Friday, September 19, 2008


In all academic situations where writing in English is required, students must be able to
present their ideas in a clear, well-organized manner. The Writing section measures a test
taker’s ability to write in an academic setting.
Often students need to write a paper or an essay response on an exam about what they
are learning in their classes. This requires combining information they have heard in
class lectures with what they have read in textbooks or other materials. This type of
writing can be referred to as integrated writing. In this type of writing, students must:
— take notes on what they hear and read, and use them to organize information
before writing
— summarize, paraphrase, and cite information from the source material accurately
— write about the ways the information they heard relates to the information they read
For example, in an academic course, a student might be asked to compare and contrast
the points of view expressed by the professor in class with those expressed by an author
in the assigned reading material. The student must successfully draw information from
each source to explain the contrast.
Students must also write essays that express and support their opinions. In this type of
writing, known as independent writing, students express an opinion and support it
based on their own knowledge and experience.
For example, students may be asked to write an essay about a controversial issue. The
students use past, personal experience to support their position.
In all types of writing, it is helpful for students to:
identify one main idea and some major points that support it
plan how to organize the essay (e.g., with an outline)
develop the essay by using reasons, examples, and detail
express information in an organized manner
use effective linking words (transitional phrases) to connect ideas and help the reader
understand the fl ow of ideas
use a range of grammar and vocabulary for effective expression
use grammar and vocabulary accurately; use idiomatic expressions appropriately
follow the conventions of spelling, punctuation, and layout
The total time for the Writing section is 50 minutes. Test takers write their responses to two
writing tasks. Responses are typed into the computer and sent to ETS’s Online
Scoring Network where they are scored by certifi ed raters.

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