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TOEFL Integrated Writing Question Example #1

Several of the rocks which make up Stonehenge, one of England’s most famous historical sites, have been found to come from a nearby quarry in Salisbury, around 25 miles away from the site. These could have been transported by men using sleds or other rudimentary tools. Others, however, have been traced to another location in Wales, almost 200 miles away.

So, how did those rocks, called bluestones, make the long and arduous journey? It is unlikely that the prevailing theory is true; namely, that these bluestones were transported from one location to the other. The technology of the time would have made this back-breaking work, and it is unlikely that they would have gone to so much trouble, when they could simply have used rocks of a different type found closer to the site.

A new and exciting theory is called glacial erratics. This theory states that the rocks were, in fact, transported to the area far earlier by glacial movements during an icier interval in the Earth’s climate, and not instead by a phantom brigade of men.

Such erratics are widely known; we tend to think of the Earth’s climate as calm and tranquil, but on a historical basis, there have been several hundred thousand years where half of the planet was covered in glaciers. These tend to be slow but violent in nature; calmly and methodically carving their way through rock and earth.

Over many thousand years, it’s entirely possible that these glacial erratics transported the requisite materials to the site, thus solving the conundrum of how they came to be used in a field near Salisbury. It might also explain the unfinished-looking nature of Stonehenge itself; the interior part of it looks as though it’s missing a few pieces. Perhaps there were no more bluestones to use.

Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.


The passage is tell us about Stonehenge, the very famous rock site in England. The fact that these typical rocks is scattered across England, even a case that founded on Wales, 200 miles away form the site.

The stones, called bluestones. The thing is, haw these rocks transported on that era? considering that on that certain period, there are (maybe) not such as technology of lifting crane, huge trucks, and so on.

The passage talk about a method that possibly done to move those bluestones, called glacial erratics. The concept of this theory is moving the bluestones trough icy environment (glacial), so the stones should be easier to push and move, even if it is done by human.

But I think, not only human that instructed to move the bluestones, it could be animal also. May be large amount of horses, elephants, or others big animals, so moving the bluestones on slippery-icy land completely possible.

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