Acknowledging Sources for TOEFL Tasks

Acknowledging Sources for TOEFL Tasks is a must-learn strategy. This blog post will teach you how to acknowledge information when it comes from reading and listening passages.

Acknowledging Sources for TOEFL Tasks











Why do I need to acknowledge sources for TOEFL Tasks?

One primary purpose of the TOEFL exam is to determine whether or not you have the required English proficiency.  As researchers designed the TOEFL exam, professors gave input to its makers. A primary suggestion was to make sure the test would require students to integrate information from reading and listening passages. Integrating sources is a common academic writing activity that you will need to do as you complete university coursework. Therefore, professors and researchers designed the speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL exam so that it would test your ability to acknowledge sources. Even during the reading section of the TOEFL exam, you are asked to recognize which information accurately and completely summarizes information from a highlighted sentence.

Acknowledging sources for TOEFL tasks is important for several reasons:

  • This skill shows that you can control your point of view. Instead of writing or speaking about things from your perspective, you are explaining information from someone else’s point of view.
  • In addition, framing your speaking and writing responses from someone else’s point of view demonstrates you can use a more formal summary tone. Using formal tones such as summaries are important speaking and writing skills when you are completing coursework for your university classes.
  • Being able to acknowledge information from reading and listening passages effectively separates your voice from other people’s voices.  As a result, you will not make the mistake of plagiarizing others people’s ideas. In other words, you are learning how to cite other people’s ideas and not explain them as if they were your own.

How do I perform this skill during the TOEFL Integrated Speaking and Writing Tasks?

Several sentence styles allow you to appropriately explain information from reading and listening passages’ points of view.

  • Using according to……, subject + verb: According to the author in the reading passage, dinosaurs may have overdosed on psycho-active agents, thereby leading to their extinction.
  • Including subject + reporting verb + that + subject + verb: The speaking in the listening passage argues that most drug-inducing plants flowered 1000’s of years after the dinosaurs’ extinction.  Therefore, these poisonous plants had no factor leading to the dinosaurs’ demise.
  • Using subject, + reporting verb + subject, + verb:   Climate change, observes the author, creates more intense, wetter storms.
  • Positioning subject + verb, + reporting verb + subject:  During the pandemic in 2020, protesters in large cities throughout the US argued to defund the police and to lessen discrimination against people of color, highlights the author in the reading passage.

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