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Example of Integrated Writing Task Question One

Example of Integrated Test Question 1 Type #1

Integrated Essay “What is reality?”

You have 20 minutes to plan, write, and revise your response to a reading passage and a lecture on the same topic. First, read the passage and take notes. Next, listen to the lecture and take notes. Finally, plan and write your response to the writing question. Typically, a good response will require that you write 150–225 words.

Reading Passage

Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is reality? Today’s sociologists agree on a few basics in regards to what humans know as reality. They typically agree on something called consensus reality. This theory generally states that reality is the summation of what most people believe to be true based on the consensus of what a group of people believe is a practical reality rather than a perceived reality. This concept does not try to define reality but rather attempts to find some common ground in which people can be in agreement with one another and interact in a practical way.

Beyond the general consensus, sociologists separate people into three groups in regards to their different ideas of reality. Those three groups are Objectivists, Idealists, and Materialists. Objectivists believe that the world has its own reality separate from man’s perception and that our perception has no effect on the true reality. They maintain that not acknowledging the true reality of life has its consequences. In contrast, Idealists, sometimes called Subjective Idealists, believe that their own perception determines the true reality. They believe they can create the world in any way they like it or in any way it suits their desires or needs. Finally, Materialists, similar to but different than Objectivists, believe that reality is somewhat concrete. These people believe that reality is comprised of material facts that are established and can be proven scientifically. Anyone believing otherwise would be considered delusional.

However, when it comes to consensus reality, there are two basic but opposing views. On the one hand, some believe that such a view of reality is wrong as it does not take into account the experiences of everyone and therefore is not a true consensus. On the other hand, some see it as a practical way for a small group to secure a way of dealing with certain common situations within a society.

Listening Script

Take notes of the main points in the passage.

“The mind is capable of creating its own reality. This theory is supported by the findings that eye-witness reports have traditionally proven to be unreliable. Because of a lack of consensus from witnesses interviewed at the scene of crimes, surveillance video is being used more and more to solve crimes.

Consider this example: A clerk was working alone in a convenience store when three customers walked in and went to different locations. The clerk reported seeing a fourth man walk in before he robbed the store. Afterwards the police came and questioned the clerk and the other three shoppers. When comparing notes, the police found that they had four different versions of the robbery. This is due to the different perspectives of each person and the influence of their perception of reality.

Let’s take a look at the different views of each witness and try and understand why they saw the event as they did.

One customer interviewed had been at the back of the store in the refrigerated section getting ice cream when the robbery occurred. He claims that there was no one else in the store at the time when he came in and he never saw anyone else in the store. The second customer interviewed was standing in the candy isle directly behind the robber. He states that the robber was six feet tall, 240 pounds, wore a black mask and wielded a gun. He claims that he didn’t see more because he crashed to the floor hoping to avoid conflict with the armed robber. The third customer stood at an angle from the robber and stated that he saw a woman wearing a dress and high-heel shoes. This woman had long black hair and held out her purse as if to pay. Therefore, he did not think he saw the clerk being robbed. And finally the clerk stated that the robber was a young black man dressed in a leather jacket with a knife. When the police viewed the surveillance tape they found that although a woman had come in and purchased a pack of cigarettes, it was the clerk who acted alone in stealing money from the register and that there never was a robber. How could this be? Well . . . each customer was told that there had been a robbery by a fourth person entering the store. As they were separated and therefore had no collective or consensus reality base, their minds filled in the missing information based on their own perceptions of reality.”


Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they specifically strengthen specific points in the reading passage.

Sample Essay

Both passages discuss different perceptions of reality. The Listening gives an example of a store clerk getting robbed and the police take testimonies from witnesses. The professor also says that a surveillance video proved eye witnesses are unreliable. This example supports the Reading passage by demonstrating that a person’s view of reality may be subjective or objective depending on their type of perception.

According to the professor, one shopper claim to not have seen anyone else enter the store and suggests that the clerk committed the theft himself. He saw and reported just what he actually saw happening. This supports the reading passage which states that “objectivists” believe in a true reality based on what they know.

A second customer claim that he was behind the robber and even describe him as a tall man in a mask with a gun. He even claimed to have fallen to the floor so that he would not be seen. However, the surveillance video showed that there was no such person. This man made up the story to fit his own view of reality. This support what the Reading describes as the “subjective realist” who believes they can create their own reality.

A third customer claims to see a woman wearing a dress and high heels with long black hair holding out her purse who purchases something but did not see the clerk getting robbed. This supports the description in the Reading passage about the “materialist” view of reality.

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