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Structuring essays for TOEFL and IELTS -01- Introduction paragraph

Vakax 2 / 50  
Apr 7, 2010   #1
Hey people

As I read and try to provide positive criticism to essays here, I see that most of the essays that have the potential of being great are reduced to being just ok due flaws in the overall structuring of the ideas.So, I thought I'd provide you guys with a few general guidelines building on what other moderators and contributors have said.


Everyone on TOEFL and IELTS checking panel knows that what you write on the test is only the first draft and so its definitely faaar from being perfect. However they want to know that the person taking the test has a clear head and he/she knows HOW to write.

Remember the two D's: Direction and Dimension

Direction: You must have a clear sense of direction of how to progress. Think of the topic as a dartboard with the dart being your pen and you have to hit bulls eye.Inshort, appropriately answer the topic.

Dimension: Your essay must have depth in addition to having breadth. An essay that lacks depth creates a negative impression on your reader.On the otherhand your essay must have appropriate length.Inshort, Justify your essay with proper, hard-hitting examples.Organization IS important.

Ok, so HOW exactly is an essay structured for these tests?

Does it happen to ...

REMOVED: see [tweetchennai.com/?s=TOEFL-preparation]

So, heres what you should do...
- Know beforehand what you are going to write about - Form a template.
- Take some time to organize your thoughts/Brainstorming - Write down main points to support the essay.
- Structure your essay

Structuring your essay

Keep in mind the following as you write your essay:

Pick a side and stick to it no matter what!!!

- Clearly state your stand: I am of the opinion.../I firmly believe.../I hold the opinion.../I do not believe.../I dont feel that...
- State the reason for your stand: This is due to the fact.../I believe this because.../as.../since.../The reason i think this is...


Topic: Primary education is not as important as higher education.

Introduction Paragraph: I do not believe that higher education is more important than primary education. Primary education develops a childs intellect to the point where he becomes aware of his surroundings which helps him in his higher education.Primary education is the foundation on which a great building can be erected.

Ok, so I have to run to work. Will be back to continue if this is helping someone.

Take care.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Apr 8, 2010   #2
Remember the two D's: Direction and Dimension

It would be great if some of you were able to translate this explanation for others who need the information but are struggling with language barriers.

This is great, Waqas, thanks! I did not know as much as I should have known about TOEFL and IELTS. I'll add this thread to my collection of examples to show people.

djanat, I don't know the answer to your question but someone will probably post it soon... :-D
Azeri 10 / 137  
Apr 8, 2010   #3
Djanat, I don't know the answer to your second question, but regarding first one, I was advised by students who took a toefl classes and exams not to leave spaces between paragraphs. I should say that I haven't ever noticed spaces in sample toefl essays in books or other sourses as well.
OP Vakax 2 / 50  
Apr 9, 2010   #4
I like to follow the first format because its easier to read and it looks neat. Toefl people dont resent you for wasting their space.

But at the end of the day it all depends on your writing style. How you like to format it?!

Ideas in the essay are important, formatting is secondary.

will be back with the next part on how to structure the body paragraph.

Best of luck...
sharkondiet 3 / 22  
Apr 9, 2010   #5
Dear djanat,
I have read somewhere (maybe this has been noted in "IELTS on track" by Stephen Slater and Donna Millen) that you can choose your position in the conclusion paragraph. To introduce the essay, you can say something neutral, just to get the readers to understand what you are gonna discuss. For the body, try to balance your writing between the two sides. Hope this help :)
vivien_wang 9 / 31  
Apr 13, 2010   #6
djanat, in IELTS there are two general patterns of paragraphing, and either one is ok. But, apparently, pattern 1 seems more reader-friendly to the examiner.


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