About the TOEFL iBT Test – Writing Section

Academic Writing Skills

In all academic situations where writing in English is required, students must be able to present their ideas in a clear. well-organized manner. The Writing section measures your ability to write English in an academic setting.

  • Often, students need to write a paper or an essay response about what they are learning in their classes. This requires combining information they have heard in class lectures with what they have read in textbooks or other materials. This type of writing is referred to as integrated writing. In this type of writing, students must:
  1. Take notes on what they hear and read, and use them to organize information before writing
  2. Summarize, paraphrase, and cite information from the source material accurately
  3. Write about the ways the information they heard relates to the information they read
For example, in an academic course, a student might be asked to compare and contrast the points of view expressed by the professor in class with those expressed by an author in the assigned reading material. The student must successfully draw information from each source to explain the contrast.
  • Student must also write essays that express and support their opinions. In this type of writing, known as independent writing, students express an opinion and support it based on their own knowledge and experience.
For example, students may be asked to write an essay about a controversial issue. The students use part, personal experience to support their opinion.
In all types of writing, it is helpful for students to:
  1. Identify one main idea and some major point that support it
  2. Plan how to organize the essay (For example, with an outline)
  3. Develop the essay by using reasons, examples, and details
  4. Express information in an organized manner
  5. Use effective linking words (transitional phrases) to connect ideas and help the reader understand the flow of ideas
  6. Use a range grammar and vocabulary for effective expression
  7. Use grammar and vocabulary accurately; use idiomatic expressions appropriately
  8. Follow the conventions of spelling, punctuation, and layout
Description
The total time for the Writing section is 50 minutes. Test takers write their responses to two writing tasks. Responses are typed into the computer and sent to ETS, where they are scored by both certified raters and the automated scoring system.

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