TOEFL IBT Writing Section: Question types and answering tips

The TOEFL IBT Writing Section consists of 2 parts: the integrated writing and the independent writing. In the integrated writing, you are given a reading passage and a lecture. Your task is to summarize the lecture and connect it to the reading passage. Do not include your opinion in the integrated writing. On the other hand, in the independent writing, you can write your own opinion in a topic given in the question.

The structure of the integrated essay is as follows:

  1. Introduction: topic statement –> It consists of 2 things: 1) About what (you can get it from the reading passage), and 2) The relation between the reading passage and the lecture.
  2. Body: Point 1, Point 2, Point3, and so on. Explain every point in a separate paragraph. To write the body, focus on the lecture, and connect it to the reading.

It is also important to notice the followings in the integrated essay:

  1. The length of the essay should be 150 – 225 words. There is no maximum length.
  2. Make sure to include key vocabulary (technical terms).
  3. Follow the order of the lecture.
  4. Include as many details as possible.
  5. Attribute whether an idea is from reading passage or from the lecture.

The structure of the independent essay is as follows:

  1. Introduction, which consists of 3 parts: 1) Hook (introduction to the topic), 2) General background of the topic (you can use concession for this), 3) Thesis statement which connect the introduction paragraph to the body.
  2. Body, which consists of several paragraphs each of which contains reason and details/examples. Also notice that each paragraph should contain main idea and supporting idea.
  3. Conclusion, which revisits the thesis without repeating it.

It is also important to notice the following in the independent essay:

  1. Answer the question!
  2. Write your outline directly on the computer screen. After that, expand your outline to make complete paragraphs.
  3. Make sure the length of the essay is more than 300 words.
  4. Supply at least 2 – 3 reasons in the body paragraphs.
  5. Make balanced paragraphs. It means that all the paragraphs should be balanced in length.
  6. Don’t experiment with vocabulary you are not sure about the meaning.
  7. You can check and revise as you go. However, you may check and revise again at last.





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