N. gets feedback from her TOEFL iBT writing specialist

Get a high score on the integrated writing task!


N, one of my Online TOEFL Course students, submitted her integrated writing practice test to me yesterday. She has had about 2-3 weeks of TOEFL iBT writing practice so far, and her English skills are intermediate.  The integrated writing practice test was based on the following reading passage and lecture:

Reading Passage (196 words): Three Tips to Business Success

All businesses want to succeed, and arranging meetings, encouraging employees to read all
required training materials and reports, and making sure employees bypass the stages of the
writing process since it is too time-consuming will make companies more efficient.

All employees need to attend all company meetings, and companies should schedule as many
meetings as possible. Meetings are effective for discussing controversial issues and making
sure everyone is up to date with the current technology needed to complete their jobs.

In addition to having necessary meetings, employees should be provided with supplementary
reading materials that will help them to perform their jobs more effectively. Employees,
focusing on the main and minor details in the assigned reports, are always encouraged to
read all documents in their entirety.

Too many employees when they are assigned to write a report or proposal pretend like they
are still in college, and, in their quest to write the perfect document, will attempt to use all
the required stages in the writing process. These employees should not try to separate the
steps in the writing process because it is simply too time-consuming. They should write the
document all at once.

Listening Passage (445 words): Are these tips really useful?

All businesses want to succeed, but they should think twice when it comes to some of the
suggestions you just read about.

Limit the number of meetings you schedule. Internal meetings can be a huge waste of time.
A short meeting can be useful for discussing a controversial issue, but long meetings —
beyond 60 to 90 minutes — are usually unproductive. Leaders often spend too much time
reciting introductory material, and participants eventually stop paying attention. Try very hard
to avoid meetings that you suspect will be long and unproductive. When possible, politely
decline meeting invitations from your peers by pointing to your impending deadlines. If that’s
not an option, make clear that you can stay for only the first 60 minutes, and will then have
to deal with more pressing obligations. And be hesitant to call meetings yourself; you can
deal with most issues through e-mail or a quick phone call. If you’re involved in calling or
planning a necessary meeting, make sure it’s productive.

Another way to become more efficient is that you don’t need to read the full text of
everything you come across in the course of your work, even if it comes directly from the
boss. Though reading a long article from cover to cover might make you feel productive, it
might not be the best use of your time. Most likely, only a very small part of that article is
vital to your work. Maybe you need to remember the big ideas, not the intricate details. Or
maybe you need only to find one or two examples that illustrate a particular larger point.
Once you start reading a text, make it a point to search for what’s important, while skipping
sections that are less relevant.

The final suggestion that is important is helping you and other employees to become more
efficient is to follow the steps in the writing process. When some people sit down to write a
long memo, they insist on perfecting each sentence before moving to the next one. They
want to complete all the stages of the writing process at the same time — a most difficult
task. In my experience, this leads to very slow writing. A better approach separates the main
steps in the writing process. First, compose an outline for what you are going to say, and in
what order. Then write a rough draft, knowing it will be highly imperfect. Then go back over
your work and revise as needed. This is the time to perfect the phrasing of those sentences.
Following these steps in the writing process will ensure that you complete your writing
projects in a timely and accurate manner.

Writing Prompt: How does the information in the lecture contradict the information in the
reading passage?

Here is her response to the question:

The reading passage and the listening lecture about some business meetings information.

Firstly, reading passage states that all business succeeds have writing process. Also, employees must attend all meetings to know about their company issues; however, listing lecture says attending all meetings is not important because the internal meetings could be wasting time. Also, trying to decline invitation meetings or you can make it by phone or through email.

Secondly of all, reading passage states preparing reading materials for the meeting helps the employees perform their job. On the other hand, the speaker says preparing materials and too much reciting will stop the employees to pay attention. Also, skipping less relevant points

Finally, the writer focuses on writing process in meetings which is all employees should write the documents all at once, but the speaker says employees should separate the main steps in the writing process. For example, first, composing outline for what are you going say. Second, writing rough draft. Then, revising. Finally, phrasing.

In the following video, I will score her essay and give her some suggestions on how she can make her integrated writing stronger:

You may post your response to the writing prompt in the comment box below.  It will be good practice for you, and maybe other students who are frequenting this web page may leave you some comments on your writing proficiency. However, I will not score your essay. You will need to join my Online TOEFL Course before I can do that.

Good luck!


Get a high score on the integrated writing task!

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