TOEFL(IBT) WRITING


Introduction

The last section of the TOEFL is Writing, which lasts for about 50 minutes. It consists of two parts: the integrated writing task (150-225 words) and the independent writing task (300-350 words).The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated task and one independent task. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss the same topic. The test-taker will then write a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, test-takers must write an essay that states, explains, and supports their opinion on an issue, supporting their opinions or choices, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by four raters.

Rating standards


Integrated Writing Scoring Rubric


Score 5
A response at this level successfully selects the important information from the lecture and coherently and accurately presents this information in relation to the relevant information presented in the reading. The response is well organized, and occasional language errors that are present do not result in inaccurate or imprecise presentation of content or connections.
Score 4
A response at this level is generally good in selecting the important information from the lecture and in coherently and accurately presenting this information in relation to the relevant information in the reading, but it may have minor omission, inaccuracy, vagueness, or imprecision of some content from the lecture or in connection to points made in the reading. A response is also scored at this level if it has more frequent or noticeable minor language errors, as long as such usage and grammatical structures do not result in anything more than an occasional lapse of clarity or in the connection of ideas.
Score 3
A response at this level contains some important information from the lecture and conveys some relevant connection to the reading, but it is marked by one or more of the following:Although the overall response is definitely oriented to the task, it conveys only vague, global, unclear, or somewhat imprecise connection of the points made in the lecture to points made in the reading. The response may omit one major key point made in the lecture. Some key points made in the lecture or the reading, or connections between the two, may be incomplete, inaccurate, or imprecise. Errors of usage and/or grammar may be more frequent or may result in noticeably vague expressions or obscured meanings in conveying ideas and connections.
Score 2
A response at this level contains some relevant information from the lecture, but is marked by significant language difficulties or by significant omission or inaccuracy of important ideas from the lecture or in the connections between the lecture and the reading; a response at this level is marked by one or more of the following:The response significantly misrepresents or completely omits the overall connection between the lecture and the reading. The response significantly omits or significantly misrepresents important points made in the lecture. The response contains language errors or expressions that largely obscure connections or meaning at key junctures, or that would likely obscure understanding of key ideas for a reader not already familiar with the reading and the lecture.
Score 1
A response at this level is marked by one or more of the following:The response 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.
Score 0
A response at this level merely copies sentences from the reading, rejects the topic or is otherwise not connected to the topic, is written in a foreign language, consists of keystroke characters, or is blank.

Independent Writing Rubrics

Score 5
An essay at this level largely accomplishes all of the following:effectively addresses the topic and task is well organized and well developed, using clearly appropriate explanations, exemplifications, and/or details displays unity, progression, and coherence displays consistent facility in the use of language, demonstrating syntactic variety, appropriate word choice, and idiomaticity, though it may have minor lexical or grammatical errors
Score 4
An essay at this level largely accomplishes all of the following:addresses the topic and task well, though some points may not be fully elaborated is generally well organized and well developed, using appropriate and sufficient explanations, exemplifications, and/or details displays unity, progression, and coherence, though it may contain occasional redundancy, digression, or unclear connections displays facility in the use of language, demonstrating syntactic variety and range of vocabulary, though it will probably have occasional noticeable minor errors in structure, word form, or use of idiomatic language that do not interfere with meaning
Score 3
An essay at this level is marked by one or more of the following:addresses the topic and task using somewhat developed explanations, exemplifications, and/or details displays unity, progression, and coherence, though connection of ideas may be occasionally obscured may demonstrate inconsistent facility in sentence formation and word choice that may result in lack of clarity and occasionally obscure meaning may display accurate but limited range of syntactic structures and vocabulary
Score 2
An essay at this level may reveal one or more of the following weaknesses:limited development in response to the topic and task inadequate organization or connection of ideas inappropriate or insufficient exemplifications, explanations, or details to support or illustrate generalizations in response to the task a noticeably inappropriate choice of words or word forms an accumulation of errors in sentence structure and/or usage
Score 1
An essay at this level is seriously flawed by one or more of the following weaknesses:serious disorganization or underdevelopment little or no detail, or irrelevant specifics, or questionable responsiveness to the task serious and frequent errors in sentence structure or usage
Score 0
An essay at this level merely copies words from the topic, rejects the topic, or is otherwise not connected to the topic, is written in a foreign language, consists of keystroke characters, or is blank.

Writing Topics(sample)



1. People attend school for many different reasons (for example, expanded knowledge, societal awareness, and enhanced interpersonal relationships). Why do you think people decide to go to school? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Coaches are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
3. Nowadays, with the invention of the microwave and with the popularity of fast food restaurants, food has become easier to prepare than ever. Do you think microwave ovens and fast food restaurants are beneficial to society? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
4. It has been said, "Not all learning takes place in the classroom." Compare and contrast knowledge gained from personal experience with knowledge gained from classroom instruction. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?
5. Your government has announced that it wishes to build a military base near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the military base?
6. If you could change one important thing about your country, what would you change? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.
7. How does advertising influence people's behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.
8. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The invention of the Internet has had negative effects on your civilization. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
9. Some students prefer to attend a small university. Others prefer to attend a big university. Discuss the advantages of each. Then indicate which type of university you prefer? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
10."When people succeed in life, it is because of hard work. Being lucky has nothing to do with success in life." Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

High Score Tips

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing so much in such a short time, remember that writing is a skill that can be developed. Many TOEFL guidebooks, such as Delta, Longman, Cambridge, and Barron's, present detailed strategies to help you organize and focus your writing. They also provide sample essays and an analysis of high- and low-scoring responses. In addition, you will need to work with an experienced TOEFL teacher or register in a TOEFL exam prep program so that you can receive corrections and meaningful feeback on how to improve and strengthen your writing skills.

INTEGRATED WRITING

The integrated writing task comes first and is organized in the following way:

You
read
a passage - 3 minutes

You
listen
to a related lecture - 2 minutes

You
write
an essay - 20 minutes

In your response to the integrated question, you will be asked to summarize the points made in the lecture
and
either show how the lecture supports the points made in the reading passage
or
show how the lecture casts doubt on the points made in the reading passage.

It is helpful to
make notes of the main points as you read
, though the reading passage does reappear when it is time to write. More importantly,
you must make notes while listening
, as you have only one opportunity to hear the lecture. Listen carefully for
arguments
,
explanations
and
examples
which support or challenge the points made in the reading. It is essential that you take detailed notes while listening or you won’t have enough material to write about.

Your essay may be set up as
one long paragraph or three paragraphs
. In terms of organization, you have two ways in which you could structure your response: You could compare and contrast each point as you go along. For example, “The reading passage states that….” , “On the other hand, the lecture argues that… .” Alternatively, you could list all of the points made in the reading passage in one paragraph and all the points made in the lecture in the next paragraph.

The Princeton Review’s
//Cracking the TOEFL iBT//
external image ir?t=glt-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0375765565 gives a detailed essay structure you could follow in developing your integrated answer.

Bear in mind that for the integrated task, you are not being asked to give your opinion, but to relate what you have read and heard.
Do only what the question asks you to do - no more and no less.

INDEPENDENT WRITING
The second task in the Writing section is the independent essay. You have 30 minutes to write a four or five paragraph essay (about 300-350 words) in response to a single question.

The first thing you need to do is to identify the task clearly.
The question may ask you to agree or disagree, make an argument, give an explanation or state a preference. Make sure you understand what you are being asked to do.

The next point is to take up to 5 minutes to plan your essay.
Sometimes students avoid doing this because they feel it will take away from the limited time they have to write the essay. However, by planning in advance, you focus first on
what
to write and can then concentrate on
how
best to express your ideas.

You will also be able to organize your essay more effectively by setting out the points and examples in advance. Use concept maps, venn diagrams, mind maps or other brainstorming tools to help you conceptualize your essay. These planning techniques, along with practice exercises, are explained at length in Barron's
//How to Prepare for the TOEFL Essay//
external image ir?t=glt-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0764123130.

If, while planning, you discover that you can’t think of enough reasons or examples to write a convincing essay, then you might consider adopting the opposite point of view.
The emphasis is on generating lots of ideas and examples to write a strong essay, even if it’s not your true view on the subject.
Having enough "meat" in your essay is more important than choosing a particular point of view.

You then have 20 minutes to write your essay.
After deciding on your approach, state your position clearly in the first line or at least in the first paragraph. The examiner should not be left guessing where you stand on the given topic. After the introductory paragraph, you need to write two or three supporting paragraphs, which provide reasons and examples, and last, the conclusion.
Always begin your essay with a strong introduction and end with a powerful conclusion
so that the first impression and the last one are powerful and convincing.

Try to
allot about 5 minutes at the end to review your essay and correct
any obvious spelling, grammatical or vocabulary errors.
If you're running out of time, try to add at least a one-line conclusion
, so that your essay gives the impression of being complete.

Practice writing essays within the 30-minute time limit
so that you feel comfortable doing so on the day of the test.
Lastly, familiarize yourself with the full list of topics given in the ETS guidebook
,
//The Official Guide to the New TOEFL iBT//
external image ir?t=glt-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0071481044, so that you know the kind of topics to expect on your test.

Model Essay(Independent Writing)

TOEFL Sample Questions : Writing
A company has announced that it wishes to build a large factory near your community.Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community.Do you support or oppose the factory? Explain your position.
New factories often bring many good things to a community, such as jobs and increased prosperity.However, in my opinion, the benefits of having a factory are outweighed by the risks.That is why I oppose the plan to build a factory near my community.
I believe that this city would be harmed by a large factory.In particular, a factory would destroy the quality of the air and water in town.Factories bring smog and pollution.In the long run, the environment will be hurt and people's health will be affected.Having a factory is not worth that risk.
Of course, more jobs will be created by the factory.Our population will grow.To accommodate more workers, more homes and stores will be needed.Do we really want this much growth, so fast? If our town is going to grow, I would prefer slow growth with good planning.I don't want to see rows of cheaply constructed townhouses.Our quality of life must be considered.
I believe that this growth will change our city too much.I love my hometown because it is a safe, small town.It is also easy to travel here.If we must expand to hold new citizens, the small town feel will be gone.I would miss that greatly.
A factory would be helpful in some ways.However, I feel that the dangers are greater than the benefits.I cannot support apian to build a factory here, and hope that others feel the same way.

Preference:

1.http://www.ets.org/toefl/
2.TOEFL Official Guide
3.http://bbs.xiaoma.com/