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 for you, 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 the mysterious disappearance of the Anasazi people. The author argues that they abandoned their settlements due to a drought. The lecturer casts doubt on this belief. She does not believe that there is enough evidence to support this assertion.

          First of all, the author notes that the bones of Anasazi people indicate that they suffered from malnutrition. The author posits that this is a sign that there was not enough rainfall for them to grow enough crops to feed themselves. The lecturer challenges this claim. He points out that poor nutrition was common among the Anasazi no matter how much food was grown. He notes that farmers gave most of their crops away to religious leaders so that they would perform ceremonies for them.

          Secondly, it is mentioned in the reading that the Anasazi settlements were sealed up, so they must have intended to return to them after they were abandoned. This is exactly what they did during dry periods that occurred previously. This point is made doubtful by claims in the lecture. The lecturer observes that the dry period ended shortly after the Anasazi left the settlements, but they did not return. He says that if they had left because of a drought, they would have come back once it was over.

          Finally, the author raises the point that the Anasazi people later ended up in areas with ample water supplies. This suggests that they were trying to escape drought conditions. The lecturer, on the other hand, points out that many of them moved to what is now Arizona, which is an area without much water.  Moreover, it is not suitable for farming. He claims that if they were running from dry conditions, it is odd that they would move to a place which was even more arid.


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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