In my last post on this subject, I talked about using counter-arguments in TOEFL Independent Writing. As I said before, a counter-argument is an explanation of an argument the writer disagrees with. The writer will acknowledge a counter-argument to argue against it. This is done so that the writer can develop and explain his or her opinion more fully.
Counter-arguments can raise your TOEFL score, but they need to be well-written and properly placed in your essay. Below are links to sample essays. Each essay answers the following TOEFL Independent Writing Question:
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is more important for students to understand ideas and concepts than it is for them to learn facts. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
This question was taken from page 25 of Quick Prep Volume 4 from the official TOEFL website.
Now, check out several different ways this question can be answered, with differently placed counter arguments, or with no counter-argument at all.
- No counter-argument
- Counter-argument in introduction
- Counter-argument as first paragraph in the body of the essay
- Counter-argument in conclusion
- Counter argument as last paragraph in the body of the essay
These are the most common ways a counter argument can be structured and placed within a TOEFL essay. In general, if you use a counter-argument, you’ll want to put it near the beginning or near the end of your TOEFL Writing response. Read these examples carefully, and then start writing some counter-arguments of your own as you practice for the TOEFL.