All things TOEFL iBT

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Independent Writing – The pros and cons of …

Two related topics to explore the pros and cons format of TOEFL Independent Writing, which can also be applied to the Independent Speaking tasks.

The pros and cons of applying for a study program backed by government or private institutions as opposed to paying your own tuition.

The pros and cons of studying abroad as opposed to studying in your own country.

This kind of essay requires that you present advantages and corresponding disadvantages of the topic. You do not necessarily have to choose.
What is essential is that you present a benefit or a drawback and give an example of how it can happen. You are comparing and contrasting two sides of the same coin. 

We all have a right to know – Integrated skills

Shakespeare once said that ignorance is bliss. Many Americans would probably agree with him, in light of the recent surveillance programs scandal involving the National Security Agency. Or maybe they wouldn’t.

The debate now spins on the figure of ex- CIA technician Edward Snowden, for some a hero, for others a traitor. Why did he decide to blow the whistle? Watch the video to find out.

There are many words for someone like Snowden, someone who reveals top secret information and unleashes a scandal of catastrophic proportions.

Whistleblower = Squealer = Snitch = Rat = Canary = Sell-out

Regardless of the name you use, do you think Snowden did the right thing by revealing this kind of information? What reasons do you have for your view?

A thing or two about writing

Getting straight to the point: 

  • Clarity
  • Objectivity
  • Naturalness 
  • Comprehensibility
  • informativeness
  • Simplicity
  • Effectiveness

Did you guess the WORD? Image

 

Independent Writing – Making decisions for your kids

#61 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Parents or adult relatives should make important decisions for their (15-18) teenage children.

Give reasons and examples to support your answer in a text of at least 300 words.

Time limit:

30 mins

Integrated Writing – Protecting children

Read the article on this blog about ways parentes can protect their kids

http://www.childalert.co.uk/article.php?articles_id=124

Watch the video on what parents should allow children to do:

http://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids.html

Summarize the points raised in the video and say how the speaker’s position contrasts with that held by the author.

Time: 20 minutes

Length = 200 words minimum

You be the judge – Scoring the Independent Writing task

You be the judge!

You’re going to look at some model answers to an Independent Writing task and give a score for each.

First look at the rubric Scoring the Independent Writing Task on page 677 of the pdf version and on page 650 of the printed version. It says what is expected of a text to get a maximum score of 5 or a low score of 1.

Next, look at the exercise “Scoring the Response” on page 681 of the pdf version of the book and on page 645 of the printed version. Read Responses 1, 2 and 3.

What score, from 0 to 5, would you give for each response and why?

What generation are you? – Independent Writing

#174 Every generation of people is different in important ways. How is your generation different from that of your parents’? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Minimum length: 300 words

Maximum time: 30 minutes