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TOEFL IBT Writing practice #27

 Writing -1

Reading Passage:

Archaeologists have recently found a fossil of a 150-million-year-old mammal known as Repenornamus robustus (R. robustus). Interestingly, the mammal's 

stomach contained the remains of a psittacosaur dinosaur. Some researchers have 

therefore suggested that R. robustus was an active hunter of dinosaurs. However, 

a closer analysis has made the hypothesis that R. robustus was an active hunter 

unlikely. It was probably Just a scavenger that sometimes fed on dinosaur eggs 

containing unhatched dinosaurs. 

First, R. robustus, like most mammals living 150 million years ago, was small—

only about the size of a domestic cat. It was much smaller than psittacosaurs, 

which were almost two meters tall when full grown. Given this size difference, it is 

unlikely that R. robustus would have been able to successfully hunt psittacosaurs 

or similar dinosaurs. 

Second, the legs of R. robustus appear much more suited for scavenging 

than hunting: they were short and positioned somewhat to the side rather than 

directly underneath the animal. These features suggest that R. robustus did not 

chase after prey. Psittacosaurs—the type of dinosaur found in the stomach of 

R. robustus—were fast moving. It is unlikely that they would have been caught by 

such short-legged animals. 

Third, the dinosaur bones inside the stomach of the R. robustus provide no 

evidence to support the idea that the dinosaur had been actively hunted. When 

an animal has been hunted and eaten by another animal, there are usually teeth 

marks on the bones of the animal that was eaten. But the bones of the psittacosaur inside the R. robustus stomach do not have teeth marks. This suggests that 

R. robustus found an unguarded dinosaur nest with eggs and simply swallowed an 

egg with the small psittacosaur still inside the eggshell. 

Listening Passage:

Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a biology class.

Professor: We all know that insects like to eat plants. But some plants have been able to develop ways to protect themselves from insects. Today I'm gonna talk about some ways plants defend themselves.

Now, some plants have physical features that prevent insects from landing on them. Like the passion plant, for example. Its leaves have little spiky hairs all over them. They're like spikes sticking out of the plant that are so numerous and dense that they prevent insects from landing on the leaves. Basically, there's just no room for the insect to land. And since insects can't land on the leaves, they can't eat them. So, the little hairs serve as a physical feature that helps protect the passion plant from insects.

Alright, but other plants protect themselves using chemical defenses. Like the potato plant. The potato plant is able to release a chemical throughout its leaf system whenever an insect attacks it or starts eating the leaf. So, say an insect starts eating a potato plant's leaf. That will cause the plant to react by releasing a chemical throughout its leaf system. The insect swallows this chemical as it eats. And this chemical discourages the insect from wanting to eat any more of the plant. How? Well, the substance makes the insect feel full, like it's already had enough to eat. The insect no longer feels hungry. So, it stops eating the plant. So, by emitting this chemical, the potato plant protects itself from insects.

Narrator: Using points from the lecture, explain how the passion plant and the potato plant defend themselves from insects.


Narrator: Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.

Professor: It's quite possible that R. robustus actively chased and hunted moving dinosaurs. It was not just a scavenger that ate eggs.

First, about R. robustus being too small to hunt dinosaurs. Sure, it would've been too small to have hunted a full-grown psittacosaur, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have hunted baby dinosaurs. R. robustus was considerably bigger than a baby psittacosaur would have been, which supports the idea that R. robustus was a hunter. You see, most predators have at least twice the mass of the animals they prey on, and R. robustus was more than twice the mass of the dinosaur in its stomach. Those size relations are exactly what we would expect to find if R. robustus hunted baby psittacosaurs and similarly sized dinosaurs.

Second, the length and position of R. robustus's legs. Well, there's a modern mammal known as the Tasmanian Devil. Like R. robustus, the Tasmanian Devil also has short legs positioned a little to the side, and yet the Tasmanian Devil can achieve speeds of up to 15 kilometers per hour and is an active and successful predator. Clearly, if the Tasmanian Devil can run fast enough to catch prey, an ancient mammal with similar legs probably could too.

Third, the absence of teeth marks on the psittacosaur's bones. The reading overlooks some important facts about R. robustus. While R. robustus had powerful jaws that it used for grabbing and holding onto prey, it didn't use its back teeth for chewing. We've concluded this because there isn't much wear on the back teeth of various R. robustus specimens. Given this evidence, it seems that R. robustus swallowed its prey whole or in big pieces. So, given the way R. robustus consumed meat, we shouldn't expect to find tooth marks on the bones of prey in its stomach.

my writing answer:

Both the reading passage and the professor discuss about R Robustus whether they are predator for dinousaurs or not. While the reading passage explains it is not possible, the professor has counter arguments about these. 

Firstly about the size of R Robustus compare to dinosaurs. According  to the reading passage, since R Robustus much smaller than psittacosaurs (the dinosaur that found on stomach of R Robusuts's fossil), it is not possible R Robustus could hunt them. Then the professor argues, even if he agreed the impossible of R Robutus --which are just 2 meters height at the most-- to hunt full grown dinosaurs, what about dinosaru's babies? He gives the fact that R Robustus size could have 2 times larger body than dinosaur's babies. Hence he believe dinosaur's babies could be R Robustus's prey.

Secondly about the legs. The reading passage mention about leg position of the R Robustus, it positioned somewhat on the side of their body. This condition would not give R Robustus ability to run for catch fast prey. On the other hand, the professor challenges this idea. He mention about Tasmanian Devil that have side legs either, they can run 15 km / hour, it is fast. Therefore, the professor believe the argument about legs position is not reasonable, because if there is an animal in modern era able to do that, obviously in the past there are many of them could.

Lastly, reagarding no teeth mark found on the fossil. Since there are no teeth mark on dinosaur bones inside R Robustus stomach, the reading passage hypotize the dinosaur was not hunted but simply R Robustus swallow an egg with the small psittacosaur still inside. Once again, the professor has other side perspective. He believe, the R Robustus could use their claw rather than their teeth for hunt. There is a possibility that R Robustus swallow big the dinousaur.

In conclusion, from the reading passage it can inferred a theory about R Robustus could eat dinosaur's eggs as their diet, particularly psittacosaurs. The reading passage gives argues to support the idea. However the professor believe it is possible for R Robustus to not only eat the eggs of dinosaur but also hunt the babies.

ChatGPT Assessment, based on TOEFL iBT rubrics in scale out of 10 for each rubric (Delivery, Language Use, Topic Development), then give me better modified version of my answer (max 400 words):

Delivery: 8

Your delivery is clear and well-structured. You provided an introduction, clearly summarized the points from the reading passage and the lecture, and offered a conclusion. However, there were several grammatical errors that slightly hindered the clarity of your answer.

Language Use: 7.5

You used varied vocabulary, but there were several instances of incorrect word choice and awkward phrasing. Additionally, there were numerous grammatical errors throughout your response, including incorrect use of tense and agreement.

Topic Development: 8.5

You effectively summarized the key points from both the reading passage and the lecture. You clearly identified the points of agreement and disagreement, and you provided appropriate evidence from both sources to support your summary.

Modified Version of Your Answer:

The reading passage and the lecture both discuss the diet of Repenornamus robustus (R. robustus), specifically whether it actively hunted dinosaurs or was merely a scavenger. However, they offer opposing viewpoints.

The reading passage suggests that R. robustus, due to its smaller size compared to psittacosaurs, was unlikely to have been a successful dinosaur hunter. The professor counters this argument by suggesting that R. robustus, while unable to hunt full-grown dinosaurs, could have preyed upon baby dinosaurs given their size, which is more in line with the predator-to-prey size ratio typically seen in nature.

Additionally, the reading asserts that the animal's short, side-positioned legs were not conducive to hunting, implying that R. robustus would not have been able to run fast enough to catch quick prey like psittacosaurs. The professor disputes this, using the example of the modern-day Tasmanian Devil, an active predator with a similar leg structure and capable of achieving considerable speeds.

Finally, the absence of teeth marks on the psittacosaur bones found in R. robustus's stomach led the reading passage to hypothesize that the dinosaur had not been hunted. Instead, it suggests R. robustus simply swallowed a dinosaur egg containing an unhatched psittacosaur. In contrast, the professor points out that R. robustus's eating habits, involving swallowing prey whole or in large chunks without chewing much with their back teeth, would not necessarily leave tooth marks on the bones.

In conclusion, while the reading passage suggests that R. robustus's diet consisted mainly of dinosaur eggs, the professor contends that it is possible R. robustus hunted and ate not just dinosaur eggs, but also baby dinosaurs.

Writing - 2

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? 

Technology has made children less creative than they were in the past

In my perspective, I greatly disagree that technology has made children less creative. I believe today children much more creative than they were in the past. In order to supporting my stance, these my reasons on the folowing paragraphs.

For common peaople, creative highly related to arts. Even if actually it doesn't, but here I would see it on art's perspective. Let say arts for children are bounded only to draw a picture, it is real fact  that now children can draw any picture trough electronic devices, obviously it would make the pictures more colorful, hece more attractive. Furhermore they can easily convert those pictures into videos. Comparing to the past, children only use paper with it drawing pencils. I do remember, my son was amaze me because he show me a 5 seconds animation compiled from his drawing. This kind of creativity on art would be never possible unless by technology.

Secondly, for broader definition of creative. I believe, creative is some acts or efforts to solve particular problem using different style than commonly practice. As we know, because of technology many problems were solved. No matter who you are, from children to adults, you could find solutions of your problems using technology that might be you never thought before. In term of children problems, I found my son able to order food by himself trough his tablet, even if I never taught him to do so. Actually it is very simple problem solving for adults, but not for kids like my son. His curiousity led him to explore the device then eventually he found the solution, order food. This is creativity that stimulated by technology.

In conlusion, vast development of technology lead us to be more creative, especially children. In the past, children didn't have many option to fulfill their creativity, but not today. Children easily explore anything, particulalry trough their phones or tablets triggered by their curiosity, thus obviously this process would improve their creativity sense.

ChatGPT Assessment, based on TOEFL iBT rubrics in scale out of 10 for each rubric (Delivery, Language Use, Topic Development), then give me better modified version of my answer (max 400 words):

**Delivery**: 7.5 - Your answer is well-structured, with clear introductions and conclusions. However, some minor grammatical errors and awkward phrasing are present, which can slightly hinder comprehension.

**Language Use**: 7 - Your vocabulary is diverse and mostly effective, but you have some grammar issues such as run-on sentences, missing articles, and improper verb tenses. 

**Topic Development**: 8.5 - Your answer has a clear argument and you provide relevant and specific examples to support your points. You also clearly connect these examples to your overall argument.

Revised response:

The assertion that technology has dampened children's creativity is one I vehemently disagree with. On the contrary, I firmly believe that children today are more creative than ever, primarily because of advancements in technology. 

Art, often viewed as a prime domain of creativity, has been significantly enriched by technology. While traditional forms of art, such as drawing on paper, are still valuable, digital platforms have expanded the possibilities for expression. Children can now paint vivid pictures using electronic devices, introducing a wider array of colors and effects, thereby enhancing their artistic creations. Furthermore, the ability to transform these images into animations is an exciting innovation. My son, for instance, delighted me with a 5-second animation made entirely from his drawings - a feat of creativity unthinkable without technology.

Expanding on the concept of creativity beyond art, it's worth noting that creativity is the ability to approach problems uniquely and devise unconventional solutions. The proliferation of technology has enabled us to solve a multitude of problems in ways we hadn't previously considered. Even children can apply their creativity in this regard. For instance, my son managed to order food independently using his tablet, despite never having been taught how to do so. His inherent curiosity and the capabilities of the device together formed a creative problem-solving exercise.

In conclusion, the rapid development of technology promotes, rather than stifles, creativity - particularly in children. Where past generations had limited avenues to channel their creativity, modern children, armed with their innate curiosity and a plethora of digital tools, have an almost boundless playground to explore and enhance their creative instincts.

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