TOEFL® Integrated Writing Practice 15

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You'll have 3 minutes to read a passage. After reading, you'll listen to a lecture regarding the same topic you just read. Finally, you'll have 20 minutes to write a response to a question that asks you about the relationship between the lecture you heard and the reading passage. Try to answer the question using information from the reading passage and the lecture.

Typically, an effective response will be 250 to 300 words.

We recommend you practice taking notes with a pen and paper like you will during your TOEFL exam.

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Question: Summarize the point made in the lecture and explain how the speaker cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.

Torreya taxifolia, once a very common evergreen tree in the state of Florida started to die out in the 1950s. If nothing is done soon, there is a possibility that Torreya could become extinct altogether because no one knows exactly what caused the trees to die out. In order to save Torreya from extinction, experts are considering three solutions.

The first solution is to reestablish Torreya in the same location in which it thrived for thousands of years. Torreya used to be found in abundance in the northern part of Florida, which has a specific microclimate. When weather conditions inside a small area are different from the region it is a part of, then a microclimate exists. Northern Florida's microclimate is very favorable to Torreya's growth because it is cooler and wetter. Meanwhile the surrounding region has a very warm and dry climate. Scientists have been working to plant Torreya seeds in the dampest and coolest areas of the microclimate.

A second solution is to move Torreya far from its microclimate in Florida. Possibly move it to an entirely different location. In fact Torreya seeds and saplings have been successfully planted and grown in forests further north, where the temperature is significantly cooler. Some scientists believe that Torreya probably thrived in areas much further north in the distant past. They can use a process called assisted migration to help relocate the special evergreen trees. Humans would simply be helping Torreya return to an environment that is more suited to its survival.

The third solution is preserving Torreya in research centers. Seeds and saplings can be moved from the wild and preserved in a closely monitored environment where it will be easier for scientists both to protect the species and conduct research on Torreya. The research done in these centers can then be used to ensure the continued survival of the species, as well as, help to understand the factors that caused them to die out.


 

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Question: Summarize the point made in the lecture and explain how the speaker cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.

Word Count: 0

Listen to part of a lecture on the same topic.

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Sample Essay

The reading and the lecture are both about three different ways to save the Torreya tree from extinction. Whereas the author of the reading states that the three points stated in the reading passage are an incorrect way of protecting this tree, the lecturer states that all three points stated in the passage are not sustainable. The lecturer casts doubt on the main points made in the reading by providing three reasons.

First of all, according to the reading, the first solution is to reinstate Torreya in the same place in Florida. However, the lecturer disputes this point. He says that the plantation of Torreya in a microclimate area such as Florida is inconceivable since it is the coolest and dampest region close to the hottest district. Furthermore, he mentions that climate change will impact the microclimate zone, along these lines, and inclement temperature that is linked to uninhabitable conditions in the dry origin.

Secondly, the reading states that moving them to a different location is one of the solutions to conserve them however the speaker disagrees with this point. He argues that by stating that the result will be similar to what happened when scientists moved the Black locust tree, which resulted in the tree spreading out at a faster pace that leads to the death of other endangered plants and trees in this new area.

Finally, the reading claims that moving Torreya to be preserved in research centers so that it could be closely monitored is a good idea but on the other hand, the lecturer believes that if Torreya was to be moved from the wild to a research center, the population would not be able to face any diseases that they encounter, since they are a genetically diverse population. He thinks that a preserved population will not be able to survive in the long term.

In conclusion, although the reading and the lecture are both about saving Torreya, the three main points made in the reading are effectively challenged by the lecturer.

Steps to tackle the TOEFL Integrated Writing Task
Step 1: Read the passage

The passage is important in giving you general background information of the topic. Read the passage carefully and make sure you understand it well. Take notes of the main ideas of the passage but do not go into too many details. Even though there will be a three minute timer for you to read the passage, the passage is actually displayed while you are writing your essay. Your goal while reading the passage the first time should be to understand the main points in each paragraph.

Step 2: Take notes during the lecture

Needless to say, you need to take careful notes during the lecture. Unlike the passage, you will not have a chance to listen to the lecture again, so make sure you take careful notes of either the contrast between the passage and the audio or the similarities. The lecture will provide wither counter examples and disagreements or will provide examples to further prove the passage correct. Every main point from the passage is discussed again in the lecture, but with a different angle and attitude. For example, if the lecture is disagreeing with the reading and the reading says "teamwork allows individuals to respond quicker to their assignments", then the lecture might say "teamwork takes away the opportunities for hard working, talented individuals to be recognized".

Step 3: Organize your response

There are many ways to organize an essay, but there are still a few good rules you can follow. The essay should have three sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. See the "TEACHING" tab in Independent Writing for an overview of the basic essay format.

1) Introduction
Write a short and concise introduction for your essay. This introduction should include an explanation of your topic, and how the article and the professor either agree or disagree with each other about the topic. Keep this introduction short. Do not go into details of the reasons. You will only need to introduce the topic briefly, so the reader knows what to expect in the body section.

2) Body
This section should include 2 to 3 paragraphs, each one with the main point that is mentioned in the reading. So each paragraph should start with a sentence that introduces the point to be discussed in the paragraph. Use the specific examples from the article and lectures. Use the same paragraph structure for all the paragraphs in the body section. Remember to start a new line for every paragraph. Don't clump all the paragraph together as a big block, and also do not break a paragraph into many small paragraphs. Each topic should be contained in one paragraph only. Do not copy the article or the lecture into your essay. This is your essay so all the information should be conveyed in your own words. Paraphrase as much as you can. Use a variety of words and sentence structures to avoid repetition in your essay, as well.

3) Conclusion
Write a short conclusion to sum up the whole essay. This conclusion can be considered a paraphrased version of the introduction. Restate the list of the main points and how the article and the professor either agreed or disagreed. Because this is the last section of the essay, many people tend to run out of time do not write a conclusion. First of all, running out of time can be avoided with proper organization and following our process. Secondly, forgetting to write a conclusion is a big mistake that you should avoid. Even if there is only one sentence in the conclusion, you still need to have one. It is essential for an essay to have three sections. Missing one section will make the essay incomplete, and that will cost you some points.

Step 4: Review

You should time yourself so that you have about 5 minutes left to review your essay. Fix typos, check for inconsistencies of the tenses of the verbs, the plurality of the subjects and verbs, and add transition words wherever you see fit. Having good transitions will gain you some extra points. Make sure the essay flows in a logical order.

Writing Template for Scenario 1: Contradiction

This scenario is the most common scenario. In this scenario, the lecture will contradict or cast doubt on the key points in the reading passage.

Writing Template:
The reading and the lecture are both about ______. Whereas the author of the reading states that _______, the lecturer suggests that ________. The lecturer casts doubt on the main points made in the reading by providing two/three reasons.

First of all, according to the reading, _____________ .However, the lecturer disputes this point. He/She says that _________. Furthermore, he/she mentions that ___________

Secondly, the reading states that _______. Nevertheless, the lecturer refutes this argument. He/She argues that __________. In addition, he/she points out ________.

Finally, the reading claims that _________. On the other hand, the lecturer believe that _____. He/She thinks that _______. Moreover, he/she feels that ________

In conclusion, although the reading and the lecture are both about _______, the two/three main points made in the reading are effectively challenged by the lecturer.
Writing Template for Scenario 2: Supporting with examples

In this scenario, the main points of the lecture are examples that support the key points in the reading passage.

Writing Template:
The reading and the lecture are both about _____________. The reading states that ____________. The lecture builds upon those same ideas to give a more comprehensive picture with two/three examples.

First of all, according to the reading, _________. Supporting this idea, the lecturer explains that _________. Furthermore, he/she mentions that __________.

Secondly, the reading states that_______. The lecturer then goes on to explain that ________. In addition, he/she points out ________.

Finally, the reading claims that _______. In support of this idea, the lecturer brings up the point that ________. (Optional) Moreover, he/she feels that _________.

In conclusion, although the reading and the lecture both discuss __________, the two/three main points made in the reading are effectively supported by the lecturer.
 
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