1) Reading an academic passage about 300 words long
3 minutes to read it
About 4 paragraphs
2) Listening to an extract from a lecture on the same topic as that of the reading passage. The lecture agrees or disagrees with the passage.
You cannot listen to the audio again.
About 2 minutes to listen
About 150–225 words.
Summarizing the points made in the lecture and explaining how they comment on the reading passage.
Don’t express your opinion!
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Introducing the reading and lecture, stating that the professor disagrees.
The reading states that … and provides … reasons. However, the professor opposes this argument and refutes each of the points made in the reading.
Paragraph 2: Argument 1
Discussing the first point made in the reading.
First, the reading states/claims that … It shows how …
The professor disagrees with this argument by saying that …
Paragraph 3: Argument 2
Introducing the second point and showing how the professor opposes this idea.
Secondly, the reading argues that … The professor opposes this idea. He believes that …
Paragraph 4: Argument 3
Outlining the final point from the reading and the professor’s arguments against it.
Thirdly, the reading states that … The professor refutes this idea. He argues that …
Paragraph 5: Conclusion (optional!!!)
A conclusion summarizing all your ideas.
In conclusion, the reading describes how …
The professor opposes these arguments stating that …
- The reading and the lecture are both about … , which is/are …
- The main topic(s) of both the lecture and the reading is/are …
- The reading passage explains/shows … , and the lecture … .
- Both the article and the lecture deal with …
- The article introduces the topic of … More specifically, the writer discusses … The lecturer in the listening passage disagrees. (topic sentence + contradiction)
- … , while the listening passage lists criticism on …
- … , whereas the lecturer believes that …
- By contrast, the lecturer explains/states/claims/points out that …
- The lecturer, however, disagrees with this idea/belief. Instead, he/she believes that …
- The lecturer, however, doubts/casts doubt on this idea/belief and thinks that …
- The lecturer challenges this point, however, by explaining/suggesting/positing that …
- The speaker disagrees with the article’s claim that…
The lecturer opposes/refutes/contradicts this idea..
The lecturer argues that…
- This point is contradicted by…
Giving reasons for contradiction
- In the reading, the author begins by stating that…
- Another reason why the author feels that … is that … The professor in the listening passage is doubtful that this is accurate.
- In conclusion/In sum/To sum up/In the final analysis.
- In conclusion, the points made in the lecture contrast with the reading.
- The points from the lecture demonstrate that the idea/the fact discussed/described (the information presented) in the reading is in doubt.
- In conclusion, the points made in the lecture overthrow the arguments made in the reading.
- In sum, the professor/teacher/lecturer challenges the claims made in the reading.
- As you write, you’ll be able to look at the reading passage again if you need to. However, you cannot listen to the audio again, so, you should take notes while you listening.
- Try to paraphrase the reading. This means do not copy exactly what the reading says.
- Use a range of vocabulary stating a professor’s opinion
For example, words for disagreeing:
Casts doubt on
4. Think about logical oppositions to the ideas in the reading.
- Do not express your own opinion – just summarize the reading and the listening extracts.
- Write even if you don’t understand everything.
- Use the reading to help you with spelling and vocabulary.
- Focus more on the lecture than the reading. The task is to summarize the lecture, so only use points from the reading when relevant or necessary.
(some useful tips are taken from http://www.learnenglish-online.com/toefl/writing/task1.html)
TOEFL Integrated Writing Task Practice
Summarize the main points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the specific points made in the reading passage. 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 how well your response presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage.
Give yourself 3 minutes to read the passage.
The “comics medium” includes newspaper comic strips such as Dennis the Menaceand comic books such as Spider-Man. Scholars around the world agree that comics are a uniquely American art form.
The first commercially successful comic strip was Hogan’s Alley, a comic strip from the 1890s. Hogan’s Alley featured the Yellow Kid, the world’s first popular cartoon character. This strip and its character marked the beginning of comics and was American in every respect. Set in a low-income neighborhood in New York City,Hogan’s Alley dealt with the lives of ordinary Americans. It was written and drawn by American cartoonist R.F. Outcault. Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, two famous and influential American publishers, printed the comic strip in their newspapers.
The first popular comic book in the world was also American. Action Comics, a series that is still in print today, was initially released in 1938. It featured Superman, the world’s first superhero. Like Hogan’s Alley, Superman was American-created.
Americans invented comic strips, and Americans have exported their unique art form to the rest of the world. Japanese comics, called manga, were inspired by the comics that Americans brought to Japan after World War II. Popular European comics series such as Smurfs and Asterix are influenced by Disney comic books. Today, American-created Disney comic characters are more popular in Europe than ever. The comics medium started in America. While it has spread around the world, even comics that aren’t created by Americans have an undeniable American influence. This is why so many art and literature scholars recognize the comic strip as a truly American art form.
(taken from https://magoosh.com/toefl/2015/toefl-integrated-writing-practice-task/)
The reading and the lecture are both about comics as an art form and their origin. In the reading passage, the author states that comics are an art form that is very unique to the United States and was borrowed by other countries. However, the speaker contradicts this statement stating that few scholars agree with that and relies on the following points.
First of all, the speaker claims that Hogan’s Alley, the 1890s comic strip referred to as American-created in the article, is not completely American because the comic characters were not Americans, as well as its publisher and the creator. In addition, according to him, the first popular comic strips were not American. 100 years before the first American comic strip, there had been other popular comic strips in Europe.
Secondly, the speaker disagrees with the article’s claim that comic book Superman was the first popular comic book. Instead, the lecturer says the Belgian comic book Tintin was popular before Superman. Also, the author points out that Superman’s creator is Canadian, not American as the article says.
Finally, the speaker disagrees that American cartoon art influenced international comics saying says that popular European comics have a uniquely European style adding that even American Disney comics characters are drawn by European artists. He also states that Japanese comics are influenced more by traditional Asian art.
Summarize the main points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the specific points made in the reading passage. You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response.
Give yourself 3 minutes to read the passage.
The chemical compound, ethanol, has risen in recent years as the most viable alternative to fossil fuels. Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from crops, mainly from corn in the United States, which can power engines. There are many who argue that corn ethanol should replace fossil fuel gas as the primary source for running cars.
One major benefit of using corn ethanol is that it uses less energy than gasoline. Using less energy means that people can get better gas mileage while driving these more fuel-efficient cars. In the long-run, this will be cheaper for consumers because they can drive further than they do now with fossil fueled cars. People will spend less money on gas because they won’t have to stop to fill up as frequently.
Another advantage of switching to corn ethanol is that it helps the American economy become less reliant on energy sources from other countries. Petroleum is not readily available in the U.S., so it must be imported from other countries. Depending on the foreign relations with those countries, fuel becomes a political issue. Corn is a crop that America has in abundance. By using corn ethanol instead, the cost of gas will decrease because now the import taxes on fossil fuels are calculated into the price. This also means that we will be putting the money into our own economy, thus helping local corn farmers.
One of the most attractive aspects of corn ethanol is how environmentally friendly is is when compared to current automobile gasoline. Fossil fuels release carbon that has been stored for years from the earth. Burning biofuels, like corn ethanol, is better for the environment because it releases less greenhouse gas emissions. Lessening the amount of carbon emissions will help prevent global warming and all of the other negative effects of climate change.
Both the article and the lecture deal with corn-based ethanol. The author describes the advantages of switching from fossil fuels to this alternative energy source. The lecturer disagrees stating that the benefits mentioned in the reading passage are misleading and refutes each of the claims made in the reading.
In the reading, the author begins by stating that drivers will get better gas mileage on corn ethanol than on fossil fuels, and therefore save money on gas. However, the speaker disagrees claiming that the production of corn ethanol is very expensive. He says that in order to make for the costs to create and distribute this biofuel, they will increase the price of ethanol gas. As a result, it will not be any cheaper for consumers in the long run.
Secondly, the author claims that making the switch to corn ethanol will help the American economy because it will make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. Again, the lecturer believes there are flaws in the writer’s argument. He claims instead that mass use of corn-based ethanol will hurt the economy. He elaborates on this pointing out that the inevitable competition for corn by multiple consumers, including beef and dairy farmers, will drive the price of corn up.
Another reason why the author feels that moving from traditional gasoline to corn ethanol is a good idea is because they are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. The professor in the listening passage is doubtful that this is accurate. He believes that as more farmlands are created to support the demands for more corn, more carbon will be absorbed by the land. This means that as these emissions will still be released to negatively affect environment.
- Complete the gaps with the following words
argues, makes, concerns, describes, contradicted, proving, casts doubt on, states, different, another
In this set of materials, the reading passage 1) … the harmful effects of forest fires. In the lecture, the professor 2) … that forest fires can be beneficial to forests. The professor’s view on this issue is therefore 3) … from the one expressed in the reading. According to the reading, fire suppression affects forests positively. However, the professor 4) … this view with several points.
The first point the professor 5) … is that there are too many mature trees, which prevent seedlings and other plants on the forest floor from growing effectively because of the lack of light. By contrast, the reading 6) … that fires destroying young trees and plants bring more harm to their life. 7) … point made by the lecturer is that burning a forest actually puts more nutrients into the soil. This is not what the reading says. The reading states the reverse: it is fires that take nutrients out of the soil.
One more point made by the professor 8) … the increase in the deer population, which may lead to the fact that seedlings and other plants are likely to be killed by having its leaves eaten. This point is 9) … by the reading, which claims that the increase in the deer and other animal populations is beneficial to forests.
In sum, the lecturer challenges the claims made in the reading by 10) … that forest fires are sometimes needed for a healthy forest.
(the sample answer is taken from http://www.fluent.ru/level4/identifier72.htm)
- Successfully selects the important information from the lecture.
- Coherently and accurately presents information from both the lecture and the reading.
- Well organized with few language errors.
- Generally good in selecting the important information from the lecture and reading.
- May have minor omission, inaccuracy, vagueness, or imprecision of some content.
- More frequent or noticeable minor language errors.
- It conveys only vague, global, unclear, or somewhat imprecise information about the lecture and reading.
- Key points may be missing.
- Errors of usage and/or grammar may be more frequent and obscure meanings.
- Contains some relevant information from the lecture, but is marked by significant language difficulties or by significant omission or inaccuracy of important ideas.
- Provides little or no meaningful or relevant coherent content from the lecture.
- The language level of the response is so low that it is difficult to derive meaning.
- Merely copies sentences from the reading, rejects the topic or is not connected to the topic, is written in a foreign language,or is blank.