's Guide to the TOEFL® Test Podcast

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Monday, December 05, 2005

TOEFL® Podcast #10

Feedback on a Paper

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

Audio Index:
Slow dialog: 0:49
Explanations: 3:04
Fast dialog: 12:34
Questions: 14:07

Student: Hi, you’re James, right, the T.A. for this class?

T.A.: Yes, that’s right.

Student: I got my paper back and I have some questions.

T.A.: I wrote on each paper whether the student should revise the paper they turned in or start over and rewrite the whole thing.

Student: On my paper, you had written that I should revise, but I’m not sure how to proceed.

T.A.: Let me have a look. Well, your paper needs better organization. The introduction is fine, but the body is confusing and your main arguments are unclear. I think that this sentence here is your main thesis, is that right?

Student: Yes, that’s right.

T.A.: Well, that’s unclear. You have too many sub-topics and you jump back and forth between each one. It’s better to pick one major thesis and develop that fully, rather than to try to cover too many points in one paper.

Student: Well, I was trying to be thorough.

T.A.: I can see that, but your arguments need more development, and you can’t do that unless you pick just one major thesis. What I suggest is that you do that and cite more examples and evidence for support, and include more citations.

Student: Oh, I see. Okay, I’ll work on all of those issues.

T.A.: The paper also needs better transitions between sections. Right now, the paper lacks cohesion.

Student: Okay, thanks a lot for your time. Your feedback is really helpful. I’ll get started on those revisions right away.