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Student Composition 9:
The Greatest Invention in My Eyes

About 5000 years ago today (1) in ancient Egypt, thousands of people were building pyramids for their King. As we all know, at that time there was no machine (2). Then you will wonder how could they carry so many huge stones? How could they create such splendid pyramids? How could they create such a miracle? Well, the answer is the wheel (3). Wheel makes everything possible.

So in my eyes wheel is the greatest invention. Maybe you will challenge me,“wheel is so common that everybody takes it for granted. Why do you think is the greatest invention?” (4) Actually, wheel has been playing an important role in every aspect of people’s life from antiquity to today.

As everyone knows, wheel makes traveling much easier. In ancient time, people traveled on foot. It wasted too much time. People often felt very tired. And also I think it’s a damage to the shoes (5). Don’t you think so? Then a clever man thought of the wheel and the horse. He put them together, and the first cart was born. It saved time and stamina (6) as well.

When the Industrial Revolution began, more and more vehicles sprang up. You can (7) see cars shuttling on the road. You can (7) see trains running on the rail. You can (7) even see some planes hovering in the sky. Dear friends, can you imagine traveling without these vehicles? Can you imagine vehicles without wheels?

Wheel’s important role is not only in traveling, but also in industry. With the wheel’s help, the crane can lift many heavy things at one time. In factory (8), you can find gears (toothed wheels) in every machine. Gears are so essential that we can’t work efficiently without them.

Wheel is also closely linked with our daily life. With the development of technology, talented people make full use of the wheel. They invent many household electrical appliances to improve our living standard, such as washing machine (9), air conditioner (9)and microwave oven (9). All of these have improved people’s life dramatically.

My dear friends, what if without (10) wheels? We all can’t imagine. Right? Now you must understand why I think the wheel is the greatest invention. Aristotle (11) once said,“give me a lever, (12) I can lever up the earth.” Today I can also say, “give me a wheel, I can change the world!”

Teacher Joe's Comments:

This composition is very well organized, making it easy to read and very clear. It also has good sentence structure with only very minor problems. However, for this composition, I would have to give the writer a zero. Why? Read my comments below.

(1) This expression suggests that it was "about" 5000 years ago compared to this date exactly. We don't really know what they were doing in September of the year 3005 B.C., so the writer should drop "today".

(2) Of course, this should be "there were no machines".

(3) This is good. The writer uses the general expression "the wheel". However, this should be used EVERY time, not just once.

(4) This is where the composition fails. The writer is simply putting up a straw horse and will then knock it down. This is much too easy. Instead of making such a weak statement and arguing against it, the writer should defend his premise against the best argument he can think of. For example, as you can see in the revised composition, the writer could consider other great inventions, such as the printing press or the computer chip, and show that the wheel is still the greatest.

(5) We don't say "it's a damage" in English, and I suspect walking all the time affected more than just shoes. Maybe the writer could say something like "this also caused many problems for people's feet".

(6) We can save time and we can save energy, but we can't save stamina.

(7) The beginning of the Industrial Revolution was in the past, so the writer should use "could" instead of "can".

(8) This is not just in one factory, so the plural, "factories", should be used.

(9) These should either be made plural or the definite article "the" should be added before each item.

(10) This should be "what would the world be without the wheel?".

(11) Actually, this famous sentence was spoken by Archimedes, not Aristotle.

(12) The actual quote is "Give me a lever LONG ENOUGH...".

The small mistakes aren't so important here, but remember, writing is for communicating. Don't waste your talent on overly simple, meaningless arguments. Find something interesting to say, then use your talents to communicate!

Revised Composition:

The Greatest Invention in History

Thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, people built pyramids for the Pharoah. At that time there were no machines, so how could they move such huge stones? How could they create such splendid pyramids? How could they create such a miracle? The answer, of course, is the wheel. The wheel makes everything possible. Now, you may challenge this assertion. "The wheel is far too simple," you may say. "Inventions such as the printing press and the computer chip have done much more to change the world." I have to disagree with you. Let me explain why.

The common uses of the wheel are obvious. Rather than travel on foot or on horse, we have learned to travel by horse-drawn carriages, cars, trains and now airplanes and rockets. The Industrial Revolution could never have occured without the wheel. Not only do industrial machines, such as we find in factories, or home appliances such as washing machines and air conditioners, depend on the wheel, even the printing press that brought learning to the masses depended on gears - toothed wheels! - to work. In other words, though the printing press was important, it simply couldn't exist without the wheel.

The computer chip also would not be the useful device it is, without the help of the wheel. The computer chip itself may not use a wheel or gear directly, but peripheral devices such as printers and disk drives do. Without the wheel, we could in theory have a powerful computing device. However, we wouldn't be able to save our work or show it to other people! Without the invention of the wheel, the computer would be next to useless.

So, can you imagine a world without the wheel? Can you imagine a world without long-distance travel? Can you imagine a world without a printing press to communicate the best writing in the world? Can you imagine a world with no useful computers? Everything that came after the wheel, and everything that is to come, depends on the greatest invention in history. The wheel!

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