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Topic development for Academic Discussion and Independent Speaking

 Mastering TOEFL Topic Development: A Comprehensive Study Guide

Struggling to generate strong arguments and relevant examples in your TOEFL Academic Discussion Writing and Independent Speaking? This self-study course tackles your topic development anxieties head-on, providing you with everything you need to excel in these key areas.

While  the Academic Discussion Response of TOEFL Writing and the Task One of the TOEFL speaking assess different skills they share a crucial scoring criteria: effective topic development. This means crafting a clear thesis statement and then supporting it with strong arguments, relevant examples, and persuasive reasoning. Weak topic development often leads to repetitive sentences and low scores. Struggling to come up with relevant examples and reasons? You're not alone. That's where this self-study course comes in.

Why Choose This Course?

  • Comprehensive: Access solutions for all current TOEFL Academic Discussion Writing and Independent Speaking prompts, including the now-retired Independent Writing questions.

  • Organized: Questions are categorized by academic field and key themes, offering a clear understanding of common test topics.

  • One-Paragraph Mastery: Learn the art of crafting effective one-paragraph arguments with thesis statements, supporting points, and relevant examples, all with proper organization.

  • Dual Perspectives: Each topic features two model responses – one for and one against, equipping you to tackle any potential argument.

  • Future-Proof: As the TOEFL ventures into philosophical and other complex areas, new questions and solutions will be added to keep you ahead of the curve.

Save Time and Effort and conquer topic development

Instead of spending months or even years sifting through mountains of material, wouldn't you rather be confidently moving on to the next chapter in your life? This self-study course offers a smarter, faster way to master TOEFL topic development, the key to unlocking your full potential on the exam.

Forget the stress of last-minute scrambling and hoping for the best. With our comprehensive collection of past prompts, categorized by academic field and presented in a one-paragraph format, you can practice crafting compelling arguments and relevant examples with ease.

Imagine confidently delivering a well-reasoned argument in just 10 minutes for writing and 1 minute for speaking. Our course provides the tools and strategies you need to think clearly under pressure and shine on test day.

Don't let the TOEFL hold you back. Take control of your future with this efficient and effective approach to topic development. Invest in yourself and unlock your full potential on the TOEFL!

This course provides a robust set of reasons and examples for any topic that might appear on the test. Simply study the provided models, practice paraphrasing, and confidently enter the exam knowing you're fully prepared.

Key features:

  • Covers all existing and past TOEFL discussion and speaking prompts

  • Provides model responses with compelling arguments and persuasive examples

  • Categorized by topic for easy navigation and targeted practice

  • Self-contained answers enable independent study

  • Continuously updated with new prompts and solutions

Invest in your TOEFL success today and conquer topic development anxiety!

TOEFL Topic Development: Course Syllabus

Part I: Academic Discussion Writing Strategies


Scoring criteria 


Mechanics of English

Question format

Open question

Binary question

Response strategies

How to analyze students’ arguments

Step-by step guide

Standalone templates

Thesis beginning

Hook beginning

Agreement templates

Add another reason

Offer a solution

Disagreement templates

Polite disagreement phrases

Concession and refutation

How to generate ideas

Ask W questions

Perspectives to consider

Ethical perspective: utilitarianism vs duty ethics

How to connect ideas

By addition

By contrast

By inference

Use hedging words

Sample responses

Part II: Questions and Answers by fields



Education policy

separating schools by gender (hard)

school uniform requirement

fitness testing requirement (hard)

limiting work hours (medium)

homeschooling (hard)

eliminating computer labs (medium)

recording class lectures (hard)

Redistributive justice policy

housing shortage problem (easy)

affordable public housing (easy)

ways to assist unemployed people (medium)

universal minimal income (hard)

public transportation tax (easy)

Consumer policy

taxing unhealthy products (medium)

targeted advertising (medium)

Environmental policy

prioritizing economy over environment (medium)

policy on air pollution (medium)

global environment problem and its solution (easy)

locally sourced food (easy)

promoting tourism in remote places (medium)

saving endangered species (hard)

Public safety

punishment for drunken drivers (hard)

ban on cellphone use on the street (hard)

Democratic procedure

e-voting (hard)


Modern society and culture

news about foreign countries (easy)

news watching frequency (easy)

learning the language of another country (medium)

learning culture through TV (medium)

learning about ancestors (easy)

building family bonds (medium)

wearing fashionable clothes (medium)

Technology and society

declining social skills (easy)

addiction to cell phone (easy)

impact of social media (medium)

libraries disappearing (easy)

decrease in reading books (easy)

educational computer games for young children (easy)

children learning computers (easy)

streaming services replacing cinema (medium)

the internet, equalizer or divider (medium)

e-sports (medium)

mistake when purchasing technological devices (easy)

Future society

AI technology on society (hard)

Mars colonization (hard) zero waste society (hard) future of the augmented reality technology (medium)

Urban life

urbanization (medium)

city history (easy)

value of museums in cities (medium)

old buildings in the city (easy)

suburban neighbors (easy)

urban planning for available land (easy)

garden vs playground (easy)

attract people to live in rural areas (easy)

Celebrity culture

celebrity as a role model (medium)

celebrity charity (medium)


Business practice

best business investment (medium)

factors for success in business (hard)

employee productivity (hard)

employee satisfaction (hard)

employee retainment (medium)

job perks vs more money (medium)

photos on resumes (hard)

personal email during work hours (easy)

business travel (easy)

junior employees mentoring senior employees (hard)

Career development

outgoing person for business success (medium)

perfectionism at work (hard)

big company or a start-up (medium)

work in small company or large company (medium)

different  tasks or routine tasks (easy)

multitasking vs mono-tasking (medium)

work in group or independently (easy)

changing jobs frequently or staying with one job (easy)

money or education (easy)

career before college (easy)

asked to work on weekends (medium)

job with more money or achievement (medium)

job satisfaction for happiness (medium)

work close home for less money (easy)

Future of work

job creation by AI (hard)

robots in the future (hard)

fewer work hours in the future (hard)

Effective leaders

consensus leader vs charismatic leader (hard)

excellent communication skills or a strong technical background (medium)



free will vs determinism (hard)


company’s social responsibility (hard)

individual’s social responsibility (hard)

reporting rule violations (hard)

animal rights (hard)


Good teachers

teacher’s admitting making mistakes (medium)

experienced or young teacher (easy)

humorous teacher or a severe teacher (easy)

close teacher supervision (easy)

promoting class discussion (medium)

answering questions after or during the class (easy)

disagreeing with instructors (medium)

Teacher evaluation methods

feedback methods (medium)

evaluation by senior colleague (medium)

professor promotion through good evaluation (medium)

mandate on taking professional courses (medium)

teacher evaluation methods (hard)

Childhood development

childhood as the best moment (medium)

character education (hard)

music course requirement (easy)

computer use at an early age (easy)

physical activities leading to aggression (medium)

social development from team sports (easy)

visiting relatives or friends (medium)

better learning with friends (medium)

learning basic living skills (easy)

part-time jobs for teenagers


teaching basic living skills (easy)

limiting social media access (easy)

children rearing easier (easy)

kids’ spending their earned money (medium)

advice on being well-liked (medium)

advice on future jobs (medium)

teaching money management skills (medium)

children having cell phones (easy)

teaching children’s independence (medium)

College education

math requirement as general education (hard)

humanity course requirement (medium)

writing course requirement (medium)

library resource requirement (medium)

specific courses or general courses

best subject to study (medium)

choosing a major (easy)

summer classes (medium)

two professors for one class (medium)

optional attendance (medium)

Campus activities

controversial guest speaker

quitting a club

campus eliminating a club

scheduling breaks between classes

field research before career

College life

live near or far from campus

having jobs vs participating club activities

best time for part-time jobs

coffee shop at campus

optional attendance

gap year

college education age

friends as roommates

roomates with the same major

friends of the same age

Student learning (pedagogy)

online learning (medium)

video classes (easy)

homework usefulness (medium)

more learning with more homework (medium)

journal writing in classroom as a learning method (hard)

assignment over vacation (medium)

group discussions (hard)

games as learning tool (medium)

in class presentation or recorded presentation(easy)

experiment in classroom (medium)

free class period (easy)

requiring to attend cultural events (medium)

benefits of field trips (medium)

field trip requirement (medium)

study group or tutor (medium)

teaching others as a way of learning (hard) 

note reviewing (easy)

memorizing facts vs understanding concepts (hard)

doing math in head (hard)

reading list of books (medium)

research topic (medium)

books vs lectures (easy)

Learning aptitude

intelligence vs hard work (medium)

hard work vs natural talent (medium)

physical activity and academic success (hard)

Grading methods

assigning extra work to improve grades (medium)

effort-added grading (medium)

grade based on many short assignments (medium)

grades based on performance of projects (medium)

This course is $59.99.

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