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TOEFL Writing Practice

Whether you’re taking the TOEFL tomorrow, 3 months from now, or not even sure whether you want to take it at all, extra writing practice and feedback can never hurt you. Here’s your chance to get personalized writing advice from an experienced TOEFL teacher (i.e. me)!

In the next week or two, I will post a prompt. It may be serious like an actual TOEFL prompt, or it may be more lighthearted. Regardless of this, here’s your task: write a short (150-250 word) essay on the topic and submit it to the blog as a comment. When you comment on the blog, you always provide an e-mail address; this way, I will be able to send my feedback to you after I read your essay.

One or two essays will be chosen for in-depth commentary; I will post these essays, as well as my comments, on the blog. In a way, this will be like an extension of the “sample essays” and “rater comments” in the ETS Official Guide.

General guidelines for interactive TOEFL writing practice:

1. The essay(s) that will be critiqued online will be chosen one week after the prompt is posted. If you want your essay to be considered, please post it no later than 7 days after the prompt appears.

2. Observe principles of good composition. Even if the prompt is less serious, the process of writing is the same. To get the most use out of this experiment, avoid slang and improper constructions.

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3. Off-topic essays will not receive comments and will not be posted.

4. Feel free to submit multiple essays.

5. Please don’t submit a hundred essays.

6. Have fun! This isn’t school. Even though you’re preparing for a test, you can still enjoy yourself. Write about something that is fun for you.

7. Take risks.  This isn’t the real deal, and I’d much rather you experiment on me than actual test graders. The worst that can happen is that I say “No, that doesn’t really work.”  Try out new constructions. Experiment (within reasonable limits) with structure and form. Choose zany examples. Use this blog as your TOEFL writing practice laboratory!

Check back soon for the prompt; until then, I’ll be posting a lot more than usual about how to be an awesome writer.


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