TOEFL ESSAY RATING SCALE 6 An essay at this level - effectively addresses the writing task - is well organized and well developed - uses clearly appropriate details to support a thesis or illustrate ideas - displays consistent facility in the use of language - demonstrates syntactic variety and appropriate word choice 5 An essay at this level - may address some parts of the task more effectively than others - is generally well organized and developed - uses details to support a thesis or illustrate an idea - displays facility in use of the language - demonstrates some syntactic variety and range of vocabulary An essay at this level - addresses the writing task adequately but may slight parts of the task - is adequately organized and developed - use some details to support a thesis or illustrate an idea - demonstrate adequate but possibly inconsistent facility with syntax and usage - may contain some errors that occasionally obscure meaning CHECKING Content Is there a thesis statement or introduction? Is there a topic sentence for each paragraph? Are there supporting details for each topic statement? Is there conclusion? Clarity Are there run-on sentences or sentence fragments? Are there misplaced modifiers or dangling modifiers?
Are the structures parallel? Are there transition words? Are the sentences and paragraphs cohesive? Punctuation and spelling Are the paragraphs indented? Are there punctuation marks such as periods at the end of each sentence? Do all sentences begin with capital letters? Are all words spelled correctly? General Writing Improvements Strategies 1. Writing is skill like playing tennis.
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To improve your writing, pay attention when you read. Notice how the author of your book organizes thoughts and expresses ideas. 4. Buy a notebook to record your thoughts and your writing. Don’t use this notebook for anything but writing practice. This notebook will be your private classroom. 5. Keep a journal. Record the events of a day. Tell what happened. Record what you think 6. When events happen, take notes. Later in the day reread your notes and turn them into sentences. Turn the sentences into paragraphs. 7. Write every day. Give yourself a gift of time.
Spend five minutes a day writing, and do it faithfully everyday. Once a week, assign yourself a topic and write an essay in thirty minutes. 8. Go back over your writing frequently. The more you write, the better writer you will become. You may think of a better, or a different, way of expressing a thought. Use the blank page to experiment with different ways of expressing the same idea. 9. When you rewrite, imagine you are writing for a different audience. The first time you wrote for yourself. How would you change your writing if your friends were to read. Your teacher? Your mother? A stranger?
Types of Essays There four essay types on the Computer-based TOEFL: |Agreeing or disagreeing |33% | |Stating a preference |34% | |Giving an explanation |22% | |Making an argument |11% |
Identify the task If… How… In your opinion … If you could change (something) what would you change? What is the best way to (do something)? What should be the main focus? Which of the following should you do? Which of the following is most important to you? What would you give to help someone? How would you do something? How would you do something/choose between two things? How will (something) affect (something else)? Describe … Explain … What do you consider most important: (list)? What have you learned by (doing something)? Why do you think (something happens)?
What are the qualities of (something)? Choose an event and tell why you enjoyed it. How ha (something) changed? Why is (something) important? How does (something) effect (something else)? How is (something) different? Some do this; others do that. Some say this; others say that. Which opinion do you agree with? In your opinion which is better? Which would you prefer? Would you prefer to…? Compare the advantages and disadvantages. Which is best for you? Compare these attitudes. How is (something) different from (another thing)? Stating your opinion Set phrases In my opinion
According to me To my way of thinking In my view To me From my point of view It is my opinion that I believe I think It seems to me that It appears that To my mind In my opinion, university students must attend classes. According to me, one must change with the times. To me, there is nothing more important than good health. It is my opinion that one learns by example. It seems to me that a good neighbor is one who respects your privacy. It appears that all the information one needs is available on computer. Verbs Agree Believe Guess Hope Imagine Infer Realize Suppose Think Understand
All in all All things considered Altogether As a rule Basically By and large Essentially For the most part Generally In general On the whole Overall All in all, it is better to learn from a teacher than on your own. As a rule, it is better for students to wear uniform to school. For the most part, countries are more alike than different. On the whole, higher education should be available for all. Adverbials Seemingly Conceivably Possibly Perhaps Maybe Probably Presumably Certainly Almost Doubtless No doubt Definitely Daily exercise definitely should be a part of every school day.
Doubtless, helping a child to learn to read is important. Seemingly, playing games can teach us about life
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