There are a total of two different scenarios that you can encounter. Your response must summarize the key points discussed in the lecture and explain how these points relate to the reading. When taking notes for the reading passage, make sure to write down the position or opinion of the author and the main supporting reasons for that position or opinion.
In most cases, there will be three main supporting ideas. Note that the reading passage are always presented in a point-by-point fashion. That is, the article begins with a main statement, followed by three paragraphs, each of which gives a main point supporting the main statement. The lecture follows the same pattern, with the main points matching up with the main points in the reading passage. In other words, the main points directly support or refute the points made in the article, usually in the same order.
You must be aware of this in order to take appropriate notes. One more thing! The lecture might include information that is not related to the reading. Remember this! You should also paraphrase when you write your response.
DO NOT copy the exact words from the reading passage or lecture. Your score will suffer, if you do. Each body paragraph should cover one main point from the listening and explain in detail how it relates to the main points in the reading passage. Finally, the conclusion paragraph should summarize the introductory paragraph Do not use the same wording you used in the introduction paragraph. In the following section, we will provide you with TOEFL writing sample questions, sample writing responses, and useful writing templates for each of them.
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. Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture and explain how the speaker casts doubt on specific points made in the reading passage. As you can see, the main points of the lecture contradict the main points in the reading passage.
The passage states that pollution was the cause of the declining population of sea otters, while the lecture states that the predation is the most likely cause of the decrease in sea otter populations. Here is the sample essay:. In this scenario, the main points of the lecture are examples that support the key points in the reading passage.
Question: Summarize the points in the lecture, being sure to explain how they address the specific concerns for social media described in the reading passage. Your job is to plan and write an essay in response to this question. An "Agree or Disagree" question will give you a statement of opinion and ask you whether you agree or disagree with the statement. You will also have to provide specific reasons and examples to support your position. Here are examples:.
This type of question is very similar to the Agree or Disagree question. Here is an example:. You must provide specific reasons and examples to explain why you prefer the option you choose. Here are two examples:. Rather than choosing between two things or two opinions, you are typically not limited in your choice.
That is, you can choose anything that fits the situation.
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Here are three examples:. A "Description or Explanation" question will ask you to describe a certain type of person — especially the good qualities of a person — or explain something in the world. You might have to choose something to explain, or you might be given something specific to explain. You might have to explain why something is beneficial, important, or significant, or you might have to explain the reasons for or effects of something.
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This is our last question type on our list and is a little tricky. Generally speaking, you will see 2 variations of this type of question. First, the question might give you two subjects and could ask you to compare and contrast them. That is, to show the similarities and differences between them. However, the question might ask you to compare the advantages and disadvantages of only one subject, so read the question carefully. Can you see the difference between them? When you write a comparison and contrast essay, you need to be aware of what the question is asking.
Is it asking for the comparison of two different things or is it asking you to describe advantage and disadvantage of one thing? When the question is asking you to compare aspects of two subjects, each body paragraph compares and contrasts two subjects in one aspect. When the question is asking you to compare pros and cons of one subject, your first body paragraph discusses the advantage and your second body paragraph discusses the disadvantages. We'll look at how you can score high in each scoring criteria.
An easier criteria to score high in is how you organize and structure an essay. Introduction The introductory paragraph contains the general background information about the essay topic and a thesis statement. A thesis statement includes your main opinion on the essay topic and a preview of your key points which you will be developing in the body paragraphs.
TOEFL Writing Practice: Improve Your Writing Skills with Free TOEFL Writing Sample Essays & Lessons
Body A Body B Body C Each body paragraph is used to explain one key point you introduced in the introduction paragraph. Generally speaking, a high scoring essay has 3 body paragraphs, but if you find yourself running out of time, you can just write 2. Introduction The conclusion paragraph summarize each of your key points. It contains a restatement of the thesis statement you wrote in your introduction and a brief summary of your main ideas. This 5 paragraph structure approach can be used for 5 out of the 6 essay question types.
Each of your essays is given a score from 0 to 5. Your combined essay scores are converted to a section score of 0 to These four criteria are:. It takes time to develop good writing skills. Chances are a good English writer already has years of experience writing English and using English in their daily life. If you are not a good English writer, do not get frustrated.
The good news is that you only need to be able to write well on TOEFL independent and integrated tasks. Try it free. After reading the passage, you then listen to a lecture on the same topic. You then write an essay summarizing the lecture and the reading passage and showing the relationship between them. You should not express your own opinion of the issues and you should not bring in any information form outside the passage and the lecture.
Reading: 3 minutes Writing: 20 minutes Independent Writing Task You read a prompt a topic and express your opinions in your response. Your response is based entirely on your own knowledge and experience. Writing: 30 minutes. Contradiction: The lecture contradicts or casts doubt on the key points in the reading passage. Supporting with Examples: The lecture supports the key points in the reading passage. In this task, taking good notes is critical. Here is the breakdown of your essay structure: Introduction Body A Body B Body C Conclusion The introductory paragraph should contain the following: The main topic of both the reading passage and the lecture A paraphrase of the question describing the number of points made that were used to cast doubt on the reading passage.
Sea otters are a small mammal that lives in the waters along North America's west coast from California to Alaska. A few years ago some of the sea otter populations off the Alaskan coast started to decline rapidly, which raised several concerns because of their important role in the coastal ecosystem. Experts began investigating and came up with two possible explanations.
One explanation was environmental pollution and the second was attacks by predators. It seems clear that it was, in fact, environmental pollution that was the cause. One reason pollution was more likely was because of the known pollution sources along the Alaskan coast such as oil rigs. Also water samples taken in the area showed increased levels of chemicals that could decrease the otters' immune systems and indirectly result in their deaths.
Another thing that pointed to pollution as the culprit was the decline of other sea mammals such as seals in the same areas.
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This indicated that whatever was affecting the otters was also affecting the other sea mammals. Environmental pollution usually affects an entire ecosystem instead of just one species. Only predators that occurred in a large area, such as orcas a large predatory whale , could cause the same effect, but they usually hunt larger prey.
Finally, scientists believed the pollution hypothesis would also explain the uneven pattern of otter decline. In some Alaskan locations the otter population declined greatly while other populations remained stable. Some experts suggested this could be explained by the fact that ocean currents, or other environmental factors, might have created uneven concentrations of pollutants along the coast. The reading and the lecture are both about theories of the rapid decline in sea otter populations.
Whereas the author of the reading states that pollution was the major cause of the decline in sea otter populations, the lecturer suggests that predation is the most likely factor contributing to the reduction in the number of the sea otters. The lecturer casts doubts on the main points made in the reading by providing three reasons. First of all, according to the reading, the increased levels of pollutants taken from water samples provide evidence for the pollution theory.
However, the lecturer disputes this point. He says that if the sea otters had been killed by pollutants in water, they would have been found on shores. Furthermore, he mentions that the absence of dead sea otters on shores indicates that sea otters were killed and eaten by predators. Secondly, the reading states that aside from sea otters other small sea animals also decreased in population due to pollution. This finding indicates that the pollution is the reason why sea otters are in rapid decline. Nevertheless, the lecturer refutes this argument. He argues that because the whale population decreased, the orcas in the area had to eat otters instead of whales.
As a result, the otter population diminished. Finally, the reading claims that environmental factors, which lead to different levels of pollutant concentration, perfectly explain the uneven pattern of the diminishing sea otter populations. On the other hand, the lecturer believes that the uneven pattern of declining sea otter populations corresponds to the prevalence of orcas in different areas.
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He thinks that the otter population reduces in places with orcas and there was not a big decrease in otters in places where orcas could not access. You can serve yourself as little as you want. It may seem more convenient to eat at a restaurant because you don't have to shop, cook, or clean up. All you do is eat. Cooking at home, however, can actually be more convenient. There are lots of simple meals that don't take long toprepare.
In addi- tion, when you eat at home, you don't have to drive to the restaurant, look for a parking space, wait for a table, and wait for service. People often choose to eat at restaurants because it seems more convenient. Others believe that going to classes should be optional for students. Which point of view do you agree with? Use specific rea- sons and details to support your answer.
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Some people believe that going to classes should be optional for university students, but I disagree. Students learn a lot more in classes than they can learn from books. In class they have the advantage of learning from the teacher, of interacting with their - classmates, and of develOPing the responsibility it takes to be a good student.
When students attend class, they receive the benefit of the teacher's knowledge. The best teachers do more than just go over the material in the class textbook. They draw their students into discussion of the material. They present opposing points of view. They provide additional information by inviting guest speakers or showing documentary films. Going to class also teaches students how to work with other people. In class, students have topresent their ideas to their classmates. They have to defend their ideas if their classmates disagree with them, but still remain friendly when the discussion is over.
They have to learn to work in groups to complete classprojects. Attending classes teaches students responsibility. Having to be at a particular place at a particular time prepares them for getting a job. Having to complete assignments on time also helps develop responsibility. Anyone can get information from books, but students get a great many more advantages when they attend class. They get the benefit of the teacher's knowledge and experience, and even more than that, they learn how to work with others and to develop a sense of responsibility.
These are not optional skills in life,so attending classes should not be optional at a university. Inyour opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbor? Use specific details and examples in your answer. There are several qualities that a good neighbor has. If you have a good neighbor, you area lucky person. You have someone who is respectful of your property, who is helpful with the little day-to-day problems that arise, and who is supportive in times of crisis. A good neighbor respects your property. This means she asks for your permission bifore doing something that may affect you.
She doesn't plant a huge tree between your houses without asking you how you feel about it. If she wants toput up a fence, she tells you about her plans first. A good neighbor is willing to lend a hand when you need a little help. He lends you some milk if you run out, or gives you a ride if your car breaks down. He letsyour children stay at his house if you get stuck working overtime. You do the same for him. When you go through a crisis, like a death in thefamily, a good neighbor volun- teers to help in any way she can. She might do something small, like prepare afew mealsfor you.
Or, she might do something big, like help you get through the sadness of a funeral. A neighbor can be as close as a good friend, or more like a distant acquaintance.