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Strategic Mastery of TOEFL Independent Writing

A 25 Hour Guided Tutorial Program

Course Description

 

This intensive 25-hour Strategic Mastery of TOEFL Independent Writing Course is designed to equip you with the skills and strategies needed to excel in the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Independent Writing task. Over the course of 25 units, students embark on a journey that begins with understanding essay prompts, progresses through the art of crafting effective essays, and culminates in polishing their writing for clarity, cohesion, and impact.

 

Units consist of instruction and exercises focusing on a specific aspect of writing with targeted essay homework followed by tutorial-based units analysing the student’s performance of that skill and finding ways to improve. This course will empower students to build a strong foundation and confidently tackle the writing section of the TOEFL exam.

 

Each lesson consists of a tutorial for the first half, a careful analytical breakdown of the homework. This will emphasise the student’s strengths and weakness in the targeted skill. Thus allowing the student to know exactly what needs to be done to improve as well as how to continually develop their strengths. Homework rotate between full essays and targeted essay skills. Over the course they will see their essay competence increase dramatically. 

 

We use tutorials in the style of Oxford University offering an unparalleled educational experience that nurtures intellectual growth, critical thinking, and communication skills. The benefits extend beyond academics, preparing students to excel in their future endeavors.

 

Assessment and Activities:

 

•    Weekly writing assignments based on each unit's focus

•    Peer review and feedback sessions

•    Quizzes and exercises

•    Regular essays integrating all units' concepts

 

Course Materials:

 

•    Strategic Mastery of TOEFL Independent Writing unit slides

•    Sample TOEFL essay prompts

•    Strategic Mastery of TOEFL Independent Writing Strategy & vocabulary sheets

 

By the end of this course, you will have developed the skills and techniques necessary to write well-structured, coherent, and cohesive essays. You will be equipped to handle various writing tasks in the TOEFL exam with confidence, ultimately improving your overall TOEFL score.

Course Highlights

 

Units 301-312: Foundation Building

 

•    These units lay the groundwork for successful essay writing, starting with prompt analysis, brainstorming techniques, and the differentiation between topics and controlling ideas.

•    Students learn to structure essays effectively, master the art of crafting engaging introductions, and develop clear and impactful thesis statements.

•    The importance of topic sentences and well-supported arguments is emphasized, with students gaining proficiency in creating paragraphs with depth and relevance.

•    Students practice elaborating on ideas, crafting compelling conclusions, and ensuring overall cohesion in their essays.

 

Units 313-320: Cohesion and Advanced Writing Skills

 

•    Students delve into the intricacies of cohesion, understanding how to define terms effectively for coherence.

•    The art of maintaining parallel structures and cohesively listing information is explored in-depth.

•    Strategies for avoiding repetition and eliminating empty words and phrases are imparted, ensuring clarity and conciseness.

•    Grammatical structures for cohesion are mastered, with a focus on transitional language, sentence connectors, and advanced grammatical techniques.

•    A comprehensive set of ten strategies is provided to navigate the TOEFL Independent Writing exams with confidence.

 

Units 321-324: Editing and Revision

 

•    Students gain a deep understanding of the editing process, learning to edit for both macro and micro-level improvements.

•    Efficient time management strategies are explored to make the most of limited writing time during the TOEFL exam.

•    The course culminates in students creating personal editing checklists for essays, enabling them to refine their writing efficiently.

 

Unit 325: Course Review and Future Learning

 

•    The course concludes with a review of the knowledge and skills acquired.

•    Students develop an action plan for continued progress in their writing.

•    A preview of future learning goals sets the stage for ongoing improvement beyond this course.

 

 

By completing this course, students will not only be well-prepared to tackle the TOEFL Independent Writing task but will also have developed essential writing skills that will benefit them in academic and professional endeavours.

 

Detailed syllabus

Unit 301: Analysing the Question & Brainstorming 

 

Objective: By the end of this unit, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively analyse essay prompts, differentiate between topics and controlling ideas, and employ efficient brainstorming techniques to generate opinions, ideas, and supporting details. This unit serves as a foundational preview for the entire course, setting the stage for successful TOEFL essay writing.

 

•    Preview of the course

•    Understanding essay prompts

•    Effective question analysis

•    How to brainstorm for opinion, ideas, support and detail

•    The difference between topic and controlling idea

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Planning an essay

 

 

 

Unit 302: Planning an effective essay 

 

Objective: By the end of this unit, students will have the skills to analyze essay prompts, craft effective essay outlines, and manage their time efficiently during the TOEFL writing exam.

 

•    Analysis of Targeted essay skill homework: Planning an essay

•    Essay planning techniques

•    Analysing sample essay prompts

•    Crafting effective essay outlines

•    Time management strategies

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task 

 

 

 

Unit 303: Introductions 

 

Objective: In this unit, students will learn strategies for creating engaging introductions, setting the tone for their essays, and using the task's topic and controlling idea to write effective introductions.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on how the planning affected the essay

•    Strategy for engaging introductions

•    The funnel method of introductions

•    Setting the tone for your essay

•    Using topic and controlling idea from the task to write your introduction

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Introductions

 

 

 

Unit 304: Thesis Statements 

 

Objective: By the conclusion of this unit, students will be proficient in crafting strong thesis statements that clearly convey the essay's main point and purpose.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Introductions

•    Stating your thesis

•    Workshop on creating strong thesis statements

•    Peer review and feedback on sample introductions

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task 

 

 

 

Unit 305: Topic Sentences 

 

Objective: This unit aims to help students understand the importance of clear topic sentences and how to create them effectively, ensuring relevance to the essay's main ideas.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on the introduction

•    Importance of clear topic sentences

•    Identifying and creating topic sentences

•    Effectively creating topic and controlling idea for the topic sentence. 

•    Ensuring topic sentence relevance

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Topic Sentences

 

 

 

Unit 306: Topic Sentences relevance within a logically developing essay

 

Objective: In this unit, students will further refine their ability to develop relevant and effective topic sentences for different types of essays ensuring that an idea is logically developed.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Topic Sentences

•    Ensuring topic sentence relevance

•    Crafting effective topic sentences for different essay types

•    Peer practice in developing topic sentences

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task 

 

Unit 307: Supporting Sentences 

 

Objective: Students will learn to develop strong supporting arguments and ensure the relevance of supporting statements within their essays.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on topic sentences

•    Developing strong supporting arguments

•    Ensuring relevance in supporting statements

•    Structuring body paragraphs effectively

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Supporting Sentences

 

 

 

Unit 308: Well-supported arguments

 

Objective: By the end of this unit, students will be proficient in constructing well-supported arguments and organising evidence within paragraphs effectively.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Supporting Sentences

•    Constructing well-supported arguments

•    Peer review and analysis of supporting sentences

•    Practice in organizing evidence within paragraphs

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task 

 

 

 

Unit 309: Adding Details to Paragraphs 

 

Objective: This unit focuses on elaborating on ideas with specific details, avoiding vague statements, and incorporating various types of details effectively.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on supporting sentences

•    Elaborating on ideas with specifics

•    Different types of details to be added

•    Avoiding vague statements

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Adding details

 

 

 

Unit 310: Elaboration 

 

Objective: Students will gain expertise in adding depth to their paragraphs through elaboration techniques and enhancing clarity and specificity in their writing.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Adding details

•    In-depth exploration of elaboration techniques

•    Guided practice in adding depth to paragraphs

•    Peer editing for clarity and specificity

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task

 

 

 

Unit 311: Conclusions 

 

Objective: By the end of this unit, students will be skilled in crafting impactful conclusions that summarise key points, reiterate the thesis, and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on adding details

•    Summarising key points

•    Reiterating the thesis

•    Leaving a lasting impression

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Conclusions

 

 

 

Unit 312: Effectively summarising an essay 

 

Objective: In this unit, students will learn strategies for creating memorable endings and reinforcing the essay's main message.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Conclusions

•    Crafting impactful conclusions

•    Peer evaluation of conclusion writing

•    Workshop on strategies for memorable endings

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task

 

 

 

Unit 313: Cohesion 

 

Objective: Students will understand the concept of cohesion, how to enhance overall essay coherence, and how to define terms and concepts effectively for cohesion.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on the conclusion

•    What is cohesion

•    Enhancing overall essay coherence

•    How to define for cohesion

•    Clarifying terms and concepts

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Defining for cohesion

 

 

 

Unit 314: Defining for Cohesion 

 

Objective: This unit further develops students' ability to integrate definitions effectively into their essays, ensuring clarity and cohesion.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Defining for cohesion

•    Deep dive into defining techniques

•    Linking definitions to the main topic

•    Practice in integrating definitions effectively

•    Peer review and feedback on cohesion

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task

 

 

 

Unit 315: Parallel Structures  

 

Objective: By the end of this unit, students will grasp the importance of maintaining parallelism in sentence and paragraph structure and practice creating balance and symmetry in their writing.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on defining

•    Understanding parallelism

•    Consistency in sentence and paragraph structure

•    Creating balance and symmetry

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Parallel Structures

 

 

 

Unit 316: Cohesively listing information

 

Objective: Students will practice creating parallel structures and using cohesive listing techniques effectively.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Parallel Structures

•    Comprehensive exploration of parallel structures

•    Hands-on exercises for creating parallelism

•    Peer assessment of parallel structure usage

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task

 

 

 

Unit 317: Avoiding Repetition and Empty Words & Phrases 

 

Objective: This unit focuses on identifying and avoiding different types of repetition and strategies for replacing empty words and phrases with meaningful content.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on parallelism

•    Different types of repetition

•    Strategies to avoid repetition

•    Replacing repeating words and phrases with substitutes

•    Enhancing clarity and conciseness

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Avoiding repetition

 

 

 

Unit 318: Redundancy 1

 

Objective: Students will gain proficiency in recognising and eliminating redundancy and empty words in their essays.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Avoiding repetition

•    In-depth analysis of redundancy and empty words

•    Practice in revising to eliminate redundancy

•    Replacing empty words with meaningful content

•    Peer editing for conciseness and clarity

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Redundancy

 

 

 

Unit 319: Redundancy 2

 

Objective: This unit builds on the previous one, teaching students how to spot and edit redundancy effectively.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Redundancy

•    How to spot redundancy

•    How to edit for redundancy

•    Redundancy workshop

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task

 

 

 

Unit 320: Grammatical Structures for Cohesion 

 

Objective: By the end of this unit, students will be skilled in using transitional words and phrases, sentence connectors, and advanced grammatical structures to enhance essay cohesion.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on redundancy

•    Transition words and phrases

•    Sentence connectors for coherence

•    Advanced grammatical structures for fluent writing

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Grammatical Structures for Cohesion

 

 

 

Unit 321: Further Grammatical Structures for Cohesion 

 

Objective: This unit further refines students' ability to use transitional language and sentence connectors effectively.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Grammatical Structures for Cohesion

•    Hands-on practice with transitional language

•    Analysis of effective sentence connectors

•    Peer review of essays for grammatical cohesion

•    Essay homework: TOEFL independent writing task

 

 

 

Unit 322: 10 Strategies for the TOEFL Independent Writing Exams 

 

Objective: In this unit, students will learn and practice ten effective strategies for success in the TOEFL Independent Writing exams.

 

•    Analysis of essay homework with an emphasis on grammatical structures

•    10 Strategies for success in the TOEFL Independent Writing Exams 

•    Workshop on applying the strategies 

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Strategy exercises

 

 

 

Unit 323: Editing 1

 

Objective: Students will gain an understanding of the editing process, including macro-editing, and learn to create effective essay outlines.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Strategy exercises

•    Overview of the Editing Process

•    Macro-Editing

•    Workshop on editing

•    Targeted essay skill homework: Editing

 

 

 

Unit 324: Editing 2 

 

Objective: This unit focuses on micro-editing, efficient time management, and the creation of personal editing checklists for essays.

 

•    Analysis of targeted essay skill homework: Editing

•    Micro editing

•    Efficient Time Management

•    Workshop on editing essays 

•    Creating personal editing checklist for essays

•    Homework: Review of course for test in next lesson

 

 

 

Unit 325: Course and strategy review and preview of W400

 

Objective: The final unit includes a test of knowledge gained and skills learned, a review of skills and strategies, and the development of a student action plan for continued progress, including a preview of future learning goals in W400.

 

•    Test of knowledge gained and skills learnt through this course

•    Review of skills and strategies

•    Student action plan for continued progress

•    Preview of W400 and future learning goals

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