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TOEFL IBT Writing practice #30

 Writing - 1

Reading Passage:

Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the most famous of all English novelists, 

and today her novels are more popular than ever, with several recently adapted 

as Hollywood movies. But we do not have many records of what she looked like. 

For a long time, the only accepted Image of Austen was an amateur sketch of 

an adult Austen made by her sister Cassandra. However, recently a professionally painted, full-length portrait of a teenage girl owned by a member of the 

Austen family has come up for sale. Although the professional painting Is not titled 

Jane Austen, there are good reasons to believe she is the subject. 

First, In 1882, several decades after Austen's death, Austen's family gave 

permission to use the portrait as an illustration in an edition of her letters. Austen's 

family clearly recognized it as a portrait of the author. So, for over a century now, 

the Austen family itself has endorsed the claim that the girl in the portrait is 

Jane Austen. 

Second, the face in the portrait clearly resembles the one In Cassandra's 

sketch, which we know depicts Austen. Though somewhat amateurish, the sketch 

communicates definite details about Austen's face. Even though the Cassandra 

sketch is of an adult Jane Austen, the features are still similar to those of the teenage girl in the painting. The eyebrows, nose, mouth, and overall shape of the face 

are very much like those in the full-length portrait. 

Third, although the painting is unsigned and undated, there is evidence that it 

was painted when Austen was a teenager. The style links it to Ozias Humphrey, a 

society portrait painter who was the kind of professional the wealthy Austen family would hire. Humphrey was active in the late 1780s and early 1790s, exactly the 

period when Jane Austen was the age of the girl In the painting. 

Listening passage:



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


The evidence linking this portrait to Jane Austen is not at all convincing. Sure, the painting has long been somewhat loosely connected to Austen's extended family and their descendants, but this hardly proves it's a portrait of Jane Austen as a teenager. The reading's arguments that the portrait is of Austen are questionable at best.

First, when the portrait was authorized for use in the 1882 publication of her letters, Jane Austen had been dead for almost 70 years. So the family members who asserted that the painting was Jane had never actually seen her themselves. They couldn't have known for certain if the portrait was of Austen or not.

Second, the portrait could very well be that of a relative of Austen's, a fact that would explain the resemblance between its subject and that of Cassandra's sketch. The extended Austen family was very large, and many of Jane Austen's female cousins were teenagers in the relevant period, or had children who were teenagers. And some of these teenage girls could have resembled Jane Austen. In fact, many experts believe that the true subject of the portrait was one of those relatives, Mary Ann Campion, who was a distant niece of Austen's.

Third, the painting has been attributed to Humphrey only because of the style, but other evidence points to a later date. A stamp on the back of the picture indicates that the blank canvas, you know, the actual piece of cloth on which the picture was painted, was sold by a man named William Legg. Records show that William Legg did not sell canvasses in London when Jane Austen was a teenager. He only started selling canvasses when she was 27 years old. So, it looks like the canvas was used for the painting at a time when Austen was clearly older than the girl in the portrait.


Summarize the points made In the lecture, being sure to explain how they respond 

to the specific arguments made in the reading passage.

My Answer:

Both the reading passage and the professor talk about the controversies of painting that depict Jane Austen, whether is it the real Austen or not. While reading passage explains the authtenticitiy of Jane Austen is true on the painting, the professor argue the explanations not convincing him. Here the explanations from the reading passage that counter by the professor arguments side by side.

In 1882 the painting was given a permission by Austen's family as an illustration in an edition of her letters. Because of this permission from the family, the reading passage argue the painting is real Jane Austen. However, the professor arguing this statement by giving the fact that in 1882 was 70 years after Jane Austen death, which all the family members never seen Jane Austen on their own eyes. Thus the professor believe, claim the painting is Austen is full of uncertainty.

There is a sketch of Austin made by her sister Cassandra, high simmilarities between the skecth and the painting led to seems convincing evident that the painting is real Austen. On the other hand, the professor has different point of view regarding this. According to him, since Austen's family is very large descendant, it could be not Austen. According to him, there is an evident, the girl on the picture is Mary Ann, Austen's distant nieche.

Lastly, about the explanation that the painting was made at the same period with teen Austen. The reading passage gives some facts to support this idea. However the professor give another fact that could lead on different conclusion. He explain about the canvas, since there is an evident the canvas was sold by William Leg that live when Austen about 27 years old, impossible the painting was subjected to teenage Austen.

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: 7.5/10 - Your response is easy to understand overall, but the flow is disrupted by some grammar errors and the structure could be improved for clarity.

Language Use: 7/10 - You are mostly accurate and clear, but there are several grammatical mistakes, punctuation errors, and awkward phrasings. 

Topic Development: 8/10 - You effectively identified the main arguments from both the reading passage and the lecture. However, more precise explanation of each point would better reflect your understanding.

Modified Answer:

The reading passage and lecture both address the authenticity of a painting purportedly depicting Jane Austen. However, they hold contrasting views, with the passage affirming the painting's authenticity and the professor refuting it.

The reading passage notes that the Austen family approved the use of the portrait as an illustration in an 1882 edition of Austen's letters, suggesting they recognized it as an image of Austen. However, the professor disputes this claim, pointing out that Jane Austen had been deceased for almost 70 years by 1882, so the family members could not have had firsthand knowledge of her appearance. 

The passage also cites the resemblance between the subject of the portrait and Cassandra's sketch of Austen as evidence of authenticity. But the professor counters this by stating that the subject could be a relative of Austen's who bore a resemblance to her. He mentions Mary Ann Campion, a distant niece of Austen's, as a possible subject.

Finally, while the passage attributes the painting to Ozias Humphrey based on its style and dates it to Austen's teenage years, the professor challenges this, too. He argues that a stamp on the back of the canvas indicates it was sold by William Legg, who only started his business when Austen was 27, suggesting that the girl in the portrait could not be a teenage Austen. Thus, the professor systematically debunks each point raised in the reading passage, casting doubt on the painting's authenticity.

Writing - 2


Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? 

It is better to have broad knowledge of many academic subjects than to specialize in one specific subject. 

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer

My Answer:

In my perspective, I strongly believe having broad knowledge for many academic subjects would be better than only specialize in one specific subject. Since I am a businessman, have many knowledge, even if not so deep, were give me essential benefits in the past. To support my stance, here are my reasons on the following paragraphs.

Business world is very wide environment, it built from many knowledge in order to make it happen. Somesay, if you have very good knowledge and understanding on your product, but you do not know how to do marketing, it is useless. To make your business runs, at least, there must be knowledge of products, market, finance, operation, and many more. Still stuck on my mind, 10 years a go I did not know how to done proper finance for my business, until one day I faced really big problem regarding our finance. I have done wrong calculation about our receivables and liabilities. To be honest, I did not know how to done it correctly. Eventually, we lost a lot of money because of it, it was about $100k, or in other words my leak of finance knowledge led me to nearly bankcruptcy. Since that day, I realize I have to and I need to learn every aspect of my business, therefore at least I would know what is correct or incorrect.

Secondly, our world today is really demanding of colaboration. Vast development of technology require us to collaborate each other on multi-discipline knowledge. For example, in order to make our health better, there should be a sophisticated technology built from biology, electrical, data science, sociology, psychology, and so on. Time after time, as human being we have to complete each other to solve our own problems. In order to enchance our collaboration, it require every each person to at least understand vary kind of knowledge, thus the learning process would be achieve much faster. I do remember when first time I met my business partner, I scheduled the meeting with him to discuss about my new business plan about making education media. Somehow, we discuss a lot about stock market which actually nothing to do with my business plan. Because of this first impression chemistry, we knew that we can omplete each other, thus our partnership still runns today. I could not imagine, if on that day I did not have any knowledge about the stock market, that my partner has big interest on it, the story could be different.

To conclude, in my own perspective and experience, having many knowldge would give us essential benefits. It could open up many opportunities for us that might be we never thought before. 

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: 7/10 - Your essay conveys your opinion clearly and provides some compelling examples to back it up. However, there are minor grammar and spelling errors that can make your ideas harder to follow. 

Language Use: 7/10 - You have a good grasp of vocabulary and varied sentence structure. But there are a few incorrect verb tenses, run-on sentences, and phrases that don't sound natural in English.

Topic Development: 8/10 - Your argument is solid, and your examples are relevant to your points. However, you could provide more clear connections between your anecdotes and the main point of your argument.

Modified Answer:

In my viewpoint, possessing a broad knowledge across multiple academic subjects is far more advantageous than specializing in one specific area. My stance stems from my personal experiences as a businessman, where diverse knowledge, albeit shallow in depth, proved crucial.

The world of business is multifaceted and requires an understanding of numerous domains, such as product knowledge, marketing, finance, and operations. For instance, a decade ago, due to a lack of financial knowledge, I made erroneous calculations about our receivables and liabilities. This mistake cost my business approximately $100,000, nearly leading us to bankruptcy. This incident highlighted the importance of gaining expertise in all aspects of my business.

Additionally, the ever-evolving technological landscape has increased the necessity for multidisciplinary collaboration. To illustrate, modern healthcare advancements rely on a synthesis of knowledge from biology, electrical engineering, data science, sociology, and psychology. This collaboration becomes more seamless when each party has a foundational understanding of the other's field. An example from my personal experience is my ongoing partnership with a business associate, fostered through our mutual interest in the stock market. If I lacked this knowledge, our partnership might not have flourished as it did.

In conclusion, a broad range of knowledge provides significant advantages, including the ability to seize unexpected opportunities. Therefore, it is imperative to continuously expand our horizons by learning about a variety of subjects.

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