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Independent Writing

You will be asked to state, explain and support your opinion about a topic and write a 300/350 word
essay in 30 minutes.

1) 1
st
Brainstorm/ Outline/Plan- write outline (5minutes)
A:
R1
R2
R3
2) Write (20 minutes)
3) Proof read (5 minutes)



Outline: write all the details.
should take about 5 minutes to write

Introduction
1, 2 sentences: Introduce the general idea
3
rd
or 4
th
sentence: answer the question directly,
give 2 or 3 reasons briefly in the same sentence.

Body
Paragraph 1- Reason 1 (a short sentence)
Explain, and give personal examples-either of you or a friend
give lots of details a

Paragraph 2- Reason 2 (a sentence)
Explain, give examples, descriptionand details

Conclusion
Summarize what you have said in other words.
Then give you personal opinion/philosophy.
Ask question at the end- that leaves the reader thinking/wondering
Tip:
Don't talk about any point you haven't mentioned in the body.
Just ask a question or give a conclusion of your own at the end about the subject.








Sample Outline
_____________________________________________________________________________
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The invention of the Internet has
had negative effects on your civilization. Use specific reasons and examples to support your
opinion.
______________________________________________________________________________

Introduction (- 3 sentences) (disagree)

It is naïve and short sided to say the internet has negative effects on civilization. I believe that it is
a valuable resource for its research, communication outlets and instant access, which are vital to
modern life.

Response to Questions-
1. Introduction to the topic with opinion
2. Relate it to our lives once
Set up- Set up (3 items)1, 2, 3- three main items/ideas that support main idea

Part 2- item 1- research
1) Explain- how/why internet is a powerful research tool
2) Personal example
3) 2/3 sentences of support

Part 3- Communication Outlets
1) social life
2) example facebook, myspace, chat, skype, etc
3) support sentences

Use transitional/linking word (Next, also, second, ) link part 1,2, and 3
While is vital for the academics, internet tools have deepened my social life.
Idea 1- explain
Idea/item 2- explain
Item 3- explain

Part 4- (the Bing)- Instant Access
1) How instant access is the key to success of the internet
2) Example of how in 1 second I can talk to somebody across the world (no geographic
barriers)
3) Support sentences

Part 5- Conclusion
1. Wrap up/ Conclude your ideas
2. In conclusion, no one can deny the value of the Internet in society for it brings
people together, gives access to a world of information at the touch of a mouse. Internet is
the most powerful resource of the XXI century. It is hard to imagine a future technology
that can surpass the importance of the internet.


Practise Independent Essay Exercise

1) Many students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home
countries. Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to
support your answer.



5 min) Introduction:
Ask a Question/Introduce topic, 1,2sentences___________________________________
Answer Question, give 2 or 3 reasons (5min)_________________________________________
In my opinion, In my view, I believe/think____________________________________________

10 min) P1: Write the 1
st
Reason/ topic (5 min)
Explain_______________________________________
For example (personal, or friend)____________________________________________
Give details______________________________________________________________
15 min) P2: Write the 2
nd
Reason/topic (5min)
Explain_________________________________________________________________
For example _____________________________________________________________
Describe details______________________________________________________________

20 min) P3: Write the 3rd Reason/topic (5min)
Explain_________________________________________________________________
For example _____________________________________________________________
Describe details______________________________________________________________

25 min) Conclusion (5min) Summarize again everything you said in different words.
To conclude, to sum up_____________________________________________________________
Give your opinion, thoughts, ask a question: leave the reader thinking.


30 min) Review: check spelling mistakes, etc (5 min)


Sample Independent Writing
Sample Response to TOEFL Essay
Many students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. Why do some
students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Pursuing higher studies abroad has become a popular choice for students from around the
globe. Each year, young people spend thousands of dollars to travel, live and study in universities,
colleges and schools overseas. In my view, this life-changing decision is based on the premise that
education is an investment in one’s future. My opinion is based on academic, professional and
personal reasons. In my opinion, the primary reason for studying abroad is academic. Students wish
to reap the benefits associated with attending a reputable educational institute. In addition, gaining
admission to prestigious college or university is often regarded as an achievement in itself. The
quality of the academic programs, the level of specialized instruction and the availability of
professional resources are all high. It is no wonder that students long to graduate from well-known
institutes.

From a professional viewpoint, graduating from foreign universities is often a gateway to a
successful career. The connection is direct and provides strong motivation for young people to
study abroad. The hope is that such graduates have an added advantage over their peers in a highly
competitive job market. In some cases, top students from prestigious universities land job offers
even before completing their studies. Furthermore, well-known corporations vie to attract the fresh
new talent, who will help achieve corporate profitability in the future.

From a personal angle, studying abroad enables young people to mature quickly and develop
independence. For instance, joining a foreign academic institution is often the first experience
students have of living away from parents, siblings and friends. In one’s home country, this strong
nexus provides support, assistance and guidance. However, while abroad, students must overcome
the initial homesickness and culture shock, conform to a different teaching style, adapt to unfamiliar
social and cultural expectations and develop proficiency in a new language. These challenging tasks
enable youngsters to emerge with greater maturity and self-confidence.

In conclusion, the desire to study abroad is based on several concrete benefits for students in
terms of the present and the future. This is why most students would gladly accept an opportunity to
go abroad and would work quite diligently to turn this opportunity into a resounding success.



Practice complete Independent Writing Questions.
Practise Makes Perfect!

Choose 5 Essay Questions from the List Provided. Plan and write. Time yourself.

Question 1)

You will be asked to state, explain and support your opinion about a topic and write a 300/350 word
essay in 30 minutes.

1) 1
st
Brainstorm/ Outline/Plan- write outline (5minutes)
A:
R1
R2
R3
2) Write (20 minutes)
3) Proofread (5 minutes)


Question 2)

You will be asked to state, explain and support your opinion about a topic and write a 300/350 word
essay in 30 minutes.

1) 1
st
Brainstorm/ Outline/Plan- write outline (5minutes)
A:
R1
R2
R3
2) Write (20 minutes)
3) Proofread (5 minutes)


Question 3)

You will be asked to state, explain and support your opinion about a topic and write a 300/350 word
essay in 30 minutes.

1) 1
st
Brainstorm/ Outline/Plan- write outline (5minutes)
A:
R1
R2
R3
2) Write (20 minutes)
3) Proofread (5 minutes)


Question 4)

You will be asked to state, explain and support your opinion about a topic and write a 300/350 word
essay in 30 minutes.

1) 1
st
Brainstorm/ Outline/Plan- write outline (5minutes)
A:
R1
R2
R3
2) Write (20 minutes)
3) Proofread (5 minutes)


Question 5)

You will be asked to state, explain and support your opinion about a topic and write a 300/350 word
essay in 30 minutes.

1) 1
st
Brainstorm/ Outline/Plan- write outline (5minutes)
A:
R1
R2
R3
2) Write (20 minutes)
3) Proofread (5 minutes)