Normally, things around my house are relatively uneventful. We watch TV, play computer games, surf the Internet–all the normal things that any American family does. However, tonight things got a little hectic.
While we were watching television, Angela shouted loudly, “There is a mouse!”
“Where is it?” I asked.
“I saw the little furry thing scurry into the closet by the kitchen. Catch it quick!” Angela yelled, at this point hyperventilating she was so scared.
A lot of thoughts went through my mind: “How do I catch it? Should I throw a blanket over it and smack it with a hammer? Do I poke it with the handle of a broom? Should I spray it with insecticide?”
Realizing that I was thinking irrationally, I decided to humanely catch it with a small white bucket–somehow corner it and get it to scurry inside. Therefore, I ran over to the closet and opened the door in an attempt to trap it. Upon opening the door, I saw the mouse take a sharp right turn, dart down the hall, and run into the baby’s room.
“Go get it! If you don’t catch it, I am going to a motel tonight with the baby!” Angela demanded.
Thinking to myself that I had better catch this little creature or it’s going to cost me dearly, I charged into the baby’s bedroom with the bucket in hand, shut the door, and placed a towel in the airspace between the carpet and the bottom of the door. I wanted to make sure the mouse would be trapped in the bedroom. After a few minutes of chasing the mouse around the outer perimeters of the room, I finally got it to run into the bucket. At that point, I quickly ran outside and freed the mouse in my neighbor’s front yard a few houses down. Better their house than mine!
So, what does this have to do with the TOEFL iBT? Believe it or not, there is a connection. And here it is: If you decide to directly quote reading passages on the TOEFL iBT, you should make sure you (1) include a signal phrase that introduces the quote and then (2) use direct quotes around the text you use. If you do not do this, you will get a score of zero so prepare now and do not get smacked on the TOEFL iBT.
How do you learn how to use quotations? Why not re-read this post and see when and why I used quotations to tell my eventful story of the mouse in the house.