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 How to write the best LPI Essay possible
  LPI Essay Writing Tips


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Grade 12



Essay Writing Guide


Teachers For A Better World Blog





  Here are tips on how to write a strong LPI essay :
  1.  The LPI essay recommended length is between 300 to 400 words, you will likely find that you will have time to write the essay. One sentence is about 10 to 12 words. Your essay will hence only have approximately 30 or so lines. Hence you should take the opportunity to plan your essay ie. 15mins, note some examples and even read through your essay twice before handing it in. Since you are allowed to write up to 400 words (100 words more than an IELTS essay), you will have an opportunity to develop your paragraphs properly. If you don’t show proper development, it means you didn’t think through your paragraphs carefully.
  2. At least two months before your test, read newspapers and magazines like the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s or watch PBS or the BBC online. Ensure that you back up each paragraph with solid information.
  3. Your LPI essay introduction should have a good hook. I always tell students to connect the topic with what they have observed about the world around them. For example, if the topic is “Social Media is ultimately advantageous for a student”, then you can start with “Like clockwork, almost every student in my high school takes out their cellphones and checks their Facebook page after school ends.” A good LPI essay should have one main thesis or main idea which should be stated clearly in your introduction. Your thesis must clearly have a position. The last sentence in your introduction is called the Path Statement. It lists the two arguments (ie. claims) and the counterargument (ie. counterclaims) you will use. This statement should only be 1.5 sentences long as you are only giving a brief idea of your body paragraph topics.
  4. For the LPI essay, you will only have time to write 2 large body paragraphs representing 2 arguments OR 3 smaller body paragraphs representing 2 arguments and 1 counterargument. The body topic sentence should be supported by at least two strong support examples in the body paragraphs. The example is more convincing if it is realistic. In fact, the essay should show development of the thesis which should unite the whole essay.
  5. You only need 2 strong examples per paragraph. The first body paragraph sentence is often the paragraph topic sentence. An example should then be included but it should eventually lead up to an explanation in relation to the thesis. This reflects strong analysis. The LPI essay is essentially an argumentative essay. A position should be explained analytically.
  6. This brings us to the counter-argument paragraph (if you write 3 body paragraphs). Let’s say you agree with the essay statement “Social media is ultimately advantageous for a student”, your counterclaim would start with “However, many would claim that social media has detrimental effects on many students. Some say that the bullying and ostracizing behaviors on Facebook has led to teen depression.” This is not your position. What you need to do is to refute this so that you can support your own original thesis. Hence you could follow up by writing, “In order to prevent such anti-social behavior, many schools and parents have taught their teens to be vigilant and to not participate in such behavior. Students are often encouraged to report such bullying to their school counsellor. This helps keep the social media platforms a safe space to socialize.”
    If you are confident about your analytical ability, then it would be worth your while to write a counterargument. If you tend to make many basic grammar mistakes, it's better to just write 2 body paragraphs. However, do try your best to give mature analysis in order to convince a marker you deserve a 5/6 which many of the university programs require.
  7. Use appropriate transitions to connect your sentences. Words like “furthermore” and “moreover” add width to an argument by introducing the addition of more facts or reasons. “In fact” is used to add depth to a reason by allowing the addition of an example. It can also be used to introduce your analysis.
  8. What makes the LPI essay really different from a TOEFL or IELTS essay is the conclusion. You can frame your restated thesis to reflect its relevance to you and society. This is usually one or two sentences long. It can be an implication or warning about the future. Whatever the case, it must relate to the original thesis.
  9. As far as style goes, you can be personal and even humorous. But avoid too much slang or too much diary type writing. Any personal examples should lead to personal insight and always remember that a good argumentative essay has persuasion (your thesis position) as its intention.
  10. If you find that you tend to make a fair number of grammatical mistakes, try to study specific areas such as tenses and subject-verb conjugation rules. Many LPI writers are forced to repeat their test due to awkward expression. To deal with this, review all aspects of sentence structure and listen to how a news anchor presents the news.
  11. Try to learn a variety of words so that you avoid dependence on one key word. If you repeat yourself too much, you weaken your essay. In the schools I have taught at, students learn about 50 to 100 words a week. In my opinion, since the LPI is not a vocabulary based test, these words should be useful to your writing (verbs, transitions and adjectives). For example “advantageous” is stronger that “good”, and “contemplate” is stronger than “think about”.
  12. Try to read some LPI essay examples or some high school argumentative essays, but remember they should be around the 300 to 400 word limit suggestion, no more, no less.
  13. Lastly, write a minimum of 4 to 5 essays with the given time constraints (perhaps 1 per day). This will give you the added practice of time management and will inevitably help develop the confidence you need to face the real test.

    Below is an example.


LPI Essay Example

Governments should not spend so much money to protect animal populations. Agree or disagree?

  (INTRODUCTION) (Hook) Our animal populations all over the world are already facing stress from loss of habitat and global warming effects. (Thesis) I therefore believe that the government should allocate funding to protect animal populations. (Path statement) My argument takes into account the importance of such species for the continuation of many plant varieties and the variety of biological ecosystems which are invaluable to our own survival.

(ARGUMENT 1) Firstly, many animal species help in the survival of plant species. For example, there are many bat species that are becoming extinct. Such bats help keep the insect population in control. In addition, many animals, like various birds and rodents, help in the dispersal of plant seeds and in the pollination of plants. There are many known and unknown plants that are vital for medical research and the development of current and future medicines. Such medicines could be the game changer for various diseases that researchers still haven't found a cure for.

(ARGUMENT 2) Secondly, if some species dwindle in numbers, there may be a population explosion of some prey that could be detrimental to the environment. Although most of us can not fathom the importance of large predators. biology experts say that a dip in shark species like the Great White Shark could lead to a rise in the sea-lion or seal population. Without nature's culling of adorable seals, there would be a marked reduction in the fish population all over the world.

(COUNTER-ARGUMENT) On the other hand, many naysayers claim that protecting wildlife is mostly beneficial to wild animals with very little effect on the human population. However, this is often not the case as can be seen in one town in Africa. Researchers discovered that due to a drop in the fish population due to over-fishing, villagers in Ghana had begun to kill the nearby wild life. The increase in bush-meat, which were former baboon predators, led to a dangerous baboon population explosion. Such baboons became violent and began attacking the local Ghanese. This illustrates the dominoes negative effect of dwindling animal populations. The allocation of government funding to protect such animals will help maintain the biological equilibrium.

(CONCLUSION) (Thesis) In summary, we should protect our wildlife as we are the only species that have the knowledge and ability to protect endangered animals. (Summary) This helps sustain an ecosystem of crucial plants, fish and mammals. (Implication) Finally, when we protect the natural biological cycle of our ecosystems, we are essentially protecting our own human species.


Note :

There are certain common LPI Essay topics that my students, who've already sat for the LPI Test, have received. There will often be a choice based on technology, government, current educational options, work trends or personal preferences. It's good to begin to read a variety of topical articles and to do grammar exercises that cover rules that will be tested in the LPI (which will indeed help you create a stronger essay). Try also to practice writing a few essays and asking a strong English speaker to mark your essays. I have had realtors and parents who call last minute for help as their children have repeatedly received a 4 and not the 5 their major requires. Be strong. Do not feel defeated by your first mark. The key is to read a bit more, take note of the grammar, especially the sentence structures. Then practice writing a few more essays.

Almost all of my students have gotten the 5 they needed and that is why I decided to put together the LPI Essay Collection and charge a minimum for it. The second hardest challenge my students had was with the test paragraph summaries, so I have written a simple but effective technique on how to write accurate paragraph summaries and included them in this book. If you wish, I can mark one or two essays and tell you immediately what your strengths and weaknesses are. I try to point out not only the grammar issues, but also the awkward English expressions. No matter what, try to actually borrow or buy an LPI test booklet and practice before your next test.



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