Sample TOEFL Integrated Essay

 

The Question

This integrated (Type 1) question is taken from the Official TOEFL iBT Tests Collection from ETS.  It also appeared on one of the TPO tests (number 4, I think).

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The Sample Essay

          The reading and the listening are about whether or not dinosaurs were endotherms. The author of the reading feels there is evidence to suggest that dinosaurs were animals of this type. The professor, on the other hand, is not convinced of this. He casts doubt on each of the theories presented in the reading.

           First of all, the author points out that dinosaur fossils have been found in cold polar regions. It is noted that only animals that can maintain warm body temperatures, like endotherms, could have been active in climates of this type. The lecturer casts doubt on this claim. She observes that today’s polar regions were much warmer during the time of the dinosaurs; warm enough for non-endotherms to inhabit them. Moreover, she observes that such animals could have migrated or hibernated during months when the temperatures actually were very cold.

            Secondly, the author contends that the dinosaurs were endotherms based on the structure of their legs. The article points out that dinosaurs had legs underneath their bodies, just like all modern endotherms. On the other hand, the lecturer notes that the leg structure of dinosaurs served merely to support their weight. She contends that having legs under their bodies allowed the dinosaurs to evolve to very large sizes, which was advantageous in many ways.

         Finally, the author makes a connection between endothermic animals and bone structure. The bones of dinosaurs contained bodies called Haversian canals, which helped them to grow large, which is a common characteristic of endotherms. The professor challenges the validity of this point. She notes that dinosaur bones also show evidence of growth rings. She says that these rings indicate that the dinosaurs grew in spurts, which is a characteristic of non-endotherms.

Note

This is a sample TOEFL integrated essay written by a native speaker.  It follows our TOEFL writing templates for integrated essays.  If you find it useful, please remember that we have many more sample essays for you to read!

 

 

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