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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."

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The similarities observed in the cortisol levels of humans and rhesus monkeys from this particular study are a result of several unwarrented assumptions that the author has failed to address. There are a significant number of dissimilarities and ambiguities that render the study’s inferences highly suspect. Without justifying these assumptions, the author’s argument is weak and lacks enough evidence to draw parallels regarding the levels of cortisol in humans and rhesus monkeys.

One of the most significant drawbacks of the study is that it was conducted on only a small sample of 18 monkeys. The observations made on such small samples usually tend to be highly skewed and not generic. There could be several other explanations due to which the high cortisol levels were observed in the monkeys. The high cortisol levels could be a result of the monkeys being studied in captivity and in stressful situations. Also, the chances that the relationship between the birth order and a cortisol levels observed are coincidental due to the small number of monkeys studied. In order to make a definitive conclusion, the sample size must be increased significantly and the monkeys should be studied in all sorts of habitats.

The fact that the study was conducted on monkey rather than humans is also a weak link in the author’s argument. What applied to monkeys may not apply to humans. For example, the effects of several drugs are first tested on animal subjects before humans. Very often, researchers find that the drugs show different effects on animals and humans. Though monkeys are closely related to humans, the author should not have assumed that what applied for the rhesus monkeys, would apply for humans as well. Also the author has failed to mention in how many cases first born humans had higher cortisol levels. In general, for a large population, this might not be the case.

There exist some key differences in the observations made on humans and rhesus monkeys in this study. The author has failed to define what exactly constitutes a “stimulating situation”. In the case of the monkeys, it was an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey, which possibly led to aggression. For humans, the example of a parent returning after an absence possibly led to the emotion of happiness. Though both these emotions can be considered “stimulation”, they are fundamentally distinct. The author needs to clearly state what a stimuling situation means and conduct the experiment on similar situations that lead to similar emotions to prove the validity of the study.

Finally, the high cortisol levels in offspring can be attributed to the high cortisol levels in first-time mother monkeys. To show any similarity between humans and rhesus monkeys, similar observations need to be made on first time human mothers to see if any co-relation exists. This is a factor that the author has failed to address and one which he should to prove that similarities exist between the rhesus monkeys and humans.

In conclusion, the author’s claims and the results of the study are deeply flawed and several other possible explanation could exist for the observations made. The author needs to conduct further research that address the points mentioned in order to arrive at the conclusion that the cortisol levels in rhesus monkeys or humans are related to birth order.

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Average: 5.8 (1 vote)
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Comments

Grammar and spelling errors:
Line 5, column 135, Rule ID: TO_NON_BASE[1]
Message: The verb after "to" should be in the base form: 'monkey'.
Suggestion: monkey
...author's argument. What applied to monkeys may not apply to humans. For example, t...
^^^^^^^
Line 5, column 506, Rule ID: SENT_START_CONJUNCTIVE_LINKING_ADVERB_COMMA[1]
Message: Did you forget a comma after a conjunctive/linking adverb?
Suggestion: Also,
...onkeys, would apply for humans as well. Also the author has failed to mention in how...
^^^^
Line 7, column 160, Rule ID: EN_A_VS_AN
Message: Use 'an' instead of 'a' if the following word starts with a vowel sound, e.g. 'an article', 'an hour'
Suggestion: an
...iled to define what exactly constitutes a 'stimulating situation'. In t...
^

Transition Words or Phrases used:
also, but, finally, first, if, may, regarding, so, well, for example, in conclusion, in general

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

Performance on Part of Speech:
To be verbs : 26.0 19.6327345309 132% => OK
Auxiliary verbs: 13.0 12.9520958084 100% => OK
Conjunction : 17.0 11.1786427146 152% => OK
Relative clauses : 15.0 13.6137724551 110% => OK
Pronoun: 22.0 28.8173652695 76% => OK
Preposition: 77.0 55.5748502994 139% => OK
Nominalization: 12.0 16.3942115768 73% => OK

Performance on vocabulary words:
No of characters: 2861.0 2260.96107784 127% => OK
No of words: 550.0 441.139720559 125% => OK
Chars per words: 5.20181818182 5.12650576532 101% => OK
Fourth root words length: 4.84273464058 4.56307096286 106% => OK
Word Length SD: 2.96584914603 2.78398813304 107% => OK
Unique words: 236.0 204.123752495 116% => OK
Unique words percentage: 0.429090909091 0.468620217663 92% => More unique words wanted or less content wanted.
syllable_count: 886.5 705.55239521 126% => OK
avg_syllables_per_word: 1.6 1.59920159681 100% => OK

A sentence (or a clause, phrase) starts by:
Pronoun: 4.0 4.96107784431 81% => OK
Interrogative: 1.0 0.471057884232 212% => OK
Article: 15.0 8.76447105788 171% => OK
Subordination: 2.0 2.70958083832 74% => OK
Conjunction: 0.0 1.67365269461 0% => OK
Preposition: 6.0 4.22255489022 142% => OK

Performance on sentences:
How many sentences: 27.0 19.7664670659 137% => OK
Sentence length: 20.0 22.8473053892 88% => OK
Sentence length SD: 37.5738869718 57.8364921388 65% => OK
Chars per sentence: 105.962962963 119.503703932 89% => OK
Words per sentence: 20.3703703704 23.324526521 87% => OK
Discourse Markers: 3.51851851852 5.70786347227 62% => OK
Paragraphs: 6.0 5.15768463074 116% => OK
Language errors: 3.0 5.25449101796 57% => OK
Sentences with positive sentiment : 6.0 8.20758483034 73% => OK
Sentences with negative sentiment : 9.0 6.88822355289 131% => OK
Sentences with neutral sentiment: 12.0 4.67664670659 257% => Less facts, knowledge or examples wanted.
What are sentences with positive/Negative/neutral sentiment?

Coherence and Cohesion:
Essay topic to essay body coherence: 0.213200178735 0.218282227539 98% => OK
Sentence topic coherence: 0.0687390938749 0.0743258471296 92% => OK
Sentence topic coherence SD: 0.0464049481106 0.0701772020484 66% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence: 0.130819628648 0.128457276422 102% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence SD: 0.042242197906 0.0628817314937 67% => OK

Essay readability:
automated_readability_index: 13.2 14.3799401198 92% => Automated_readability_index is low.
flesch_reading_ease: 51.18 48.3550499002 106% => OK
smog_index: 8.8 7.1628742515 123% => OK
flesch_kincaid_grade: 11.1 12.197005988 91% => OK
coleman_liau_index: 12.88 12.5979740519 102% => OK
dale_chall_readability_score: 8.25 8.32208582834 99% => OK
difficult_words: 126.0 98.500998004 128% => OK
linsear_write_formula: 12.0 12.3882235529 97% => OK
gunning_fog: 10.0 11.1389221557 90% => OK
text_standard: 13.0 11.9071856287 109% => OK
What are above readability scores?

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Rates: 58.33 out of 100
Scores by essay e-grader: 3.5 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.
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Note: 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.