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The TOEFL iBT® Test: Improving Your Writing Skills

Advice for Writing
Skill: Writing based on Knowledge and Experience
Performance Level: Good
Score Range: 24–30

Congratulations on writing an excellent essay! You can organize, develop and express your ideas well in English. However, all writers want to improve, so here are some points to keep in mind for the future.

  1. Continue to improve your ability to express opinions by studying the ways that published writers express their opinions.
    • Read articles and essays written by professional writers that express opinions about an issue (for example, a social, environmental or educational issue).
      • Identify the writer's opinion or opinions.
      • Notice how the writer addresses possible objections to the opinion, if the writer discusses these.
      • Outline the article and note the different ways the writer supports the ideas.
      • Write a response to the opinion essay or article in English, taking the opposite viewpoint.
      • Outline your response, noting the methods you used to support your ideas.
  2. Continue to develop your ability to express and organize ideas by outlining and recognizing the ways that professional writers present their ideas.
    • Read articles and essays and describe how they are organized.
    • Pay attention to the language the writers use to guide the readers’ understanding of how the parts of the article are connected.
    • Write summaries and responses to what you have read.
    • Think about how you want to organize your writing before you begin. You should have a clearly understood main idea and your supporting ideas should be relevant and developed with explanations, examples, and reasoning. A good strategy is to organize your main ideas into paragraphs that each have a topic sentence that clearly relates to your main point.
    • Use appropriate linking devices to make sure your reader can follow the ways in which you relate your information and connect your supporting ideas to your main point.
    • Get feedback from a teacher or friend on your use of language and how you have organized your ideas.
    • Continue to develop your vocabulary, grammar and writing skills through extensive reading in challenging academic areas.

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