TPO 30 Integrated Writing Task

The issue both the reading and the listening focus on is whether or not the Greeks used “burning mirror” to defend themselves against the Romans, but the listening casts doubt at three main points.

At the first point, the reading states that the technology needed to create a burning mirror was too advanced for the ancient Greeks. Certain specifications regarding the width and shape of the mirror was impossible to meet. According to the listening, such specifications were possible. Instead of producing a large mirror the width can be created using multiple smaller ones and the parabolic shape needed was already known the ancient Greek scientists.

At the second point, the reading mentions that burning mirror needs a long time to set the Roman ships on fire. An experiment showed that a device concentrating the Sun’s rays took ten minutes to set a wooden object 30 meters away on fire. However, the listening argues that the experiment only proved setting wood on fire was time-consuming. The Greeks could have used the mirror on the pitch, a sticky substance that glues the wood, and the fire would spread to the wood on the ship.

At the last point, the reading believes that flaming arrows seemed just as good as a burning mirror, as they were already a common weapon and effective at about the same range as the latter. On the contrary, the listening confirms there are advantages to using burning mirrors. While the Romans are familiar with flaming arrows and can prepare against them, burning mirror offers the element of surprise which makes the weapon effective against the Greeks’ opponents.

Average: 8 (1 vote)
Essay Categories

Attribute Value Ideal
Final score: 25 in 30
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 4 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 1 2
No. of Sentences: 12 12
No. of Words: 270 250
No. of Characters: 1312 1200
No. of Different Words: 144 150
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.054 4.2
Average Word Length: 4.859 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.447 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 101 80
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 63 60
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 33 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 24 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 22.5 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 8.231 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.583 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.379 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.604 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.094 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 4 4