TOEFL Writing Topics with Answers | TOEFL iBT Independent Writing Task

TOEFL Writing Questions & Answers

The independent writing task in TOEFL iBT asks you to respond to a question or statement you see on the screen. Typically a good essay will be around 300-350 words. You have 30 minutes to complete this task.

TOEFL Writing TIP Many students can write a good essay answer in an hour - but 30 minutes is not very long, that's part of the challenge. Practice planning and writing your essay faster so you can still write a good essay in 30 minutes.

How to write a high scoring Independent TOEFL Essay

To maximize your score in the TOEFL Independent Essay question you need to be able to plan and write a good quality essay within the time limit of 30 minutes. To score well, make sure that your essay:
    ✓ answers the question given
    ✓ clearly states your point of view ,opinion or position
    ✓ is well-organized and direct
    ✓ has logically connected sentences
    ✓ includes examples and details which support your main idea
    ✓ expresses complete thoughts
    ✓ is easy to understand
    ✓ includes a variety of sentence types
    ✓ only has minor grammatical and idiomatic errors
    ✓ is in the range of 300-350 words long

Here is a collection of TOEFL essay questions and sample answers for the independent writing task in the TOEFL test.

TOEFL Essay Independent Writing Task 1

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A teacher's ability to relate well with students is more important than excellent knowledge of the subject being taught.
[TOEFL Essay Sample Answer]
Sample Answer
A teacher's role in society is an important one and reflects many aspects such as being a role model, a coach or counselor as well as an educator. Ideally, a teacher should have an in-depth knowledge and experience of the subject he/she is teaching as well as the interpersonal skills to deal with and motivate students to achieve their best.

While it is certain that there are some teachers who are more popular than others, it does not necessarily mean that they are 'better' teachers, simply that they are more popular with the students. This may be based on the age difference, common likes or simply the teacher's personality and ability to get along with students.

The ability to relate to students is critical as it can provide motivation and ancouragement and it is an essential part of the teaching process. While a student's individual progress may depend on many factors, some of them outside the teacher's control, it is still a teaching responsibility to identify problems, instill good study habits and do everything possible to show students how to be successful, not only in a particular subject, but as individuals.

Teaching should be considerd more of a coaching and mentoring process than simply imparting essential facts and information to students. However, while being able to relate to younger people might seem like a beneficial skill for a teacher, without the ability to integrate it with learning techniques and deepr knowledge of how the academic subject might apply in a wider life or world

context, the essential part of motivation, or capturing the imagination of students may never happen.

Personally, I believe that all teachers should strive to develop not only an excellent knowledge base in their subject but also the essential interpersonal and coaching skills to be able to make the best contribution in their chosen career.

TOEFL Essay Independent Writing Task 2

Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Which do you prefer?
[TOEFL Essay Sample Answer]
Sample Answer
When it comes to traveling, there are both advantages and disadvantages to having company on a trip. The duration of a trip, destination, mode of travel; by air, train, car or even bus, might influence whether or not someone would prefer to travel with another person or alone. Personally, I prefer to travel alone in most cases.

One of my main reasons for preferring to travel on my own is that I can simply do what I like, when I like and how I like. I have total freedom and do not need to take anyone else’s opinion or feelings into consideration. I have also found that traveling on my own also opens up more possibilities in terms of meeting other people.

When you travel with someone, assuming it is a good friend or someone you at least know well, it might stop you feeling lonely, it may be nice to have company to stop yourself becoming bored, or be enjoyable for a multitude of reasons. However, some of the most interesting encounters I have had while traveling have been because I was traveling unaccompanied and simply struck up a conversation with another traveler, or they may have started talking to me. While not all chance encounters while traveling are of the good kind, at least if you are on your own, it is a simple matter to avoid a person if they are bothering you or you do not really want to talk to them.

I like to think of traveling alone as adding another slightly more adventurous dimension to an otherwise predictable trip sometimes. On your own, you never know who you might meet (or not). It is easier to change your plans at any time, stay an extra night in a hotel, or get up early to go and see some of the sights before moving on. Really, anything is possible, and that is why, in general, I prefer to travel without a companion.

TOEFL Essay Independent Writing Task 3

It has recently been announced that a new restaurant may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan?
[TOEFL Essay Sample Answer]
Sample Answer
Whether to support or oppose such a proposal would depend on various factors related to the project. If there were more benefits for the neighborhood and local community than disadvantages then I would probably be in favor of it.

The type and size of restaurant would be important, whether or not it would be a fast food chain, a local business, franchise or possibly an up-market gourmet type of eating establishment would certainly influence my decision. A local business expanding and opening another restaurant would almost certainly be welcome while a national restaurant chain without any direct link to the community may not be so desirable.

If it were to generate more local jobs in the community or stimulate other local businesses through attracting visitors from outside the immediate vicinity, then I would probably also be in favor. Its exact location, parking facilities and hours of operation would also be important to consider, and if there would be any detrimental impact on the local environment.

Personally, I think the development of a neighborhood or community is important and if such a restaurant would add value or provide a service which does not exist at the moment then it could be seen as something positive.

Likewise if it made life more convenient for local residents, then it would probably be a positive addition to the area.

On the whole, I would support such a project as long as there was no obvious downside or harmful impact to the local environment or community and if the community would benefit from its presence, either through employment opportunities, increased services, or convenience.

TOEFL Essay Independent Writing Task 4

You have enough money to purchase either a house or a business. Which
would you choose to buy? Give specific reasons to explain your choice.
[TOEFL Essay Sample Answer]
Sample Answer
Given the choice between buying a house or a business I would probably choose to invest the money in a business. While there are benefits and drawbacks to both options, overall I feel that a business would offer the most potential for long term financial returns and may indeed in the future provide the means to buy a house.

While owning a house is a dream for many people, and would certainly entail less responsibility than becoming a business owner, once you have purchased the house it may or may not increase in value over the coming years. As an individual, there is little you can do to influence the value of the property. The equity, either positive or negative is based on market values and economic conditions of the day.

Much the same can be said of a business. Without good products or services, competent management and innovative marketing, a business might represent positive or negative equity also. A successful business would be akin to a house rising in value, in a sinmple analogy. However, with a business you are able to influence the outcome directly by your input, you have more control of its success or failure.

Based on historic evidence the growth of a successful business has far greater potential than the normal increase in the value of a house. The business therefore represents the possibility, if everything is managed and run well and there is demand for what it is offering, of much greater growth over a shorter period of time.

Personally, I do not mind taking risks, so I would prefer purchasing a business and then plan to grow it to the point where it provides sufficient finance to buy a house. This would, in effect, allow me to enjoy both options, of owning a business and also obtaining a house.

Some students prefer to study alone. Others prefer to study with a
group of students. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and
examples to support your answer.