TOEFL TASK 2 - Opinion Essay 

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing. It requires your opinion on a topic, which must be stated clearly, giving various viewpoints on the topic supported by arguments and/or supported details or examples.

In this section you will be introduced  a basic structure of the essay, useful vocabulary, relevant template and TOEFL opinion essay model answer. 


Use the following plan:
  1. make an introduction (state the problem);express your personal opinion
  2. 2-3 reasons for your opinion with supporeted details/examples
  3. express an opposing opinion and give 1-2 reasons for this opposing opinion;
  4. explain why you don’t agree with the opposing opinion;
  5. make a conclusion restating your position.

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Useful Language («opinion» essay)

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A general statement. What are you going to write about?

  • It is common knowledge that…»
  • The problem / issue / question of… has always aroused heated / sharp disputes /debates / discussions / controversy
  • «The sight of smb Ving*… is familiar to everyone. But have you ever wondered whether…?»
  • «Our modern world is unthinkable / unimaginable / inconceivable without…

Paraphrase the topic.  

  • Many people are in favour of……while others are convinced that…..
  • Our modern world is unthinkable / unimaginable / inconceivable without… However, there are plenty of people who believe that it is not necessary / doubt the necessity / importance / use / benefit / good of…»
  • So the question is: which option is better?
  • Let’s speculate who is right: to proponents / defendants / fans of… who claim that… or the opponents / adversaries, who believe in…»
To express opinion
  • In my opinion………
  • I believe……….
  • It seems to me……
  • The way I see it..
  • I am convinced that …
  • You would probably agree with me that…»
  • «To my mind… / In my opinion… / It seems to me that…» —
To present an argument
  • There are several positive points to support that…

II. Main Body.

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 2 should present your arguments( 2-3 arguments) ,
To list points
  • - In the first place… First of all……… To start with… To begin with…
  • - Secondly… Thirdly…… Finally……… Last but not least………
  • One good thing that comes out of that is a possibility ....
To add more points or supported detail  to the same topic
  • What is more…
  • Furthermore …….
  • Moreover………
  • In addition to this….
  • Besides………
  • Apart from this……….
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II. Main Body

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 3 should present the opposing viewpoint. Add 1-2 arguments in favour of their opinion
· To introduce contrasting viewpoints
  • It is argued that…….
  • On the other hand…
  • People argue that…….
  • Opponents of this view say ………
  • There are people who oppose………
  • Contrary to what most believe……….
· To introduce examples:  for example……… for instance… such as…….. in particular…………
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II. Main Body

Paragraph 4

Add 2-3 arguments to support your opinion. Explain why you don’t agree with the opposing opinion.
  • To a certain extent, it is right, but isn’t there…? / don’t smb V1? / …»
  • To a certain extent, it is right, but we shouldn’t forget that… / we should consider the fact that… / we shouldn’t underestimate… / one shouldn’t disregard/one should take into account …
  • I still think that ....... have more benefit than ..........
  • Defenders of… may be applauded for seeking to ......, but what they propose would in fact seriously damage / decrease / threaten, etc.» 
  • «However, I disagree with these contentions» — «
  • «While… could lessen / worsen / decrease, etc… this is a small loss that could be offset by…»
  • «However, this idea cannot go further than being an immature claim because / since…»
  • «This point has merits on the surface and could be acceptable to an extent. Yet, serious doubts can be raised against this view when one considers…».
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III. Conclusion

Restate your opinion using different words
· To conclude
  • - to sum up…….. all in all ……….. all things considered….... on the whole……….
  • -  in conclusion ……… taking everything into account………/ as was previously stated
  • All in all, I still feel that the benefits of ……..outweigh the disadvantages.




1. General statement. Our modern world is unthinkable / unimaginable / inconceivable without ........ Paraphrase the topic. Some people are in favour of of________________________________________________________________,  while others claim that __________________________________________________________________Let’s speculate who is right. OR  So the question is: which option is better? In my opinion, ( express your opinion)_____________________________________________________________. There are several positive reasons for that.  

Main Body

Paragraph 2. Firstly, 0r ( From social/economic/financial/educational perspective),_______________( give the main argument ). Moreover/Besides, ,  _______________________________(give a supportive detail For instance,________ (give an example). Secondly, or ( Psychologically, Socially, _____________________________(give the 2nd argument). Apart from this_______________( give a  supportive detali).
Paragraph 3. However, there are people who oppose this view and believe that  ____________ ( give the main argument and supporting detail for the opponent). Furthermore, ( add a supporting detail)____________________________________For example, ( present an example)__________
Paragraph 4. To a certain extent, it is right, but we should not disrespect___________. While________could be taken into consideration that is still a small loss that could be offset __________by________. Besides, ________________ ( explain why you don’t agree with the opposing opinion).
Paragraph 5. Conclusion. Taking everything into account, benefits of _____________________ overweigh the disadvantages. Even though, (introduce opposite point)__________________________ is a good way to ____________________________________ , ( introduce your point) seems ______________________________________


Essay. Many young people go to university after leaving school. However, a number of school- leavers feel that university is not for them and chose not to go. What is your choice? ( 200-250 words).
The problem of education has always aroused sharp disputes all over the world. Some people are in favour of entering college after finishing school while others do not consider that option to be the best. Let’s speculate who is right. In my opinion, getting a higher education is a vital part of our life. There are several positive reasons for that.
Firstly, ( From employment perspectives), more people are seeing the significance of a college education and its role in providing better job opportunities and a comfortable lifestyle OR Higher education is a good opportunity to find a suitable job which gives a lot of possibilities to succeed in a career. Moreover, graduates who have a higher education typically have more jobs open to them than those who do not further their education after high school. According to the statistics, most of the states with high concentrations of jobs in occupations typically require one of several levels of education. Consequently, it is widely accepted that graduate diplomas stand a candidate in better stead for a job. Secondly, (From financial perspectives), it goes without saying, that education primary affects lifetime salary. Therefore, educated people earn more during their careers than those with less education.
However, there are people who oppose this view and believe that schooling takes a lot of costs and not everyone can afford that. According to recent research, about half of bachelor's degree recipients graduate with debts. Furthermore, financial stress can have major effects on their life and cause problems.
To a certain extent, it is right, but we should not disrespect the reward one gets after completing a degree. While financial aspect could be taken into consideration, that is still a small loss that could be offset by developing a career. Besides, education is undoubtedly worth the investment; one can not only cover all the expenses after graduation but also earn extra for comfortable life.
Taking everything into account, the benefits of college education outweigh the disadvantages. Even though, managing school budgets could cause some difficulties, contribution on a degree is an incomparable possibility for one’s future life. However, no one can tell you if education is your key to success; only you can do that for yourself.

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