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TOEFL Writing

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Sariel Hemingway

on 18 August 2013

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Transcript of TOEFL Writing

Test of English as a Foreign Language Writing
Introduction to the Writing Section
There are two tasks in the Writing section of the TOEFL iBT test:
an Integrated Writing Task and an Independent Writing Task.

The Integrated Writing Task
It comes first because it requires some listening, and when you are taking the real TOEFL iBT, you will be wearing headphones. It will take 20 minutes.
The Independent Writing Task
You will then have 30 minutes to complete the Independent Writing Task. On this task you are supposed to express your opinion in a particular matter.

A reading passage like the following will appear on your computer screen.
You will have 3 minutes to read the passage.
In many organizations, perhaps the best way to approach certain new projects is to assemble a group of people into a team. Having a team of people attack a project offers several advantages. First of all, a group of people has a wider range of knowledge, expertise, and skills than any single individual is likely to possess.
Also, because of the numbers of people involved and the greater resources they possess, a group can work more quickly in response to the task assigned to it and can come up with highly creative solutions to problems and issues.
Sometimes these creative solutions come about because a group is more likely to make risky decisions that an individual might not undertake. This is because the group spreads responsibility for a decision to all the members and thus no single individual can be held accountable if the decision turns out to be wrong....
You are not expected to produce a well-researched, comprehensive essay about a highly specific, specialized topic.
You can receive a high score with an essay that contains some errors.

The Integrated Writing Task
You will read a passage about an academic topic for three minutes, and then you will hear a short lecture related to the topic.

Then you will be asked to summarize the points in the listening passage and explain how they relate to specific points in the reading passage.

For both the writing tasks on the TOEFL iBT, the people evaluating your writing recognize that your response is a first draft.
Then you will hear:
How the Task Is Phrased
If the lecture challenges the information in the reading passage:
How the Task Is Phrased
If the lecture supports the information in the reading passage:
Integrated Writing Scoring Rubric
The Independent Writing Task
Example and writing essay tips:
Narrator: "Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about."
Professor: "Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the team responsible for planning the projects and getting the work done. After about six months, the company took a look at how well the teams performed...."
The reading passage will then reappear on your computer screen, along with the following directions and writing task:

You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response. Your response will be judged on the basis of the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage. Typically, an effective response will be 150 to 225 words.
If the lecture challenges the information in the reading passage, the writing task will usually be phrased in one of the following ways:
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific claims/arguments made in the reading passage.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how they answer the problems raised in the reading passage
If the lecture supports or strengthens the information in the reading passage, the writing task will usually be phrased in one of the following ways:
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how they strengthen specific points made in the reading passage.
You are presented with a question, and you have 30 minutes to write an essay in response. The question asks you to give your opinion on an issue.

An effective response is typically about 300 words long. If you write fewer than 300 words, you may still receive a top score, but experience has shown that shorter responses typically do not demonstrate the development of ideas needed.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

2) Think before you write. Make a brief outline or some notes on scratch paper to help you organize your thoughts.

Keep track of your time. Try to finish writing your essay by the time the clock counts down to 4 or 5 minutes.

Use the remaining time to check your work and make final changes. At the end of 30 minutes your essay will be automatically saved.

Independent Writing Score Rubric
Independent Task
Writing Topics
Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what are the
qualities of a good neighbor? Use specific details and examples in your

Some people think that they can learn better by themselves than with a
teacher. Others think that it is always better to have a teacher. Which do
you prefer? Use specific reasons to develop your essay.

Nowadays, food has become easier to prepare. Has this change improved
the way people live? Use specific reasons and examples to support your

In general, people are living longer now. Discuss the causes of this
phenomenon. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

In some countries, teenagers have jobs while they are still students. Do
you think this is a good idea? Support your opinion by using specific
reasons and details.

How do movies or television influence people’s behavior? Use reasons
and specific examples to support your answer.
How to prepare?
Do a lot of Reading and Listening to broaden your mental perspective.
Practice taking notes while you listen.
Practice summarizing information that you read or listen, in your own words.
Practice typing on the computer keyboard.
Practice basic computer typing techniques such as cut and paste.

Learn the essay structure very well: 5 paragraphs. Introduction, 3 examples, conclusion.
Practice organizing your writing: make and Outline of your essay.
Learn to use transition (linking) words.
Pay attention to the time:Make a quick review on what you have done. You may find errors and correct them.
Do not extend you writing well above 300 words for the independent task and 225 for the integrated task.
For independent writing task it is NOT IMPORTANT WHAT opinion you state (as long as it is relevant to the topic), but HOW YOU STATE and HOW YOU SUPPORT your argument.
Overall the best strategy for essay writing is :
Strategies and tips
It's a first draft
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how they support the explanations in the reading passage.
Use words and phrases that you are familiar with .Do not use difficult words if you are not sure of the meaning, relevance and spellings.
In nutshell planning and organizing involves following steps:
Generating ideas
Sequencing ideas
Eliminating (less relevant) ideas
Outlining brief sketch of essay on scratch paper
Try to find a little time, after completing your writing, to have a second look at your composition to eliminate any inadvertent errors/ omissions, particularly with regard to grammar and spellings.
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