nature”.
Note that the above paragraph is made almost entirely in my circuit. Voiced here the argument, which is then explained. Explanation here is also quite a lot.
The second paragraph of the main text is written in a similar way:
“Secondly, I believe that a pet is a wonderful friend. Well, when I have a friend who will love it, come what may. Even if your child has problems at school, or he had a fight with friends, with a pet he will never quarrel. The animal will love the child just like that. Moreover, a child has a pet, he is never alone. Moreover, nowadays parents are often too busy to communicate with children. So children are often left home alone. Because of this, the child may feel lonely. But if you have a pet, this will not happen”.
That’s the whole main body of the essay. Note the use of transitional words (“furthermore” and “moreover”) between the explanations in each paragraph.
Step 4: How to write a conclusion
I believe that closing paragraphs not necessary – mainly because essay Independent Writing generally short. So my technique for the conclusion is based on three proposals:
First sentence: Remind the main idea. Start with turnover like: “so, …”.
Second proposal: Recall both of its arguments, starting with the transitional phrase, e.g. “that’s true, because…”.
Third sentence: Again, take your main idea, but this time, rephrase it.
Here is the conclusion to our essay:
“Now, I believe that the best gift for a child – a pet. It’s true, because animals help children to develop, and because they are good friends. There is no better gift for children than a house pet”.
That’s all our essays. It is easy, right?