TOEFL Essay Writing Lesson: Body Paragraphs

Michael Uncategorized 3 Comments

The other day we studied how to write an introductory paragraph for the independent essay question on the TOEFL exam. Today, let’s move on to the body paragraphs. As you recall, we had the following question, and we wrote the following introductory paragraph:

Some people prefer living in a big city. Others may prefer to live in the countryside. Which area would you prefer to live in? Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.


Some people feel that living in a big city is exciting and comfortable. Big cities have all of the conveniences of life in one small area. Others may think that life in the countryside is ideal, because the air is clean and it is generally quiet. I believe that living in the countryside is better than living in a big city. While city life might be more convenient and provide opportunities for enjoyment and recreation, cities can be uncomfortable places to live because of noise, poor air quality, and congestion.

Now it is time to write a few paragraphs to explain our opinion. Each paragraph should begin with a statement of one of our reasons, and contain at least two sentences that support that reason. Here is an example:

The air quality in the countryside is much cleaner than that of a big city. Compared to a city, there are few cars and busses in the countryside, so the amount of exhaust fumes is less. Since there are no factories in the countryside, there is less industrial pollution there than there would be in a big city. Additionally, there are many trees and plants in the countryside, which make the air seem fresher.

In the above paragraph, I started with one of my reasons for preferring life in the countryside, clean air. I then gave three examples to support my idea that the air quality is better in the countryside than it is in a city. This is then the first body paragraph. Here is the essay so far:

Some people feel that living in a big city is exciting and comfortable. Big cities have all of the conveniences of life in one small area. Others may think that life in the countryside is ideal, because the air is clean and it is generally quiet. I believe that living in the countryside is better than living in a big city. While city life might be more convenient and provide opportunities for enjoyment and recreation, cities can be uncomfortable places to live because of noise, poor air quality, and congestion.

The air quality in the countryside is much cleaner than that of a big city. Compared to a city, there are few cars and busses in the countryside, so the amount of exhaust fumes is less. Since there are no factories in the countryside, there is less industrial pollution there than there would be in a big city. Additionally, there are many trees and plants in the countryside, which make the air seem fresher.

There should be two more paragraphs in this essay to support my other two opinions that the countryside is quieter than a city, and is less crowded than a city. Next time, we will look at those paragraphs, and the concluding paragraph. Thanks for studying today!

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