TOEFL® Integrated Writing Practice 2

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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.

Although it’s a new technology, solar energy provides benefits to the entire world. First, solar energy eliminates our reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels. Additionally, solar energy is non-pollutant, which makes it better for everyone. Finally, there is almost no maintenance as solar panels have a long life span without regular maintenance. So, the benefits seem to be overwhelmingly positive and supportive of further production.

The first benefit is the ability for solar energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Many sources of energy are renewable only over millions of years. Unfortunately, humans consume those faster than they are produced. Solar energy could be a replacement for non-renewable sources as a perpetual source of energy. Thus solar energy can become a new energy with no legitimate fear of overproduction.

Another benefit is the non-pollutant aspect of solar energy. Burning fossil fuels is known to produce deadly pollution, while solar energy produces zero harmful byproducts. While current energy sources produce disgusting smells, sounds, and visuals, solar energy produces nothing offensive. Therefore, when considering the health of the planet, the lifelong health benefits of solar energy are unparalleled.

Finally, solar energy has low costs. The cost of solar panels is a one-time purchase. Also, after installation, the lifespan of a solar panel is thirty years. After the initial cost, the solar panel will cost almost nothing. This is a benefit to personal finances, but also peace of mind since there is no worry about rising prices or lack of resources.

In conclusion, these benefits provide support for more people to consider switching to solar power. Both the renewable aspect as well as the non-polluting aspect means that there will be added benefits for individuals, cities, and the planet. The low lifelong cost of installation and maintenance provides a lifetime of benefits. Thus, solar energy looks to be one of the world’s great ideas.

Today's Topic:

Solar Energy
Question: Summarize the points in the lecture, being sure to explain how they address the specific ideas about solar energy described in the reading passage.

Although it’s a new technology, solar energy provides benefits to the entire world. First, solar energy eliminates our reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels. Additionally, solar energy is non-pollutant, which makes it better for everyone. Finally, there is almost no maintenance as solar panels have a long life span without regular maintenance. So, the benefits seem to be overwhelmingly positive and supportive of further production.

The first benefit is the ability for solar energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Many sources of energy are renewable only over millions of years. Unfortunately, humans consume those faster than they are produced. Solar energy could be a replacement for non-renewable sources as a perpetual source of energy. Thus solar energy can become a new energy with no legitimate fear of overproduction.

Another benefit is the non-pollutant aspect of solar energy. Burning fossil fuels is known to produce deadly pollution, while solar energy produces zero harmful byproducts. While current energy sources produce disgusting smells, sounds, and visuals, solar energy produces nothing offensive. Therefore, when considering the health of the planet, the lifelong health benefits of solar energy are unparalleled.

Finally, solar energy has low costs. The cost of solar panels is a one-time purchase. Also, after installation, the lifespan of a solar panel is thirty years. After the initial cost, the solar panel will cost almost nothing. This is a benefit to personal finances, but also peace of mind since there is no worry about rising prices or lack of resources.

In conclusion, these benefits provide support for more people to consider switching to solar power. Both the renewable aspect as well as the non-polluting aspect means that there will be added benefits for individuals, cities, and the planet. The low lifelong cost of installation and maintenance provides a lifetime of benefits. Thus, solar energy looks to be one of the world’s great ideas.

Word Count: 0
 
03:00

Read a short passage

Although it’s a new technology, solar energy provides benefits to the entire world. First, solar energy eliminates our reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels. Additionally, solar energy is non-pollutant, which makes it better for everyone. Finally, there is almost no maintenance as solar panels have a long life span without regular maintenance. So, the benefits seem to be overwhelmingly positive and supportive of further production.

The first benefit is the ability for solar energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Many sources of energy are renewable only over millions of years. Unfortunately, humans consume those faster than they are produced. Solar energy could be a replacement for non-renewable sources as a perpetual source of energy. Thus solar energy can become a new energy with no legitimate fear of overproduction.

Another benefit is the non-pollutant aspect of solar energy. Burning fossil fuels is known to produce deadly pollution, while solar energy produces zero harmful byproducts. While current energy sources produce disgusting smells, sounds, and visuals, solar energy produces nothing offensive. Therefore, when considering the health of the planet, the lifelong health benefits of solar energy are unparalleled.

Finally, solar energy has low costs. The cost of solar panels is a one-time purchase. Also, after installation, the lifespan of a solar panel is thirty years. After the initial cost, the solar panel will cost almost nothing. This is a benefit to personal finances, but also peace of mind since there is no worry about rising prices or lack of resources.

In conclusion, these benefits provide support for more people to consider switching to solar power. Both the renewable aspect as well as the non-polluting aspect means that there will be added benefits for individuals, cities, and the planet. The low lifelong cost of installation and maintenance provides a lifetime of benefits. Thus, solar energy looks to be one of the world’s great ideas.

Question: Summarize the points in the lecture, being sure to explain how they address the specific ideas about solar energy described in the reading passage.

Word Count: 0

Listen to part of a lecture on the same topic.

  • library_books Audio Script

    Ok class, today we’re going to talk about solar energy. That’s right, energy we get from the sun. Aside from the typical advantages such as renewable clean energy, there are other less thought of considerations for renewable energy. We’ll rehash some of those important ideas and other concepts such as offset production, multifaceted uses, and financial benefits.

    One argument for solar energy use is clean renewable energy. Unfortunately at this point to produce solar panels we need to use fossil fuel energy. Is the energy used worth the energy gained? In five years, a solar cell will produce more energy than was used to make it. Given the lifespan of a solar cell this offsets the production cost of consumption.

    The second point today is the multifaceted uses for solar energy. There are more uses than just clean energy. The privatization of energy means that a person controls their energy output and where it goes. Solar powered water heaters are designed to optimize energy use to that people aren’t wasting money and energy. This is a benefit to the consumer concerning health and finances.

    Our final point for the day, the financial benefits of solar. You’re paying for the panels, but that’s all. On top of that, some people have been able to acquire so much energy that they sell their excess power to energy companies. Also, there are tax incentives that help offset the cost of installation. At that point, the financial benefits are amazingly compounded.

    So let’s recap really quickly. The benefits of solar energy are renewable clean energy with a lifespan that outweighs the energy production costs. The energy produced can be used in multiple ways by consumers, while the benefits of selling energy or receiving tax benefits makes this an obvious choice. So what exactly is keeping people from making the move to solar energy?

Sample Essay

The reading passage explores the many supports for the use of solar energy. The lecture then builds on those ideas and presents further information about the benefits of solar energy.

First the reading says that solar energy produces clean renewable energy. The lecture then goes on to explain how this is possible when they are made from non-renewable resources. It says that in the long run, solar panels make up for the energy used in making them after a very short amount of time.

Second the reading says solar panels can be used in many ways. This is supported by the lecture through the examples of people controlling their energy instead of just relying on the energy company to do it for them. Also, it says that people controlling their own energy limits wast.

Third the reading brings up the idea of how cheap solar panels are. In the lecture there are some examples given about how solar panels are a one time cost. After that, people can even make money by creating excess energy and then selling it to other people.


Therefore, the benefits of solar energy are widespread as presented through the reading and the lecture.

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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