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TOEFL IBT Writing practice #31

 Writing #1

Reading Passage:

Private collectors have been selling and buying fossils, the petrified remains 

of ancient organisms, ever since the eighteenth century. In recent years, however, 

the sale of fossils, particularly of dinosaurs and other large vertebrates, has grown 

into a big business. Rare and important fossils are now being sold to private ownership for millions of dollars. This Is an unfortunate development for both scientists 

and the general public. 

The public suffers because fossils that would otherwise be donated to museums where everyone can see them are sold to private collectors who do not allow 

the public to view their collections. Making it harder for the public to see fossils can 

lead to a decline in public interest in fossils, which would be a pity. 

More importantly, scientists are likely to lose access to some of the most 

important fossils and thereby miss out on potentially crucial discoveries about 

extinct life forms. Wealthy fossil buyers with a desire to own the rarest and most 

important fossils can spend virtually limitless amounts of money to acquire them. 

Scientists and the museums and universities they work for often cannot compete 

successfully for fossils against millionaire fossil buyers. 

Moreover, commercial fossil collectors often destroy valuable scientific evidence associated with the fossils they unearth. Most commercial fossil collectors 

are untrained or uninterested in carrying out the careful field work and documentation that reveal the most about animal life in the past. For example, scientists have 

learned about the biology of nest-building dinosaurs called oviraptors by carefully 

observing the exact position of oviraptor fossils in the ground and the presence of 

other fossils in the immediate surroundings. Commercial fossil collectors typically 

pay no attention to how fossils lie in the ground or to the smaller fossils that may 

surround bigger ones.

Listening Transcript:


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

Professor: Of course, there are some negative consequences of selling fossils in the commercial market, but they've been greatly exaggerated. The benefits of commercial fossil trade greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

First of all, the public is likely to have greater exposure to fossils as a result of commercial fossil trade, not less exposure. Commercial fossil hunting makes a lot of fossils available for purchase. And as a result, even low-level public institutions, like public schools and libraries, can now routinely buy interesting fossils and display them for the public.

As for the idea that scientists will lose access to really important fossils, that's not realistic either. Before anyone can put a value on a fossil, it needs to be scientifically identified. Right? Well, the only people who can identify fossils—who can really tell what a given fossil is or isn't—are scientists, by performing detailed examinations and tests on the fossils themselves. So, even if a fossil is destined to go to a private collector, it has to pass through the hands of scientific experts first. This way, the scientific community is not going to miss out on anything important that's out there.

Finally, whatever damage commercial fossil collectors sometimes do, if it weren't for them, many fossils would simply go undiscovered because there aren't that many fossil collecting operations that are run by universities and other scientific institutions. Isn't it better for science to at least have more fossils being found—even if we don't have all the scientific data we'd like to have about their location and surroundings—than it is to have many fossils go completely undiscovered?

The question:

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they oppose 

specific points made in the reading passage. 

My writing answer:

Both the reading passage and the professor talk about commercial side of buying or selling fossils into private ownership. While the reading passage explain the negative impacts that could happen because of this issue, the professor think it is exaggergated. Those statements are in the following paragraphs.

According to the reading passage, the public would loss access to fossils if it sold to private collectors. Furthermore since fossilis will not available in the museum, it could lead to declining interest of public on fossilis. On the other hand, the professor seeing this issue differently. He believe public access to fossils could be wider open, since the fossils become commercial objects. Fossils can easily displayed on any public area such as public shools.

Secondly, the reading passage argue scientist would loss access to particular fossils if it sold on private collectors. The professor has a counter argument, he think this statement is not realistic. Obviously, collectors must known that the particular fossils that they bought authentic, one of the way to verify the autthecinty of the fossils of course by hiring scientists and experts. Thus in fact, in general scientist still have access to fossils even if it sold on private market.

Lastly, the reading passage worry about collectors could destroy valuable scientific evidence associated with fossils, since the collectors mostly untrained and uninterested on it scientific data. However, the professor believe the private commercialization of fossil would stimulate more fossil to be discover despite only by university or scientist themselves. Even if there are no scientific data collected while the unearthing process, it is still better than if the fossil never be discovered at all. 

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: 8.5/10 - You have successfully summarized the points made in the lecture and the reading. However, some sentence structures and grammar could be improved to enhance clarity and fluency.

Language Use: 8/10 - You've demonstrated good use of vocabulary, but there are some minor errors that may affect comprehension, such as misspellings ("fossilis") and misuse of prepositions ("on" instead of "to" in "...fossils sold on private collectors").

Topic Development: 9/10 - You have addressed all the main points of both the reading and listening passages, and provided clear explanations of how the professor's arguments oppose the points made in the reading.

Modified Answer:

The lecture and the reading passage both focus on the commercial trading of fossils, though they present opposing views. The reading passage outlines potential negative consequences of such trade, while the professor argues these concerns are overstated, offering a more positive outlook.

Firstly, the reading passage suggests that private collections could restrict public access to fossils and lead to a decline in public interest. In contrast, the professor contends that commercial trade could broaden public exposure to fossils. With fossils becoming commercially available, they could be displayed in public spaces such as schools, thereby enhancing public interest.

Secondly, the reading passage warns that scientists could lose access to critical fossils if they are sold to private collectors. However, the professor challenges this claim. He reasons that the authentication of fossils for trade requires scientific expertise. Thus, before any fossil is sold privately, it would first be evaluated by scientists. This, he posits, ensures that the scientific community does not lose access to vital fossils.

Finally, the reading passage expresses concern over commercial collectors potentially destroying valuable scientific data due to lack of training or interest. In contrast, the professor believes that commercial trading of fossils encourages their discovery. He asserts that despite the possibility of missing scientific data during excavation, it is preferable to have these fossils discovered, rather than remaining undiscovered and lost to science.


Writing #2

The question:

The extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles) is less important 

now than it was in the past.

My writing answer:

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):

The relevance of the extended family in modern society is a topic of extensive debate. Some argue that the extended family has lost importance over time due to societal and economic changes, while others maintain that these relationships are still critical and provide substantial benefits.

On one hand, factors like urbanization, increasing mobility, and a shift towards nuclear family systems have altered the traditional dynamics of extended families. In many parts of the world, it is now more common for individuals or nuclear families (parents and their children) to live apart from their extended family. This physical distance can sometimes result in less frequent interactions and consequently weaken the perceived importance of these relationships. Additionally, the rise of technology and social media allows us to create connections outside of our blood relations, broadening our sense of community beyond traditional family structures.

Yet, it's worth considering that the decrease in geographical proximity does not necessarily translate into diminished importance. The advent of digital communication tools such as video calling and social media platforms has enabled families to stay connected regardless of distance. This way, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins can still provide emotional support, share wisdom, and contribute to one's identity formation, which are aspects traditionally associated with extended families.

Moreover, in many cultures around the world, the extended family continues to play a crucial role. It's not uncommon to find multi-generational households, where grandparents, parents, and children cohabitate. These extended family members often provide practical support like child-rearing, financial assistance, and help during illness or crises. Such involvement highlights the ongoing importance of extended family.

In conclusion, while there may be changes in how we interact with and perceive our extended families due to shifts in societal norms and advances in technology, it would be an oversimplification to say they are less important than in the past. Their role and importance might have evolved, but extended families continue to be a vital part of individuals' lives, providing emotional, cultural, and sometimes practical support.

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