In this textbook, you have learned a lot of writing skills in the context of specific writing tasks. This chapter will help you apply skills from each of the major sections of this textbook to integrated writing tasks specifically.
In the first section of this textbook, you learned about the concept of plagiarism. Plagiarism is when you present words and ideas as if you were the original creator. As a student, you should always be pointing to where you learned the information. Your reader does not expect you to know everything, but they want to know where you learned it. Your professors want to know that you did the work. Your other audience for your writing might want to learn more and your references can give them directions on where to find more information.
The way you will reference your sources will depend on the task. The most common way to explain originality is to include a citation in your sentence that connects the idea to one of the references at the end of your essay. This is the most formal form of showing sources.
Sometimes, you are given the specific sources to include in your writing, like on the TOEFL or in a reading (literature) class. In those cases, you will follow the expectations of the assignment for showing originality.
On the TOEFL, you do not need citations or a reference page. The reader knows exactly where you learned the information, so it is not necessary. All you need to do is signal which source each idea came from with the words lecture or reading passage.
In a reading (literature) class where you are reporting on a specific book, you may need to use citations for specific quotes that you include, but other information can just be explained generally because the reader makes the assumption that all that information came from the book you are discussing. Any information you learned from outside of the book (ex. Wikipedia page, dictionary, etc) would need a citation and reference.
The organization will always depend on the specific assignment. The length will depend on the assignment. That being said, everytime you include a reference to information you learned from another source, you should always have the following parts:
- Introduction: Move from your own ideas into a source reference by connecting the two ideas and/or using an introductory phrase; or include a topic sentence that connects two sources with a shared idea
- Body: Include a direct quote, summary, or paraphrase and the citation (if required)
- Conclusion: Explain why the information is important in supporting your topic sentence or your own supporting ideas
Use the exact words from the original source if:
- there is not other way to express the idea clearly
- you want to use 3 or more words in a row from the source, but it should generally be less than 30 words total
- the original phrase is powerful
- the original author is an authority on the topic
- you are required to use direct quotes
Always begin and end the direct quote with quotation marks ("words"). The citation should be immediately after the final quotation mark. The sentence punctuation should be after the citation.
Most of your integrated writing assignments will require summarizing. This is especially true for the TOEFL integrated writing task 1. The purpose of including most of your source information is to show that you understand the topic thoroughly and can explain it yourself. In order to show strong writing skills, you will have to take the information and transform it into new phrases that express the exact same meaning. A summary should be shorter than the original text.
The definition of the word cohesion is the act of bringing different parts together into a whole product that works together. This is done in large part by having a clear organization that matches the expectations of the prompt. Cohesion is also the result of moving between information from sources smoothly. It should not feel like several sentences pushed together that are sort of about the same thing. Your writing should feel purposeful and connected.
In a class assignment, this also includes moving between your sources and your own ideas without the reader really noticing. On the TOEFL writing task 1, you should not be including your own thoughts on the sources, and the organization is more rigid. This means that it won't feel as natural to move between explanations of the sources, but the required structure makes it easy for the test evaluators to check your understanding and clarity quickly.
Exercise 1: Review
With a partner, choose one of the review points to present to the class. Practice explaining the connection between the skill from that section and integrated writing. If possible, share an example with the class of a writer using this skill effectively.
Exercise 2: Integrated Writing Practice
Watch the video and taken notes on the main idea and any major details. Then click on the article and read that source. You will then use your notes to answer the prompt. You will have 30 minutes to write your response. You should have at least 300 words in your answer.
Prompt: What is the placebo effect? Using the information from the reading, explain how the placebo effect can impact our lives beyond just our physical health.