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Integrated Structure B
Now, let’s look at another structure for your integrated essay. This alternate structure, we’ll call Structure B. Similar to our first structure, we’re going to have an Introduction paragraph and then some body paragraphs. And again, similarly, that introduction will be very short, just two or three sentences.
Following that, we’ll have our body paragraphs. In this case, there will be two of them. Notice that’s a little different from Structure A, which had three paragraphs. This second structure, structure b, isn’t shorter. It just has more paragraphs, sorry, fewer paragraphs. In fact, structure b might be longer.
Why is that? Well, let’s look at the paragraphs one by one to see. The first body paragraph is going to be about the reading. You’ll start with the main idea of the reading, and then you’ll summarize the three details.
You could do this by listing. First, the text says. Second, the passage states. And finally, the reading says. But that’s probably not a great idea if you want the highest TOEFL scores, because this is very simple.
In any case, you will use the same basic structure of one detail, then the next detail, and then the third detail, even if you have some slightly different transitions. Once you’ve done that, you’ll move onto the second body paragraph. Body paragraph two will be about the lecture. You’ll start with the main idea of the lecture which will probably be contrasted with the main idea of the reading.
After you do that, you’ll summarize the three details that the lecture gives. Remember that the lecture is much more specific, much more concrete than the reading in many cases. That means that this body paragraph is longer. That’s especially true because you have to contrast the lecture with the reading. You’ve already explained the reading in body paragraph one, but you haven’t given any contrast yet.
So in paragraph, body paragraph two, you’ll give that contrast. So together, the summary and the contrast makes this a much longer paragraph. Altogether, paragraphs one and two will give the same basic information that our other structure, structure A did before. That makes this essay the same length. We should mention though, that this type of essay is often worse than structure A.
It can be very repetitive. If you have, in your first body paragraph, that’s body paragraph one, a list or something like a list. First, second, finally. Well, how will you structure your body paragraph two? You have, again, three details that you need to go through.
So you might have the same structure or a very similar structure in your second body paragraph and that makes this repetitive. Even if you use different words, different transitions, the same basic structure of a list, one, two, three, one, two, three, will be in both paragraphs and that makes it not the best option. Structure A is usually better.
So why do we look at structure B at all? Because sometimes, students feel much more comfortable with structure B, and when they’re much more comfortable, they write faster. And when they write faster, they have more time to spend looking at grammar, using higher vocabulary, and generally, writing better essays. Structure B can be a better option for you.
You need to try both and test. Practice using structure A, and structure B. See what works best for you, and try that. If you’re not sure, then I definitely recommend structure A, with the three body paragraphs. All right.
That’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening.
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