TPO 30

Essay topics:

TPO 30

Both the reading and the listening sections are about ancient Greek weapon called burning mirror. The article argues that there are several reasons to object that the story is real. The lecturer, conversely, challenges the claim made by the author. She is of the opinion that all the reasons are unconvincing.

To begin with, the author argues that Greeks were not technologically advanced enough to construct that kind of weapon. It would have to be large enough to focus the sunlight and set the ships on fire and it would have to have a very exact parabolic shape which required presence of sophisticated technologies. This argument is challenged by the professor. More specifically she claims that the Greeks did not need a single sheet of copper to make a large burning mirror. Additionally, she contends that dozens of polished copper could be arranged into a parabolic shape.

Secondly, the text provides certain statistics that the weapon would have taken at least ten minutes to set the wood of the ship on fire. Meanwhile ships had to be motionless, but that is unlikely that enemy's ships stayed perfectly still while clashes, that is why the weapon considered to be unpractical and useless. The lecturer, by contrast, rebuts this argument by mentioning that ships were not made just of wood which takes ten minutes to be burned, but also of sticky substance called pitch. In addition to this she claims that pitch could be set on fire in seconds.

Lastly, the reading passage notes that there was a weapon named flaming arrows which was also a prevalent way to set the ships on fire, and Greek's did not need to construct a weapon like burning mirror. The lecturer, rebuts this by mentioning that Romans were familiar with the flaming arrows. She elaborates on this by bringing up the point that the would have been watching for them and were ready to put out the fire they might cause, unlike rise from the mirror, they just see the mirror, but then suddenly fire starts at unobserved place on a ship. That was much more surprising for Romans and therefore, much more effective.

Average: 7 (1 vote)
Essay Categories


No. of Words: 359 250
Write the essay in 20 minutes.

Attribute Value Ideal
Final score: 22 in 30
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 4 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 2 2
No. of Sentences: 17 12
No. of Words: 359 250
No. of Characters: 1696 1200
No. of Different Words: 176 150
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.353 4.2
Average Word Length: 4.724 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.431 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 114 80
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 74 60
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 52 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 30 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 21.118 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 11.071 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.529 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.3 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.497 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.097 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 4 4