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The following appeared as part of a letter to the editor of a scientific journal."A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situ

Essay topics: The following appeared as part of a letter to the editor of a scientific journal.
"A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys produce up to twice as much of the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for increased activity levels, as do their younger siblings. Firstborn humans also produce relatively high levels of cortisol in stimulating situations (such as the return of a parent after an absence). The study also found that during pregnancy, first-time mother monkeys had higher levels of cortisol than did those who had had several offspring."
Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

amir_ow's picture

The author of the argument has failed to convince us that the firstborn monkeys, and holistically studied monkeys, have a higher level of cortisol. The argument, as it stands, is based on questionable assumptions and a faulty line of reasoning, a fact which renders it over-simplistic and unconvincing.

Firstly, the author cites a study of eighteen monkeys which provides a clue to the effect of birth order on an individual’s level of stimulation. Since the study is based on eighteen monkeys, it is not sound to generalize the study to the whole population of monkey, or further compare it to human beings. To elucidate on, the author should have provided details about the monkeys. For instance, how was the sample picked? Or maybe the sample should have been habited in a region which it’s good weather can provide higher level of Cortisol in the firstborn infant. Furthermore, the monkey’s nutrition and health would play a significant role in a level of a hormone. To clarify, the author does not scrutinize the reasoning. Hence, so many other factors could account for such a phenomenon. If the author had provided other factors, as evidence, as listed above, the soundness of the argument would have been more convincing.

Secondly, the author uses a vague language in term of numbers and quantity. These terms are redundant in different parts of the argument. In addition, there are no clarifying about the extent of the stated quantities. For example, the author brings up the human example to make an analogy with monkeys. First of all, the term “also produce relatively high” is misleading. In other words, the author does not indicate the exact quantity and the extent to which the relatively high Cortisol means. Simply put, the repetition of these terms, as stated in the passage “higher” or “twice as much”, shows a faulty line of reasoning, based on vague language. For instance, higher could mean ten times the actual amount or even higher with a subtle difference. One could interpret the terms in many ways. The author should have clarified the terms above in order to make the conclusion and the argument tangible.

Finally, the author fails to convince the reader, due to numerous assumptions, that the monkeys, based on the study, either the mother or the firstborn infant, have higher level of Cortisol. Therefore, the author uses the analogy between the monkeys and the humans in order to convince the reader that the argument is plausible. There are many differences between monkeys and humans, just because a, untrusting, sample of monkey showed a feature in their pregnancy does not mean the analogy could work. In other words, the author uses this example to convince the reader, which is flawed. To scrutinize, there are numerous different aspects between humans and monkeys, which are not stated. The genetic difference between the two species, nutrition, habitat and so forth. The arguer should have strengthened the argument with the mentioned evidence.
To conclude, based on substantial assumptions and poor evidence, the arguer’s reasoning does not provide concrete support for his/her conclusion. If the argument had included the items discussed, it would have been more thorough and convincing.

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Average: 5 (1 vote)
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Grammar and spelling errors:
Line 8, column 398, Rule ID: THE_PUNCT[1]
Message: Did you forget something after 'a'?
...etween monkeys and humans, just because a, untrusting, sample of monkey showed a f...
Line 8, column 615, Rule ID: NUMEROUS_DIFFERENT[1]
Message: Use simply 'numerous'.
Suggestion: numerous
...ich is flawed. To scrutinize, there are numerous different aspects between humans and monkeys, whi...

Discourse Markers used:
['also', 'finally', 'first', 'firstly', 'furthermore', 'hence', 'if', 'may', 'second', 'secondly', 'so', 'then', 'therefore', 'for example', 'for instance', 'in addition', 'first of all', 'in other words']

Attributes: Values AverageValues Percentages(Values/AverageValues)% => Comments

Performance in Part of Speech:
Nouns: 0.233542319749 0.25644967241 91% => OK
Verbs: 0.14263322884 0.15541462614 92% => OK
Adjectives: 0.0940438871473 0.0836205057962 112% => OK
Adverbs: 0.0344827586207 0.0520304965353 66% => OK
Pronouns: 0.012539184953 0.0272364105082 46% => OK
Prepositions: 0.103448275862 0.125424944231 82% => OK
Participles: 0.0376175548589 0.0416121511921 90% => OK
Conjunctions: 2.88558110386 2.79052419416 103% => OK
Infinitives: 0.025078369906 0.026700313972 94% => OK
Particles: 0.00156739811912 0.001811407834 87% => OK
Determiners: 0.131661442006 0.113004496875 117% => OK
Modal_auxiliary: 0.0188087774295 0.0255425247493 74% => OK
WH_determiners: 0.0109717868339 0.0127820249294 86% => OK

Vocabulary words and sentences:
No of characters: 3293.0 2731.13054187 121% => OK
No of words: 529.0 446.07635468 119% => OK
Chars per words: 6.22495274102 6.12365571057 102% => OK
Fourth root words length: 4.79583152331 4.57801047555 105% => OK
words length more than 5 chars: 0.406427221172 0.378187486979 107% => OK
words length more than 6 chars: 0.30056710775 0.287650121315 104% => OK
words length more than 7 chars: 0.217391304348 0.208842608468 104% => OK
words length more than 8 chars: 0.143667296786 0.135150697306 106% => OK
Word Length SD: 2.88558110386 2.79052419416 103% => OK
Unique words: 240.0 207.018472906 116% => OK
Unique words percentage: 0.453686200378 0.469332199767 97% => OK
Word variations: 52.8303203297 52.1807786196 101% => OK
How many sentences: 30.0 20.039408867 150% => OK
Sentence length: 17.6333333333 23.2022227129 76% => OK
Sentence length SD: 41.263166249 57.7814097925 71% => OK
Chars per sentence: 109.766666667 141.986410481 77% => OK
Words per sentence: 17.6333333333 23.2022227129 76% => OK
Discourse Markers: 0.6 0.724660767414 83% => OK
Paragraphs: 5.0 5.14285714286 97% => OK
Language errors: 2.0 3.58251231527 56% => OK
Readability: 47.6900441084 51.9672348444 92% => OK
Elegance: 1.97520661157 1.8405768891 107% => OK

Coherence and Cohesion:
Essay topic to essay body coherence: 0.533683844759 0.441005458295 121% => OK
Sentence sentence coherence: 0.114220969702 0.135418324435 84% => OK
Sentence sentence coherence SD: 0.0845992173967 0.0829849096947 102% => OK
Sentence paragraph coherence: 0.536587693572 0.58762219726 91% => OK
Sentence paragraph coherence SD: 0.151684447113 0.147661913831 103% => OK
Sentence topic coherence: 0.216449346446 0.193483328276 112% => OK
Sentence topic coherence SD: 0.119183476955 0.0970749176394 123% => OK
Paragraph paragraph coherence: 0.551144853353 0.42659136922 129% => OK
Paragraph paragraph coherence SD: 0.120391332537 0.0774707102158 155% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence: 0.378196183656 0.312017818177 121% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence SD: 0.129024481916 0.0698173142475 185% => OK

Task Achievement:
Sentences with positive sentiment : 5.0 8.33743842365 60% => OK
Sentences with negative sentiment : 12.0 6.87684729064 174% => OK
Sentences with neutral sentiment: 13.0 4.82512315271 269% => Less neutral sentences wanted.
Positive topic words: 5.0 6.46551724138 77% => OK
Negative topic words: 8.0 5.36822660099 149% => OK
Neutral topic words: 9.0 2.82389162562 319% => OK
Total topic words: 22.0 14.657635468 150% => OK
What are sentences with positive/Negative/neutral sentiment?

More arguments wanted.
Rates: 50.0 out of 100
Scores by essay e-grader: 3.0 Out of 6 -- The score is based on the average performance of 20,000 argument essays. This e-grader is not smart enough to check on arguments.
Note: This is not the final score. The e-grader does NOT examine the meaning of words and ideas. VIP users will receive further evaluations by advanced module of e-grader and human graders.