Last time, I showed you how to use “if” statements in an example TOEFL Independent Writing Task. Today, I’ll give you a full model answer.
Here again is the sample TOEFL Writing Task 2 question from my previous post:
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The Internet causes people to interact with each other less than they did in the past. Use specific reasons to support your answers.
And now, here is an example response that uses “if” statements (with the word if in bold). In this model answer, I’ve chosen to agree with the statement in the task prompt.
TOEFL Integrated Writing Model Answer
Internet technology has revolutionized the way we live. Now, more than ever, we have so much information and media at our fingertips. The ability to look up any information, watch any TV show, or listen to any music from the comfort of our own homes actually has some disadvantages. I agree with the idea that the Internet is causing people to be less social.
One of the reasons the Internet causes us to interact with others less is that it makes many public gathering places obsolete. Libraries used to be popular places for community events. But if people in a community can find entire books online in PDF, they won’t interact with each other at libraries as much anymore. Schools and workplaces are moving onto the Internet too. More and more, people get online degrees or use their Internet connections to work from home. If people take this Internet route to work and school, they miss out on the friendship and human interaction they’d normally get in class or at their jobs.
Some could argue that the Internet allows people to meet and interact electronically. But this is still less social than non-Internet meetings. If people stay at home and use the Internet to try to find a date for instance, they no longer look for love in truly social environments, like coffee shop or public park. Also, if most of your interactions with your friends are online, you don’t get to hear your friends’ voices or see their faces nearly as often.
Ultimately, the Internet leads people to isolate themselves from others, staying at home instead of going out. Moreover, human interaction on the Internet is not as personal as face-to-face meetings between people. The Internet has some benefits, but it really does cause us to be less social.
Often, taking a side on a TOEFL Integrated Writing issue is all about demonstrating cause and effect. You want to show the problems–or good things–that are caused by some kind of behavior or some social force. In the essay above, I described bad social effects that all have the same cause: the Internet.
I used “if” statements frequently in my writing, but in the conclusion, I summarized all my ifs in a different way. Instead of using an “if…then” structure, I described cause and effect by saying “the Internet leads people to isolate themselves from others.” This is an if statement without the if; it means the same thing as “if people use the Internet, they will isolate themselves from others.”
As you practice using cause and effect statements in your TOEFL Independent Writing, you should think of ways to show cause and effect both with and without if. Grammatical variety will make your ideas more interesting, and it’ll boost your TOEFL score. “If” clauses are one of the easiest grammar forms to use in cause and effect. So you could use “if” as a starting point for creating cause/effect statements in English. Then paraphrase some of your if statements so that you describe cause and effect in a variety of ways.
In my next post on this subject, I’ll show you a re-written version of the essay above. All the cause and effect relationships will still be there, but the grammar will be more varied.