TOEFL Integrated Writing Test

On this web page, you can complete a TOEFL integrated writing test. In addition, you will also see an example of how you can answer this question.  Finally, you can learn about additional resources to help you improve your TOEFL integrated writing skills.

TOEFL integrated writing test

TOEFL Integrated Writing Test: Read a passage

Read the following passage. Take notes on its most important points.

In 1939, David O Selznick produced a film of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gone with the Wind. The movie proved to be among the most important in the history of world cinema. To this day, in fact, it remains the American box office champion when adjusted for inflation. In 1940, the film won a record-breaking eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Recently, however, Gone with the Wind has increasingly come under fire due to allegations of racism in the movie. Consequently, its reputation has fallen in many critical circles.

The film tells the story of a Southern family who fight on the side of the Confederacy in the American Civil War. Scarlett O’Hara, the main character, is a slave owner whose civilization goes to war to preserve the right to own and degrade African Americans. Life before the Civil War, during the days of slavery, is depicted as a golden age.

Scarlett’s maid and confidante, Mammy, is not even given a first name in the script. Meanwhile, Butterfly McQueen, who portrayed Prissy, a house servant whom Scarlett slaps across the face at one point in the film, was told by the director to deliver a hysterical performance emphasizing the character’s dim-wittedness, speaking to age-old negative stereotypes. Civil rights activist Malcolm X wrote of his embarrassment seeing Butterfly McQueen’s performance as Prissy that it made him want to crawl under the rug of the theater.

For all of these reasons, when watching Gone with the Wind today, modern viewers cannot help but feel admiration for how far the movie industry has come since its infancy. There is much to be embarrassed about in the early days of Hollywood films.

TOEFL Integrated Writing Test: Listen to a lecture

 

Listen to the following lecture. Take notes on the most important points in your response.

 

Take 20 minutes to write a response

 

How does the listening passage relate to the information in the reading passage?

Take 20 minutes to write a response to the above question.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Compare your response to this model

 

Model Response

The text and the lecturer offer opposing point of views on the subject. The text argues that the movie was racist by providing some points which are countered by the lecturer. The lecturer uses the movie’s plot and the characters’ attributes to refute the allegations made by the text.

Firstly, the text reproaches the movie by saying that the story was portrayed from the perspective of white people and celebrates the days of slavery. The lecturer refutes this point by saying that the movie had critcized the very notion of fighting in the war.

Secondly, the text claims that the character of Scarlett’s maid was unimportant as she was not given a name. But the lecturer repudiates this claim by pointing out the fact that the performance of the maid was one of the standouts of the film. She says that the maid was rebellious and discontented towards slavery which posed a powerful message. The actor who portrayed the maid, according to the speaker, was the subject of great critcial acclaim and even became the first Afro-American woman to win an Academy award by pipping other white contestants.

Finally, the performance of Butterfly is often belied by the common folk, asserts the author in the reading passage. The lecturer points out that Butterfly’s funny voice acted as a veil for a person who was subversive and rebellious towards the owner and slavery in general. Hence, the lecturer repudiates the claims made by the text about the racist nature of ‘Gone By Wind’ by pointing out evidences from the movie’s plot.

Additional Writing Resources

 

In addition to this TOEFL writing practice test, follow the link to your 1-stop web portal for all the TOEFL writing practice you need to improve:  TOEFL Writing Resources

May the next TOEFL exam you take be your last,

Michael Buckhoff, mbuckhoff@aol.com

TOEFL Writing and Speaking Feedback Service

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