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Overview of Integrated Writing in TOEFL Writing

In the TOEFL Integrated Writing task (Writing Task 1), you’ll read a passage about a topic and then listen to a short lecture on the same topic but from a different perspective. You’ll then be asked to summarize the points made in the lecture and explain how they relate to specific points made in the reading passage. You’ll have a total of 20 minutes to plan and write your response.

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In this post, we’ll cover our top 3 tips to help you do well in the Integrated Writing task and boost your overall TOEFL score.
If you’re wanting to improve in your Writing for an Academic Discussion task, click here.

Tip 1 – In the TOEFL test, make sure you answer the question

It may sound obvious, but you need to make sure you answer the question.
Here’s a sample question.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.

The first part of the question will always be the same. It will always ask you to summarize the lecture. So, note that you’re not summarizing the reading passage – it’s the lecture you need to summarize. The wording of the second part of the question will vary, but you’ll always be asked to present the points made in the lecture in relation to points from the reading passage. Most often, the lecturer will challenge the points made in the reading passage, but it’s possible that the lecturer will support them.

In the official scoring criteria, how well you answer the question is referred to as accurate development. The score range for the TOEFL Integrated Writing task is 0 to 5. If you leave out one of the key points made in the lecture, you won’t be able to get more than 3 out of 5. If you significantly misrepresent points made in the lecture, the maximum score you can get is 2 out of 5. If you only write about points in the reading passage, you’ll score 1 out of 5.

As you can see, it’s very important to understand what’s required in the TOEFL Integrated Writing task to give yourself the best chance of getting a high score.

Tip 2 – Organize your response for TOEFL Writing

The second scoring criterion for TOEFL Writing Task 1 is organization. If your response is well organized, it will be easier for the reader to follow your ideas without becoming confused.
Here’s a sample response.

The reading discusses some problems that have emerged in recent years due to the rise in popularity of online education. The lecturer dismisses the concerns raised in the reading and presents some possible solutions to these problems. While the reading suggests that teachers fear losing their jobs to advanced technology and then not being able to find other jobs, the lecturer disagrees and says that some people will always prefer to study in a physical classroom. He provides some solutions in case this does happen. He recommends training teachers so that they have ample opportunity to develop digital skills, which will mean they are better equipped to teach online students at their university, or to find other jobs at companies which provide online courses. He addresses the fear that universities will struggle financially if most of their students take up online courses. He says that the universities need to manage their funds more efficiently and should not have to rely solely on tuition fees from students. He proposes putting all study materials online so that they can be universally accessed by students. He tackles the problem of cheating on online tests. He states that most universities already have access to software which is capable of detecting cheating. He says that students will not attempt to cheat if they are provided with the support that they need for the entire duration of their course.

Notice that this response is quite difficult to read. The writer is summarizing the three main points made in the lecture and how they relate to the points from the reading passage. However, since there’s just one long paragraph and very few linking words and phrases, it isn’t clear where one point ends and the next one begins.
Now read this sample response.

The reading discusses some problems that have emerged in recent years due to the rise in popularity of online education. The lecturer dismisses the concerns raised in the reading and presents some possible solutions to these problems.

While the reading suggests that teachers fear losing their jobs to advanced technology and then not being able to find other jobs, the lecturer disagrees and says that some people will always prefer to study in a physical classroom. He also provides some solutions in case this does happen. He recommends training teachers so that they have ample opportunity to develop digital skills, which will mean they are better equipped to teach online students at their university, or to find other jobs at companies which provide online courses.

He then addresses the fear that universities will struggle financially if most of their students take up online courses. He says that the universities need to manage their funds more efficiently and should not have to rely solely on tuition fees from students. He also proposes putting all study materials online so that they can be universally accessed by students.

Lastly, he tackles the problem of cheating on online tests. He states that most universities already have access to software which is capable of detecting cheating. In addition, he says that students will not attempt to cheat if they’re provided with the support that they need for the entire duration of their course.

Notice that the paragraphs allow the writer to separate their points. The use of linking words and phrases such as also, then, and Lastly make it even easier to follow what the writer is saying.

Tip 3 – Check for language errors for a high TOEFL score

The final scoring criterion for TOEFL Integrated Writing is language use. This means it’s important to check your response for grammatical and vocabulary errors, including issues with spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. You can make some minor mistakes and still get a high score, but you should still try to make as few mistakes as possible.

Easy things to check for:

  • spelling mistakes
  • subject–verb agreement
  • mistakes with singular and plural forms
  • incorrect punctuation

Read the paragraph below. There are 5 language errors. Can you find them?

While the reading suggest that teachers fear losing their jobs to advanced technology and then not being able to find other jobs the lecturer disagrees and says that some people will always prefer to study in a physical classroom. He also provides some solution in case this does happen. He recommends training teachers so that they have ample opportunity to develop digital skills, which will mean they are better equiped to teach online students at their university, or to find other jobs at companies which provides online courses.

Scroll to the bottom to check your answers.

More help with TOEFL Writing

Need more help with TOEFL Writing? We have you covered! For help with the TOEFL Integrated Writing task in the TOEFL test, head to our TOEFL login page and sign up for free to access method lessons, TOEFL practice tests, live classes with expert teachers and more. We have everything you need to help you quickly achieve the score you desire in your TOEFL exam.

Author Bio: 

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Answers

While the reading suggests that teachers fear losing their jobs to advanced technology and then not being able to find other jobs, the lecturer disagrees and says that some people will always prefer to study in a physical classroom. He also provides some solutions in case this does happen. He recommends training teachers so that they have ample opportunity to develop digital skills, which will mean they are better equipped to teach online students at their university, or to find other jobs at companies which provide online courses.
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