CoverObjectivesThe Writing ProcessAddressing the PromptPrewritingWritingRevisingOriginalityTimed Writing 1Integrated Writing 1Essay Shape and OrganizationIntroduction ParagraphsBody ParagraphsConclusion ParagraphsReference PageA Shifting StructureExample EssayTimed Writing 2Integrated Writing 2Descriptive EssaysExample Descriptive EssayPrewritingWriting: Word ChoiceSources: QuotingRevisingRevise a Descriptive EssayExplore Other Genres: Creative WritingTimed Writing 3Integrated Writing 3Personal StatementsExample Personal StatementTypes of Personal StatementsOrganization for Comprehensive Personal StatementOrganization for Prompted Personal StatementWriting: DevelopmentRevisingRevise a Personal StatementExplore Other Genres: Formal EmailsTimed Writing 4Integrated Writing 4Cause-Effect EssaysExample Cause-Effect EssayPrewritingWriting: UnitySources: SummarizingRevisingRevise a Cause-Effect EssayExplore Other Genres: ReviewsTimed Writing 5Integrated Writing 5Persuasive EssaysExample Persuasive EssayPrewritingWriting: CohesionSources: ParaphrasingRevisingRevise a Persuasive EssayExplore Other Genres: ReflectionsTimed Writing 6Integrated Writing 6Appendix A: Argumentative EssaysExample Argumentative EssayStructure of an ArgumentPrewritingWriting: Cohesion in ArgumentsRevisingRevise an Argumentative EssayAppendix B: Using SourcesFinding SourcesIn-text CitationsMore about Reference PagesAppendix C: Extra TOEFL ResourcesTOEFL Integrated WritingTOEFL Independent Writing
University Prep Winter Writing C

Integrated Writing 2

In the first integrated writing practice, you learned that integrated writing is a common task at the college level. Because incorporating ideas from outside sources through summary and synthesis is so important, it is a task included on the TOEFL. This section of the integrated writing practice focuses on the unique differences between a normal integrated writing task and the very controlled version you will encounter on the TOEFL.

It is important to first note that the TOEFL integrated writing task is not a true essay as you have likely learned to create. There is no introduction. There is no conclusion. There is no room for your own personal reactions and opinions on the topic. You do not write a thesis statement. You don't need 5 paragraphs with 5 sentences each. 

The TOEFL integrated writing structure is very prescribed, and the content is provided directly. The integrated writing task requires you to summarize and compare academic information. 

Task format

You will have three minutes to read a passage about an academic topic. You should take notes about the main points that the author makes, but you do not need to write a lot because you will be able to see the reading again when it is time to write.

Then you will listen to a piece of an academic lecture that addresses the same topic that you read about. The professor that is speaking may have the same opinion as the author of the article you read, but the professor often has an opposing point of view. You need to take good notes during the listening. You can only listen one time. 

You will have 20 minutes to write your response to the question.

Read the question carefully and address all the parts of the question. For example, in this example question, the primary task is to summarize the points made in the lecture. Then you should explain how they relate to points in the reading. Always answer both parts of the question.

Example: TOEFL Integrated Writing Prompt

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific arguments made in the reading passage.

Response format

Your answer will not look like a traditional essay because this task is not an essay. This task is a summary and a comparison. In order to summarize the information they give you, you will typically need four paragraphs.

The first paragraph will state the relationship between the reading and the listening (e.g., do they agree about the topic, or do they disagree?). The other three paragraphs will each focus on a specific point that was addressed in both the reading and the listening. You do not need a conclusion paragraph. This is not an essay, so it doesn't need a conclusion paragraph like an essay for school would. As the Shifting Structure section described, not all writing tasks require an essay format.

An effective response will have approximately 200 words.

Paragraph 1: Introduction

A brief introduction with a comparison thesis statement. There is probably no hook. The background information is more of a summary of the listening and reading passages. 

Paragraph 2:  Point #1  A summary of the listening and reading passages. You may want to use a comparative/contrastive cohesive device to transition from summarizing one source to the next source. 
Paragraph 3: Point #2 A summary of the listening and reading passages. You may want to use a comparative/contrastive cohesive device to transition from summarizing one source to the next source. 
Paragraph 4: Point #3 A summary of the listening and reading passages. You may want to use a comparative/contrastive cohesive device to transition from summarizing one source to the next source.

*Because this is a summary, DO NOT include your own opinion or any outside information. This integrated writing task is not an opinion essay. The independent writing task is the opinion essay. 


Many students find it helpful to organize their notes with a “T-Chart.” On one side of the T chart, write down the main points from the reading. On the other side of the T-Chart, write down the corresponding points found in the listening. Even though the reading passage reappears on your screen while you write, taking notes on the reading is important. If you can quickly refer to your notes instead of spending longer periods of time rereading the passage during the writing time, you will be able to spend more time writing.

It can also help you focus during the listening and give you something to listen for. Make sure you listen for the main points you found in the reading. The listening passage will probably address the same three points found in the paragraphs of the reading. They may even be in the same order. Take notes on the main ideas and key details. You do not need to write full sentences; phrases or words could be enough. 

This is a sample T-Chart that could be used to show the points made in the example task. 

Reading Passage 








These are two sample responses.

Two Example Responses

Prompt: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the points made in the reading passage. 

Response 1: 

Normally someone would think that when the word "eco is used" in a sentence such as "this bag is "eco-friendly" , the person might think that it is better to use eco-friendly materials or products because it is helping the environment. This way of thinking is not 100% accurate because the fact that has eco on their name, does not mean that everything related to the nature might be benefied out of using eco-friendly sources. It is true that eco-turism has a less strong impact in nature but there are still people that are corrupted that abuse their power, which means that even if an area is protected by the government does not mean that there are other people exploding their sources.

There is also a lot of other illegal practices such as hunting, cutting down trees, cultural pollution, etc.

Therefore, there is always something that we can learn about how to take better care of our surroundings, and not just trusting that everything that is eco makes it better in order to enjoy of the nature that we are lucky to have.

Response 2: 

The reading and the lecture are both about eco tourism. The author states the advantages about that topic. On the other hand, the lecturer is presenting the negative consequences about eco tourism. 

First, the author says that the eco tourism is positive for the environment. In contrast, the lecture claims that to have tourism in some area is required some infrastructure and that is not good for the environment. They can have air and water pollution.

According to the reading the eco tourism encourage conservation. The professor does not agree with that. She points that even a protected area can be explored. Illegal hunting and cutting trees is happening in places that are protected. 

Further, the author believes that more jobs and better living conditions are provided by eco tourism. The lecturer opposes that idea saying that the local people has jobs with lower payments, and it also causes cultural pollution. 

The first response is a low-mid response (about a 2) because it has some of the details, but is missing significant points made in the lecture. It is not very developed. More importantly, it misses the prompt. The student adds information and opinions outside of the sources which is not summarizing, and the student didn't compare the two sources. 

The second response is a high-mid response (about a 4) because all of the main points are addressed, and the emphasis is on summarizing the listening and comparing it to the article, rather than summarizing every detail mentioned in both. The writer also does not include any outside information or opinions. 


In order to receive a high score on this section, you need to answer the question by writing about the important points from the reading and listening in a clear and accurate way.

The sample task on the following pages contains a reading passage, a lecture transcript, and a response that would receive high marks.

Integrated Writing Tips

Because students take the TOEFL at various points in the semester, here is a list of strategies that are discussed at other points in this textbook. All of these strategies are things to keep in mind as you prepare. You may want to skim through the textbook ahead of the class schedule to learn more about these points in more detail.

  • The prompt does not really change. The content will be different, but you will always be comparing two different perspectives.
  • The reading will be visible when you write. Only take simple notes of the main points to make it easier to listen for the comparison point.
  • Take careful notes during the listening.
  • Organize your ideas into a logical outline.
    • Paragraph 1 What do the reading and lecture discuss?
    • Paragraph 2 What is the speaker's first point? How does it challenge the reading?
    • Paragraph 3 What is the speaker's second point? How does it challenge the reading?
    • Paragraph 4 What is the speaker's third point? How does it challenge the reading?
  • Leave at least 5 to review and revise your writing.
    • Check your notes again. Did you accurately present the perspective of the lecture as it compares to the reading? Are all 3 main points included in your essay?
    • Before the test, look at feedback your writing teacher has given you on your writing. Are there patterns of organization, development, coherence, or unity errors? Meet with your teacher during office hours before if possible to get tips for how to recognize and resolve those errors during the test.
    • Also look at feedback your grammar teacher has given you on your accuracy errors. Are there patterns of errors with grammar structures that you can look for? Meet with your teacher during office hours before if possible to get tips for how to recognize and resolve those errors during the test.


Exercise 2.14: Reading Passage

1. Read the following passage.

      There are different types of universities. Some universities focus almost completely on research. These universities reward professors for doing research. They hire professors that are dedicated to discovering new things and publishing their findings. Other universities focus more on teaching. These universities hire professors that are able to explain concepts to their students clearly. Some universities have tried to blend both approaches and focus on both research and quality teaching, which is problematic.

       First, both doing research and teaching take time, and having a dual focus will distract professors from being adequately prepared for their classes. Doing research can often be a messy, complex process, and they may end up spending so much time doing research that they don't have time to prepare their lectures or exams. When professors are not adequately prepared for classes, students may struggle more to understand the concepts and do well in class. If professors are expected to both teach and research, they will not have time for both.

       Also, there is no real benefit researchers bring to the classroom if they lack teaching skills. Many researchers who teach as professors have had limited teacher training. They have extensive knowledge of their field, but do not know how to manage a classroom, write a reliable assessment, or scaffold student learning. Students are very frustrated by professors who lack these teaching skills. Teaching skills are necessary in order to help students learn; thus, experts without formal teacher training don't have a clear advantage.

       Finally, by choosing one focus, professors can become more skilled in what they choose to do. If they choose to be a researcher, they can make a name for themselves in research because they can devote all of their time to research. If they choose to be a teacher, they can gain the teaching skills they need to be an excellent teacher, rather than trying to make time to research as well.

 2. Listen to the following lecture. Click here to listen.

3. Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific arguments made in the reading passage.