Notefull Writing Integrated Essays

TOEFL Writing Tutorial | TOEFL Writing Question 1: Integrated Writing � (Read, Listen, Explain)Previous   Up   Next   

TOEFL Writing Question 1

Integrated Writing – (Read, Listen, Explain):

The reading and the lecture will be on an academic subject in one of the following areas.

Life science – Any of several branches of science, such as biology, medicine, anthropology, or ecology, that deal with living organisms and their organization, life processes, and relationships to each other and their environment.

Social science – The study of human society and of individual relationships in and to society, including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history.

Physical science – Any of the sciences, such as physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology, that analyze the nature and properties of energy and nonliving matter.

Humanities – Branches of knowledge that investigate human beings, their culture, and their self-expression, including the study of languages and literatures, the arts, history, and philosophy.

If any of these subjects is unfamiliar to you, there are several things you can do to prepare. Read articles in academic journals at the library, download podcasts of lectures, subscribe to a blog on the subject, or buy lecture series such as the Great Courses.

To begin with, your focus should be on summarizing the main points of the lecture.

  • Do not take notes in full sentence form. Use points.
  • Expect structure. The main point will come first followed by explanations, examples, and reasons.
  • Put things in your own words. Avoid the trap of copying down exact phrases.
  • Make sure you've covered the 5W's and How. Do you know who, what, when, where, why, and how? You must mention specific details in your answer.

Your next task is to show how the lecture challenges or supports the reading. Begin by typing out an outline so your essay has a clear, coherent structure. You can fill it in and delete as you write.

Choose your words carefully so that you are answering the exact question that is asked. Just writing generally about the subject will not get you high marks.

Here are some key phrases you can use in your essay.

Challenges the reading

contest, dispute, query, question
doubt, mistrust
object (to), protest
oppose, resist, defy, face

Supports the reading

advocate, back, champion
confirm, bear out, corroborate, substantiate
validate, verify, vindicate
help, boost, support

Use verbs to indicate that you are summarizing:

suggest, say
report, tell
argue, question, ask

TOEFL Writing Tutorial | TOEFL Writing Question 1: Integrated Writing � (Read, Listen, Explain)Previous   Up   Next   

#1 Most Important TOEFL Writing Mastery Tip (Focus)



Don't use your delete button anymore.


Do you write a sentence, read it, change it, and then move ahead? This wastes time and creates punctuation and grammar mistakes. Force yourself to focus and use the delete button much less. You'll concentrate more, write better, and improve your TOEFL writing score.


Chapter 4: TOEFL Writing Mastery: Content For High Scores


Video introduction to this chapter of your TOEFL book:




Don't Feel Confused Or Stressed With The TOEFL Writing back to top




Are you ready for step 2? Click below to take your next step forward:


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With the TOEFL writing, it’s important to understand how you’re evaluated so that you know exactly what you have to do to succeed.


As you should already know from our TOEFL overview section, the writing consists of 2 questions. Each question is evaluated by a grader and a computerized e-rater (that’s right; the TOEFL is going to use a computer to assess half of your writing score). Each will assign your essay a score of 1 to 5 depending on how well it was written.


We’ll discuss in great detail how to earn a top rating below, but for now, here’s a basic breakdown:


Score of 1: the essay is written in English but has little to nothing to do with the content.

Score of 2: the essay is written in a manner that addresses the topic and deals with the question, but has poor vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, connection, and development (writing mechanics). It confuses the reader.

Score of 3: the essay is on topic and communicates the major points needed well enough to be understood but has poor writing mechanics and limited development of content.

Score of 4: the essay is clear and communicates the intended idea effectively but is missing either content or writing mechanics necessary to show complete fluency.

Score of 5: the essay communicates with all necessary content and a bit more for complete clarity. It will also contain excellent writing mechanics.



The writing section, as we should also know, score will be anything from 0 to 30. The ratings will be averaged and converted to a score of 30. 


For example, let’s say that you did well on question 1 and didn’t do so well on question 2, so your scores are as follows:


Question 1: 4, 4

Question 2: 2, 3


We know that the maximum rating possible is 5 and since you have 4 total ratings, the maximum raw score would be? That’s right: 20. Let’s find our percentage:


4 + 4 + 2 + 3 = 13 (our total raw score)

13/20 = 65%


Now, let’s convert our percentage to our overall score:


65% X 30 = 19.5, which would be rounded to 20.


Though it’s unlikely that one question will be great and another poor (since you will write both of them and will write them with the same skill), you see how one question can either do much to hurt or help you.



How much does your grammar, spelling, vocabulary, sentence complexity, and anything else you think of besides content affect your score? A lot, but not as much as you think.


Just as with the speaking section there is a common focus that is absolutely going in the wrong direction among many students: content is king, not mechanics. This means that poor content and great mechanics will yield a fair to low score and great content and poor mechanics will yield a fair score. In other words, strong content has more power over your score than mechanics.


Of course, you need good mechanics, but too many students study grammar instead of develop listening skill and overall writing skill in preparation for the TOEFL writing section, which is a massively ineffective way to study. Content mastery first and writing mechanics second. Remember that. Remember that. Remember that.



We know that we have 2 questions, right? Each is different and requires its own specific strategy, so watch and enjoy the videos below to master them. Don’t forget to take great notes.


TOEFL iBT Writing: Question 1



Here are two fast points for this question. First, it’s all about your notes and understanding. I receive questions often about what to do if you didn’t get all the points from the lecture. My advice: do your best but you must work on your listening and note-taking skill (review the video and visit our TOEFL listening section for more help on this). Second, once you have all of the important content, that’s all you need. 250 words is the number of words you need for a perfect score. If you write more than 250, that's fine but be careful. When we read essays beyond 250 from students that score 24 or below, they are often wordy, repetitive and a bit unclear. So, stick to the content and be precise and exact. This doesn't mean to try to write less; it just means stick to your notes.


TOEFL iBT Writing: Question 2



Here are two fast points about this question. First, a high word-count on this question won’t guarantee a high score (remember that content is king; you need good content with a high word-count). Second, use the easiest examples you can write well with, but don’t write the simplest. In other words, it’s better to write an example about a newspaper article you read about world affairs than what your friend ate for breakfast; or, it’s better to write an example about your career as a pharmacist than what you did at the park. Referencing more “professional” experiences will allow you to write better and use more advanced vocabulary.


Click here for more powerful TOEFL writing help before your next test.



Use the questions below to bring home the ideas that you just learned. And, if you'd like to submit these answers for free feedback please send us your essays via email and make sure to title the email: writing feedback from free class. Let us know a little about yourself too: what is your goal score, when is your next test (if you have one scheduled), what was your previous score (if you've taken it before), and anything else you'd like us to know and we'll send you a detailed study plan for exactly how to improve. Good luck!



Example Question 1


Reading Time: 3 minutes


Space Tourism



Soon there will be something new for the tourist who has been everywhere and seen everything on Earth. Spacecraft being developed by private commercial companies will soon enable private citizens to buy their own tickets to travel into space, thereby creating a space tourism industry. so far, space travel has been undertaken only by governments, but the new, privatized spaceflight industry will bring great benefits to both science and the public.


First, private space travel will benefit serious space exploration by making spaceflight cheaper. Privatization of space technology will bring technological costs down very fast because it will allow competition--and competition is one of the strongest motivators to cut costs. Thus, lowering the cost of space travel will benefit not only space tourists but also scientists, who will be able to use private space flights for research purposes.


Furthermore, privatization of space travel will accelerate the rate at which important scientific discoveries occur. the aerospace industry already sponsors a lot of groundbreaking scientific research, and adding private spaceflight companies to it will make the industry as a whole grow in size, thereby employing more scientists than it does now. that increased number of working scientists means not only that more discoveries are likely to be made but also that those discoveries are likely to be made more quickly than in the past.


Finally, when governments are the sole providers of space travel, the costs are paid for by the whole taxpaying public, but with privatization, the expenses of space travel will be borne by the customers of the industry. The fact that private spaceflight operators will be able to raise funds through ticket sales means that the financial burden on taxpayers will be eased significantly.



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


Writing time: 20 minutes (remember that you can reference the reading on the test and here throughout the whole 20 minutes)


Example Question 2


Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should require students to study many subjects in different fields rather than just their major subjects.


Writing time: 30 minutes



I wish you great luck and hope that this page helped you. If you’re struggling to improve then I encourage you to register for one of our more detailed systems. We go into much more detail and have programs with detailed reviews of your work and one-on-one tutoring. Click on the link below for more help and good luck! 


Remember To Master This Chapter Before Moving On back to top


Memorize the strategy, vocabulary, and writing question content in this page. It will help you tremendously. It's the only way to improve your TOEFL score in a big way. After doing so, let's move to the next chapter.




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