The Question

This integrated question is taken from Test Two in the Official Guide to the TOEFL. I’m not allowed to provide the lecture and reading here, but you I highly recommend that you get a copy of that book for yourself.  It contains four good tests.

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The Sample Integrated TOEFL Essay

               The reading and the lecture are both about the value of television appearances by university professors.  The author of the reading argues that they are very worthwhile for academics and their universities.  The lecturer casts doubt on the claims made in the article.  He believes that these appearances are not particularly useful.

               First of all, the author claims that television appearances help university professors broaden their audience, and also help them to be viewed as experts in their fields by more people.   The author believes that this can increase their importance as academic professionals.  This point is challenged by the lecturer.  He says that professors who go on television are viewed by their peers as entertainers rather than as true educators.  The lecturer claims that being a celebrity could even affect their ability to get funding for their work.

               Secondly, the author states that television appearances can be beneficial for the universities themselves.  It is argued that the prestige of a university is increased when one of its faculty members makes a high profile media appearance.  The lecturer rebuts this argument.  He suggests that universities can suffer because celebrity professors do not have much time for their research and students.  He argues that rather than carrying out their duties, they spend a lot of time rehearsing, traveling and getting made-up for their appearances.

               Finally, the author mentions that there is a net benefit to the public when a professor appears in the media.  It is suggested that television is usually quite shallow and that professors can provide a very useful remedy to this problem.  The lecturer, on the other hand, feels that television networks are just interested in the academic titles of the professors.  He says that the abbreviated presentations that professors give on television are no more useful than what a regular reporter could deliver.


This is a sample TOEFL personal preference essay written by a TOEFl expert.  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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