The Question

This integrated question is taken from a Korean textbook which you probably won’t be able to find.  I am unable to provide the lecture and reading here, but if you need some practice tests I strongly recommend buying the new version of the Official TOEFL iBT Tests Collection.  It’s an excellent source of practice questions!

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The Sample Essay

         The reading and the lecture are both about transient lunar phenomena (TLP), which are short color changes that are occasionally seen on the surface of the moon. The reading presents three possible explanations for this phenomenon, but the lecturer feels that none of these explanations are plausible.

          To begin with, the author suggests that TLP are caused by gas found beneath the moon’s surface which is sometimes ejected into the atmosphere. It is argued that this theory is supported by the fact that TLPs are often seen near craters which the gas can escape from. The lecturer casts doubt on this claim. He says that it is just a coincidence that TLPs are seen near craters, which are the most common feature of the moon. He observes that a NASA probe which detected gas near a major crater only found a small amount of it.

          Secondly, the author observes that TLPs might just be bright clouds of dust floating above the surface of the moon. It is mentioned that this dust can reflect light and therefore cause TLPs. The lecturer, in contrast, says that dust clouds would have to be massive in order to be observed from Earth. However, there is no evidence of a large amount of dust on the moon.

        Thirdly, the author posts that TLPs might be caused by solar radiation. The article notes that magnetic storms occurring on the sun release radiation which might illuminate certain sections of the lunar landscape. The lecturer challenges this assertion. He points out that the dates when TLPs have been observed do not match the dates of known solar flares. He observes that for the most part, there is no relationship between these two events.


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



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