Toefl Structure

HOW TO WRITE THE ESSAY

A.  INTRODUCTION

An introduction is the first paragraph or two of an essay. It tells the reader what the essay is about and provides background for the thesis (main idea). A good introductory paragraph does several things:

  • It makes the reader want to rea the essay.
  • It tells the reader the overall topic of the essay.
  • It tells the reader the main idea (thesis) of the essay.

How to write an introduction

Introduction can be written in many different ways. Here are some ideas you can use to write a good education:

Background about the topic Dramatic statistics & facts
Narrative Shocking statement
Quotation Questions that lead to the thesis

 

The following are examples of these ideas. The essay’s thesis sentence is highlighted in bold.

Background about the Topic

Since the beginning of time, there have been teachers. The classroom teacher has many important tasks to do. A teacher has to teach information while keeping things interesting. She also sometimes has to be a referee, a coach, and a secretary. At times, a teacher has to be a nurse or just a good listener: This career demands a lot, but it’s a career I most want to have.

Narrative

My fourth grade teacher, Miss Vela, was not a big woman. She was about five feet tall and was no longer young. Even though she did not look very strong, she never had trouble controlling all her students. She could quiet us down with just a stare. We always wanted to make her happy because we knew how much Miss Vela cared about us. She expected us to do the best we could, and we all tried our hardest. Miss Vela was the kind of teacher why made me know I wanted to be a teacher.

Quotation

“Teaching is better than tossing a pebble into a pond of water and watching those ripples move out from the middle. With teaching, you never know where those ripples will end. “ I remember those words of my fourth grade teacher. Miss Vela once told me that years after they left her class, her students would come back to tell how much she helped her. Miss Vela’s students said that it was because of her that they learned to work hard and to feel proud of what they did. I would like to teach because I would like to make that kind of difference.

Dramatic Statistics & Facts

Three out of four people said that they thought it didn’t matter how many students were taught in one class. However, our class researched this and found that the opposite is true. Studies completed at a university show that having small sizes, especially in the primary grades, makes a big difference in how much students learn. Before we decide how many students to assign to a primary school teacher, we need to think more carefully about how important smaller class size is.

Shocking Statement

Some teenagers today say that they think wives should earn money and that husbands should help with child care and other household tasks. Recent studies indicate that 13 percent of teenage boys would prefer a wife to stay at home, while 96 percent of the teenage girls surveyed wanted to work outside of the home. However, couples who many today may have grown up in very traditional households and therefore may find it difficult to accept wives of equal, not to mention greater, job status.

Questions That Lead to the Thesis

What exactly is “voice“? Is it a speaking voice or a singing voice? When someone says that they have a voice in their head bur no way to get it out, what does that mean? “Voice“ has less to do with throats and mouths than it has to do with being human, being alive.

 

B.  THESIS

      1.  What Is a Thesis?

The thesis statement tells the main idea or most important idea of the essay. It emphasizes the writer’s idea of the topic and often answers the question, “what important or interesting things do I have to say? “ Thinking about the thesis statement can help you should decide what other information needs it be presented to be presented or omitted in the rest of the essay.

      2.  A good thesis statement;

  • Gives the reader some hint about what you will say about the topic
  • Present your opinion about the topic and is not just a fact or an observation
  • Is written as a complete statement
  • Does not formally “announce“ what your opinion about the topic is

A good thesis statement gives the reader some hint about what you will say about the topic.

  • Weak Thesis: Mahatma Gandhi was as interesting man.
  • Good Thesis: Mahatma Gandhi was a person of contradictions.
  • Week Thesis: Television is a total waste of time.
  • Good Thesis: Parents should carefully choose appropriate, educational television shows for their children to watch

A good thesis statement presents your opinion about the topic and is not just a fact or an observation.

  • Week Thesis: London is the capital of England
  • Good Thesis: For tourists interested in British history, London is an ideal travel destination.
  • Week Thesis: Many movies today are violent.
  • Good Thesis: The violence in movies today makes children less sensitive to other people’s suffering.

A good thesis statement is written as a complete statement

  • Week Thesis: Should something be done about bad drives?
  • Good Thesis: Bad drivers should have to take a driving course before being allowed to drive again
  • Week Thesis: There is a problem with the information on the Internet.
  • Good Thesis: To make sure information found on the Internet is valid, computer users must make sure the sources of the information are credible.

A good thesis statement does not formally “announce“ what your opinion about the topic is.

  • Week Thesis: In my paper; I will write about whether schools should require uniforms.
  • Good Thesis: Public schools should not require uniforms.
  • Weak Thesis: The subject of this essay is drug testing.
  • Good Thesis: Drug testing is needed for all professional athletes.

      3. How Do I Make Sure That My Reader Understands My Thesis?

Sometimes you might use a word in your introduction or thesis that you should define or explain. For example, if you are writing about “who is a hero? “you should first explain what you think the word hero means. Is a hero a person who risks his life to save others? Is a hero a person whim you admire for any reason? People might have their own way of thinking about a certain word. When you define the word, you help your reader better understand what you mean.

      4.  Do You Have Enough Main Ideas to Support Your Thesis?

A main idea is a point that you feel strongly about. It is important to you, and you want the reader to understand this idea. Some writers like to give the reader three main ideas. However, the number of main ideas will vary among good essays. The important thing to remember is that your main ideas need to support your thesis adequately. If you don’t have enough main ideas, you may want to do some rethinking. Here are five suggestions for how to think of more ideas about your subject. Ask yourself these questions to get you started again:

  • Who? Who in my life has influenced me to consider becoming a teacher?
  • What? What do teachers do?
  • When? When did I start thinking about becoming a teacher?
  • Where? Where are teachers needed the most?
  • Why? Why would a person want to become a teacher? Why do I want to become a teacher?
  • How? How much? How does a teacher learn how to teach?
  • What if? Why not? What if teachers do not have all of the materials they need?

Example:

Introduction: Thesis statement Central Park is a model city park in that it offers outdoor sports facilities, cultural program, and opportunities to appreciate nature.

Body

Topic #1:              First of all, the public can make use of the numerous athletic facilities.

Topic #2:              Not only does Central Park offer athletic activities, but it also the setting for varied cultural events.

Topic #3:              Finally, several extraordinary nature spots are also to be found there.

 

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  5. “What?”   The first question to anticipate from a reader is “what”: What evidence shows that the phenomenon described by your thesis is true? To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. This “what” or “demonstration” section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Since you’re essentially reporting what you’ve observed, this is the part you might have most to say about when you first start writing. But be forewarned: it shouldn’t take up much more than a third (often much less) of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description.

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