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 Integrated writing #1: Template 1 - Casting doubt on a lecture

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nguyenducphuong



Tổng số bài gửi : 20
Join date : 13/08/2009

Bài gửiTiêu đề: Integrated writing #1: Template 1 - Casting doubt on a lecture   Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:51 pm

Hi,
Today I don't post an independent writing as usual. I post a sample question and answer of integrated task from Official Guide. The integrated writing task is really difficult for me. I have some problems when I try to write an integrated essay:
- I don't understand the reading passage fully
- I don't know many words in the reading passage
- I can't differentiate main point and supporting details of the passage
- I can't hear the listening passage
- I can't organize the listening passage
- I don't have enough time to write
Thus, I think it is better to take time to look at a sample question and a response. The response got a score of 5. If you have the same problems with integrated writing, please discuss how to solve them.

Reading passage:

In many organizations, perhaps the best way to approach certain new projects is to assemble a group of people into a team. Having a team of people attack a project offers several advantages. First of all, a group of people has a wider range of knowledge, expertise, and skills than any single individual is like to possess. Also, because of the numbers of people involved and the greater resources they possess, a group can work more quickly in response to the task assigned to it and can come up with highly creative solutions to problems and issues. Sometimes these creative solutions come about because a group is more likely make risky decisions that an individual might not undertake. This is because the group spreads responsibility for a decision to all the members and thus no single individual can be held accountable if the decision turns out to be wrong.

Take part in a group process can be very rewarding for members of the team. Team members who have a voice in making a decision will no doubt feel better about carrying out the work that is entailed by that decision than they might doing work that is imposed on them by others. Also, the individual team member has much better chance to “shine”, to get his or her contributions and ideas not only recognized but recognized as highly significant, because a team’s overall results can be more far-reaching and have greater impact than what might have otherwise been possible for the person to accomplish or contribute working alone.

Listening passage:

Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the them responsible for planning the projects and getting the work done. After about six months, the company took a look at how well the teams preformed.

On virtually every team, some members got almost a "free ride"... they didn't contribute much at all, but if their team did a good job, they nevertheless benefited from the recognition the team got. And what about group members who worked especially well and who provided a lot of insight on problems and issues? Well... the recognition for a job well done went to the group as a whole, no names were named. So it won't surprise you to learn that when the real contributors were asked how they felt about the group process, their attitude was just the opposite of what the reading predicts.

Another finding was that some projects just didn't move very quickly. Why? Because it took so long to reach consensus; it took many, many meetings to build the agreement among group members about how they would move the project along. On the other hand, there were other instances where one or two people managed to become very influential over what their group did. Sometimes when those influences said "That will never work" about an idea the group was developing, the idea was quickly dropped instead of being further discussed. And then there was another occasion when a couple influencers convinced the group that a plan of theirs was "highly creative". And even though some members tried to warn the rest of the group that the project was moving in directions that might not work, they were basically ignored by other group members. Can you guess the ending to "this" story? When the project failed, the blame was place on all the members of the group.

Question:

Summarize the points made in the lecture you just read, explaining how they cast doubt on points made in the reading.

Answer:

The lecturer talks about research conducted by a firm that used the group system to handle their work. He says that the theory stated in the passage was very different and somewhat inaccurate when compared to what happened for real.

First, some members got free rides. That is, some didn't work hard but got recognition for the success nonetheless. This also indicates that people who worked hard was not given recognition they should have got. In other words, they weren't given the opportunity to "shine". This directly contradicts what the passage indicates.

Second, groups were slow in progress. The passage says that groups are more responsive than individuals because of the number of people involved and their aggregated resources. However, the speaker talks about how the firm found out that groups were slower than individuals in decision making. Groups needed more time for meetings, which are necessary procedures in decision making. This was another part where experience contradicted theory.

Third, influential people might emerge, and lead the group towards glory of failure. If the influent people are going in the right direction there would be no problem. But in cases where they go in the wrong direction, there is nobody that has enough influence to counter the decision made. In other words, the group might turn into a distractor, with the influential party as the leader, and might be less flexible in thinking. They might become one-sided, and thus fail to success.

(Source: Official Guide p250-255)
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matchia



Tổng số bài gửi : 11
Join date : 27/08/2009

Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Integrated writing #1: Template 1 - Casting doubt on a lecture   Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:13 am

Hi, I have some problems like Phuong. Although I understand the reading passage, I don't listen fully the listening. Besides, I don't know how to start an integrated essay. I will post a sample integrated essay.

Reading passage
Correlation studies are used to determine if two variables are related to each other. In this type of research, the researcher does not manipulate either variable, but instead measures the rates at which they occur naturally. If, for example, variable X increases in frequency as variable Y increases in frequency, X and Y are said to be positively correlated. If, on the other hand, Y decreases as X decreases, X and Y are said to be negatively correlated.
For example, an investigation into the relationship between study time and grades earned might find that as the number of hours spent studying increases, exam scores also increase. This is an example of a positive correlation. An investigation into the relationship between TV time and grades earned might show a negative correlation; that is, as the number of hours spent watching TV increases, grades decrease.
Correlation studies, then, compare two or more variables and determine whether or not they have a relationship. This information is used to infer if a casual relationship exists between variables. A causal relationship cannot always be inferred, however. For example, increased time spent watching TV may have a negative correlation with grades earned, but this does not necessarily indicate a causal relationship. It is probably the case that the more time a student spends watching TV, the less time that student studying.

Listening Passage
W: I hope you have all read the introduction to correlation studies in your textbooks. One component of that reading that I want to stress the importance of is that when assessing the validity of a correlation stud it is vital to remember this rule: Correlation does not imply causation. It’s easy, when you see a correlation, to assume that the changing rate of one variable is causing the changing rate of the other, but how do investigators determine which variable would be the cause and which the effect? Sometimes, it ‘s common sense, but when investigation itself certainty that one variable is causing the other to occur.
Another danger to be wary of is the possibility of a third variable. Consider this example. Ice cream consumption is positively correlated with drowning. Surprised? What might explain this correlation?
M: Well, maybe the ice-cream could give you a cramp while you’re swimming.
W: Okay, maybe. But what if told you that ice cream consumption is also positively correlated with boating accidents.
M: Okay, well, it’s got something to do with the beach, or the water… and when do people go to the beach or go boating.
M: In the summer.
W: Exactly – when it’s hot. And when do people eat ice cream? When it’s hot. The third variable here is the weather. So, just because two events are correlated, it doesn’t mean that one event is causing the other. It might give us a hint that might be the case, but further research has to e done to say conclusively that one event causes the other.
For example, smoking is positively correlated with cancer. This evidence alone does not indicate that smoking causes cancer. However, it was the basis for further research that has demonstrated a causal relationship between smoking and cancer.

So, correlation studies are valuable tools that provide a glimpse into how events are related, and they might indicate causal relationship, but also they in no way determine that one event causes another.

Question
Summarize the points made in the reading passage and the lecture you just listen.

Essay:
Correlation studies are useful tools because they describe relationship between different phenomena as they occur in the natural world. It is important, though, that researchers be careful not to make the common erroneous assumption that a correlation implies causation.
Correlation indicate when two variables are related naturally. This implies that researchers do not manipulate either variable; they simply observe events as they occur. For this reason, it is impossible to determine if one variable causes the other to change.
Furthermore, there is always the possibility of a third variable causing both to change. To demonstrate, the lectures states that there is a positive correlation between ice cream consumption increases, the rate of drowning increases as well. It is a fallacy, though, to interpret these findings as indicating that ice cream consumption causes drowning. In the case, there is a third variable that is affecting both- the weather.
Sometimes,. It is acceptable to infer from a correlation study that one variable affects the other, such as in the example in the reading of increased study time being correlated to higher grades. It is very important, nonetheless, that one is careful to consider which variable affects which, and that there is not a third variable affecting changes in both variables.

(Mastering Skills for the toefl ibt - page 528)
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nguyenducphuong



Tổng số bài gửi : 20
Join date : 13/08/2009

Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Integrated writing #1: Template 1 - Casting doubt on a lecture   Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:58 am

Hi,
I think before we start practicing the integrated writing task, we have to know exactly its types of questions. How the task is phrased? The question doesn't look like this
Trích dẫn :
Summarize the points made in the reading passage and the lecture you just listen
According to the Official Guide, the test maker will ask you:
Trích dẫn :
If the lecture challenges the information in the reading passage, the writing task will usually be phrased in one of the following ways:
- Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage
- Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific claims/arguments made in the reading passage
- Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how they answer the problems raised in the reading pasasge

If the lecture supports or strengthens the information in the reading passage, the writing task will usually be phrased in one of the following ways:
- Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how they support the explanations in the reading passage
- Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to specifically explain how they strengthen specific points made in the reading passage
From my point of view, the questions in Mastering are not similar to the questions of the real test. For integrated writing task, my friend, who has taken the real test, recommended me to learn the Official Guide and Craking. There are some very useful templates in Cracking which can help you start your writing more easily.
For example, it gives you a tempate for "Cast doubt on a lecture" question:
Trích dẫn :
Summarize the points made in the lecture, explain how they cast doubt on the reading

Paragraph #1: Introduction
I. Topic sentence
In the lecture, the (professor/teacher/instructor) made several points about (topic)
II. State main idea of lecture
The (professor/teacher/instructor) argues that (the main idea of the lecture)
III. Transition/main idea of reading
However, the reading contends that (the main idea of the reading)
IV. Thesis statement
The professor's lecture casts doubt on the reading by using a number of points that are contrary to (the main idea of the reading).

Paragraph #2: Body paragraph
I. Transition/point #1 from lecture
The first point that the (professor/teacher/instructor) uses to cast doubt on the reading is (point #1 in the lecture)
II. Detail for point #1
According to the (professor/teacher/instructor), (detail for point #1 from the lecture)
III. Counterpoint from reading
(Point #1) differs from the reading in that the reading states (point #1 of the reading)
IV. Explanation of relationship between reading and lecture
The point made by the (professor/teacher/instructor) casts doubt on the reading because (how lecture is different from reading)

Paragraph #3: Body paragraph
I. Transition/point #2 from the lecture
Another point that the (professor/teacher/instructor) uses to cast doubt on the reading is (point #2 from lecture)
II. Detail for point #2
The (professor/teacher/instructor) claims that (detail for point #2 from the lecture)
III. Counterpoint from reading
However, the reading states (point #2 from reading)
IV. Explanation of relationship between reading and lecture
This point is contradicted by (point #2 from lecture)

Paragraph #4: Conclusion
I. Topic sentence
In conclusion, the points made in the lecture contrast with the reading.
II. Summary
(Point #1 and point #2 from the lecture) demonstrate that (main idea of the reading) is in doubt.
As I mentioned earlier, the most difficult problem in the integrated writing task is not how to organize your writing. There are templates!!! The trouble that I feel most difficult is summarizing both the reading and the lecture in a different way, that is, use my own words to express the same ideas as them. It’s really a big problem if I don’t understand the reading and can’t hear the lecture.
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thuhientran88



Tổng số bài gửi : 23
Join date : 27/09/2009

Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Integrated writing #1: Template 1 - Casting doubt on a lecture   Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:15 pm

Well, I also have troubles in common.
The two biggest problems are: paraphrasing and getting the main ideas of the reading passage and the lecturer.

1. About paraphrasing: As I gained from my class: there are 3 steps to paraphrase: choose synonyms/antonyms --> Use alternative structures --> cite expressions and ideas.

+ Use related words and phrases including synonyms and antonyms of words and concepts in the original passage.
Ex: The average daytime temperature in the Gobi desert does not often go below 38
--> The average daytime temperature in the Gobi desert is usually at or above 38
+ Change words forms and rephrase to make things simpler.
Ex: for organization --> in order to organize
people at the age of thirty --> thirty-year-old-people.
+ Use different sentence structure.
Ex: Many Asian countries export rice to North America
--> rice is exported to North America by many Asian countries.
+ Cite information from the original source by using signal words.
Ex: According to the professor/passage, -> The professor says/mentions/states/argues/believes/found that...
To my point of view, learning synonyms and antonyms is very important and useful for paraphrasing, and there is no way but reading and learning them by hearts. I highly recommend “Oxford learner’s thesaurus dictionary”. In fact, the best way is practicing.
2. The biggest problem is that we cannot identify the main ideas of the lecturer or understand the reading passage:
Firstly, we have to identify the types of questions in the intergraded writing:
- Summarize the main points in the lecture, contrasting them with the ideas in the reading passage.
- Summarize the points made in the lecture you just heard, explaining how they challenge specific claims made in the reading.
- Summarize the points made in the lecture you just heard, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.
- Summarize the points made in the lecture you just heard, being sure to explain how they challenge specific claims/arguments made in the reading passage.
Normally, the lecturer often supports the ideas in the reading passage or gives opposite ideas to the reading passage, so we can guess the main ideas of the speaker through the main ideas of the reading passage. For instance, the reading passage mentions the advantages of using the internet, so the lecturer might mention the disadvantages of using internet. I mean, we should get the information initiatively.
One more problem is that we do not know how to take note while listening. I find some useful tips in Barron’s 12th edition.
And when we cannot understand the reading passage, just try to carry out its main point without caring if you can understand them or not. Because there are often some key word in the reading passage as well as in the lecturer that help us guess the main ideas: first of all, secondly, the most important….. The topics is vast so we cannot be expert in every aspects.
:-D, that’s all I can think tonight. I will post more ideas as long as possible. Very Happy
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