TPO51 Integrated Writing

Directions: You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response. Your response will be judged on the basis of the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage. Typically, an effective response will be 150 to 225 words.
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the specific points made in the reading passage.
Humans have long been fascinated by elephants, the largest land animal in the modern world. Social animals that live in herds, elephants are native to both Africa and Asia. Their large ears, long trunk, and long life span have made elephants one of the most captivating creatures on Earth. Our long-standing interest in elephants has led to several beliefs about surprising elephant behaviors. Elephants Are Aware of Approaching Death One of the popular beliefs is that when elephants become old and weak, they know that they are nearing the end of their lives. They demonstrate this by breaking away from their herds and going off alone to certain locations often found near bodies of water - so called "elephant graveyards" - to die alone. The idea that old elephants seem aware that they will die soon is supported by the discovery of many sites containing bones exclusively of elderly elephants. Representing Objects through Art Additionally, elephants seem to have artistic ability. Elephants can be taught to hold a paintbrush in their trunk and use it to paint on a canvas. Some elephants have been known to paint drawings that represent recognizable things: flowers, other elephants, even themselves. This talent makes elephants the only animal other than humans to produce art representing the world around them. Fear of Mice Finally, it has long been believed that elephants have a fear of mice. In 77 C.E., the Roman philosopher and scientist Pliny the Elder wrote that elephants are more afraid of mice, small mammals that can do elephants no harm, than of the much more dangerous animals with which elephants normally share an environment, such as lions or tigers. In a recent scientific experiment in which a herd of elephants was confronted with several mice, the elephants backed away from the mice and left the area to avoid them.

Elephants are fascinating but the beliefs you just read about are based on misunderstandings of elephant behavior.

First, we should not assume that old elephants are aware that they will die soon just because they break away from their herds. There is a very practical reason why old elephants leave their herds. You see, when elephants get old enough, their teeth become more down and they have difficulty chewing. So elderly elephants wander away from their herds to look for soft vegetation that’s easier to eat. Soft vegetation is usually found near water. That’s why many old elephants graze near water and eventually die there, an area we’ve come to call “elephant graveyards”.

Second, the issue of whether elephants have artistic ability. If you want elephants trained to paint, you’ll notice that human trainers stroking the elephants’ ears whenever the elephant moves the paintbrush. Elephant ears are very sensitive and touching them in certain ways can be used to train the elephants to do tricks. The trainer teaches the elephant to remember certain patterns of paintbrush strokes and then encourages the elephant to repeat the brushstrokes by touching its ears. So an elephant using a paintbrush is just painting lines it’s been trained to paint. It doesn’t necessarily know that the lines are supposed to represent flowers or animals.

Third, Pliny the Elder and others are misinterpreting the reaction of elephants to mice. Elephants that react fearfully to mice aren’t reacting to the mice themselves but to the fact that mice are unfamiliar to them. Being cautious about unfamiliar animals is a natural instinct. But elephants that live in environments where mice are common, like elephants in zoos don’t react with fear to the mice. Clearly, once elephants become familiar with mice and realize that they don’t pose a threat, they don’t mind them.

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In the reading, the article introduces three surprising beliefs about elephant behaviors. However, in the listening, the professor gives out three reasons why these beliefs can’t stand. First, the reading says that elephants are aware of approaching death. Nevertheless, the listening points out that the true reason why an elephant may break away from the herd is that their teeth become worn out and the animal has to seek for softer plants as their food resources. Therefore, they would get close to the water where soft plants usually occur and finally die there. Second, the reading asserts that elephants have artistic ability and know how to represent objects through art. However, the listening again rejects this statement. According to the lecture, in order to train elephants to paint, the painters will stroke elephant’s ears and help them to memorize certain patterns of paintbrush strokes. In this way, elephant would harness the capacity to draw lines that they are taught to paint. But the thing is that they are just programmed to draw these lines and don’t have any idea of what these lines represent. Third, the reading says that the elephants have a fear of mice. But the listening also disputes this because it supposes the reason why elephants try to avoid mice is that mice are unfamiliar to them not that they are afraid of them. Those elephants living in the zoo don’t show any fright of mice because mice are always around them and they get used to these small creatures very much. In another word, once elephants are accustomed to mice, they wouldn’t mind if they are around or not. In a nutshell, by giving all these three reasons, the listening successfully goes against the reading article.




[ə'priːʃɪeɪt; -sɪ-]

vt. 欣赏;感激;领会;鉴别 (appreciate的第三人称单数)


vt. 欣赏;感激;领会;鉴别(appreciate的第三人称单数)

vi.增值;涨价 vi.增值;涨价vi.增值;涨价


They don't have any confidence that houses will appreciate in value.(TPO49-20)

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