Should you write a conclusion for the TOEFL Independent and Integrated Writing Tasks?

For both the integrated and independent writing tasks, you will need a conclusion which summarizes the most important parts of your writing tasks. If you do not have a conclusion the TOEFL iBT human raters will not know whether you have completed your essay or whether you simply ran out of time. If they think that you finished your essay, then they will think that you lower writing proficiency because you may not know that a conclusion is needed. If the TOEFL scorers think that you ran out of time, then they will assume that you have poor time management strategies. In either case, you will end up with a lower score, so remember that you should have a conclusion for both writing tasks even it is short.

Following these four steps in your conclusion in the integrated writing task will show the TOEFL scorers that you understand how to write an academic essay:

1. Use a transition word to signal that your summary of the reading and listening passage is coming to a close.

2. Restate the thesis statement using different grammar and vocabulary.

3. Do not state your opinion or bring up any new ideas. Like you did in previous parts of the essay, frame your concluding paragraph from the author’s and speaker’s points of view.

4. Keep the conclusion as brief as possible since the integrated writing task is limited to only 20 minutes.

Integrated Writing Prompt: How does in the information in the lecture contradict the information in the reading passage?

Introduction + thesis: The reading passages discusses three strategies needed for businesses to succeed, and the speaker in the lecture disagrees with each of these points.

Conclusion: To sum up, the reading passage encourages employees to read all documents in their entirety, to attend all company meetings, and to skip the steps in the writing process. However, the speaker in the lecture questions the effectiveness of these suggestions.

Notice how the conclusion uses the transition word “to sum up,” uses “the reading passage discusses” and “the speaker in the lecture questions” to frame the information as a summary, restates the thesis in different words, and uses fewer than 50 words to conclude the essay.

Important strategy: Spend most of your time writing the body paragraphs of your integrated writing task.

Similarly, you will also need a short conclusion to tie ideas together in your independent writing task. Keep these four tips in mind as you practice writing conclusions for the TOEFL independent writing task, but you do not necessarily need to use all four:

1. Use a transition word to signal an end to your essay.

2. Paraphrase the thesis using different grammar and different vocabulary.

3. Restate the topic sentences of your body paragraphs.

4. State an opinion, choice, prediction, or solution.

5. Conclude with a sentence that summarizes the key points of your essay.

Independent Writing Prompt: Some like to work for one company their entire lives, while others prefer to change jobs frequently. Explain which position you agree with more and explain why.

Introduction: After finishing high school or college, many will seek gainful employment. Of course, people will choose jobs based on where they live, what their career is, and what type of added benefits the companies will offer their workers. Once hired at a company, after a few years, many employees will decide how long they will stay at that job and whether or not it is beneficial to change jobs frequently. Changing jobs often will help workers to get promoted, will help them to gain more experience, and will allow them and their families to travel to new cities to broaden their cultural horizons.

Conclusion: In conclusion, moving up the corporate ladder, getting valuable experience, and broadening one’s cultural horizons is only possible by changing jobs frequently. Therefore, I do not plan on working for one company during my entire life because I want to move into supervisory positions, I want to learn more knowledge my about job, and my family and I will be able to become more culturally open-minded.

In this conclusion, the writer uses transition words “in conclusion,” restates the main points of the thesis in different words, and restates the topic sentences using synonyms.

Important strategy: Spend most of your time writing the introduction and body paragraphs of your independent writing task.