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TOEFL iBT: Integrated Essay, The origin of dreams, Freud vs biochemical approach

Misius 4 / 12 3  
Apr 13, 2013   #1
Prompt: Summarize the main points in the lecture, contrasting them with the ideas in the reading passage.

Essay: While Freud studied psychological reasons of dreams and claimed that they are our subconscious respond to some events in our life, Hobsin and McKarly focused on biochemical reasons and physiology of dreams. They conducted an experiment on cats because their brain waves are very similar to those of human beings, and in this research Hobsin and McKarly determined that during our sleep some brain cells are activated (in particular, the brain stem which is responsible for our muscles and movements) and brain sends signals to our legs and arms. Since during the sleep usually there could be no movement the dreams occur.

But there still exists a question about the content of the dream. In his book "Interpretation of Dreams" S.Freud proposed that this content can be explained by the wish fulfillment, which is an origin for many dreams. According to the lecturer and in contrast with Freud's theory Hobsin and McKarly said that this content can also be accounted for by means of physiology. For example, if we are dreaming about an escape (a very common dream), the brain sends to our legs the message to run, but there is no response. So in our dreams this could result in the fact that we may be chased or there could be another obstacle for an escape.

Hobsin and McKarly concluded that dreams occur just as a chemical response to the brain activity. They also claimed that there is no hidden meaning in our dreams which opposes Freud's theory.

Thank you in advance!

dumi 1 / 6,928 1592  
Apr 13, 2013   #2
Since during the sleep usually there could be no movement when the dreams occur.

Well.... it's pretty difficult to comment for integrated writing task essays because we do not have substantial material on which you have based your writing. However, this is how I generally advise others to tackle this task;

1st Para; Briefly tell what the reading passage suggests. Then tell whether the lecturer asserts or refutes the suggestions of the reading passage. If the lecturer asserts those suggestions, then he supports them with examples. If he refutes he brings up counter arguments. (mention about this fact too).

2nd Para; Pick up the first suggestion of the reading passage. Tell how it is asserted or refuted by the lecturer.
3rd Para; 2nd suggestion + Lecturer's response
You can go on like that .... :)
OP Misius 4 / 12 3  
Apr 13, 2013   #3
Thank you for your advice!
I completely understand your position about integrated essays so I asked about grammar and logical mistakes (I should have mentioned that).

Since during the sleep usually there could be no movement, the dreams occur.

I just wanted to check my ability to write in English. I should focus on organizing my writing, I understand that.
Thank you once more!

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