10 Common TOEFL Essay Mistakes


6. Never memorize a text

Never memorize an essay text, format, or template to use in the TOEFL iBT writing. The assessors have a lot of experience correcting essays, and it is very easy to recognize when a student has simply memorized text.

7. Do not begin a sentence with a conjunction

A conjunction is a word that is used to connect two words, phrases, or sentences. Here are some examples: and, but, or. Only use these words for connections. Never begin a sentence with one of these words.

8. Do not use contractions

A contraction is the combined form of two words. For example, if we have the words are and not, they can be combined as aren't. Theoretically, this is good English. In academic writing, however, it is usually not acceptable to use these short forms.

9. Do not write more than 5 paragraphs

Most TOEFL iBT essays are 4 paragraphs long. An essay with 5 paragraphs is possible, but it is difficult to write because your time is limited. Our recommendation: 4 paragraphs.

10. Never leave a sentence, paragraph, or idea incomplete

Always write in complete sentences and make sure that each sentence ends with the proper punctuation. Similarly, when you write a paragraph, be sure to develop your ideas. You always need at least two or three supporting sentences after the topic sentence. It is usually not possible to have a paragraph with only two sentences.


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