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Types of Essays in TOEFL: Important Informations & Sample

Updated on 20 October, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

toefl essays

There are many types of essays in TOEFL that you should know more about. This section has two types of tasks, namely the independent writing task and the integrated writing task. The latter is about reading a short text and then listening to a lecture given on the topic at hand. The information in the same may help in explaining or supplementing the details given in the text. Aspirants can take notes in the interim. After which, they will have 20 minutes to write the essay with a word limit of 150-225 words.

The former is about writing an essay to express opinions, highlighting facts, or explaining any position. You will find several TOEFL integrated writing samples and TOEFL independent writing samples alongside.

Types of Essays in TOEFL

There are various kinds of TOEFL writing samples with answers you will find online. There are four kinds of essays. These may be categorized into essays for making/building arguments, disagreeing/agreeing on something, providing any explanation, or stating any preference. The essay type is dependent upon the question given to the candidate. The independent writing task will involve writing 300-350 words. 

Here are some essay styles worth considering (with questions)- 

Agree/Disagree Essays

Question- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The widespread usage of the internet has a positive impact on modern life. 

Question- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? When you are researching, it is always a better option to make use of articles and books, among other printed materials, than using internet resources. Use examples and reasons to back your answer. 

Multiple Choice Essays

Question- Neighbors are those living adjacent to us in the same neighborhood, building, or area. In your opinion, what is the best type of neighbor for anyone? 

  1. Someone who is non-fussy. 
  2. Someone who is friendly and supportive. 
  3. Someone who is similar to you in terms of lifestyle preferences and habits. 

Use instances and details to back up your answer. 

Question- Whenever you are confronted with any issue, what is the best approach to solving the same, in your opinion? 

  1. Taking advice from anybody experienced in solving issues. 
  2. Discovering details about the issue and gathering information. 
  3. Take some time to refresh, reset, and think about the issue at hand. 

Use instances and details to back up your answer. 

Paired Choice Essays

Question- Some pupils prefer classes that take place offline with face-to-face discussions between teachers and students. Others advocate online classes with limited discussions. Which one do you prefer? Use specific examples and reasons to back up your answer. 

Question- Some people prefer traveling solo to enjoy their freedom and leisure. Some choose to travel with others. Which do you prefer? Use examples and instances to support your answer. 

Good Idea Essays

Question- The institutional authorities are revamping their monetary resources and have chosen to change their priority list. The institution is now looking at spending more money on upgrading its sports facilities while limiting investments in libraries on campus. Do you think this is a good idea? State your position with examples and reasons. 

Question- Many people welcome shopping malls near their homes to access amenities easily. Some people oppose the construction of shopping malls in residential areas, talking about noise, traffic congestion, and environmental depletion. If such a shopping mall opened in your locality, would you support/oppose the same? Will it be a good idea? State your position with specific reasons and instances.


Recommended Reads:

Documents Required for TOEFL ExamTOEFL Exam Preparation
TOEFL RegistrationTOEFL Exam Eligibility
Pattern of TOEFL ExamTOEFL Exam Fee


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Sample Essay

Television and movies are huge influences on the behavioral patterns of people. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific examples and reasons to back up your answer. 


It is a universal fact that all entertainment is not only reflective of society but also has a direct impact on the same. In my opinion, I feel that television shows and movies greatly influence the behavioral patterns of people. There are two reasons for my line of thought, which I will delineate in the essay. 

First, I feel that television and movies create characters who are role models and inspirations for many people. With realistic and slice-of-life stories gaining prominence (as they rightfully should), characters are no longer larger-than-life but more relatable than before. Hence, their behavioral patterns are subconsciously imitated by a large chunk of the audience on account of them being role models. This may turn out positive or negative, depending upon the storyline. For instance, a movie depicting a heroic character that rises to the top by dint of sheer hard work and overcoming several obstacles may influence people to adopt a humble and soft-spoken outlook, as shown in the movie. This is a positive influence on behavioral habits. 

At the same time, suppose a movie or television show has a character playing a crusader with an abrasive style of speech and mannerisms. In this context, while the overall mission is good, these mannerisms will also influence people, leading to coarse speech and violence being naturalized throughout society. 

Second, television shows and movies are vicarious experiences for many of us. They display conclusions, objectives, actions, and happenings that many of us desire but cannot achieve. Hence, we are often inspired by characters and how they achieve their goals across the entertainment spectrum. This inspires and influences us directly, affecting our behavioral patterns accordingly. Again, this may be positive or negative, depending on the storyline or core message. 

To conclude, I reiterate my opinion that television and movies influence our behavioral patterns to a large extent. Channelizing it positively is possible through awareness and adequate storylines. These are things that culture czars should consider while outlining their future blueprints. 

(344 words)

Read More: TOEFL Writing Section || TOEFL Reading Section || TOEFL Speaking Section || TOEFL Listening Section

Frequently Asked Questions

How to score full in the TOEFL writing section?

You can score well in the TOEFL writing section by practicing essay-writing as much as possible. You should practice as many topics as possible. Ensure accurate grammar and spelling while taking notes smartly in the TOEFL Integrated Writing section. In the Independent Writing section, you should practice beforehand.

Can I include personal examples in my TOEFL essay?

You can always include personal examples, instances, and insights in your TOEFL essay, as long as it relates directly to the topic or helps you explain your position clearly. You can always use this smartly to add a new dimension to the essay.

Can I use the first person in TOEFL writing?

You can use the first person in your independent writing section. You can use this in the agree/disagree or good idea type of essays. You can use this style to state your opinion or express your position.

Can I use contractions in TOEFL writing?

You should try and avoid using contractions while writing your TOEFL essays. Contractions are sometimes common throughout spoken or oral English. However, you should bypass them while writing your TOEFL essay.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.