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TOEFL Integrated Writing Practice Task: Model Answer

Recently, I gave you a sample Integrated Writing Task for practice. One of the commenters on the original post told me that I really should give a sample answer. That way, all of you have something you can compare your own answers to. I absolutely agree. So here is a follow-up post. I have written a level 5 answer, which you can read below.

Model level 5 TOEFL Integrated Writing answer

In the passage, the author argues that comics are an art form that is very unique to the United States, but has been borrowed by other countries. The speaker corrects many things the author wrote about comics being an American art form. Although the writing says all scholars agree that comics are uniquely American, the lecturer says that in modern times, very few scholars agree with that.

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The speaker then points out that, contrary to the writing, the first popular comic strips were not American. According to the speaker, 100 years before the first American comic strip, there were popular comic strips in Europe. The lecture also states that Hogan’s Alley, the 1890s comic strip described as American in the article, is not completely American because the comic characters were not Americans. Moreover, the publisher and creator of the comic were immigrants from other countries.

Additionally, the speaker disagrees with the article’s claim that American comic book Superman was the first popular comic book. Instead, the lecturer says the Belgian comic book Tintin was popular before Superman. Also, the author points out that Superman’s creator is Canadian, not American as the article says.

Finally, the speaker disagrees that American cartoon art influenced international comics, as claimed in the writing. He says that popular European comics have a uniquely European style. He also argues that Japanese comics are influenced more by traditional Asian art. Finally, the speaker notes that even American Disney comics characters are drawn by European artists.

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Per the official TOEFL Integrated Writing rubric, this answer would get a score of 5. It outlines all the main points from the lecture. It explains how each main point contradicts or challenges the main points from the reading. It is organized well, with good transition words for each paragraph. It has no major errors, using correct grammar and vocabulary. Look at this model answer and the rubric linked above as you write your own answer to the sample task. If you need some extra help, you can find a writing template for your own response here.

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27 Responses to TOEFL Integrated Writing Practice Task: Model Answer

  1. Haaris January 24, 2016 at 4:34 am #

    Superb sample answer. I could notice lot of things to improve my writing. Thanks alot.

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel Wisuri January 25, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      Great. 🙂 Happy studying!

      • Mohammed April 2, 2017 at 1:04 am #

        Thanks a lot

    • natalia March 5, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      there’s no need for summarizing the essay?

      • David Recine
        David Recine December 13, 2016 at 9:04 am #

        You don’t need an opening part that focuses on summarizing the reading passage. The passage still gets summarized indirectly when you summarize the lecture, because the lecture references the passage.

  2. mreza February 5, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

    the sample is well-written
    but i have a question, the information from reading is mentioned too briefly than listening.
    is it correct? should not we mention the supports of topic sentence for each paragraph in reading?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 30, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

      You’ve got it right, Mreza! 🙂 Per the directions for the TOEFL Integrated Writing Task, the main objective is to “summarize the main points made in the lecture.” A secondary objective in this task is to explain how the lecturer’s main points challenge the ideas in the reading. But the focus really should be on the lecture itself, as it relates to the passage.

  3. Tasnuva Sharmin July 17, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    It is really helpful. Thank u 🙂

  4. nor September 25, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    In the lecture, the professor makes a series of corrections that cast doubt on the arguments presented in the reading passage about the scholars’ debate that the comics are originally American art form.
    For a start, the professor emphasizes, contrary to the text, America was not the first modern comic strips producer. Correctly, he elaborated this by mentioning that in, the 1790’s; many comics were created in Europe, specifically, Britain and Switzerland, hundred years before the American ones. What;s more, he doubts the reading statement about the real American origin of Hogan Alley’s comic by declaring that the characters were not Americans, and also, the creators were immigrants from different countries.
    Additionally, the lecturer contradicts the passage;s claim that the American Action comic book ’SUPERMAN’ was a published in the world firstly. In fact, he explains that the creation of the International Action comic ‘TIN TIN.’ series in Belgium was very likely predated in popularity and nature that’s of ‘SUPERMAN.’ Surprisingly, he shows that art writer of ‘SUPERMAN.’ was Canadian.
    Finally, in sharp contrast to the author’s text, the professor knowingly indicates that the traditional Asian art influenced the Japanese comics as most of the Art Historians do believe. Rightly, the professor also clarifies that ‘Smurfs’ are originally written by Europeans. Adding to this, although Disney characters are American innovations, the Disney cartoon comics characters are drawn by Europeans. Quintessentially, the professor believes that the comics belong to the whole world and not uniquely to America.

  5. Drabo Daouda December 13, 2016 at 4:52 am #

    That is I also noticed.But I have a question .Is Toefl writing section composed of just one passge and one listening ? Others sections are more than one just like listening and speaking and reading?

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 13, 2016 at 9:12 am #

      The TOEFL Writing section only has one passage and one audio track, yes. Both the passage and the audio track are in the same task– the TOEFL Integrated Writing Task seen in this post. There’s only one other task in TOEFL Writing, the TOEFL Independent Essay. And that essay, much like the TOEFL Independent Speaking prompts, doesn’t include a passage or audio.

  6. shehla May 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

    The reading and the lecture are both about an art form called Comics. The author of the reading believes that comics including both comic strips and comic books are purely an American art form. The lecturer casts doubt on the claims made in the reading passage. He thinks that art of comics actually belongs to the whole world.

    First of all, the reading passage points out that Hogan Alley was the first most popular comic strip, and was American in all aspects. It is mentioned that the writer was American and publishers were also Americans.This point is challenged by the lecturer. He says that many other popular British comics were published in 1790’s that was many years before Hogan Alleys. Furthermore, he argued that the writer and publishers of Hogan Alley were mostly immigrants and not Americans.

    Secondly, the author of the reading contends that the first popular comic book and first popular superhero was American. The lecturer rebuts this argument. He points out that 16 years before the publication of superman, Tenten was a very popular comic book. He elaborates on this by mentioning that it was written by the Canadian writer.

    Last but not the least, the reading passage points out that most of the comics medium was created in America and exported to the other parts of the world. On the other hand, the lecturer says that Disney comics was also created in Europe and was very popular, so it is not true to say that comic art was started in America.

  7. michael June 10, 2017 at 10:39 am #

    these all seem very helpful.. i really love everything listed above

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 14, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

      Glad we could help 🙂

  8. Danny July 10, 2017 at 1:39 am #

    I have question. The essay is 221 words, but is it enough?

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 10, 2017 at 6:46 am #

      Wow– thanks for catching that. You’re right– that is just a little bit too short. ETS officially recommends a word count of at least 225 for the TOEFL Integrated Writing Essay.

      I looked again at the essay, and I realized it could benefit form a stronger introduction. So I added a new opening statement at the very beginning of the essay. You can now view the new and improved essay in this post. Thanks once more for bringing this to my attention. 🙂

  9. ram August 17, 2017 at 11:21 pm #

    here is my response before reading the sample response given by maghoosh. If possible please evaluate it.

    The article states that comics is essentially an american art form and provides three reasons of support.
    However, the professor explains that comics are not uniquely amercian and refutes each of the articles reasons.

    First, the reading claims that the first comic to be published was Hogan’s Alley which was an american comic.
    The professor refutes this point by saying that Hogan Alley was not the first comic. He states that in 1790s
    there were many comics published by britons and people in switzerland. He further adds that this revealations puts a
    question on the claims of the artile. He also states that the character in hogan alley was an immigrant.

    Second, the article posits that the first popular comic in the world was Action Comic which was published in 1938 whose hero was superman
    . however the professor says that Action comic was not the first popular comic in the world. According to the professor
    Titin was an european comic which was published 16 years before the Action comic and was internationally famous then and even today.
    He goes on to say that the character of Action comic was a canadaian and thus the comic Action comic was not truely american

    Third, the reading claims that the comics around the world was influnced by american comics and had a bit of american in them.
    The professor opposes this by explaining that the japanese comics were influenced by asian history which is older than american history. He adds that
    characters in american commics such as Asterix and Smurfs are from europe and thus refutes the claim that these comics were truely american.

  10. Habibah November 9, 2017 at 7:01 am #

    The reading and lecture are both about comics being uniquely American art form. The author of the reading believes that comics medium and books are entirely from America. The lecturer casts doubt on the claims made in the article. She thinks that comics are not wholly American.
    First of all, the author of the reading mentions that the first popular comic strip which goes by the name Hogan’s Alley was entirely American. The article notes that both the publishers and the cartoonist who wrote and drawn it were all citizens of America. This point is challenged by the lecturer. She says that Hogans’ Alley was not the first popular comics, that, there were comics more popular and created before the first popular American comics in Europe. Furthermore, she argues that the writer and publishers of Hogan’Alley were all immigrants from other Countries.
    Secondly, the author points out that the first super hero comics which feature superman was uniquely American. It is mentioned that the Japanese and European comics came to being as a result of inspiration and influence of America Comics. The lecturer rebuts this claim by pointing out that the comic ‘‘adventure of tenten’’ which was created by a non-American sixteen years before that of superman was widely accepted. She also notes that the superman artist is from Canada and not American as claimed by the author.
    Finally, the author establishes that the art of comics originated from America and extended to other parts of the world. He puts forth the idea that even those comics that do not come from America were influenced by Americans. The lecturer counters this by saying that the Japanese art was inspired by the Asians own and that the European art form are entirely European in nature.

  11. Soukhya December 28, 2017 at 2:21 am #

    I had a doubt. Is it essential/preferable to mention proper names in our written response.
    For example in this case would it be appreciated to mention specific details like ,
    “The publisher of Hogan’s Alley , Joseph Pulitzer was an immigrant from Hungary”

    “Moreover,the characters in Hogan’s Alley were not Americans but immigrants same as the comic’s publisher Joseph Pulitzer who was an immigrant from Hungary”


    Does a more general statement like the one you have made , “Moreover, the publisher and creator of the comic were immigrants from other countries.” work equally well?

    What would fetch more marks?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 30, 2017 at 7:39 am #

      Hi Soukhya,

      Good question! If you can use specific details that come from the resources you’ve given (i.e. in the integrated tasks) this shows the level of nuance you are able to understand, and it is a good idea. For the independent tasks, it is still useful, but it doesn’t signal the same thing. (It just shows that you’re thorough.) If you can introduce details like this without spending too much time, I recommend you do so. 🙂

  12. Arlindo Fortes December 30, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    In The lecture the professor made several points about comics medium and give an historical view from these arts form.
    The professor states that these comics medium is not uniquely American. However the reading claims that the unique arts form is strictly made by Americans and had from America influence the comics to other parts of the world.
    So the lecture casts doubt from the reading by giving several different points of American influence in the art of making comics medium.
    First the professor states that comic medium was very popular and had influence scholars. But the studies becoming from different authors refers that Hogan’s Alley from the 1890s, was not the first comic strip as the reading had claims, therefore it had started in Europe, more specific in Britain and Switzerland.
    Besides that the professor’s lecture also disagrees from the reading by stating that Action Comics was in fact pre-dated by Tintin adventures in 1922 than the superman in America in 1938. So the popular superman action comics was in case not the first but according to the professor started 16 years before.
    Also from the lecture the professor argues that Japanese comics is influenced by their own culture, this argument differ from the reading passage holding that Americans exported this unique art form. Another example given by the professor asserts that Disney’s characters is both made by Americans in America and by European in Europe, this statement contrast the idea form the passage that Disney comic characters was an American creation
    Finally the lecturer considers that the comics medium cannot be strictly American because the author of Hogan’s Alley came from Hungary and the author of the superman came from Canada, so there is some others nationalities that was not strictly American authors.
    The comics medium created in America according to the lecture dis not started but it started from other locations abroad America while the reading states the opposite that comics medium started in America.

  13. Jalaludin Nazari September 5, 2018 at 10:52 pm #


    These practices are very helpful, but there is a question: In the direction, it says that summarize the lecture and then explain how the text and lecture are related to each other. In your sample response, You haven’t summarized the lecture in a separate paragraph but in all paragraphs. Isn’t a problem for the TOEFL graders?

    Thanks in advance!

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 6, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

      It’s definitely OK to summarize the full details of the lecture point-by-point across the body paragraphs. In fact, that’s the way you’ll be expected to do it. It’s also good to have a very brief, basic summary of the lecture’s main purpose/message in the introduction. You can see an example of this in the second and third sentences of paragraph 1 in my model response. 🙂

  14. Aparajitha October 15, 2018 at 3:34 am #

    The article states that the comics medium is uniquely an American art form. However, the professor in the lecture disagrees with this notion. He says that even though the scholars believed this at one point, they understood it to not be true as they read more comics.

    First, the article states that the first successful comic strip was Hogan’s Alley which was American including its authors and publishers. But the lecturer states that this is not true. He says that there was one comic strip in Europe that was very popular in the 1790’s. This was a hundred years before Hogan’s Alley. He also states that the characters in Hogan’s Alley were actually based on immigrants and that the author was an immigrant himself as opposed to what was stated in the passage.

    Second, the article states that the first popular comic book was also American. However, the lecturer states that the first popular comic book was not the American “Action Comics” but that it was “TinTin” that was released in Belgium. He adds that this was in fact 16 yrs prior to the introduction of Super Man in the Action Comics. He further adds that the author of Action Comics was indeed a Canadian and not an American correcting the wrongly stated fact in the paragraph.

    Lastly, the article states that the Americans exported the art of comics all over the world and that the Japanese manga and the European comics were inspired by the American style. However, the lecturer refutes this by stating that the traditional Asian art form inspired the Japanese manga and that the European comics like Smurfs and Asterix had their own unique European styles. He states that they did not derive inspiration from the American comic style.

    These are the various reasons that the lecturer states to prove his view that in fact the comic art form did not originate from America as the passage states and that every country had its own style of comics.

  15. R. June 21, 2019 at 6:17 am #

    The reading and the listening are both about comics. Whereas the author of the reading claims that comics are an uniquely American form of art which has been borrowed by other countries, the author of the lecture suggests that this an outdated opinion and that the comic medium belongs to the world.
    The lecturer casts doubt on the main points made in the reading by providing three reasons.
    First of all, contrary to the reading, the lecturer states that Hogan’s Alley was not the first internationally successful comic strip as there have been many preceding strips and characters in the 1970s, especially in Britain and in Switzerland. Furthermore, he mentions that most of the characters in Hogan’s Alley were immigrants and that the comic strip itself was published and created by an immigrant and is therefore not inherently American.
    Secondly, the reading states that the American series Action Comics was the first internationally known comic book. Nevertheless, the lecturer refutes this argument. He argues that the comic book The Adventures of Tintin was in fact the first successful comic book as it was published 16 years before Action Comics in 1922. In addition, he points out that the creator of The Adventures of Tintin is Canadian.
    Finally, the reading claims that American comic strips have influenced Japanese Manga as well as European comic series. On the other hand, the lecturer believes that Manga was mostly inspired by traditionally Asian art. In addition, he thinks that European comic series have an uniquely European style and are written and drawn by European creators and therefore not American.

  16. AJIT July 23, 2019 at 10:17 am #

    The reading text gives the view that comic strips are a uniquely American art form. The lecturer after studying comic strips from other countries as well refutes this claim completely. The writer cites examples like Hogan’s Alley which came out in 1890 as the world’s firs comic strip. The lecturer says that a hundred years before that in the 1790s comic strips were popular in British and Swiss newspapers. Moreover, he says, Hogan’s Alley dealt with lower middle class immigrant life and cannot be claimed to be typically American in content. Its publisher, Joseph Puliter, himself was a Hungarian immigrant. The reading passage argues that Superman that came out in 1938 was the first action comic strip and was typically American. But the lecturer says that its creator Joe Schuster wasn’t an American at all, but Canadian in nationality. The speaker also says that action comics had been in existence even before and cites the example of the Belgian comic strip – The adventures of Tintin—which had gained world popularity before Superman was even born. He also says that Japanese comics though they came out later do not imitate American comics but rather follow an Asian style of content. The lecturer says that comic strips being far from an American art form is more international in origin and follows the traditions and interests of the country where it originated—whether in Asia or in Europe or America

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 13, 2019 at 8:56 am #

      This is a great essay! Great paraphrasing and summarization of ideas. There’s just one serious issue: You haven’t broken up your writing into separate paragraphs. CUrrently, the essay reflects a TOEFL Writing score of 22-25. If you add in paragraphing, you’d probably be in the 27-29 range.

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