Yesterday, I gave a twenty minute TOEFL iBT integrated writing assignment during which students read a passage about childhood amnesia and listened to a passage about the cause of childhood amnesia. The question that the students answered was, “How is the information in the listening passage related to the information in the reading passage?” Take a look at the following three introductions:
The information in the listening passage told us the reason why young children and adults have different memory abilities.
The topic of reading passage presented about childhood amnesia, and the lecture gave an example to illustrate for it.
The topic of reading passage discusses childhood amnesia, and the lecture relates to the reading passage by giving a specific example to illustrate why childhood amnesia occurs.
Introduction one, focusing solely on the listening passage, does not clearly explain the relationship of the two sources; introduction two discusses both sources but misses the purpose of the listening passage: that of explaining the cause of childhood amnesia.
On the other hand, introduction three clearly organizes the thesis and directly restates the writing task, thereby connecting the two sources together and explaining the purpose of the listening passage: to explain the cause of childhood amnesia. Additionally, following the introduction, the writer can now logically discuss the main and critical supporting points of the reading passage in the second paragraph.
Finally, in the third paragraph, the writer can discuss the main and critical supporting points of the listening passage. Moreover, since the writer uses the word “cause” in the thesis, the writer can now use cause/effect type transition words such as “so, therefore, consequently, thus, as a result, for this reason, and since” to coherently connect ideas together.
To sum up, how would your TOEFL iBT integrated writing thesis compare to these three examples?
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