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A Visit to a Zoo Essay in English [100, 150, 200, 250, 500 Words]

A Visit to a Zoo Essay in English: A zoo is a place where animals and birds are put on display for people to view. In this article, you are going to learn how to write an essay or a paragraph on a visit to a zoo in English. Here we’ve provided 5 short and long essays ( 100, 150, 200, 250, and 500 words). These essays/paragraphs will be helpful for the students from class 1 to class 12. So, let’s begin.

Table of Contents

A Visit to a Zoo Essay: 100 Words

A visit to the Zoo is always very interesting. Last Sunday I went to the Delhi Zoo with my friends. First of all we saw apes and monkeys in different cages. They were climbing up and down their cage. In other cages, tigers, lions, bears, foxes, wolves, and zebras were kept.

We also saw deer and kangaroos. Next, we saw many varieties of birds like cranes, ducks, pigeons, parrots, kingfishers, owls, etc. We also saw our national bird peacock in the zoo. Then we came to the glass houses. Animals of different kinds and colour were kept in them. At last, we enjoyed an elephant ride and returned home.

A Visit to a Zoo Essay in English

Also Read: A Visit to a Historical Place Essay

Essay on a Visit to a Zoo: 150 Words

Last Sunday, I visited a zoo with my family. First, we went round the bird’s section. We saw parrots, sparrows, pigeons, peacocks, eagles, and vultures. Then we saw the cages of wild animals like tigers, lions, and leopards. A lion was walking up and down restlessly. It often roared furiously. The baby tigers were playing in their cage.

We saw the deer park, where only the deer were kept. We also saw zebras, bears, foxes, giraffes, a hippo, and a rhino. Then we went to the huge enclosure where the elephants were kept. They were eating grasses, leaves, and bananas. We enjoyed watching the monkeys.

We saw serpents, pythons, and cobras. Next, we saw many swans and ducks swimming gracefully in a big pool of water. The crocodiles lay Lazily near the water. We also saw a tank which contained small fishes of fine colours. We had a great fun at the zoo.

Essay on a Visit to a Zoo

A Visit to Zoo Essay: 200 Words

A zoo is a place where animals and birds are kept for public display. We, the three friends, went to the Alipore Zoo, Kolkata. We saw two elephants, tied with iron chains by their hind legs. The visitors offered them bananas or nuts which they gladly accepted and swallowed. We were greatly amused to see the huge animals from so near.

Then we visited the bird’s section. There were hundreds of birds. They were of various colours and had lovely plumage (feathers). Their chirping produced soft music. The twittering of sparrows was very pleasant to the ear. At some distance, there was a big pool of water. Many ducks and swans were swimming gracefully in it. We also saw a tank which contained small fishes of fine colours.

Then we came to the cages of tigers, panthers, leopards and lions. They were wonderful. The serpent house gave us a new experience. We saw there various types of snakes on the first floor. Then we saw the bisons, the camels, the ostriches and the bats. The zebras and giraffes were really beautiful who looked innocent and friendly.

It was about 2 P.M when we had taken some light refreshment in the zoo canteen. In this way, we passed the day with much delight and acquired a wonderful experience.

Also Read: A Journey by Train Essay 

A Visit to a Zoo Essay: 250 Words

A Visit To A Zoo is very thrilling. I went to see the zoo with my younger brother. One is surprised to see such a variety of animals and birds. It was an interesting sight. First of all, we saw the monkeys. They were of many kinds and very amusing. We offered some nuts to them.

Then we came to the lions. They looked very fierce and majestic. They were kept in an open place enclosed with high iron railings. Sometimes they roared terribly. Next, we saw the tigers. They had yellow skins with black stripes on them. In the next two cages, there were a wolf and a fox. The wolf was sleeping, but the fox was walking within the cage.

Then we saw the long-necked giraffe, the dark-striped zebra, the thick-skinned rhinoceros, and a huge elephant with beautiful ivory tusks. We were very pleased to see them. After this, we came to the glass houses where reptiles were kept. There were snakes, cobras, and serpents. Some of them looked fearful. We did not stay there long.

Then we came to the fences where peacocks were kept. It was a treat to see one of them in his pride (i.e. with his tail spread like a fan).

We stayed three for three hours. We were tired. At last, we went to the cafe and had some refreshment and tea. Then we returned home. We enjoyed our visit very much.

a visit to a zoo

Essay on a Visit to a Zoo: 500 Words


Everyone needs relaxation and an occasional deviation from the drudgeries of daily existence. A visit to a zoo can offer him these. At the same time, it is a learning experience. It was with this intention that visited the Alipore Zoological Garden last 25th December with some of my friends. This visit was memorable because it was both enjoyable and educational.

Entering the Zoo:

We reached the gate of the zoo in a taxi around 10 am. One has to buy tickets to enter the zoo. A number of visitors were already standing in a queue before the ticket counter. We stood behind them, got our tickets and entered the big arena of the zoo.

Various Types of Birds and Animals:

We crossed the green sward and were greeted by varieties of monkeys in cages. Monkeys and baboons were jumping on the trees within their enclosures. When some people threw food at them, they immediately jumped down from the trees to eat. Some children were making faces at them.

Then, we came across a beautiful lake in which some water birds like ducks and swans were present. There were some migratory birds as well. As we moved, we came to the big netted enclosure in which birds were kept. There were sparrows, parrots, and many other birds. Most of them were twittering, chirping and whistling. But the owls were sitting with their eyes closed as if they were lost in deep thought. The chirping of the birds went on ringing deep in my heart. In their songs, I heard the voice of nature to which the whole universe surrendered. I felt that all was right with the world.

We visited the tigers, lions, zebras, giraffes, rhinos and elephants. Roars of the lions and the tigers were deafening. We found a tiger pacing restlessly with its bloodshot eyes. It was strongly built.

Then we came across a garden in which stags and deer were frisking about. These animals were very agile and beautiful.

Our next halt was at the aquarium section. There were fishes of many species and colours. To see them swimming to and fro in the water was really a rewarding experience. Just beside this enclosure, was the cage of a black bear. It attracted a mammoth gathering. The bear was playing many tricks that thrilled us. Some people offered it eatables which it gulped at once.

Leaving the Zoo:

At about 2 pm, feeling tired, we rested and relaxed on the grassy ground for half an hour. The fragrance of flowers coming from somewhere was really soothing. We again began to stroll around the zoo after having our lunch. We saw a variety of amphibians like crocodiles, snakes, frogs, and a variety of other creatures. Then we hired a boat and enjoyed a short pleasurable ride in the canal. It was around 5 pm when we came out of the zoo. We boarded a bus, casting our last and lingering look on the zoo.


I reached home in a cheerful mood. This visit refreshed my mind and deepened my awareness of the animal world.

Read More: 1. Essay on a Visit to a Historical Place 2. Essay on a Visit to a Book Fair 3. Essay on a Visit to a Hill Station

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Essay on Zoo for Students and Children

500 words essay on zoo.

The world is a huge place to see. It consists of so many living organisms that it is impossible to see each and every one of them. Especially for human beings, who are fascinated very much by animals. For the same reasons, zoos were created so that humans can interact better with animals.

Essay on Zoo

In other words, a zoo is a facility that has animals, birds, and reptiles of all kinds. They are confined to space where they are given food and medical facilities. The government has given strict guidelines to maintain a zoo. This is done keeping in mind the animal’s safety. In addition, zoos are made breeding grounds for animals to protect their species.

Benefits of Zoo

Zoos were made to bring wildlife closer to humans. It gave humans a better and up-close view of them. This allows various researchers and scientists to note the behavioral pattern of the animals. It helps them in their studies and discover new things.

In addition, zoos are a great source of entertainment for kids. They love visiting zoos and interacting with animals. This helps them learn practical knowledge about the animal. It also gives them exposure to wildlife and widens their knowledge.

Furthermore, zoos give us easy access to rare animals. Had it not been for zoos, we would have never been able to see what some animals looked like. We enjoy their behavior and it also creates awareness about the extinction of the rare species.

Similarly, zoos are a safe breeding ground for animals. They ensure the animal breeds so they never go extinct. This helps in creating a good balance. Moreover, the zoos ensure the animals get all the nutrition in their bodies to lead a healthy life. This is beneficial as the animal may not get guaranteed meals in the forests.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Disadvantages of Zoo

While the zoo is a great place for entertainment, it is also very exploitive. It takes advantage of the poor animals to make a profit off them. The zoos keep animals in very bad conditions. It takes unethical methods just to create revenue.

Furthermore, zoos are very unfair to animals. They take the animals out of their natural habitats just for the sake of human entertainment. Why would the animals be put into cages as humans want them to? They are voiceless creatures who are being forced to live in poor conditions. Imagine putting humans into cages so animals could come to see them. It sounds inhumane the other way around but not when we do the same to animals.

Most importantly, zoos do not take proper care of exotic animals. They bring them over in their facility despite knowing that they cannot survive in that climate. Some zoos do not take enough precautionary measures to keep the animals safe. This has resulted in so many deaths of animals that it seems cruel.

In short, though zoos are very helpful to humans and animals to an extent. They must be monitored constantly to ensure the animals are safe. The unethical zoos must be shut down at once to prevent any further loss of animals.

FAQs on Zoo

Q.1 List the advantages of Zoo

A.1 Zoos bring the wildlife close to humans. It helps researchers study them closely and discover new things. It protects rare species and provides a safe breeding ground for them as well.

Q.2 How are zoos harmful to animals?

A.2 Zoos are very harmful to animals. They take them out of their natural habitat for human entertainment. They make them stay in poor conditions due to which they also lose their life and get infections.

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  • A Visit To The Zoo - Long and Short Essay


Essay on A Visit To The Zoo

A zoo is a place where different kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fishes are kept in cages or enclosed areas for people to see. It needs a lot of land to be taken care of. Below is an essay about visiting a zoo in simple English. It has short sentences so students can understand it easily. After reading this essay, students can write their own paragraph about visiting a zoo.

Descriptive Essay on A Visit to a Zoo

Most people can't easily go to far-off jungles or well-known national parks to see different animals. It's tough to find all those animals in their own homes. Plus, taking kids on a safari in the forest is risky to see animals, birds, and reptiles. That's why many people like going to the zoo. It's a fun and safe way to see all kinds of animals.

There is a wide variety of animals, birds, and beasts that are kept in cages in a zoo. Zoo also keeps animals of rare species. Many animals and birds are brought from foreign lands. This gives the visitors an opportunity to watch such animals and birds of rare species brought from foreign lands, which they could have never seen otherwise. 

Zoos are like homes for animals from all around the world. Lions from Africa, kangaroos from Australia, gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, white tigers, white peacocks, polar bears, colorful parrots, big pythons, and giant crocodiles – they all live in zoos. These places are important because they help protect animals that might disappear forever.

Almost a thousand types of animals, birds, and beasts stay in zoos. Some zoos even help animals have babies in a safe place, called captive breeding. This helps save species that are in danger, so they don't disappear forever. Zoos play a big role in making sure these amazing creatures continue to exist.

These zoos and their maintenance actually show that mankind has an immense love for animals. Man cannot ignore the fact that these animals, birds, reptiles, and beasts are a part of nature. People get to see the variety of animals that exist on this earth. People get to interact, learn and grow with these species of animals.

Visiting a zoo brings human beings closer to these living beings. It makes human beings develop a liking for animals and birds. They get to learn so much about these animals too. Zoos have an aspect of geographical importance as well. They play a vital role in uniting and educating different communities. When we as visitors watch a species of an animal brought from a foreign land, we get to learn about how and where these animals live, about the climate, and the habitat in which they thrive naturally.

The maintenance of a zoo is a huge task. Animals, birds, reptiles, and fishes, from foreign lands with different climatic conditions are to be kept in such surroundings, climate, and temperature that matches that of their natural habitat. If that arrangement is not done properly these animals would not survive. In hot summers, tigers and lions require access to water to keep cool. A gorilla or chimpanzee requires trees and lush green areas to roam. 

All these animals also need to be fed according to their original tastes and appetites. A leopard, a lion, or a tiger has to be served its due quantity of raw meat for every meal. A gorilla or a monkey should be served a vegetarian diet. There are some animals that are to be fed with fish. The python is capable of devouring a whole goat and so, it should be fed accordingly, without harming any other living being around it.

Going to the zoo is not just enjoyable; it's a great way to learn. Zoos teach us a ton about how different animals live and what they like. To make sure the animals stay healthy, the zoo has its own medical team and animal doctors. These doctors are well-trained and really good at their job. Animals at the zoo can get sick, and if their illnesses spread, it could be really bad for the whole zoo. Sometimes, the animals even need big surgeries and treatments to get better. So, keeping everything in good shape is really important at a zoo.

We visitors, at times, cause a great deal of risk to the lives of these animals and birds. Out of excitement, to feed the animals, we throw food in plastic bags to the animals inside their cages. The animals tend to swallow the plastic bags along with the food. The plastic gets stuck in their intestines and causes serious problems, and can even result in death sometimes. Along with this, to get some entertainment, the visitors sometimes risk their own lives. Out of curiosity, the visitors try playing around with wild animals, which, if triggered, can become violent. 

The visitors coming to zoos, mainly children, should be properly oriented and refrain from such activities. The zoo authorities also have to take care of the mental health of the animals. The animals may develop stereotypic behaviors or even die prematurely if not taken care of properly. Thus, zoological parks help us learn, grow and have fun. They help us bring human beings closer to nature. We get to understand and live God's beautiful creations through these parks. 

Short on a Visit to a Zoo Essay 

Last Sunday, my family and I went to the zoo. It was a sunny day and we got there at 8 am. When we arrived, there was a big crowd at the entrance. Some people were buying tickets, and others were just enjoying the nice weather and chatting.

Inside, we found a lovely lake with ducks and swans swimming around. It was pretty cool to see all those white ducks on the water. As we walked around, we came across a place with lots of birds – parrots, pigeons, eagles, and sparrows of different colors. The birds were making some enchanting music, and we stopped to enjoy it for a bit.

Next, we saw big cats like leopards, lions, tigers, and tigresses. One lion even rushed towards us, and its roars were really loud and scary. Moving on, we checked out a tiger's den. The tiger had sharp teeth and gave us a fierce look. It walked gracefully towards us, but its roar made us step back. We also saw bears and elephants. The elephants were majestic, swinging their trunks in the air, and the bears were happily playing together.

In another area, there were deer and stags taking strolls, and they were playful and beautiful. We then found a spot with baboons and monkeys in a big tree. They were jumping around, playing pranks, and some even came down for bananas. Kids were having fun making faces at them.

Later, we visited an aquarium with colorful fishes and dolphins happily playing in the water. Near the end, we saw sad polar bears in an enclosure, so we gave them some food. The black bear in another cage was doing tricks, and people were thrilled. We also checked out crocodiles, snakes like pythons and cobras, but the hissing cobras made us move away.

After going around the zoo, we sat in a garden, surrounded by the sweet smell of flowers. The calm wind made it a perfect place to relax. We enjoyed the view with some snacks and drinks. As the sun set, we left the zoo with happy memories and excitement.

Visiting a zoo makes us learn a lot many things about the various species of animals besides the fun and frolic that we have. We get to learn about the tastes and habits of so many varieties of birds, animals, reptiles, and beasts. A zoo is a place that brings us closer to the living beings that we co-exist with on this earth – the animals, birds, reptiles, insects, and so on. It tells us about the balance between the animal species and their habitats. It shows us that animal life is as important as human life. It tells us even more about the wondrous creations of God on this earth.

The value of zoos lies in their ability to bridge the gap between humans and the natural world. They offer us a glimpse into the lives of creatures we might never encounter otherwise, fostering a sense of wonder and respect for the diversity of life on Earth. However, this privilege comes with a responsibility – to ensure the well-being of the animals in our care and to constantly strive for improvement in their living conditions.

Ultimately, the future of zoos lies in striking a delicate balance between education, conservation, and animal welfare. By prioritizing the needs of the animals we hold captive, we can ensure that zoos become not just places of entertainment, but also sanctuaries for endangered species and vital centers for conservation education. Only then can these wondrous, complex institutions truly fulfill their potential as ambassadors of the wild.


FAQs on A Visit To The Zoo - Long and Short Essay

1. What is the importance of zoological parks?

Zoological parks help us preserve endangered species to prevent them from becoming extinct. The breeding procedures in these places help us increase their population.

2. How would you describe a zoo?

A zoo is also called a zoological park. It is a reserve where animals are confined by making arrangements similar to their natural habitat. These enclosures are open for public view. Some zoos also opt for breeding. There are more than 1000 such enclosures available to the public. However, most of them are situated in major cities.

3. What are the good things about zoos?

Zoos act as a source of economy for the community and the country as a whole. They help us interact closely with nature and preserve endangered species as well. They act as an educational source and help us understand God’s beautiful creations.

4. Should animals be kept in Zoos?

Animals should be left to live freely in their natural habitats with their families, and not trapped in cages in zoos.

5. What are the advantages of Zoos?

Zoos act as protected spaces for endangered species of animals. They act as an educational and economic resource for society.

80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best zoo topic ideas & essay examples, 🎓 good research topics about zoo, ⭐ simple & easy zoo essay titles, ❓ research questions about zoo.

  • Zoos: Advantages and Disadvantages The expediency of zoos and similar institutions is controversial since no artificially created conditions correspond to the natural range of animals’ origin.
  • Negotiating: Pandas in San Diego Zoo Case It is not the possible revenues of the zoo that need to be mentioned, but rather the revenues that the counterparty will have, as well as the influence of pandas on the promotion of support […]
  • Negotiating About Pandas for San Diego Zoo The popularity of the San Diego Zoo as one of the top zoos in the country and the idea that the borrowing of pandas will be a significant tourist attraction could be highlighted by Myers.
  • Zoos for Conservation of Endangered Species However, at the moment, they could be considered important scientific and research centers that investigate the current situation related to species and create conditions needed for their survival and further preservation.
  • The Harm That Zoos Do to Animals The first argument against zoos to discuss is the lack of interesting activities, joy, and ways to get rid of stress that animals can access in the wild.
  • The Future for Zoos and Aquariums Bibliography If the rights and welfare of animals in zoos and aquariums are properly observed, the world association of zoos and aquariums will have no issues with these zoo fields.
  • The Analysis of Siamangs’ Behavior in a Zoo Setting The results of the research disprove the hypothesis as it was assumed that siamangs would be less active in the zoo due to visitor’s attention and limited territory. Therefore, it is possible to note that […]
  • The Australia Zoo Rescue Unit Project Being a rescue unit, the project is meant to provide the services of rescuing the ill and injured wildlife animals by offering them with veterinary services free of charge in all zoos of Australian territory.
  • Animal Behavior in San Diego Zoo Based on the numerous remarks of scholars that claim that the animals are less active in the artificially created conditions in zoos, the hypothesis of the current write-up is as follows: Pandas tend to be […]
  • Zoos: Cruel or Educational? The reality is that there is ambivalence whether zoos protect animals from the adversity of the wild or they violate the rights of animals to enjoy their freedom in the wild.
  • Zoo Park’s Redundancy Management and Legal Issues Lastly, I have advised the management of the best ways to address the situation leading to the accident in the zoo park’s restaurant.
  • The Role of Zoos in Endangered Species Protection Adopting the endangered species requires the zoos to have sufficient funds to meet the needs of the animals and to maintain the facilities.
  • Setting Up a Safari Zoo in the UAE The paper below focuses on the barriers to setting up a safari zoo in the UAE. Through this, the study will identify the animals that are more likely to be comfortable in the zoo.
  • The Effectiveness of Sustainable Practices, Plans, Programs and Initiatives Implemented by Australian Zoo The recommendations are going to be made about the additional initiatives which may be implemented in the industry paying attention to the failure to apply to one of the concepts in the sustainable development triangle.
  • Endangered Animals and Zoo: How Zoos and Aquariums Protect Endangered Species
  • Tourists Tours: The Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Garden
  • Comparing the Behavior: Zoo Animals Versus Wild Animals
  • Zoo Attendance: The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
  • Let the Zoo Elephants Go: Movement for Retire Animals to Sanctuaries
  • Operations Management: London Zoo and New Walk Tourism
  • Appraising Employees at the San Diego Zoo
  • Early Learning and Development: A Playground at the Zoo
  • Tours in the Zoo Influence the Success of Extracurricular Educational Programs
  • Social Enterprise: Zoos and Aquariums
  • Hotel and Outdoor Petting Zoo
  • Operations Management London Zoo and Nottingham Castle
  • Planning and Building Housing for the Zoo
  • The Future of Zoos and Animals in Them: Challenges Force Zoos to Change in Big Ways
  • Animals and Statues Around the Zoo: Art Project
  • Bronx Zoo Teen Summer Camp
  • Akron Zoo Events Attendance Annual
  • Tourist Management Strategies: Australia Zoo
  • Bristol Zoo Business Objectives
  • Cameron Park Zoo: The Perfect Place to Relax and Enjoy the Beautiful Day Outdoor
  • The Zoo and Its Benefits: Conservation, Education and Research Programs
  • Metropol Zoo Strategic Marketing Management
  • Anthropology Zoo Observations
  • Air-Cooling and Heating System for Tiger in Zoo Using Earth Tube Heat Exchanger
  • Anthropology: Primate Behavioral Observation at San Antonio Zoo
  • High-Tech and Tactile: Cognitive Enrichment for Zoo-Housed Gorillas
  • Taronga Zoo Marketing Research
  • The Morphology and Behavior of Zoo Animals: Gorillas, White-Handed Gibbon, and Golden Lion Tamarin
  • Marketing Strategy for Zoo and Marine Park
  • The Modern Zoo: Saving Species From Extinction
  • Promotional Collateral for the Oakland Zoo
  • SWOT Analysis and Marketing Mix for Zoo and Aquarium
  • Animals and the Zoo: Zoo Animals and Their Wild Counterparts
  • Captive Tiger Management Activity in Zoo
  • The Competitive Environmental Forces of the San Antonio Zoo
  • Analyzing the Marketing Strategy of Singapore Zoo Tourism
  • Zoo: Project Planning and Behavioral Issues
  • Zoo and Cruel Towards Animal
  • Nightmare Zoo: The Surabaya Zoo of Indonesia
  • Growth Strategies for John Ball Zoo Society
  • Should Animals Be Kept in a Zoo?
  • Which Is the World’s Largest Zoo and What Is Its Area?
  • Where Is Largest Zoo in India?
  • What Does a Zoo Do With an Animals Remains Once It Dies?
  • When Is the Weekly off for Delhi Zoo?
  • When Is the Best Time of Day to Visit the Zoo?
  • Is It Ethical to Release Live Prey Into the Enclosure of a Carnivorous Zoo Animal?
  • What Is the Difference Between a Zoo and a Wildlife Sanctuary?
  • What Kind of Toys Do Large Predators Get at the Zoo?
  • What Is It Like to Work at a Zoo?
  • How Do People Perceive Zoo Animals?
  • What Zoo Animal Is Most Likely to Become Depressed?
  • What Factors Influence Stereotyped Behavior of Primates in a Zoo?
  • How Should the Well‐Being of Zoo Elephants Be Objectively Investigated?
  • What Is the Value of Zoo Experiences for Connecting People With Nature?
  • What Is the Frozen Zoo Concept?
  • How Old Is the Oldest Zoo?
  • What Effect Do Visitors Have on Zoo Animals?
  • What Is the Main Purpose of Zoo?
  • Where Did the Word Zoo Come From?
  • What Is the First Zoo in Asia?
  • Which Is the Oldest Zoo in India?
  • What Is the Most Visited Zoo in the World?
  • Which Zoo Has the Most Animals?
  • Why Is San Diego Zoo So Famous?
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IvyPanda. (2024, March 2). 80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/zoo-essay-topics/

"80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." IvyPanda , 2 Mar. 2024, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/zoo-essay-topics/.

IvyPanda . (2024) '80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples'. 2 March.

IvyPanda . 2024. "80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/zoo-essay-topics/.

1. IvyPanda . "80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/zoo-essay-topics/.


IvyPanda . "80 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/zoo-essay-topics/.

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A Visit To A Zoo Essay

Visiting a zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for kids. Parents and schools often take children to visit the zoo and get acquainted with the animal kingdom. Children learn and get familiar with animals, birds, reptiles who they have never seen before and only read in their books. Here are a few sample essays on visit to the zoo for children to write about in their class assignments, homework and projects.

A Visit To A Zoo Essay

100 Words Essay On A Visit To A Zoo

A trip to a zoo will teach you everything you need to know about the wildlife that surrounds us. Even though the animals are in a closed space, visitors can still see them, how they behave, and even feed them. Zoos offer excellent destinations for families on vacation since they are a nice, pleasant, safe, and peaceful experience for everybody. Children and adults can both visit zoos and observe the creatures of the world there. The zoo's administrators safeguard the security of both the animals and the visitors, providing the greatest care and nutrition for the animals' health. Animals like lions, gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, Bengal tigers, and reptiles like pythons, crocodiles, lizards, turtles can all be seen in zoos.

200 Words Essay On A Visit To A Zoo

I went to the zoo with my family last Saturday. It was a wonderful day to visit the zoo as the sun was shining bright. When we arrived at the zoo, there was a big crowd forming in front of the gate. While some of them were purchasing entry tickets, others were chatting and taking in the sunshine. As we reached the zoological garden, we came by a lovely lake filled with ducks and white swans. We took a boat ride and fed the ducks some bread. It was lovely to see them float by our boat and eat the bread.

As we got further, we noticed an enclosure with fowls. Different-coloured sparrows, eagles, pigeons, and parrots were chirping. We were captivated by the birds' singing. We also observed tigers, tigresses, and leopards lounging and exploring in the next enclosed den area. It was my first time seeing wild animals and I was very excited. I was terrified but also fascinated by the sharp teeth and piercing stare of the tiger. After this, we proceeded to see a show put up by the elephants. It was an amazing sight to see regal elephants twirling their trunks in the air and throwing wooden logs around. Along with this, we also saw bears playing joyfully with one another and the sight warmed our hearts.

500 Words Essay On A Visit To A Zoo

Visiting a zoo can be a lot of fun and also teach us a lot about many animal species. We get to discover the habitats and routines of a huge variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, and other creatures. Zoo is a place where we can get closer to the other animals, birds, reptiles, insects, and other living things that share our planet with us. It provides information on the harmony between various animal species and their surroundings. It shows that animal life is just as vital as human life. Zoos are usually large regions brimming with breathtaking scenery and provide the animals with a protected environment similar to that of a forest.

Zoos Are Educational

A visit to a zoo can be educational for children as they get an opportunity to recognise and learn about animals, birds, reptiles that they have only studied in textbooks. They also understand the importance of protecting wildlife, the natural habitat of animals and how many species are becoming endangered as the world keeps changing. A huge variety of creatures can be seen at the zoo with possible sightings of animals that are unique to forests, such as lions, tigers, white tigers, bears, etc.

Zoos Protect Animals

Zoos have improved animal care and safety as even government organisations now endeavour to provide timely care for animals with safety and regulatory examinations. Many species are already on the verge of extinction all around the world, and many more are in danger of doing so. Modern aquariums and zoos work to solve these issues. Their breeding programmes contribute to the conservation of genetic variety and the reintroduction of endangered species into the wild.

My Experience At The Zoo

In the zoo I visited, you could either take a toy train that moved slowly to all the animal cages, or you could walk along the paths next to the enclosures' animal inhabitants. I chose to take the train and it was such a unique experience. It took us to each animal's location and stopped for a sufficient amount of time so we could see inside. The zoo resembled a miniature forest where the jungle animals resided. I saw a magnificent tiger walking gracefully inside its enclosure. I was ecstatic to see a bear playing with a plank of wood that zoo staff had left there. There were also various parrot species, each with stunning wings and vivid colours. I spent about an hour in close proximity to them since they were so marvellous.

I also saw a lot of different birds of various colours and textures, they were beautiful to look at. The zoo administrator allowed me to feed some of them—it was a wonderful experience. I was a bit scared at first but once they settled down around me, I felt at ease. I even petted them lightly. Afterwards, I had lunch with my parents in a cafeteria at the zoo. The food was delicious and it was all named after different animals. I’m definitely looking forward to the next time I’ll visit here, hopefully with all my friends.

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100 Zoo Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Inside This Article

Zoos are fascinating places that offer a unique opportunity to observe and learn about a wide variety of animals from all over the world. If you're tasked with writing an essay about zoos, you might be struggling to come up with a topic that is both interesting and informative. To help you out, here are 100 zoo essay topic ideas and examples that you can use as inspiration for your next assignment:

  • The ethical implications of keeping animals in zoos
  • The role of zoos in conservation efforts
  • The impact of zoos on animal behavior
  • The history of zoos and how they have evolved over time
  • The benefits of zoos for education and research
  • The controversy surrounding captive breeding programs in zoos
  • The importance of zoos in preserving endangered species
  • The challenges of managing a zoo and caring for its animals
  • The role of zoos in promoting awareness of wildlife conservation issues
  • The impact of zoos on local communities and economies
  • The role of zoos in promoting animal welfare and ethics
  • The debate over whether zoos should exist in the modern world
  • The cultural significance of zoos in different societies
  • The impact of climate change on zoos and their animal populations
  • The role of zoos in public education and outreach programs
  • The challenges of balancing conservation efforts with visitor experiences in zoos
  • The impact of captivity on animal behavior and well-being in zoos
  • The role of zoos in promoting environmental awareness and sustainability
  • The ethics of using animals in zoo entertainment shows and performances
  • The impact of zoos on biodiversity and ecosystem health
  • The role of zoos in promoting animal rights and welfare legislation
  • The impact of zoo closures and budget cuts on animal populations
  • The challenges of reintroducing captive-bred animals into the wild
  • The role of zoos in supporting local wildlife conservation efforts
  • The benefits of zoos for public health and well-being
  • The impact of zoos on visitor attitudes towards wildlife conservation
  • The role of zoos in promoting sustainable tourism practices
  • The challenges of managing invasive species in zoos
  • The impact of zoo design and architecture on animal welfare
  • The role of zoos in promoting cultural exchange and understanding
  • The benefits of zoos for scientific research and discovery
  • The impact of zoo accreditation programs on animal welfare standards
  • The challenges of breeding endangered species in captivity
  • The role of zoos in promoting animal enrichment and mental stimulation
  • The ethics of using animals in zoo breeding programs
  • The impact of zoos on local ecosystems and biodiversity
  • The role of zoos in promoting public awareness of wildlife trafficking
  • The benefits of zoos for educating children about conservation
  • The challenges of managing a zoo during a pandemic
  • The impact of zoo closures on animal welfare and conservation efforts
  • The role of zoos in promoting sustainable food and waste management practices
  • The ethics of using animals in zoo education programs
  • The impact of zoos on wildlife populations in surrounding areas
  • The challenges of managing zoo populations and genetics
  • The role of zoos in promoting animal welfare legislation
  • The benefits of zoos for promoting public engagement with wildlife
  • The impact of zoos on local economies and tourism
  • The role of zoos in promoting wildlife rehabilitation and release programs
  • The challenges of managing zoo populations in the face of climate change
  • The ethics of using animals in zoo research and experimentation
  • The impact of zoos on animal behavior and social dynamics
  • The role of zoos in promoting public awareness of wildlife conservation issues
  • The benefits of zoos for promoting sustainable tourism practices

With these 100 zoo essay topic ideas and examples, you should have plenty of inspiration to get started on your next assignment. Whether you're interested in the ethical implications of keeping animals in zoos, the role of zoos in conservation efforts, or the impact of zoos on biodiversity and ecosystem health, there's sure to be a topic that piques your interest. Happy writing!

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Essay on A Visit to a Zoo

Students are often asked to write an essay on A Visit to a Zoo in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on A Visit to a Zoo


A visit to a zoo is always an exciting experience. It’s a place where we can see various types of animals and birds, which we don’t usually get to see.

Arriving at the Zoo

One sunny day, our school organized a trip to the local zoo. We were all thrilled and packed our bags with snacks and water bottles.

Exploring the Zoo

Inside the zoo, we saw different animals like lions, elephants, and monkeys. We also saw beautiful birds with colorful feathers.

The visit to the zoo was educational and fun. It was a great day out, and we learned a lot about different species.

Also check:

  • Paragraph on A Visit to a Zoo

250 Words Essay on A Visit to a Zoo

A visit to a zoo offers an unparalleled experience, providing a fascinating blend of education and entertainment. It is more than just a leisurely activity; it’s an encounter with the biodiversity of our planet, a journey that takes us closer to the vast animal kingdom.

The Arrival

Upon entering the zoo, the cacophony of sounds and the vibrant atmosphere is immediately captivating. The myriad of vivid colors, the exotic animals, and the lush greenery create a mesmerizing tableau that is both enchanting and educational.

The Wildlife Experience

The zoo is a window into the diverse habitats of various species. From the African savannah, home to lions, zebras, and giraffes, to the Arctic region, where polar bears and penguins reside, the zoo offers a glimpse into the life and behavior of these creatures in their simulated natural habitats. The aviary, teeming with multicolored birds from around the globe, is a testament to nature’s palette.

Conservation and Education

Zoos play a critical role in conservation efforts, providing a sanctuary for endangered species and breeding programs to ensure their survival. They are also centers for research and education, fostering awareness about the importance of biodiversity and the need to protect our environment.

A visit to the zoo is a journey of discovery, an opportunity to appreciate the biodiversity of our planet, and a reminder of our responsibility towards its conservation. It is an experience that leaves us with a deeper understanding of the natural world, and a renewed respect for the delicate balance of life on Earth.

500 Words Essay on A Visit to a Zoo

A zoo is a place that offers a fascinating insight into the world of wildlife. It serves as a bridge between human society and the natural world, providing an opportunity to observe and learn about different species of animals, their behaviors, and habitats. A visit to a zoo can be an enlightening and educational experience, especially for college students who are keen on understanding biodiversity and conservation efforts.

The Journey and Anticipation

A visit to a zoo often begins with a journey filled with anticipation and excitement. The journey, whether it’s a short drive or a long road trip, builds up the expectations of the visitors. As the cityscape gradually gives way to the more natural surroundings of the zoo, the anticipation grows. The sight of the entrance gate, often decorated with images of various animals, fuels the curiosity and eagerness to explore the world within.

Exploring the Wildlife

Inside the zoo, one is greeted by a myriad of sounds, sights, and smells. The cacophony of animal calls, the vibrant displays of the birds, the earthy scent of the enclosures, all contribute to the unique atmosphere of a zoo. The enclosures, designed to mimic the animals’ natural habitats, range from lush green jungles for primates to arid landscapes for desert dwellers. Each enclosure offers a glimpse into the diverse ecosystems of our planet.

Visitors can observe the animals in their semi-natural habitats, studying their behaviors, diets, and social structures. It’s a rare opportunity to witness the majestic lion’s roar, the playful antics of monkeys, the graceful flight of birds, and the slow, measured pace of the tortoise, all in one place.

The Learning Experience

A visit to a zoo is not just about entertainment; it’s also a rich learning experience. Zoos play an essential role in educating the public about the importance of wildlife conservation and the threats many species face in the wild. Information boards, interactive exhibits, and guided tours provide valuable information about the animals, their habitats, and the challenges they face due to human activities and climate change.

Reflections on Conservation

While zoos offer an opportunity to appreciate wildlife, they also provoke thoughts about the ethical aspects of keeping animals in captivity. This reflection is crucial for college students who are shaping their understanding of the world. It encourages them to think about the role of zoos in conservation, the ethical implications of captivity, and the need for sustainable practices to protect wildlife.

In conclusion, a visit to a zoo is a blend of entertainment, education, and ethical reflection. It offers a unique perspective on the diverse world of wildlife and the importance of conservation efforts. As we navigate through the challenges of the 21st century, such experiences are crucial in fostering a sense of responsibility towards our planet and its inhabitants.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

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writing an essay on zoo

Zoo - Essay Samples And Topic Ideas For Free

Zoos, places where animals are kept in enclosures for public display, are venues of education, research, and conservation, albeit with ethical concerns. Essays on zoos could explore the role they play in wildlife conservation, education about biodiversity, and in providing a recreational resource for the community. The discussions might delve into the ethical implications regarding animal welfare, the varying standards of zoos worldwide, and their efforts towards conservation and breeding programs. Additionally, the impact of zoos on public awareness about endangered species and ecosystems could be analyzed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted aspects of zoo establishments. We have collected a large number of free essay examples about Zoo you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Should Zoos Exist or be Banned?

 Bang! Boom! Clinking! Rattle! Zoos have millions of animals, but there are kids who bang on the glass of exhibits and shake the animals cages, when the animals are in them. There are also animals dying in zoos. Even zoos with to little space. That’s horrendous for animals who live in zoos. Zoos should be banned for eternity because; the animals have barely any space, zoos are killing innocent animals, people taunt/ abuse them. To begin, people taunt and abuse […]

Keeping Animals in Zoos is Cruel?

How would you feel if you had bars surrounding you, faces peering in every minute of the day, and being taken out of your natural habitat? Having animals in a zoo is simply cruel to the animal. Most people get entertained by watching animals in zoos and knowing more about their behaviors. However, others believe that it is not right to keep animals trapped in zoos because that is not where they belong. One argument in favor of keeping animals […]

Animal Lover and Visit to the Animal Park

For the longest time, I never thought I would one day opt to go to the animal park. I am a true animal lover who has never been to animal park. Phenomenon One day, several years back, a friend of mine wanted to visit the zoo and so asked if I could accompany him. At first, I was a bit resistant but then I later gave in to his idea because there was not much to lose. My parents gave […]

We will write an essay sample crafted to your needs.

Should Animals be Kept in Zoos and Aquariums?

For years animals have been kept in zoos and aquariums for the sole purpose of entertainment. These animals have no choice when it comes to deciding weather they are kept in captivity or not. This is because when it comes to animal welfare in the United States there is no laws in place to protect them. The only thing close to it the animal welfare act ""which requires a minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals […]

Different Types of Animals at the Zoo

There are many types of animals at the zoo. Giraffes are one of the most loved animals at the zoo. Giraffes are the tallest animal on planet Earth. Their legs are about 6 feet long, and they can run as fast as 35 miles an hour. Giraffes only need to drink water every few days, and a giraffe's neck is too short to reach the ground, so they have to spread its front legs to reach groundwater. Giraffes feed off […]

It’s Wrong to Use Animals in Zoos and Circuses

We think of wildlife as running on the prairie, or swimming through the forest, or swimming in the ocean - but in reality, it's more of a picture on the TV screen. Zoos and circuses are ""animal prisons"" set up to satisfy human curiosity by exploiting animals freedom, this can never be ethical. Though the animals cannot talk, they are suffering silently in captivity. They are far from their natural surroundings, humans turned their natural habitats to entertain us in […]

Housing Animals in Zoos is Inhumane

In the recent times, the practice of housing animals in zoos has become a major problem and a point of debate among different stakeholders, zoo advocated and animal rights advocates across the world. Everybody has a different opinion on the issue with some advocating for the act while others are against it. For instance, in the article Increasing Legal Rights for Zoo Animals, the author stated that, animal rights activists, have been arguing that, housing animals in zoos violates their […]

Freeing Animals from Zoos

Picture living in a cage from birth to death. Those are the types of things animals go through every single day until they die. Zoos may seem like these amazing places where tourists get a chance to learn about these animals. Inside of these exhibits, animals are either tortured, abused, or even killed. Many zoos are known for taking animals from their families to either impress a crowd or train to be in a circus. Animals have been on this […]

Is Staying in a Zoo Safe for Animals

Many people have always questioned If being captive behind a cage is good or bad for animals. According to National Geographic, ""zoos have been around since before 2500 BC, but the first U.S. zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, opened in 1874""(Andrew). Americans have been keeping wild animals in captivity for almost 150 years (Andrew). There has always been day to day controversial situation involving animals in zoos. For example, some people say zoos are an amazing way for people to learn […]

Animals in Zoos

Animals shouldn't be kept in the zoo. Tigers and lions have around 18,000 times less space in zoos than they would in the wild. ” 75% of elephants were overweight and only 16% could walk normally, the remainder having various degrees of lameness. Lions in zoos spend 48% of their time pacing, a recognized sign of behavioral problems. Zoos spend millions on keeping animals confined, while natural habitats are destroyed and animals killed as there is insufficient funding for protection. […]

Zoo Animals

The unfair treatment of zoo animals is heartbreaking. People capturing wild animals and keeping them in captivity is inhumane and cruel. These animals are used to natural spacious environments, so forcefully taking them from their homes and putting them into secluded cages is harmful to their physical, social, and emotional health. The zoo enclosures offer no natural predator or food sources to hunt, so the animals will lose their instincts that are necessary for survival in the wild. This bounds […]

The Euthanizing of Zoo Animals in European Zoos

In Europe, zoos have been euthanizing healthy animals. The zoos are killing animals because the zoos want to prevent inbreeding between animals and help with gene control. Zoos want to make sure that not too much of one gene is over represented. The euthanization of a healthy zoo animal helps to prevent inbreeding and gene control. However, there are many other ways to approach the issue without euthanization. The zoos are concerned about inbreeding between animals because it can lead […]

Beyond Borders: the Zoo Enigmatic World of Menageries

In the rich mosaic of our language, one finds a gem that sparkles with the allure of the exotic: the menagerie. Like a whispered secret from ages past, this word carries within it the essence of mystery, adventure, and the untamed beauty of the animal kingdom. But to define a menagerie solely as a collection of creatures would be akin to describing a symphony as mere notes on a page; it is a multidimensional tapestry woven from the threads of […]

A Walk on the Wild Side: your Guide to the Fort Worth Zoo Map

Heading to the Fort Worth Zoo? You're in for a treat, and the map you clutch in your hands is your ticket to a wild adventure. Think of it as your treasure map, leading you through a jungle of fun and discovery. This isn't just any zoo; it's a sprawling sanctuary where animals from around the globe call home. Let’s dive into what makes this map your best buddy for a day of animal exploration. First up, let’s talk about […]

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Mr Greg's English Cloud

10 Paragraphs: A Visit To A Zoo

Visiting a zoo can be a fascinating and memorable experience, filled with the sights and sounds of exotic animals and the opportunity to learn about their habitats and behaviors. When tasked with writing a paragraph about a visit to a zoo, it is essential to capture the essence of this unique outing. We will explore some key elements to consider when crafting a paragraph on a zoo visit, including setting the scene, describing the animals and their habitats, expressing personal observations and emotions, and reflecting on the educational and conservation aspects of the experience.

Table of Contents

Tips On Writing A Paragraph On A Visit To A Zoo

Set the Scene: Begin your paragraph by setting the scene and providing a brief introduction to the zoo. Describe the overall atmosphere, the layout of the zoo, and any notable features that stand out. This helps to create a visual image in the reader’s mind and establishes the context for your visit.

Describe the Animals and Their Habitats: Focus on the different animals encountered during your visit. Describe their appearances, behaviors, and unique characteristics. Additionally, provide details about their habitats within the zoo, such as enclosures or exhibits designed to resemble natural environments. This allows readers to visualize the animals and gain a deeper understanding of their natural habitats.

Express Personal Observations and Emotions: Share your personal observations and emotions throughout the visit. Describe how you felt upon seeing certain animals or witnessing particular behaviors. Express any moments of awe, excitement, or wonder that you experienced. This adds a personal touch to your paragraph and helps to convey the impact the zoo visit had on you.

Reflect on Educational Aspects: Discuss the educational value of the zoo visit. Explain how the zoo provides opportunities for learning about different species, their conservation status, and the importance of protecting their habitats. Reflect on any educational programs, exhibits, or interpretive signs that stood out to you during the visit. This highlights the educational benefits of visiting a zoo and reinforces its role in promoting environmental awareness.

Consider Conservation and Ethical Considerations: Reflect on the zoo’s efforts towards conservation and animal welfare. Discuss any conservation initiatives, breeding programs, or research projects that the zoo supports. Additionally, consider any ethical concerns or controversies surrounding zoos and briefly touch upon your own thoughts or observations in this regard. This demonstrates a broader understanding of the complex issues surrounding zoos and engages readers in critical thinking.

Paragraph 1

Walking through the gates of the zoo, I was immediately greeted by a symphony of animal sounds. The air was filled with anticipation and excitement. As I ventured further into the zoo, I marveled at the diverse array of species that called this place home. From majestic lions to playful monkeys and graceful giraffes, each enclosure offered a glimpse into the wonders of the animal kingdom. The vibrant colors, the unique behaviors, and the sheer beauty of these creatures left me in awe.

Paragraph 2

The zoo visit was a sensory delight. The distinct smells of the different animal habitats wafted through the air, transporting me to far-off lands. I could almost taste the essence of the rainforest as I stood near the lush enclosure housing tropical birds and slithering reptiles. The crisp, cool breeze near the penguin exhibit reminded me of the icy Antarctic. It was as if I had embarked on a journey around the world, all within the confines of the zoo.

Paragraph 3

As I stood before the massive glass enclosure, a sense of wonder washed over me. The majestic elephants gracefully moved about, their trunks reaching for leaves and twigs. I watched in awe as they communicated with each other through gentle rumbles and subtle gestures. It was a humbling experience to witness firsthand the intelligence and complexity of these gentle giants.

Paragraph 4

The zoo was not just a place to observe animals; it was also a center for education and conservation. Along the pathways, informative signs provided fascinating facts about the various species, their habitats, and the conservation efforts aimed at protecting them. The zoo’s commitment to raising awareness about endangered species and promoting sustainable practices left a lasting impression on me.

Paragraph 5

One of the highlights of the zoo visit was the opportunity to witness a live animal show. Skilled trainers showcased the incredible talents of dolphins, seals, and birds in a captivating performance. The show was a testament to the deep bond that can be formed between humans and animals, and it left the audience in awe of the intelligence and capabilities of these remarkable creatures.

Paragraph 6

The zoo visit provided a unique chance to observe animals up close and personal. In the aviary, I found myself surrounded by a dazzling array of colorful birds. Their feathers glistened in the sunlight as they soared effortlessly through the air. It was a truly enchanting experience to witness their graceful flight and observe their intricate plumage from such a close vantage point.

Paragraph 7

As I walked through the zoo, I couldn’t help but notice the joy and excitement on the faces of children all around me. Their eyes widened with wonder as they encountered animals they had only seen in books or on screens. The zoo visit was not only an educational experience but also a source of pure delight for the younger visitors, igniting a sense of curiosity and fostering a connection with the natural world.

Paragraph 8

The zoo visit was a refuge from the bustling city life. Amidst the concrete jungle, the zoo offered a tranquil oasis where one could reconnect with nature. The lush greenery, the sound of rustling leaves, and the sight of animals peacefully coexisting created a serene environment. It was a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting the delicate balance of our ecosystems.

Paragraph 9

Beyond the animal exhibits, the zoo visit also provided opportunities for interactive experiences. Children and adults alike eagerly lined up for the chance to feed and pet certain animals under the watchful guidance of zookeepers. These hands-on encounters fostered a deeper connection and understanding of the animals, leaving visitors with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for these incredible creatures.

Paragraph 10

Leaving the zoo, I couldn’t help but reflect on the profound impact of the visit. It was a reminder of the incredible diversity of life on our planet and the importance of conservation efforts to protect these magnificent creatures. The zoo visit had sparked a sense of responsibility within me, a commitment to play my part in preserving the natural world and ensuring that future generations can also experience the wonders of the animal kingdom.

About Mr. Greg

Mr. Greg is an English teacher from Edinburgh, Scotland, currently based in Hong Kong. He has over 5 years teaching experience and recently completed his PGCE at the University of Essex Online. In 2013, he graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a BEng(Hons) in Computing, with a focus on social media.

Mr. Greg’s English Cloud was created in 2020 during the pandemic, aiming to provide students and parents with resources to help facilitate their learning at home.

Whatsapp: +85259609792

[email protected]

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Are zoos a good thing.

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How do you feel about keeping animals in zoos? Read both sides of the argument to help you decide.


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Zoos are hugely popular attractions for adults and children alike. But are they actually a good thing?

Critics of zoos would argue that animals often suffer physically and mentally by being enclosed. Even the best artificial environments can't come close to matching the space, diversity, and freedom that animals have in their natural habitats. This deprivation causes many zoo animals to become stressed or mentally ill. Capturing animals in the wild also causes much suffering by splitting up families. Some zoos make animals behave unnaturally: for example, marine parks often force dolphins and whales to perform tricks. These mammals may die decades earlier than their wild relatives, and some even try to commit suicide.

On the other hand, by bringing people and animals together, zoos have the potential to educate the public about conservation issues and inspire people to protect animals and their habitats. Some zoos provide a safe environment for animals which have been mistreated in circuses, or pets which have been abandoned. Zoos also carry out important research into subjects like animal behaviour and how to treat illnesses.

One of the most important modern functions of zoos is supporting international breeding programmes, particularly for endangered species. In the wild, some of the rarest species have difficulty in finding mates and breeding, and they might also be threatened by poachers, loss of their habitat and predators. A good zoo will enable these species to live and breed in a secure environment. In addition, as numbers of some wild species drop, there is an increased danger of populations becoming too genetically similar. Breeding programmes provide a safeguard: zoo-bred animals can be released into the wild to increase genetic diversity.

However, opponents of zoos say that the vast majority of captive breeding programmes do not release animals back into the wild. Surplus animals are sold not only to other zoos but also to circuses or hunting ranches in the US or South Africa, where some people are willing to pay a lot of money for the chance to kill an animal in a fenced enclosure. Often, these animals are familiar with humans and have very little chance of escaping.

So, are zoos good for animals or not? Perhaps it all depends on how well individual zoos are managed, and the benefits of zoos can surely outweigh their harmful effects. However, it is understandable that many people believe imprisoning animals for any reason is simply wrong.

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  • Paragraph Writing

A Visit To a Zoo Paragraph

We all have visited zoos at least once in our lifetime, maybe with friends, family, on study tours, etc. A zoo is one of the favourite picnic places for kids, and for them, these are the most exciting places to visit. It is a place to enjoy and a place to learn a lot of things. You get to see a lot of wild animals in one place. After a zoo visit, you might be asked to write a paragraph on your experience, so check the samples given below to get an idea of what can be added to the paragraph.

Table of Contents

A visit to a zoo – paragraph in 100 words, a visit to a zoo – paragraph in 150 words, a visit to a zoo – paragraph in 200 words, a visit to a zoo – paragraph in 250 words, frequently asked questions on a visit to a zoo paragraph.

Writing a paragraph on your recent experiences, like visiting a zoo, a train journey, your first experience on a plane, etc., is a good practice. Your brain functions well while remembering the trip or your experience. It also increases your vocabulary and broadens your ability to look at things around you. This is why your parents or your teachers ask you to write a paragraph on an experience you recently had. Before you write a paragraph on a visit to a zoo, refer to the below-provided samples and get an idea about the same.

A zoo is a place where many animals and birds are housed. The animals and birds live in a closed area, and the visitors can see them from a distance so that all the visitors are safe and do not come in contact with the animals. The authorities of the zoo appoint a lot of people to give the best care to the animals and birds. They always make sure that neither the animals nor the visitors are harmed in any way. They also take care that no edibles are provided to the animals by the visitors.

A zoo is a facility that houses a variety of animals and birds. The animals and birds live in a closed area, and visitors can only observe them from afar, ensuring that everyone is safe and avoids coming into contact with the animals. It is not only a favourite place for kids but also for a lot of adults and especially for those who love animals. Spending a day at a zoo can teach you great lessons. It might sound a little scary when you first visit the place, but it is a place with a lot of security. Special care is taken so that the visitors are not harmed and no visitor can feed the animals. The animals and birds in the zoo are kept in an enclosed area, and the authorities of the zoo protect animals and birds with utmost care. Every animal is provided with the food of their choice. The guides in the zoo explain to us about the animals, their origins and their history.

A zoo is an enclosed area where animals and birds are housed with a lot of care. The authorities of the zoo take care of the animals and birds. The zoo allows the visitors to know more about the animals, their behaviour, etc. Zoos are one of the favourite places to visit for kids, where they not only enjoy but also learn a lot of new things about various animals. We teach our children about various animals and birds from books, but a zoo is a place where they can see the animals and birds of different species naturally. Every year I visit the zoo with my family. It has been six years now that we have been visiting the Nandankanan Zoo every year. It is the most interesting and exciting place for my family and me. We all love animals, but we hardly see these animals in their natural habitat. That is why zoos are made. We learn a lot of things about these animals, like their habitat, their food styles, etc. The best part about this place is the authorities do not allow us to feed the animals. It is for the safety of the visitors as well as the animals. The cages are huge in this zoo as compared to the other ones I have ever been to, which gives the animals enough space for their survival.

A zoo is one of the most visited places in every country. It is an attraction to people of almost all age groups. It is the best place to come in touch with nature. It is a place where the whole biodiversity can be seen(flora, fauna, etc.). It is the best place to learn about the real habitat of the animals. Every time we visit a zoo, we will get a chance to learn new things about the animal kingdom. A zoo is a place where the safety of animals, birds, and visitors is taken care of by the authorities. In order to keep everyone safe, the visitors are not allowed to feed the animals. The authorities provide the visitors with guides who can explain the various species of animals found in the zoo and also explain their histories. I remember visiting a zoo when I was in 6th grade. I went with my whole family during the winter break to the Nandankanan Zoo. It is a huge place where animals and birds of all kinds are housed. Both Indian and foreign birds are seen in the zoo, and the best part is the zoo is really huge, which gives enough space for the animals to survive. The zoo has many different species of tigers, and every tiger has been named. Not only tigers but almost all the animals, like the three giraffes, the tigers, the seven elephants, etc., have also been named for their origins. The people who take care of the animals are so close and attached to the animals that they do not harm them and, in fact, play with them.

How can I write a paragraph on a visit to a zoo?

To write a paragraph on a visit to a zoo, you will have to write about your own experience. You can start with an introduction to the zoo. Write about the zoo and how the animals are kept, what the animals are, etc. Then you can write about how much you liked the place and how much you enjoyed the day, etc. Finally, write a short statement concluding the whole paragraph.

What is a zoo?

A zoo is an enclosed area where animals of different species are kept in their natural habitats.

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Home — Essay Samples — Environment — Zoo — My Opinion and Discussion of the Reasons For and Against Zoos


My Opinion and Discussion of The Reasons for and Against Zoos

  • Categories: Animal Welfare Zoo

About this sample


Words: 792 |

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Words: 792 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

Table of contents

Positive arguments for zoos, what can be said against zoos, a good hook examples for essay about zoos.

  • A Thought-Provoking Quote: Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” As I explore the controversial topic of zoos, I can’t help but wonder if these institutions align with our dreams for a compassionate and ethical future.
  • A Personal Encounter: Staring into the eyes of a caged tiger at a local zoo, I felt a mix of wonder and sadness. Join me as I reflect on this encounter and delve into the complex debate surrounding the existence of zoos.
  • An Ethical Dilemma: As we grapple with the question of whether zoos serve a noble purpose or perpetuate cruelty, we must confront an ethical crossroads. Is it time to reassess our stance on these institutions?
  • A Historical Perspective: Zoos have a long and storied history, evolving from menageries of the past to modern conservation-focused facilities. Let’s journey through time to understand the reasons for and against zoos in today’s world.
  • An Expert Opinion: Renowned wildlife biologist Jane Goodall once said, “The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Join me as I explore whether zoos truly speak for the animals they house or if there are better alternatives for conservation and education.

Works Cited

  • Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2010). Henry V. Infobase Publishing.
  • Dobson, M. (Ed.). (2008). The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Oxford University Press.
  • Hattaway, M. (2000). Shakespeare in Performance: Henry V. Manchester University Press.
  • McEachern, C. (2013). Shakespeare’s Henry V. Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare.
  • Shakespeare, W. (2016). Henry V. Wordsworth Editions.
  • Smith, E. (2010). The faith of a warrior-king: A study of King Henry V’s Christian beliefs. The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 22(1), 49-61.
  • Tillyard, E. M. W. (2014). Shakespeare’s History Plays. Literary Licensing, LLC.
  • Weiss, A. (2018). The morality of war in Henry V. The Explicator, 76(2), 79-83.
  • Wilson, R. (2010). Henry V: A guide to the play. Greenwood Press.
  • Wright, L. (2005). Shakespeare’s Henry V: An analysis. The Explicator, 63(4), 211-213.

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Essay On A Visit To A Zoo – 10 Lines, Short And Long Essay For Children

Shraddha Mishra

Key Points To Remember When Writing Essays On A Visit To A Zoo For Lower Primary Classes

What are the benefits of visiting zoos, 10 lines on a visit to a zoo for kids, a paragraph on a visit to a zoo for children, short essay on a visit to a zoo in english for kids, long essay on a visit to a zoo for children, what will your child learn from visit to a zoo essay, interesting facts about zoo for kids.

For a kid, a zoo is a place of fun and unique creatures; you can refer to it as a wonderland. Kids will enjoy writing a visit to a zoo essay for classes 1, 2 and 3 kids. Every kid must have had a trip to the zoo once in their life. It is a place full of different animals, reptiles, birds, mammals, fishes, etc. All these creatures are either kept in cages or allowed a particular area to roam around.

These things often fascinate kids, and thus they dream about visiting a zoo several times. And if you are looking for an essay on a visit to a zoo in English, this write-up may help you.

If you have ever visited any zoo, you must have your own experiences. The description of your experience will help the kids to know the benefits of visiting a zoo. And if you are not aware of the facts required for writing an essay on a visit to a zoo, here are the key points that will help you write the essay.

  • Start the essay with a brief introductory note to keep your writing interactive.
  • Never move far away from the central theme.
  • The structure should be well-defined and synchronised.
  • A visit to a zoo is an academic type of writing; thus, you need to cover the purpose of your visit, history of the zoo, location, duration, with whom you went, and what you saw and experienced.
  • Describe the benefits of visiting a zoo, and write about what you enjoyed there.

There are several benefits of visiting a zoo. A zoo is a place set to bring human beings closer to the wildlife. It is necessary for kids to feel the requirement of wildlife and enjoy the gift of nature. Many people think zoos are only for kids, but they are wrong, as the adults too find it interesting to look at the animals and birds and how they behave.

If your kid has got an assignment on a visit to zoo essay for classes 1 & 2, tell them your experience of the same. However, to get a proper essay, here are the 10 lines on a visit to the zoo for you.

  • I visited the zoo with my family members during the summer vacation.
  • We all went to the National Zoological Park in Delhi.
  • It was my first time in a zoo, and I learned that a zoo is a place full of different birds, animals, and species.
  • We saw animals like elephants, bears, deer, and birds like peacocks, hornbills, etc.
  • We came to know about the houses they live in. We saw a lion hiding inside its den, birds sitting on the nest, and a bear roaming around the field.
  • Proper monitoring of animal foods and health is done here.
  • Animals and birds stay in safe places with proper shelter.
  • My parents pointed out all the herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous animals to us.
  • We now believe that a zoo is a place to protect animals.
  • We had a great time at the zoo.

The zoo is a fascinating topic to write about. Here is a paragraph for children that describes all about the zoo.

A zoo is a place full of unique creatures living in one area away from the forest. Last year, my family planned a visit to the zoo. When we got there, we found different animals and birds living their lives in peaceful surroundings with regular food and proper shelter. We learned about the shelters of the animals and what they eat. We also saw various birds and reptiles swinging and roaming in a specific place. We had a delightful day, and we left the zoo in the evening.

Kids in the junior classes will be asked to write a short paragraph on this topic. Here is an example for your reference.

My school planned a visit to the zoo last Sunday. I was very excited to explore nature and wildlife. I found various animals, reptiles, mammals, fishes, and birds when I got there. I saw how long the giraffes were and how big the elephants seemed to be. I had never experienced this before. It was my best trip to the zoo ever. I saw monkeys eating bananas and deer running so fast in the field. I learned that crocodiles stay in one place for a long time, searching for their prey. I heard the soothing voices of birds. This was my best experience, and I want to revisit this amazing place.

If you want to write an essay for class 3 on zoos, the below-written essay can help you frame the same.

My school was planning a trip to take us to the zoo. They asked my parent’s permission, and fortunately, they agreed. Everything was organised, and the trip was scheduled for next Sunday morning. The day arrived very soon, and I boarded my school bus, which came to pick me up for the trip. It was a bright Sunday morning, and with a cheerful smile, I continued my day. Teachers already explained to us about the zoo. And this made me more excited.

Finally, around 9 a.m., we arrived at the zoo. When we entered inside, we saw the deer running in their field. Moving forward, we saw giraffes, tigers, lions, leopards, bears, different kinds of horses, etc. We then went to the birds’ section. All types of birds were there. All of them were singing and dancing in the trees. We also saw monkeys and baboons hanging on the giant trees. In the end section of the zoo, we found a small pond full of fish. There was also a museum for aquatic animals, such as dolphins and starfish.

Coming our way back to the exit, we saw snakes and cobras swinging in their specific area. The entire zoo was decorated with flowers and was full of greenery everywhere. It was a beautiful view to watch. Around 6 p.m., we reached home safely with a heart and mind full of happy memories. Hence, the trip to the zoo was my best experience, as I learned a lot of things about animals and birds.

A zoo is undoubtedly a place of wonder and has its own advantages and disadvantages. The zoo not only teaches you about different kinds of creatures, but it also helps you realise the importance of wildlife. It gives you lovely memories that can be incorporated into a composition on a visit to a zoo.

  • A zoo requires proper maintenance and cleanliness for the well-being of the creatures there.
  • It attracts many tourists to see the wildlife heritage of one’s country.
  • The word ‘zoo’ is derived from the Greek word ‘zoion’. It is an abbreviation of zoological gardens, specifically applied to the Regent’s Park, London, in the mid 19’s.
  • It protects various endangered animals.
  • It proves to be one of the economic resources for the country.
  • A zoo is not a natural habitat for animals, even if they are born there.
  • Zoo animals are often trained to entertain viewers.
  • Many zoos allow you to adopt animals. You can pay to feed them for a certain period of time.

The zoo is undoubtedly a good source of entertainment for adults and kids. Not only this, it also attracts lots of tourists to see the wildlife heritage of a country. This makes the zoo attractive and one of the best places to visit. So, give your kids an assignment to write an essay on a visit to the zoo, and see what they think of it.

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writing an essay on zoo

Essay On Zoo

500+ words essay on zoo and a visit to the zoo with my friends.

A zoo is an establishment, which houses and maintains a collection of wild and exotic animals, birds and insects for public display. These animals, which live in captivity, are housed in enclosures designed to look like their natural habitat. This allows people to observe and study these rare species of animals from close quarters. We share the world we live in with several different species of animals, birds, insects and other creatures. But the world is a vast place and not all animals can be found in one place. Zoos are a great way to help children and adults see rare and exotic animals and bring the wild closer to them. 

In this essay on Zoo, we learn about zoos and a visit to the zoo with my friends.

Also read: Essay on animals , essay on birds and essay on tiger .

Essay On Zoo: A Visit To The Zoo With My Friends

One bright sunny day, my friends and I decided to go to the zoo in our city. We packed a picnic basket with some sandwiches, fruits, juice and candies. We were very excited to go out on our own. We stood in the queue to get the tickets to the zoo. It was such a wonderful opportunity to learn about various kinds of animals and birds that we don’t see often.

We went around the zoo, checking out all the animals in their enclosures. We entered the big cats section and saw the King of the Jungle, the lion sitting majestically on his rock. Then we walked ahead and saw a leopard, perched high on the branch of a tree. A little further down, was a beautiful tigress playing with her cubs. 

Then we moved on and saw a herd of zebras running around their enclosure. Next to that was a tall giraffe munching on leaves. By now, we were hungry, so my friends and I sat under the shade of a tree and we ate our picnic lunch. We sat around and talked about the animals we’d seen. 

We saw many colourful birds and aquatic animals. One of my favorite moments was seeing the ducklings learn to paddle behind their mother. We saw many other birds and animals too like penguins and pandas, which were very cute and lazy. The crocodiles looked very scary but the hippopotamus looked like she was having fun playing in the water. It was fun to watch the hippopotamus swim in the water and splash water all around. We saw deer with beautiful antlers playing in the lush green grass of their enclosure. And next to that was a beautiful peacock, which danced and entertained us.  We got to see the naughty monkeys jumping around and climbing trees and chatter.

There were various kinds of birds such as sparrows, doves, ostrich, swans etc. It was very informative to learn about the eggs of different birds, their colors and different sizes. Then we went into the aquatic animals section and saw sharks, whales and even an octopus. We even got to interact and play with the dolphins, which we really enjoyed.

The zoo was like a mini forest with so many trees and animals. We enjoyed learning about all these animals, their food habits and their homes. We even learnt how to respect animals and accept them as they are. It was a treat to see so many animals and birds and learn more about them. We also learnt how to show love and compassion towards animals. Our day at the zoo was a day spent very well.

We hope you found this essay on zoo useful. For more such essays, check Osmo’s essays for kids .

Frequently Asked Questions On Zoo

What is a zoo.

A zoo, which is short for zoological park, is a place where they maintain a collection of wild animals for public viewing.

What are the benefits of visiting a zoo?

There are several educational benefits of visiting a zoo. Here are some advantages of going to a zoo: language development, family bonding, environmental awareness, exploration and discovery and multi-sensory learning experience.

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  • Sample Essays

In this IELTS Zoo Essay you have to discuss whether you think zoos are cruel and should be shut down or whether they are useful as they protect some wild animals.

Essays on zoos have appeared in the IELTS test before and this was a question that was recently in the test.

Some people think that zoos are all cruel and should be closed down. Others however believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals.

Discuss both opinions and give your own opinion.

Understanding the Question

You must always read the question carefully and note if there is anything restricting the topic.

You have to discuss both sides of the argument and with this zoo essay question it would be very easy to read it and then simply write about the benefits and drawbacks of zoos.

But look at this bit carefully:

  • Others however believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals .

One of the arguments is specifically about protecting animals. So when you discuss the second argument you must be careful not to just write generally about the advantage of zoos. 

You have to focus on how they may protect wild animals . So when you brainstorm your ideas for the zoo essay, you should be thinking about:

  • why animals need protecting and
  • how zoos can help with this 

writing an essay on zoo

And in your other body paragraph you would need to explain why they are also seen as cruel. 

And of course you must remember to give your own opinion. In this essay, the author makes it clear at the beginning that they support the closing down of zoos. 

The opinion you decide on though is of course your choice.

Zoo Essay Sample

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

Zoo Essay Model Answer

Zoos remain popular places for people to visit for entertainment and to learn about wild animals. Although some people are of the opinion that zoos can provide a sanctuary for endangered animals and so should be kept open, I believe that the cruelty that animals suffer outweighs this benefit, and that they should be shut down.

These days, animals are under threat from humans in many ways, seen for example in the way that their habitats are being destroyed through the cutting down of rain forests, or through poaching. Following on from this, the argument is that zoos can protect some of these animals that are under threat. The reason is that they are in a safe environment managed by trained staff who can ensure the animals are looked after and can produce offspring. There are examples of successes in this respect, such as with Pandas, which have been endangered for many years but have been protected.

However, there are more convincing arguments for why zoos should be shut down. Firstly, even though some species are under threat, there are lots of animals which do not fall into this category and who are there just for the entertainment of visitors. While it may be fun and educational to see them, animals are not meant to be caged, and their distress can often be seen in the way many of them pace back and forwards all day. Not only this, if the prime reason of zoos is to protect animals, this could be done in other environments such as wild life parks where the animals have more freedom.

In conclusion, animals should be protected but this does not have to be in zoos. Zoos are cruel to animals, not similar enough to their natural habitat, and they should be closed down. 

(299 Words)

Band scores are given for task response, coherence and cohesion, lexis (vocabulary) and grammatical range and accuracy. 

This zoo essay would get a good score for task response as it fully answers the question by discussing both opinions and giving a personal opinion. Ideas are also well explained, extended and supported. 

writing an essay on zoo

It would get a good score for coherence and cohesion as it is organised coherently and logically and is easy to follow. The introduction introduces the topic then there is a thesis statement.

One body paragraph discusses one side of the argument, and the other discusses the other side. The second body paragraph is also the writers opinion, and this is summarised again in the conclusion

.There is some interesting vocabulary and phrases. For example:

  • sanctuary for endangered animals
  • under threat from humans
  • habitats are being destroyed
  • produce offspring
  • successes in this respect
  • not meant to be caged
  • natural habitat

There are also some good complex grammatical constructions and the grammar is precise. For example, the red words show that some of these are  adverbial clauses ,  noun clauses  and  relative clauses :

  • Although  some people are of the opinion  that  zoos can provide a sanctuary for endangered animals...
  • ...seen for example  in the way that  their habitats are being destroyed...
  • ...the argument is  that  zoos can protect some of these animals who are under threat.
  • ...trained staff  who  can ensure the animals are looked after...
  • Pandas  who  have been endangered...
  • ... even though  some species are under threat...
  • ... While  it may be fun and educational...

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"zoos and animal welfare" argumentative/persuasive writing.

writing an essay on zoo

"Zoos and Animal Welfare" Argumentative/Persuasive Writing

Grade levels, course, subject.

  • Printer Friendly Version

Apply the appropriate models to show interactions among organisms in an environment.


Explain mechanisms organisms use to adapt to their environment.

Describe how selective breeding and biotechnology can alter the genetic composition of organisms.

Compare and contrast observable patterns in the physical characteristics across families, strains and species.

Explain why the extinction of a species may occur when the environment changes.

Explain that mutations can alter a gene and are the original source of new variations in a population.

  • Big Ideas Purpose, topic and audience guide types of writing
  • Concepts Focus, content, organization, style, and conventions work together to impact writing quality Persuasive writing attempts to influence the audience by presenting an issue and stating and supporting a position. Various types of writing are distinguished by their characteristics
  • Competencies Persuasive Writing: Develop substantial, relevant and illustrative content that demonstrates a clear understanding of the purpose (content). Persuasive Writing: Employ a thoroughly elaborated argument that includes a clear position consistently supported with precise and relevant evidence where rhetorical persuasive strategies are evident (content). Persuasive Writing: Employ effective organizational strategies and structures, such as logical order and transitions, which develop a controlling idea (organization). Persuasive Writing: Use proper conventions to compose in the standard form of the English language (conventions). Persuasive Writing: Write with a sharp, distinct controlling point made about a single topic with evident awareness of task and audience (focus). Persuasive Writing: Write with precise control of language, stylistic techniques, and sentence structures that create a consistent and effective tone (style). Write persuasive pieces, specific to a purpose and audience, which have a clearly stated position or opinion, with convincing and properly cited evidence that anticipates and counters reader concerns and arguments. Write to influence the audience by:• stating and supporting a position with detailed evidence, examples, and reasons. • using persuasive techniques (e.g.: emotional appeal, statistics, description, anecdote, example, expert opinion) to strengthen the argument. • employing a distinct structure to organize the argument and the opposing viewpoints. • acknowledging and refuting opposing arguments. • evaluating sources for validity, perspective, bias, and relationship to topic.• documenting sources of information responsibly and ethically. • using sources to achieve a balanced and authoritative argument. • supporting judgments with relevant evidence and detail. Write to influence the audience by:• stating and supporting a position with detailed evidence, examples, and reasons. • using persuasive techniques (e.g.: emotional appeal, statistics, description, anecdote, example, expert opinion, analogies and illustrations) to strengthen the argument. • employing a distinct structure to organize the argument and the opposing viewpoints. • acknowledging and refuting opposing arguments. • evaluating primary and secondary sources for validity, perspective, bias, and relationship to topic. • documenting sources of information responsibly and ethically. • using sources to achieve a balanced and authoritative argument. • supporting judgments with relevant evidence and detail. • presenting the position in either a deductive or an inductive framework. Focus, content, organization, style, and conventions work together to impact writing quality


The Literacy Design Collaborative teaching task provides a blueprint for seamlessly integrating literacy and content standards in a rigorous, authentic classroom experience. After determining the discipline, course, and grade level, educators use teaching tasks built around predefined template prompts. The teaching task requires students to read, analyze and comprehend written materials and then write cogent arguments, explanations or narratives in the subjects they are studying.

Students will examine the zoo as a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures and displayed to the public. In many cases, animals may also be bred to produce offspring. Although enjoyed by many, some feel zoo conditions are detrimental to the health of animals. Students will explain and support their opinion as to whether or not animals should be kept in zoos.

In this extended writing task, students will read, analyze, and gather relevant information from text(s) and write an argumentative essay. Students will…

  • Apply knowledge of the distribution and management of natural resources to a current issue
  • Apply knowledge of the relationship between an environment and extinction to a current issue
  • Read, analyze and gather relevant information from multiple texts
  • Write an evidence-based argumentative essay, and address competing views

enclosure - something that "closes" a space

welfare - a condition of being or doing well

conservation - protection from extinction

zoochosis  - obsessive, repetitve behavior associated with animals kept in prolonged captivity

extinction - dying out or termination of a species. Occurs when a species can no longer reproduce at replacement levels

endangered species - a species existing in such small numbers that it is in danger of becoming extinct

500 minutes/10 periods

"Animal Ark or Sinking Ship?" BornFree.org . Born Free Foundation, July 2007. Web. Apr. 2011. < http://www.bornfree.org.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/files/zoo_check/ publications/Animal_Ark_or_sinking_ship.pdf >.

Dixon, Thomas. "Zoos: Debatabase - Debate Topics and Debate Motions." IDEA: International Debate Education Association - Debate Resources & Debate Tools. 06 Apr. 2009. Web. 28 Jan. 2011. < http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=1 >.

Horton, Jennifer. "Are Zoos Good or Bad." HowStuffWorks.com . 15 Sept. 2008. Web. Apr. 2011. < http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/zoos-good-or-bad.htm >.

Lin, Doris. "Should Zoos Keep Endangered Species?" About.com . The New York Times Company. Web. Apr. 2011. < http://animalrights.about.com/od/wildlife/a/EndangeredZoos.htm >.

Van Tuyl, Christine.  Zoos and Animal Welfare . Detroit: Greenhaven, 2008. Print.

Related Materials & Resources

Suggested instructional strategies, instructional procedures.

Teacher Preparation Prior to launching the teaching task in the classroom, a teacher should consider the following questions:

How much support will students need to successfully complete the task?

What parts of the process can be completed independently (during or outside of class)? What parts of the process represent new learning or substantial challenge and warrant direct instruction or guided practice during class?

What content and vocabulary instruction and activities will be provided so that students are able to successfully complete the task?

How will reading be scaffolded for my students? (Read together? Read in groups? Read independently?)

What note-taking method will students use, and does that method align with the writing task?

How will students make the transition from the reading to the writing? (outline, graphic organizer, etc.)

What writing instruction is needed to help students write their thesis statements, organize their notes, embed quotes, and cite evidence?

How will students receive feedback at various stages of the writing process to make sure they are answering the prompt, their papers are focused, their ideas are fully developed with details, examples, etc.?

Daily Plan The daily plan is flexible based on students' prior knowledge, experience and skills in reading, research and writing as well as their ability to apply subject area knowledge to a new scenario. The amount of time, in class instruction, and scaffolds needed can be increased or decreased to provide the appropriate level of challenge and support for students.

Teaching Task 2 (Argumentative/Analysis L1, L2): Should animals be kept in zoos? After reading informational texts, write an essay that addresses the question and support your position wiht evidence from the text(s). L2  Be sure to acknowledge competing views.

Task Engagement and Analysis The teacher introduces the teaching task to students by linking the task to the class content that has been taught previously and to existing knowledge, skills, and interests. The teacher asks students to read the teaching task and make notes or discuss with peers things they already know about this issue or topic.

The teacher helps the students to understand the expectations of the teaching task by asking students what they think a good response to the task might include and creating a classroom list. The teacher may share examples of the type of texts the students will produce (either actual student samples or commercially published texts). Sharing the rubric with students will clarify the expectations. (Clicking on each performance level of the rubric will enable teacher access to annotated student writing for that level.)

The teacher explains the timetable and supports available for completing the task.

Text Selection The teacher has either preselected the texts or will provide access to research sources for students to select texts. The teacher asks students to begin to record information about the sources (e.g., using notebooks, note cards, technology). The teacher may need to provide models or instruction on creating a bibliography or works cited. The students should identify author, title, publisher, date, and any other needed information (e.g., volume, editor) A discussion about the credibility or merit of sources may be needed.

Preview texts The teacher can provide students with all of the texts or offer students a list of acceptable sources from which to choose. The teacher briefly highlights each text with a summary to assist students in making appropriate text selections. The teacher asks the students to skim through each text to identify the genre, purpose, and text structure. A teacher think-aloud explaining rationale for making certain text selections may be beneficial to students.

Note-taking The teacher provides or suggests that a note-taking method be used that is consistent with the expectations for the task and the type of writing (e.g., argumentative-pro/con t-chart). Students should be encouraged to refer to the teaching task so that their notes are relevant to the prompt. Students should be encouraged to include both textual information and their own connections and implications. Students should continue to add to their bibliography or works cited.

Teachers may need to teach or reinforce practices to promote academic integrity and to help students avoid plagiarism. The ability to use and credit sources appropriately shows respect for the work of others and adds credibility to a student's argument and/or research.

Reading and Research The teacher assigns the reading, research and note-taking to students and provides instruction to support analysis and synthesis of texts. The teacher may ask students to reflect orally or in writing on key questions including:

Which parts of the text provide evidence that relates to the prompt?

What historical or current examples did you notice that relate to the prompt?

What is the text explicitly saying? What gaps or unanswered questions do you see?

What competing arguments have you encountered or thought of based on the text (argumentative)?

How do you know your sources are credible?

Depending upon the needs of students in the classroom, additional scaffolds may be necessary (e.g., whole-group reading and teacher modeling of note-taking, paired in-class reading, talking to the text, small group discussion). The teacher may either provide students with print source options or make electronic texts available to them through the use of Web 2.0 tools (e.g., Wikis, Nings) or online library databases (e.g., EBSCO, ProQuest).

Transition to Writing The teacher uses discussion based strategies such as the Paideia/Socratic seminar or small group discussions to help students make connections between their research and notes and the teaching task.

Developing a Thesis or Claim Students write an opening paragraph that includes a controlling idea and sequences the key points that will be made throughout the writing assignment. The teacher may provide models of opening paragraphs and analyze them with the class. Students may provide feedback to each other on their opening paragraphs. Students should compare their opening paragraph to the teaching task and assess whether the paragraph fully address the main points of the prompt (e.g., define and explain, compare, take a position, etc.)

Organizing Notes/Planning Students organize their notes into a graphic organizer or outline that establish a logical structure for the assignment. An outline begins with the thesis or claim, sequences key points and includes supporting evidence from texts.

Development of rough drafts Students begin writing their rough drafts. The teacher frequently checks in with students to answer questions, offer feedback, and provide writing instruction as needed. Through planning, the teacher embeds opportunities for students to receive feedback on their writing prior to the submission of the final draft either through peer conferencing, teacher conferencing, or written teacher feedback. Students revise their drafts based on the feedback they receive. The amount of time needed for the development of rough draft varies and may include time during and outside of class.

Completion of Final Draft Students either self or peer-edit their papers for conventional errors and complete the final draft.

Assessment and Reflection The teacher uses the LDC rubric to assess the students' writing and provide feedback to help students improve their performance. Patterns in student performance guide further instruction.

Analytic Scoring The rubric is structured to facilitate analytic scoring - the awarding of separate scores by readers for each of the seven scoring elements. Scorers should keep in mind that the description of work quality within any particular "cell" of the rubric may still address more than one idea, and therefore may not match a particular essay perfectly. The scorer must identify the descriptor that is the best match to a paper based on the preponderance of evidence. If the decision is truly a "coin toss," the scorer should feel free to use the "in-between" or "half" scores. A variation of analytic scoring might be used in a situation in which the emphasis of instruction at a particular time might be on a subset of the seven scoring elements. For example, if instruction is focused on development and organization, then a teacher might simply award scores for those two scoring elements.

Holistic Scoring Holistic scoring is assigning a single, overall score to a paper. Analytic and holistic scoring rubrics look much the same. The holistic scorer's job is to pick the single score (1, 2, 3, 4) that corresponds to the set of descriptors for scoring elements that best matches a paper. Again, in-between or half scores can be used. Ideally, holistic scorers are thinking about all the scoring elements as they read papers, but over time they find that they can assign holistic scores very rapidly, yet still fairly accurately. This is one of the advantages of holistic scoring. However, analytic information is not generated by this method.

Score Recording and Feedback It would be good practice for teachers to share the rubrics with students and discuss "criteria for success" relative to the scoring elements. However, it is not intended that a clean scoring rubric would be attached to every paper that is scored in all situations. It might be more appropriate to attach score slips that list the scoring element names with blank spaces after them for the recording of scores (and a space for a total score, too, perhaps). A customized rubber stamp could accomplish the same. Analytic scores do provide useful information to the students since they reference descriptors in the rubric. However, nothing beats descriptive comments that are best written in the margins of the papers where they are most appropriate.

Cut Scores for Proficiency Levels Scorers can readily compute a total score (the sum of the seven element scores) or an average score (that sum divided by 7). If translating scores to performance levels is desired, then the structure of the rubrics lends itself to the use of the following cut scores:

LDC Scores and Grades LDC scores could be translated to grades contributing to students' course grades. How this would be done is an individual teacher's decision. Teachers could establish their own cut scores for letter grades or just re-label the four performance levels as A, B, C, D. They could come up with their own way to convert LDC scores to numerical grades consistent with whatever numerical scale they use for other class work.

Click on each performance level below (Not Yet, Approaches Expectations, Meets Expectations, Advanced) to view annotated student samples.

Sean Houseknecht, Alex Shubert, Monica Cressman - Elizabethtown Area School District

Content Collections

Date published, insert template.

50 Latest Zoo IELTS Topics

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  • Open access
  • Published: 03 June 2024

Applying large language models for automated essay scoring for non-native Japanese

  • Wenchao Li 1 &
  • Haitao Liu 2  

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications volume  11 , Article number:  723 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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  • Language and linguistics

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to an increased use of large language models (LLMs) for language assessment tasks such as automated essay scoring (AES), automated listening tests, and automated oral proficiency assessments. The application of LLMs for AES in the context of non-native Japanese, however, remains limited. This study explores the potential of LLM-based AES by comparing the efficiency of different models, i.e. two conventional machine training technology-based methods (Jess and JWriter), two LLMs (GPT and BERT), and one Japanese local LLM (Open-Calm large model). To conduct the evaluation, a dataset consisting of 1400 story-writing scripts authored by learners with 12 different first languages was used. Statistical analysis revealed that GPT-4 outperforms Jess and JWriter, BERT, and the Japanese language-specific trained Open-Calm large model in terms of annotation accuracy and predicting learning levels. Furthermore, by comparing 18 different models that utilize various prompts, the study emphasized the significance of prompts in achieving accurate and reliable evaluations using LLMs.

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Conventional machine learning technology in aes.

AES has experienced significant growth with the advancement of machine learning technologies in recent decades. In the earlier stages of AES development, conventional machine learning-based approaches were commonly used. These approaches involved the following procedures: a) feeding the machine with a dataset. In this step, a dataset of essays is provided to the machine learning system. The dataset serves as the basis for training the model and establishing patterns and correlations between linguistic features and human ratings. b) the machine learning model is trained using linguistic features that best represent human ratings and can effectively discriminate learners’ writing proficiency. These features include lexical richness (Lu, 2012 ; Kyle and Crossley, 2015 ; Kyle et al. 2021 ), syntactic complexity (Lu, 2010 ; Liu, 2008 ), text cohesion (Crossley and McNamara, 2016 ), and among others. Conventional machine learning approaches in AES require human intervention, such as manual correction and annotation of essays. This human involvement was necessary to create a labeled dataset for training the model. Several AES systems have been developed using conventional machine learning technologies. These include the Intelligent Essay Assessor (Landauer et al. 2003 ), the e-rater engine by Educational Testing Service (Attali and Burstein, 2006 ; Burstein, 2003 ), MyAccess with the InterlliMetric scoring engine by Vantage Learning (Elliot, 2003 ), and the Bayesian Essay Test Scoring system (Rudner and Liang, 2002 ). These systems have played a significant role in automating the essay scoring process and providing quick and consistent feedback to learners. However, as touched upon earlier, conventional machine learning approaches rely on predetermined linguistic features and often require manual intervention, making them less flexible and potentially limiting their generalizability to different contexts.

In the context of the Japanese language, conventional machine learning-incorporated AES tools include Jess (Ishioka and Kameda, 2006 ) and JWriter (Lee and Hasebe, 2017 ). Jess assesses essays by deducting points from the perfect score, utilizing the Mainichi Daily News newspaper as a database. The evaluation criteria employed by Jess encompass various aspects, such as rhetorical elements (e.g., reading comprehension, vocabulary diversity, percentage of complex words, and percentage of passive sentences), organizational structures (e.g., forward and reverse connection structures), and content analysis (e.g., latent semantic indexing). JWriter employs linear regression analysis to assign weights to various measurement indices, such as average sentence length and total number of characters. These weights are then combined to derive the overall score. A pilot study involving the Jess model was conducted on 1320 essays at different proficiency levels, including primary, intermediate, and advanced. However, the results indicated that the Jess model failed to significantly distinguish between these essay levels. Out of the 16 measures used, four measures, namely median sentence length, median clause length, median number of phrases, and maximum number of phrases, did not show statistically significant differences between the levels. Additionally, two measures exhibited between-level differences but lacked linear progression: the number of attributives declined words and the Kanji/kana ratio. On the other hand, the remaining measures, including maximum sentence length, maximum clause length, number of attributive conjugated words, maximum number of consecutive infinitive forms, maximum number of conjunctive-particle clauses, k characteristic value, percentage of big words, and percentage of passive sentences, demonstrated statistically significant between-level differences and displayed linear progression.

Both Jess and JWriter exhibit notable limitations, including the manual selection of feature parameters and weights, which can introduce biases into the scoring process. The reliance on human annotators to label non-native language essays also introduces potential noise and variability in the scoring. Furthermore, an important concern is the possibility of system manipulation and cheating by learners who are aware of the regression equation utilized by the models (Hirao et al. 2020 ). These limitations emphasize the need for further advancements in AES systems to address these challenges.

Deep learning technology in AES

Deep learning has emerged as one of the approaches for improving the accuracy and effectiveness of AES. Deep learning-based AES methods utilize artificial neural networks that mimic the human brain’s functioning through layered algorithms and computational units. Unlike conventional machine learning, deep learning autonomously learns from the environment and past errors without human intervention. This enables deep learning models to establish nonlinear correlations, resulting in higher accuracy. Recent advancements in deep learning have led to the development of transformers, which are particularly effective in learning text representations. Noteworthy examples include bidirectional encoder representations from transformers (BERT) (Devlin et al. 2019 ) and the generative pretrained transformer (GPT) (OpenAI).

BERT is a linguistic representation model that utilizes a transformer architecture and is trained on two tasks: masked linguistic modeling and next-sentence prediction (Hirao et al. 2020 ; Vaswani et al. 2017 ). In the context of AES, BERT follows specific procedures, as illustrated in Fig. 1 : (a) the tokenized prompts and essays are taken as input; (b) special tokens, such as [CLS] and [SEP], are added to mark the beginning and separation of prompts and essays; (c) the transformer encoder processes the prompt and essay sequences, resulting in hidden layer sequences; (d) the hidden layers corresponding to the [CLS] tokens (T[CLS]) represent distributed representations of the prompts and essays; and (e) a multilayer perceptron uses these distributed representations as input to obtain the final score (Hirao et al. 2020 ).

figure 1

AES system with BERT (Hirao et al. 2020 ).

The training of BERT using a substantial amount of sentence data through the Masked Language Model (MLM) allows it to capture contextual information within the hidden layers. Consequently, BERT is expected to be capable of identifying artificial essays as invalid and assigning them lower scores (Mizumoto and Eguchi, 2023 ). In the context of AES for nonnative Japanese learners, Hirao et al. ( 2020 ) combined the long short-term memory (LSTM) model proposed by Hochreiter and Schmidhuber ( 1997 ) with BERT to develop a tailored automated Essay Scoring System. The findings of their study revealed that the BERT model outperformed both the conventional machine learning approach utilizing character-type features such as “kanji” and “hiragana”, as well as the standalone LSTM model. Takeuchi et al. ( 2021 ) presented an approach to Japanese AES that eliminates the requirement for pre-scored essays by relying solely on reference texts or a model answer for the essay task. They investigated multiple similarity evaluation methods, including frequency of morphemes, idf values calculated on Wikipedia, LSI, LDA, word-embedding vectors, and document vectors produced by BERT. The experimental findings revealed that the method utilizing the frequency of morphemes with idf values exhibited the strongest correlation with human-annotated scores across different essay tasks. The utilization of BERT in AES encounters several limitations. Firstly, essays often exceed the model’s maximum length limit. Second, only score labels are available for training, which restricts access to additional information.

Mizumoto and Eguchi ( 2023 ) were pioneers in employing the GPT model for AES in non-native English writing. Their study focused on evaluating the accuracy and reliability of AES using the GPT-3 text-davinci-003 model, analyzing a dataset of 12,100 essays from the corpus of nonnative written English (TOEFL11). The findings indicated that AES utilizing the GPT-3 model exhibited a certain degree of accuracy and reliability. They suggest that GPT-3-based AES systems hold the potential to provide support for human ratings. However, applying GPT model to AES presents a unique natural language processing (NLP) task that involves considerations such as nonnative language proficiency, the influence of the learner’s first language on the output in the target language, and identifying linguistic features that best indicate writing quality in a specific language. These linguistic features may differ morphologically or syntactically from those present in the learners’ first language, as observed in (1)–(3).


Wǒ-sòngle-tā-yī běn-shū

1 sg .-give. past- him-one .cl- book

“I gave him a book.”




3 sg .- dat -hon- acc- give.honorification. past


give, give-s, gave, given, giving

Additionally, the morphological agglutination and subject-object-verb (SOV) order in Japanese, along with its idiomatic expressions, pose additional challenges for applying language models in AES tasks (4).

足-が 棒-に なり-ました

Ashi-ga bo-ni nar-mashita

leg- nom stick- dat become- past

“My leg became like a stick (I am extremely tired).”

The example sentence provided demonstrates the morpho-syntactic structure of Japanese and the presence of an idiomatic expression. In this sentence, the verb “なる” (naru), meaning “to become”, appears at the end of the sentence. The verb stem “なり” (nari) is attached with morphemes indicating honorification (“ます” - mashu) and tense (“た” - ta), showcasing agglutination. While the sentence can be literally translated as “my leg became like a stick”, it carries an idiomatic interpretation that implies “I am extremely tired”.

To overcome this issue, CyberAgent Inc. ( 2023 ) has developed the Open-Calm series of language models specifically designed for Japanese. Open-Calm consists of pre-trained models available in various sizes, such as Small, Medium, Large, and 7b. Figure 2 depicts the fundamental structure of the Open-Calm model. A key feature of this architecture is the incorporation of the Lora Adapter and GPT-NeoX frameworks, which can enhance its language processing capabilities.

figure 2

GPT-NeoX Model Architecture (Okgetheng and Takeuchi 2024 ).

In a recent study conducted by Okgetheng and Takeuchi ( 2024 ), they assessed the efficacy of Open-Calm language models in grading Japanese essays. The research utilized a dataset of approximately 300 essays, which were annotated by native Japanese educators. The findings of the study demonstrate the considerable potential of Open-Calm language models in automated Japanese essay scoring. Specifically, among the Open-Calm family, the Open-Calm Large model (referred to as OCLL) exhibited the highest performance. However, it is important to note that, as of the current date, the Open-Calm Large model does not offer public access to its server. Consequently, users are required to independently deploy and operate the environment for OCLL. In order to utilize OCLL, users must have a PC equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (8 or 12 GB VRAM).

In summary, while the potential of LLMs in automated scoring of nonnative Japanese essays has been demonstrated in two studies—BERT-driven AES (Hirao et al. 2020 ) and OCLL-based AES (Okgetheng and Takeuchi, 2024 )—the number of research efforts in this area remains limited.

Another significant challenge in applying LLMs to AES lies in prompt engineering and ensuring its reliability and effectiveness (Brown et al. 2020 ; Rae et al. 2021 ; Zhang et al. 2021 ). Various prompting strategies have been proposed, such as the zero-shot chain of thought (CoT) approach (Kojima et al. 2022 ), which involves manually crafting diverse and effective examples. However, manual efforts can lead to mistakes. To address this, Zhang et al. ( 2021 ) introduced an automatic CoT prompting method called Auto-CoT, which demonstrates matching or superior performance compared to the CoT paradigm. Another prompt framework is trees of thoughts, enabling a model to self-evaluate its progress at intermediate stages of problem-solving through deliberate reasoning (Yao et al. 2023 ).

Beyond linguistic studies, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of foreign workers in Japan and Japanese learners worldwide (Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan, 2022 ; Japan Foundation, 2021 ). However, existing assessment methods, such as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), J-CAT, and TTBJ Footnote 1 , primarily focus on reading, listening, vocabulary, and grammar skills, neglecting the evaluation of writing proficiency. As the number of workers and language learners continues to grow, there is a rising demand for an efficient AES system that can reduce costs and time for raters and be utilized for employment, examinations, and self-study purposes.

This study aims to explore the potential of LLM-based AES by comparing the effectiveness of five models: two LLMs (GPT Footnote 2 and BERT), one Japanese local LLM (OCLL), and two conventional machine learning-based methods (linguistic feature-based scoring tools - Jess and JWriter).

The research questions addressed in this study are as follows:

To what extent do the LLM-driven AES and linguistic feature-based AES, when used as automated tools to support human rating, accurately reflect test takers’ actual performance?

What influence does the prompt have on the accuracy and performance of LLM-based AES methods?

The subsequent sections of the manuscript cover the methodology, including the assessment measures for nonnative Japanese writing proficiency, criteria for prompts, and the dataset. The evaluation section focuses on the analysis of annotations and rating scores generated by LLM-driven and linguistic feature-based AES methods.


The dataset utilized in this study was obtained from the International Corpus of Japanese as a Second Language (I-JAS) Footnote 3 . This corpus consisted of 1000 participants who represented 12 different first languages. For the study, the participants were given a story-writing task on a personal computer. They were required to write two stories based on the 4-panel illustrations titled “Picnic” and “The key” (see Appendix A). Background information for the participants was provided by the corpus, including their Japanese language proficiency levels assessed through two online tests: J-CAT and SPOT. These tests evaluated their reading, listening, vocabulary, and grammar abilities. The learners’ proficiency levels were categorized into six levels aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the Reference Framework for Japanese Language Education (RFJLE): A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. According to Lee et al. ( 2015 ), there is a high level of agreement (r = 0.86) between the J-CAT and SPOT assessments, indicating that the proficiency certifications provided by J-CAT are consistent with those of SPOT. However, it is important to note that the scores of J-CAT and SPOT do not have a one-to-one correspondence. In this study, the J-CAT scores were used as a benchmark to differentiate learners of different proficiency levels. A total of 1400 essays were utilized, representing the beginner (aligned with A1), A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2 levels based on the J-CAT scores. Table 1 provides information about the learners’ proficiency levels and their corresponding J-CAT and SPOT scores.

A dataset comprising a total of 1400 essays from the story writing tasks was collected. Among these, 714 essays were utilized to evaluate the reliability of the LLM-based AES method, while the remaining 686 essays were designated as development data to assess the LLM-based AES’s capability to distinguish participants with varying proficiency levels. The GPT 4 API was used in this study. A detailed explanation of the prompt-assessment criteria is provided in Section Prompt . All essays were sent to the model for measurement and scoring.

Measures of writing proficiency for nonnative Japanese

Japanese exhibits a morphologically agglutinative structure where morphemes are attached to the word stem to convey grammatical functions such as tense, aspect, voice, and honorifics, e.g. (5).



[eat (stem)-causative-passive voice-honorification-tense. past-question marker]

Japanese employs nine case particles to indicate grammatical functions: the nominative case particle が (ga), the accusative case particle を (o), the genitive case particle の (no), the dative case particle に (ni), the locative/instrumental case particle で (de), the ablative case particle から (kara), the directional case particle へ (e), and the comitative case particle と (to). The agglutinative nature of the language, combined with the case particle system, provides an efficient means of distinguishing between active and passive voice, either through morphemes or case particles, e.g. 食べる taberu “eat concusive . ” (active voice); 食べられる taberareru “eat concusive . ” (passive voice). In the active voice, “パン を 食べる” (pan o taberu) translates to “to eat bread”. On the other hand, in the passive voice, it becomes “パン が 食べられた” (pan ga taberareta), which means “(the) bread was eaten”. Additionally, it is important to note that different conjugations of the same lemma are considered as one type in order to ensure a comprehensive assessment of the language features. For example, e.g., 食べる taberu “eat concusive . ”; 食べている tabeteiru “eat progress .”; 食べた tabeta “eat past . ” as one type.

To incorporate these features, previous research (Suzuki, 1999 ; Watanabe et al. 1988 ; Ishioka, 2001 ; Ishioka and Kameda, 2006 ; Hirao et al. 2020 ) has identified complexity, fluency, and accuracy as crucial factors for evaluating writing quality. These criteria are assessed through various aspects, including lexical richness (lexical density, diversity, and sophistication), syntactic complexity, and cohesion (Kyle et al. 2021 ; Mizumoto and Eguchi, 2023 ; Ure, 1971 ; Halliday, 1985 ; Barkaoui and Hadidi, 2020 ; Zenker and Kyle, 2021 ; Kim et al. 2018 ; Lu, 2017 ; Ortega, 2015 ). Therefore, this study proposes five scoring categories: lexical richness, syntactic complexity, cohesion, content elaboration, and grammatical accuracy. A total of 16 measures were employed to capture these categories. The calculation process and specific details of these measures can be found in Table 2 .

T-unit, first introduced by Hunt ( 1966 ), is a measure used for evaluating speech and composition. It serves as an indicator of syntactic development and represents the shortest units into which a piece of discourse can be divided without leaving any sentence fragments. In the context of Japanese language assessment, Sakoda and Hosoi ( 2020 ) utilized T-unit as the basic unit to assess the accuracy and complexity of Japanese learners’ speaking and storytelling. The calculation of T-units in Japanese follows the following principles:

A single main clause constitutes 1 T-unit, regardless of the presence or absence of dependent clauses, e.g. (6).

ケンとマリはピクニックに行きました (main clause): 1 T-unit.

If a sentence contains a main clause along with subclauses, each subclause is considered part of the same T-unit, e.g. (7).

天気が良かった の で (subclause)、ケンとマリはピクニックに行きました (main clause): 1 T-unit.

In the case of coordinate clauses, where multiple clauses are connected, each coordinated clause is counted separately. Thus, a sentence with coordinate clauses may have 2 T-units or more, e.g. (8).

ケンは地図で場所を探して (coordinate clause)、マリはサンドイッチを作りました (coordinate clause): 2 T-units.

Lexical diversity refers to the range of words used within a text (Engber, 1995 ; Kyle et al. 2021 ) and is considered a useful measure of the breadth of vocabulary in L n production (Jarvis, 2013a , 2013b ).

The type/token ratio (TTR) is widely recognized as a straightforward measure for calculating lexical diversity and has been employed in numerous studies. These studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between TTR and other methods of measuring lexical diversity (e.g., Bentz et al. 2016 ; Čech and Miroslav, 2018 ; Çöltekin and Taraka, 2018 ). TTR is computed by considering both the number of unique words (types) and the total number of words (tokens) in a given text. Given that the length of learners’ writing texts can vary, this study employs the moving average type-token ratio (MATTR) to mitigate the influence of text length. MATTR is calculated using a 50-word moving window. Initially, a TTR is determined for words 1–50 in an essay, followed by words 2–51, 3–52, and so on until the end of the essay is reached (Díez-Ortega and Kyle, 2023 ). The final MATTR scores were obtained by averaging the TTR scores for all 50-word windows. The following formula was employed to derive MATTR:

\({\rm{MATTR}}({\rm{W}})=\frac{{\sum }_{{\rm{i}}=1}^{{\rm{N}}-{\rm{W}}+1}{{\rm{F}}}_{{\rm{i}}}}{{\rm{W}}({\rm{N}}-{\rm{W}}+1)}\)

Here, N refers to the number of tokens in the corpus. W is the randomly selected token size (W < N). \({F}_{i}\) is the number of types in each window. The \({\rm{MATTR}}({\rm{W}})\) is the mean of a series of type-token ratios (TTRs) based on the word form for all windows. It is expected that individuals with higher language proficiency will produce texts with greater lexical diversity, as indicated by higher MATTR scores.

Lexical density was captured by the ratio of the number of lexical words to the total number of words (Lu, 2012 ). Lexical sophistication refers to the utilization of advanced vocabulary, often evaluated through word frequency indices (Crossley et al. 2013 ; Haberman, 2008 ; Kyle and Crossley, 2015 ; Laufer and Nation, 1995 ; Lu, 2012 ; Read, 2000 ). In line of writing, lexical sophistication can be interpreted as vocabulary breadth, which entails the appropriate usage of vocabulary items across various lexicon-grammatical contexts and registers (Garner et al. 2019 ; Kim et al. 2018 ; Kyle et al. 2018 ). In Japanese specifically, words are considered lexically sophisticated if they are not included in the “Japanese Education Vocabulary List Ver 1.0”. Footnote 4 Consequently, lexical sophistication was calculated by determining the number of sophisticated word types relative to the total number of words per essay. Furthermore, it has been suggested that, in Japanese writing, sentences should ideally have a length of no more than 40 to 50 characters, as this promotes readability. Therefore, the median and maximum sentence length can be considered as useful indices for assessment (Ishioka and Kameda, 2006 ).

Syntactic complexity was assessed based on several measures, including the mean length of clauses, verb phrases per T-unit, clauses per T-unit, dependent clauses per T-unit, complex nominals per clause, adverbial clauses per clause, coordinate phrases per clause, and mean dependency distance (MDD). The MDD reflects the distance between the governor and dependent positions in a sentence. A larger dependency distance indicates a higher cognitive load and greater complexity in syntactic processing (Liu, 2008 ; Liu et al. 2017 ). The MDD has been established as an efficient metric for measuring syntactic complexity (Jiang, Quyang, and Liu, 2019 ; Li and Yan, 2021 ). To calculate the MDD, the position numbers of the governor and dependent are subtracted, assuming that words in a sentence are assigned in a linear order, such as W1 … Wi … Wn. In any dependency relationship between words Wa and Wb, Wa is the governor and Wb is the dependent. The MDD of the entire sentence was obtained by taking the absolute value of governor – dependent:

MDD = \(\frac{1}{n}{\sum }_{i=1}^{n}|{\rm{D}}{{\rm{D}}}_{i}|\)

In this formula, \(n\) represents the number of words in the sentence, and \({DD}i\) is the dependency distance of the \({i}^{{th}}\) dependency relationship of a sentence. Building on this, the annotation of sentence ‘Mary-ga-John-ni-keshigomu-o-watashita was [Mary- top -John- dat -eraser- acc -give- past] ’. The sentence’s MDD would be 2. Table 3 provides the CSV file as a prompt for GPT 4.

Cohesion (semantic similarity) and content elaboration aim to capture the ideas presented in test taker’s essays. Cohesion was assessed using three measures: Synonym overlap/paragraph (topic), Synonym overlap/paragraph (keywords), and word2vec cosine similarity. Content elaboration and development were measured as the number of metadiscourse markers (type)/number of words. To capture content closely, this study proposed a novel-distance based representation, by encoding the cosine distance between the essay (by learner) and essay task’s (topic and keyword) i -vectors. The learner’s essay is decoded into a word sequence, and aligned to the essay task’ topic and keyword for log-likelihood measurement. The cosine distance reveals the content elaboration score in the leaners’ essay. The mathematical equation of cosine similarity between target-reference vectors is shown in (11), assuming there are i essays and ( L i , …. L n ) and ( N i , …. N n ) are the vectors representing the learner and task’s topic and keyword respectively. The content elaboration distance between L i and N i was calculated as follows:

\(\cos \left(\theta \right)=\frac{{\rm{L}}\,\cdot\, {\rm{N}}}{\left|{\rm{L}}\right|{\rm{|N|}}}=\frac{\mathop{\sum }\nolimits_{i=1}^{n}{L}_{i}{N}_{i}}{\sqrt{\mathop{\sum }\nolimits_{i=1}^{n}{L}_{i}^{2}}\sqrt{\mathop{\sum }\nolimits_{i=1}^{n}{N}_{i}^{2}}}\)

A high similarity value indicates a low difference between the two recognition outcomes, which in turn suggests a high level of proficiency in content elaboration.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed measures in distinguishing different proficiency levels among nonnative Japanese speakers’ writing, we conducted a multi-faceted Rasch measurement analysis (Linacre, 1994 ). This approach applies measurement models to thoroughly analyze various factors that can influence test outcomes, including test takers’ proficiency, item difficulty, and rater severity, among others. The underlying principles and functionality of multi-faceted Rasch measurement are illustrated in (12).

\(\log \left(\frac{{P}_{{nijk}}}{{P}_{{nij}(k-1)}}\right)={B}_{n}-{D}_{i}-{C}_{j}-{F}_{k}\)

(12) defines the logarithmic transformation of the probability ratio ( P nijk /P nij(k-1) )) as a function of multiple parameters. Here, n represents the test taker, i denotes a writing proficiency measure, j corresponds to the human rater, and k represents the proficiency score. The parameter B n signifies the proficiency level of test taker n (where n ranges from 1 to N). D j represents the difficulty parameter of test item i (where i ranges from 1 to L), while C j represents the severity of rater j (where j ranges from 1 to J). Additionally, F k represents the step difficulty for a test taker to move from score ‘k-1’ to k . P nijk refers to the probability of rater j assigning score k to test taker n for test item i . P nij(k-1) represents the likelihood of test taker n being assigned score ‘k-1’ by rater j for test item i . Each facet within the test is treated as an independent parameter and estimated within the same reference framework. To evaluate the consistency of scores obtained through both human and computer analysis, we utilized the Infit mean-square statistic. This statistic is a chi-square measure divided by the degrees of freedom and is weighted with information. It demonstrates higher sensitivity to unexpected patterns in responses to items near a person’s proficiency level (Linacre, 2002 ). Fit statistics are assessed based on predefined thresholds for acceptable fit. For the Infit MNSQ, which has a mean of 1.00, different thresholds have been suggested. Some propose stricter thresholds ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 (Bond et al. 2021 ), while others suggest more lenient thresholds ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 (Eckes, 2009 ). In this study, we adopted the criterion of 0.70–1.30 for the Infit MNSQ.

Moving forward, we can now proceed to assess the effectiveness of the 16 proposed measures based on five criteria for accurately distinguishing various levels of writing proficiency among non-native Japanese speakers. To conduct this evaluation, we utilized the development dataset from the I-JAS corpus, as described in Section Dataset . Table 4 provides a measurement report that presents the performance details of the 14 metrics under consideration. The measure separation was found to be 4.02, indicating a clear differentiation among the measures. The reliability index for the measure separation was 0.891, suggesting consistency in the measurement. Similarly, the person separation reliability index was 0.802, indicating the accuracy of the assessment in distinguishing between individuals. All 16 measures demonstrated Infit mean squares within a reasonable range, ranging from 0.76 to 1.28. The Synonym overlap/paragraph (topic) measure exhibited a relatively high outfit mean square of 1.46, although the Infit mean square falls within an acceptable range. The standard error for the measures ranged from 0.13 to 0.28, indicating the precision of the estimates.

Table 5 further illustrated the weights assigned to different linguistic measures for score prediction, with higher weights indicating stronger correlations between those measures and higher scores. Specifically, the following measures exhibited higher weights compared to others: moving average type token ratio per essay has a weight of 0.0391. Mean dependency distance had a weight of 0.0388. Mean length of clause, calculated by dividing the number of words by the number of clauses, had a weight of 0.0374. Complex nominals per T-unit, calculated by dividing the number of complex nominals by the number of T-units, had a weight of 0.0379. Coordinate phrases rate, calculated by dividing the number of coordinate phrases by the number of clauses, had a weight of 0.0325. Grammatical error rate, representing the number of errors per essay, had a weight of 0.0322.

Criteria (output indicator)

The criteria used to evaluate the writing ability in this study were based on CEFR, which follows a six-point scale ranging from A1 to C2. To assess the quality of Japanese writing, the scoring criteria from Table 6 were utilized. These criteria were derived from the IELTS writing standards and served as assessment guidelines and prompts for the written output.

A prompt is a question or detailed instruction that is provided to the model to obtain a proper response. After several pilot experiments, we decided to provide the measures (Section Measures of writing proficiency for nonnative Japanese ) as the input prompt and use the criteria (Section Criteria (output indicator) ) as the output indicator. Regarding the prompt language, considering that the LLM was tasked with rating Japanese essays, would prompt in Japanese works better Footnote 5 ? We conducted experiments comparing the performance of GPT-4 using both English and Japanese prompts. Additionally, we utilized the Japanese local model OCLL with Japanese prompts. Multiple trials were conducted using the same sample. Regardless of the prompt language used, we consistently obtained the same grading results with GPT-4, which assigned a grade of B1 to the writing sample. This suggested that GPT-4 is reliable and capable of producing consistent ratings regardless of the prompt language. On the other hand, when we used Japanese prompts with the Japanese local model “OCLL”, we encountered inconsistent grading results. Out of 10 attempts with OCLL, only 6 yielded consistent grading results (B1), while the remaining 4 showed different outcomes, including A1 and B2 grades. These findings indicated that the language of the prompt was not the determining factor for reliable AES. Instead, the size of the training data and the model parameters played crucial roles in achieving consistent and reliable AES results for the language model.

The following is the utilized prompt, which details all measures and requires the LLM to score the essays using holistic and trait scores.

Please evaluate Japanese essays written by Japanese learners and assign a score to each essay on a six-point scale, ranging from A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 to C2. Additionally, please provide trait scores and display the calculation process for each trait score. The scoring should be based on the following criteria:

Moving average type-token ratio.

Number of lexical words (token) divided by the total number of words per essay.

Number of sophisticated word types divided by the total number of words per essay.

Mean length of clause.

Verb phrases per T-unit.

Clauses per T-unit.

Dependent clauses per T-unit.

Complex nominals per clause.

Adverbial clauses per clause.

Coordinate phrases per clause.

Mean dependency distance.

Synonym overlap paragraph (topic and keywords).

Word2vec cosine similarity.

Connectives per essay.

Conjunctions per essay.

Number of metadiscourse markers (types) divided by the total number of words.

Number of errors per essay.

Japanese essay text

出かける前に二人が地図を見ている間に、サンドイッチを入れたバスケットに犬が入ってしまいました。それに気づかずに二人は楽しそうに出かけて行きました。やがて突然犬がバスケットから飛び出し、二人は驚きました。バスケット の 中を見ると、食べ物はすべて犬に食べられていて、二人は困ってしまいました。(ID_JJJ01_SW1)

The score of the example above was B1. Figure 3 provides an example of holistic and trait scores provided by GPT-4 (with a prompt indicating all measures) via Bing Footnote 6 .

figure 3

Example of GPT-4 AES and feedback (with a prompt indicating all measures).

Statistical analysis

The aim of this study is to investigate the potential use of LLM for nonnative Japanese AES. It seeks to compare the scoring outcomes obtained from feature-based AES tools, which rely on conventional machine learning technology (i.e. Jess, JWriter), with those generated by AI-driven AES tools utilizing deep learning technology (BERT, GPT, OCLL). To assess the reliability of a computer-assisted annotation tool, the study initially established human-human agreement as the benchmark measure. Subsequently, the performance of the LLM-based method was evaluated by comparing it to human-human agreement.

To assess annotation agreement, the study employed standard measures such as precision, recall, and F-score (Brants 2000 ; Lu 2010 ), along with the quadratically weighted kappa (QWK) to evaluate the consistency and agreement in the annotation process. Assume A and B represent human annotators. When comparing the annotations of the two annotators, the following results are obtained. The evaluation of precision, recall, and F-score metrics was illustrated in equations (13) to (15).



The F-score is the harmonic mean of recall and precision:

\({\rm{F}}-{\rm{score}}=\frac{2* ({\rm{Precision}}* {\rm{Recall}})}{{\rm{Precision}}+{\rm{Recall}}}\)

The highest possible value of an F-score is 1.0, indicating perfect precision and recall, and the lowest possible value is 0, if either precision or recall are zero.

In accordance with Taghipour and Ng ( 2016 ), the calculation of QWK involves two steps:

Step 1: Construct a weight matrix W as follows:


i represents the annotation made by the tool, while j represents the annotation made by a human rater. N denotes the total number of possible annotations. Matrix O is subsequently computed, where O_( i, j ) represents the count of data annotated by the tool ( i ) and the human annotator ( j ). On the other hand, E refers to the expected count matrix, which undergoes normalization to ensure that the sum of elements in E matches the sum of elements in O.

Step 2: With matrices O and E, the QWK is obtained as follows:

K = 1- \(\frac{\sum i,j{W}_{i,j}\,{O}_{i,j}}{\sum i,j{W}_{i,j}\,{E}_{i,j}}\)

The value of the quadratic weighted kappa increases as the level of agreement improves. Further, to assess the accuracy of LLM scoring, the proportional reductive mean square error (PRMSE) was employed. The PRMSE approach takes into account the variability observed in human ratings to estimate the rater error, which is then subtracted from the variance of the human labels. This calculation provides an overall measure of agreement between the automated scores and true scores (Haberman et al. 2015 ; Loukina et al. 2020 ; Taghipour and Ng, 2016 ). The computation of PRMSE involves the following steps:

Step 1: Calculate the mean squared errors (MSEs) for the scoring outcomes of the computer-assisted tool (MSE tool) and the human scoring outcomes (MSE human).

Step 2: Determine the PRMSE by comparing the MSE of the computer-assisted tool (MSE tool) with the MSE from human raters (MSE human), using the following formula:

\({\rm{PRMSE}}=1-\frac{({\rm{MSE}}\,{\rm{tool}})\,}{({\rm{MSE}}\,{\rm{human}})\,}=1-\,\frac{{\sum }_{i}^{n}=1{({{\rm{y}}}_{i}-{\hat{{\rm{y}}}}_{{\rm{i}}})}^{2}}{{\sum }_{i}^{n}=1{({{\rm{y}}}_{i}-\hat{{\rm{y}}})}^{2}}\)

In the numerator, ŷi represents the scoring outcome predicted by a specific LLM-driven AES system for a given sample. The term y i − ŷ i represents the difference between this predicted outcome and the mean value of all LLM-driven AES systems’ scoring outcomes. It quantifies the deviation of the specific LLM-driven AES system’s prediction from the average prediction of all LLM-driven AES systems. In the denominator, y i − ŷ represents the difference between the scoring outcome provided by a specific human rater for a given sample and the mean value of all human raters’ scoring outcomes. It measures the discrepancy between the specific human rater’s score and the average score given by all human raters. The PRMSE is then calculated by subtracting the ratio of the MSE tool to the MSE human from 1. PRMSE falls within the range of 0 to 1, with larger values indicating reduced errors in LLM’s scoring compared to those of human raters. In other words, a higher PRMSE implies that LLM’s scoring demonstrates greater accuracy in predicting the true scores (Loukina et al. 2020 ). The interpretation of kappa values, ranging from 0 to 1, is based on the work of Landis and Koch ( 1977 ). Specifically, the following categories are assigned to different ranges of kappa values: −1 indicates complete inconsistency, 0 indicates random agreement, 0.0 ~ 0.20 indicates extremely low level of agreement (slight), 0.21 ~ 0.40 indicates moderate level of agreement (fair), 0.41 ~ 0.60 indicates medium level of agreement (moderate), 0.61 ~ 0.80 indicates high level of agreement (substantial), 0.81 ~ 1 indicates almost perfect level of agreement. All statistical analyses were executed using Python script.

Results and discussion

Annotation reliability of the llm.

This section focuses on assessing the reliability of the LLM’s annotation and scoring capabilities. To evaluate the reliability, several tests were conducted simultaneously, aiming to achieve the following objectives:

Assess the LLM’s ability to differentiate between test takers with varying levels of oral proficiency.

Determine the level of agreement between the annotations and scoring performed by the LLM and those done by human raters.

The evaluation of the results encompassed several metrics, including: precision, recall, F-Score, quadratically-weighted kappa, proportional reduction of mean squared error, Pearson correlation, and multi-faceted Rasch measurement.

Inter-annotator agreement (human–human annotator agreement)

We started with an agreement test of the two human annotators. Two trained annotators were recruited to determine the writing task data measures. A total of 714 scripts, as the test data, was utilized. Each analysis lasted 300–360 min. Inter-annotator agreement was evaluated using the standard measures of precision, recall, and F-score and QWK. Table 7 presents the inter-annotator agreement for the various indicators. As shown, the inter-annotator agreement was fairly high, with F-scores ranging from 1.0 for sentence and word number to 0.666 for grammatical errors.

The findings from the QWK analysis provided further confirmation of the inter-annotator agreement. The QWK values covered a range from 0.950 ( p  = 0.000) for sentence and word number to 0.695 for synonym overlap number (keyword) and grammatical errors ( p  = 0.001).

Agreement of annotation outcomes between human and LLM

To evaluate the consistency between human annotators and LLM annotators (BERT, GPT, OCLL) across the indices, the same test was conducted. The results of the inter-annotator agreement (F-score) between LLM and human annotation are provided in Appendix B-D. The F-scores ranged from 0.706 for Grammatical error # for OCLL-human to a perfect 1.000 for GPT-human, for sentences, clauses, T-units, and words. These findings were further supported by the QWK analysis, which showed agreement levels ranging from 0.807 ( p  = 0.001) for metadiscourse markers for OCLL-human to 0.962 for words ( p  = 0.000) for GPT-human. The findings demonstrated that the LLM annotation achieved a significant level of accuracy in identifying measurement units and counts.

Reliability of LLM-driven AES’s scoring and discriminating proficiency levels

This section examines the reliability of the LLM-driven AES scoring through a comparison of the scoring outcomes produced by human raters and the LLM ( Reliability of LLM-driven AES scoring ). It also assesses the effectiveness of the LLM-based AES system in differentiating participants with varying proficiency levels ( Reliability of LLM-driven AES discriminating proficiency levels ).

Reliability of LLM-driven AES scoring

Table 8 summarizes the QWK coefficient analysis between the scores computed by the human raters and the GPT-4 for the individual essays from I-JAS Footnote 7 . As shown, the QWK of all measures ranged from k  = 0.819 for lexical density (number of lexical words (tokens)/number of words per essay) to k  = 0.644 for word2vec cosine similarity. Table 9 further presents the Pearson correlations between the 16 writing proficiency measures scored by human raters and GPT 4 for the individual essays. The correlations ranged from 0.672 for syntactic complexity to 0.734 for grammatical accuracy. The correlations between the writing proficiency scores assigned by human raters and the BERT-based AES system were found to range from 0.661 for syntactic complexity to 0.713 for grammatical accuracy. The correlations between the writing proficiency scores given by human raters and the OCLL-based AES system ranged from 0.654 for cohesion to 0.721 for grammatical accuracy. These findings indicated an alignment between the assessments made by human raters and both the BERT-based and OCLL-based AES systems in terms of various aspects of writing proficiency.

Reliability of LLM-driven AES discriminating proficiency levels

After validating the reliability of the LLM’s annotation and scoring, the subsequent objective was to evaluate its ability to distinguish between various proficiency levels. For this analysis, a dataset of 686 individual essays was utilized. Table 10 presents a sample of the results, summarizing the means, standard deviations, and the outcomes of the one-way ANOVAs based on the measures assessed by the GPT-4 model. A post hoc multiple comparison test, specifically the Bonferroni test, was conducted to identify any potential differences between pairs of levels.

As the results reveal, seven measures presented linear upward or downward progress across the three proficiency levels. These were marked in bold in Table 10 and comprise one measure of lexical richness, i.e. MATTR (lexical diversity); four measures of syntactic complexity, i.e. MDD (mean dependency distance), MLC (mean length of clause), CNT (complex nominals per T-unit), CPC (coordinate phrases rate); one cohesion measure, i.e. word2vec cosine similarity and GER (grammatical error rate). Regarding the ability of the sixteen measures to distinguish adjacent proficiency levels, the Bonferroni tests indicated that statistically significant differences exist between the primary level and the intermediate level for MLC and GER. One measure of lexical richness, namely LD, along with three measures of syntactic complexity (VPT, CT, DCT, ACC), two measures of cohesion (SOPT, SOPK), and one measure of content elaboration (IMM), exhibited statistically significant differences between proficiency levels. However, these differences did not demonstrate a linear progression between adjacent proficiency levels. No significant difference was observed in lexical sophistication between proficiency levels.

To summarize, our study aimed to evaluate the reliability and differentiation capabilities of the LLM-driven AES method. For the first objective, we assessed the LLM’s ability to differentiate between test takers with varying levels of oral proficiency using precision, recall, F-Score, and quadratically-weighted kappa. Regarding the second objective, we compared the scoring outcomes generated by human raters and the LLM to determine the level of agreement. We employed quadratically-weighted kappa and Pearson correlations to compare the 16 writing proficiency measures for the individual essays. The results confirmed the feasibility of using the LLM for annotation and scoring in AES for nonnative Japanese. As a result, Research Question 1 has been addressed.

Comparison of BERT-, GPT-, OCLL-based AES, and linguistic-feature-based computation methods

This section aims to compare the effectiveness of five AES methods for nonnative Japanese writing, i.e. LLM-driven approaches utilizing BERT, GPT, and OCLL, linguistic feature-based approaches using Jess and JWriter. The comparison was conducted by comparing the ratings obtained from each approach with human ratings. All ratings were derived from the dataset introduced in Dataset . To facilitate the comparison, the agreement between the automated methods and human ratings was assessed using QWK and PRMSE. The performance of each approach was summarized in Table 11 .

The QWK coefficient values indicate that LLMs (GPT, BERT, OCLL) and human rating outcomes demonstrated higher agreement compared to feature-based AES methods (Jess and JWriter) in assessing writing proficiency criteria, including lexical richness, syntactic complexity, content, and grammatical accuracy. Among the LLMs, the GPT-4 driven AES and human rating outcomes showed the highest agreement in all criteria, except for syntactic complexity. The PRMSE values suggest that the GPT-based method outperformed linguistic feature-based methods and other LLM-based approaches. Moreover, an interesting finding emerged during the study: the agreement coefficient between GPT-4 and human scoring was even higher than the agreement between different human raters themselves. This discovery highlights the advantage of GPT-based AES over human rating. Ratings involve a series of processes, including reading the learners’ writing, evaluating the content and language, and assigning scores. Within this chain of processes, various biases can be introduced, stemming from factors such as rater biases, test design, and rating scales. These biases can impact the consistency and objectivity of human ratings. GPT-based AES may benefit from its ability to apply consistent and objective evaluation criteria. By prompting the GPT model with detailed writing scoring rubrics and linguistic features, potential biases in human ratings can be mitigated. The model follows a predefined set of guidelines and does not possess the same subjective biases that human raters may exhibit. This standardization in the evaluation process contributes to the higher agreement observed between GPT-4 and human scoring. Section Prompt strategy of the study delves further into the role of prompts in the application of LLMs to AES. It explores how the choice and implementation of prompts can impact the performance and reliability of LLM-based AES methods. Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge the strengths of the local model, i.e. the Japanese local model OCLL, which excels in processing certain idiomatic expressions. Nevertheless, our analysis indicated that GPT-4 surpasses local models in AES. This superior performance can be attributed to the larger parameter size of GPT-4, estimated to be between 500 billion and 1 trillion, which exceeds the sizes of both BERT and the local model OCLL.

Prompt strategy

In the context of prompt strategy, Mizumoto and Eguchi ( 2023 ) conducted a study where they applied the GPT-3 model to automatically score English essays in the TOEFL test. They found that the accuracy of the GPT model alone was moderate to fair. However, when they incorporated linguistic measures such as cohesion, syntactic complexity, and lexical features alongside the GPT model, the accuracy significantly improved. This highlights the importance of prompt engineering and providing the model with specific instructions to enhance its performance. In this study, a similar approach was taken to optimize the performance of LLMs. GPT-4, which outperformed BERT and OCLL, was selected as the candidate model. Model 1 was used as the baseline, representing GPT-4 without any additional prompting. Model 2, on the other hand, involved GPT-4 prompted with 16 measures that included scoring criteria, efficient linguistic features for writing assessment, and detailed measurement units and calculation formulas. The remaining models (Models 3 to 18) utilized GPT-4 prompted with individual measures. The performance of these 18 different models was assessed using the output indicators described in Section Criteria (output indicator) . By comparing the performances of these models, the study aimed to understand the impact of prompt engineering on the accuracy and effectiveness of GPT-4 in AES tasks.

Based on the PRMSE scores presented in Fig. 4 , it was observed that Model 1, representing GPT-4 without any additional prompting, achieved a fair level of performance. However, Model 2, which utilized GPT-4 prompted with all measures, outperformed all other models in terms of PRMSE score, achieving a score of 0.681. These results indicate that the inclusion of specific measures and prompts significantly enhanced the performance of GPT-4 in AES. Among the measures, syntactic complexity was found to play a particularly significant role in improving the accuracy of GPT-4 in assessing writing quality. Following that, lexical diversity emerged as another important factor contributing to the model’s effectiveness. The study suggests that a well-prompted GPT-4 can serve as a valuable tool to support human assessors in evaluating writing quality. By utilizing GPT-4 as an automated scoring tool, the evaluation biases associated with human raters can be minimized. This has the potential to empower teachers by allowing them to focus on designing writing tasks and guiding writing strategies, while leveraging the capabilities of GPT-4 for efficient and reliable scoring.

figure 4

PRMSE scores of the 18 AES models.

This study aimed to investigate two main research questions: the feasibility of utilizing LLMs for AES and the impact of prompt engineering on the application of LLMs in AES.

To address the first objective, the study compared the effectiveness of five different models: GPT, BERT, the Japanese local LLM (OCLL), and two conventional machine learning-based AES tools (Jess and JWriter). The PRMSE values indicated that the GPT-4-based method outperformed other LLMs (BERT, OCLL) and linguistic feature-based computational methods (Jess and JWriter) across various writing proficiency criteria. Furthermore, the agreement coefficient between GPT-4 and human scoring surpassed the agreement among human raters themselves, highlighting the potential of using the GPT-4 tool to enhance AES by reducing biases and subjectivity, saving time, labor, and cost, and providing valuable feedback for self-study. Regarding the second goal, the role of prompt design was investigated by comparing 18 models, including a baseline model, a model prompted with all measures, and 16 models prompted with one measure at a time. GPT-4, which outperformed BERT and OCLL, was selected as the candidate model. The PRMSE scores of the models showed that GPT-4 prompted with all measures achieved the best performance, surpassing the baseline and other models.

In conclusion, this study has demonstrated the potential of LLMs in supporting human rating in assessments. By incorporating automation, we can save time and resources while reducing biases and subjectivity inherent in human rating processes. Automated language assessments offer the advantage of accessibility, providing equal opportunities and economic feasibility for individuals who lack access to traditional assessment centers or necessary resources. LLM-based language assessments provide valuable feedback and support to learners, aiding in the enhancement of their language proficiency and the achievement of their goals. This personalized feedback can cater to individual learner needs, facilitating a more tailored and effective language-learning experience.

There are three important areas that merit further exploration. First, prompt engineering requires attention to ensure optimal performance of LLM-based AES across different language types. This study revealed that GPT-4, when prompted with all measures, outperformed models prompted with fewer measures. Therefore, investigating and refining prompt strategies can enhance the effectiveness of LLMs in automated language assessments. Second, it is crucial to explore the application of LLMs in second-language assessment and learning for oral proficiency, as well as their potential in under-resourced languages. Recent advancements in self-supervised machine learning techniques have significantly improved automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems, opening up new possibilities for creating reliable ASR systems, particularly for under-resourced languages with limited data. However, challenges persist in the field of ASR. First, ASR assumes correct word pronunciation for automatic pronunciation evaluation, which proves challenging for learners in the early stages of language acquisition due to diverse accents influenced by their native languages. Accurately segmenting short words becomes problematic in such cases. Second, developing precise audio-text transcriptions for languages with non-native accented speech poses a formidable task. Last, assessing oral proficiency levels involves capturing various linguistic features, including fluency, pronunciation, accuracy, and complexity, which are not easily captured by current NLP technology.

Data availability

The dataset utilized was obtained from the International Corpus of Japanese as a Second Language (I-JAS). The data URLs: [ https://www2.ninjal.ac.jp/jll/lsaj/ihome2.html ].

J-CAT and TTBJ are two computerized adaptive tests used to assess Japanese language proficiency.

SPOT is a specific component of the TTBJ test.

J-CAT: https://www.j-cat2.org/html/ja/pages/interpret.html

SPOT: https://ttbj.cegloc.tsukuba.ac.jp/p1.html#SPOT .

The study utilized a prompt-based GPT-4 model, developed by OpenAI, which has an impressive architecture with 1.8 trillion parameters across 120 layers. GPT-4 was trained on a vast dataset of 13 trillion tokens, using two stages: initial training on internet text datasets to predict the next token, and subsequent fine-tuning through reinforcement learning from human feedback.

https://www2.ninjal.ac.jp/jll/lsaj/ihome2-en.html .

http://jhlee.sakura.ne.jp/JEV/ by Japanese Learning Dictionary Support Group 2015.

We express our sincere gratitude to the reviewer for bringing this matter to our attention.

On February 7, 2023, Microsoft began rolling out a major overhaul to Bing that included a new chatbot feature based on OpenAI’s GPT-4 (Bing.com).

Appendix E-F present the analysis results of the QWK coefficient between the scores computed by the human raters and the BERT, OCLL models.

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This research was funded by National Foundation of Social Sciences (22BYY186) to Wenchao Li.

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Wenchao Li is in charge of conceptualization, validation, formal analysis, investigation, data curation, visualization and writing the draft. Haitao Liu is in charge of supervision.

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Li, W., Liu, H. Applying large language models for automated essay scoring for non-native Japanese. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 11 , 723 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-024-03209-9

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Guest Essay

Jamie Raskin: How to Force Justices Alito and Thomas to Recuse Themselves in the Jan. 6 Cases

A white chain in the foreground, with the pillars of the Supreme Court Building in the background.

By Jamie Raskin

Mr. Raskin represents Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District in the House of Representatives. He taught constitutional law for more than 25 years and was the lead prosecutor in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Many people have gloomily accepted the conventional wisdom that because there is no binding Supreme Court ethics code, there is no way to force Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas to recuse themselves from the Jan. 6 cases that are before the court.

Justices Alito and Thomas are probably making the same assumption.

But all of them are wrong.

It seems unfathomable that the two justices could get away with deciding for themselves whether they can be impartial in ruling on cases affecting Donald Trump’s liability for crimes he is accused of committing on Jan. 6. Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, was deeply involved in the Jan. 6 “stop the steal” movement. Above the Virginia home of Justice Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, flew an upside-down American flag — a strong political statement among the people who stormed the Capitol. Above the Alitos’ beach home in New Jersey flew another flag that has been adopted by groups opposed to President Biden.

Justices Alito and Thomas face a groundswell of appeals beseeching them not to participate in Trump v. United States , the case that will decide whether Mr. Trump enjoys absolute immunity from criminal prosecution, and Fischer v. United States , which will decide whether Jan. 6 insurrectionists — and Mr. Trump — can be charged under a statute that criminalizes “corruptly” obstructing an official proceeding. (Justice Alito said on Wednesday that he would not recuse himself from Jan. 6-related cases.)

Everyone assumes that nothing can be done about the recusal situation because the highest court in the land has the lowest ethical standards — no binding ethics code or process outside of personal reflection. Each justice decides for him- or herself whether he or she can be impartial.

Of course, Justices Alito and Thomas could choose to recuse themselves — wouldn’t that be nice? But begging them to do the right thing misses a far more effective course of action.

The U.S. Department of Justice — including the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, an appointed U.S. special counsel and the solicitor general, all of whom were involved in different ways in the criminal prosecutions underlying these cases and are opposing Mr. Trump’s constitutional and statutory claims — can petition the other seven justices to require Justices Alito and Thomas to recuse themselves not as a matter of grace but as a matter of law.

The Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland can invoke two powerful textual authorities for this motion: the Constitution of the United States, specifically the due process clause, and the federal statute mandating judicial disqualification for questionable impartiality, 28 U.S.C. Section 455. The Constitution has come into play in several recent Supreme Court decisions striking down rulings by stubborn judges in lower courts whose political impartiality has been reasonably questioned but who threw caution to the wind to hear a case anyway. This statute requires potentially biased judges throughout the federal system to recuse themselves at the start of the process to avoid judicial unfairness and embarrassing controversies and reversals.

The constitutional and statutory standards apply to Supreme Court justices. The Constitution, and the federal laws under it, is the “ supreme law of the land ,” and the recusal statute explicitly treats Supreme Court justices as it does other judges: “Any justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The only justices in the federal judiciary are the ones on the Supreme Court.

This recusal statute, if triggered, is not a friendly suggestion. It is Congress’s command, binding on the justices, just as the due process clause is. The Supreme Court cannot disregard this law just because it directly affects one or two of its justices. Ignoring it would trespass on the constitutional separation of powers because the justices would essentially be saying that they have the power to override a congressional command.

When the arguments are properly before the court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh and Sonia Sotomayor will have both a constitutional obligation and a statutory obligation to enforce recusal standards.

Indeed, there is even a compelling argument based on case law that Chief Justice Roberts and the other unaffected justices should raise the matter of recusal on their own, or sua sponte. Numerous circuit courts have agreed with the Eighth Circuit that this is the right course of action when members of an appellate court are aware of “ overt acts ” of a judge reflecting personal bias. Cases like this stand for the idea that appellate jurists who see something should say something instead of placing all the burden on parties in a case who would have to risk angering a judge by bringing up the awkward matter of potential bias and favoritism on the bench.

But even if no member of the court raises the issue of recusal, the urgent need to deal with it persists. Once it is raised, the court would almost surely have to find that the due process clause and Section 455 compel Justices Alito and Thomas to recuse themselves. To arrive at that substantive conclusion, the justices need only read their court’s own recusal decisions.

In one key 5-to-3 Supreme Court case from 2016, Williams v. Pennsylvania, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained why judicial bias is a defect of constitutional magnitude and offered specific objective standards for identifying it. Significantly, Justices Alito and Thomas dissented from the majority’s ruling.

The case concerned the bias of the chief justice of Pennsylvania, who had been involved as a prosecutor on the state’s side in an appellate death penalty case that was before him. Justice Kennedy found that the judge’s refusal to recuse himself when asked to do so violated due process. Justice Kennedy’s authoritative opinion on recusal illuminates three critical aspects of the current controversy.

First, Justice Kennedy found that the standard for recusal must be objective because it is impossible to rely on the affected judge’s introspection and subjective interpretations. The court’s objective standard requires recusal when the likelihood of bias on the part of the judge “is too high to be constitutionally tolerable,” citing an earlier case. “This objective risk of bias,” according to Justice Kennedy, “is reflected in the due process maxim that ‘no man can be a judge in his own case.’” A judge or justice can be convinced of his or her own impartiality but also completely missing what other people are seeing.

Second, the Williams majority endorsed the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct as an appropriate articulation of the Madisonian standard that “no man can be a judge in his own cause.” Model Code Rule 2.11 on judicial disqualification says that a judge “shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” This includes, illustratively, cases in which the judge “has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party,” a married judge knows that “the judge’s spouse” is “a person who has more than a de minimis interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding” or the judge “has made a public statement, other than in a court proceeding, judicial decision or opinion, that commits or appears to commit the judge to reach a particular result.” These model code illustrations ring a lot of bells at this moment.

Third and most important, Justice Kennedy found for the court that the failure of an objectively biased judge to recuse him- or herself is not “harmless error” just because the biased judge’s vote is not apparently determinative in the vote of a panel of judges. A biased judge contaminates the proceeding not just by the casting and tabulation of his or her own vote but by participating in the body’s collective deliberations and affecting, even subtly, other judges’ perceptions of the case.

Justice Kennedy was emphatic on this point : “It does not matter whether the disqualified judge’s vote was necessary to the disposition of the case. The fact that the interested judge’s vote was not dispositive may mean only that the judge was successful in persuading most members of the court to accept his or her position — an outcome that does not lessen the unfairness to the affected party.”

Courts generally have found that any reasonable doubts about a judge’s partiality must be resolved in favor of recusal. A judge “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” While recognizing that the “challenged judge enjoys a margin of discretion,” the courts have repeatedly held that “doubts ordinarily ought to be resolved in favor of recusal.” After all, the reputation of the whole tribunal and public confidence in the judiciary are both on the line.

Judge David Tatel of the D.C. Circuit emphasized this fundamental principle in 2019 when his court issued a writ of mandamus to force recusal of a military judge who blithely ignored at least the appearance of a glaring conflict of interest. He stated : “Impartial adjudicators are the cornerstone of any system of justice worthy of the label. And because ‘deference to the judgments and rulings of courts depends upon public confidence in the integrity and independence of judges,’ jurists must avoid even the appearance of partiality.” He reminded us that to perform its high function in the best way, as Justice Felix Frankfurter stated, “justice must satisfy the appearance of justice.”

The Supreme Court has been especially disposed to favor recusal when partisan politics appear to be a prejudicial factor even when the judge’s impartiality has not been questioned. In Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. , from 2009, the court held that a state supreme court justice was constitutionally disqualified from a case in which the president of a corporation appearing before him had helped to get him elected by spending $3 million promoting his campaign. The court, through Justice Kennedy, asked whether, quoting a 1975 decision, “under a realistic appraisal of psychological tendencies and human weakness,” the judge’s obvious political alignment with a party in a case “poses such a risk of actual bias or prejudgment that the practice must be forbidden if the guarantee of due process is to be adequately implemented.”

The federal statute on disqualification, Section 455(b) , also makes recusal analysis directly applicable to bias imputed to a spouse’s interest in the case. Ms. Thomas and Mrs. Alito (who, according to Justice Alito, is the one who put up the inverted flag outside their home) meet this standard. A judge must recuse him- or herself when a spouse “is known by the judge to have an interest in a case that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.”

At his Senate confirmation hearing, Chief Justice Roberts assured America that “judges are like umpires.”

But professional baseball would never allow an umpire to continue to officiate the World Series after learning that the pennant of one of the two teams competing was flying in the front yard of the umpire’s home. Nor would an umpire be allowed to call balls and strikes in a World Series game after the umpire’s wife tried to get the official score of a prior game in the series overthrown and canceled out to benefit the losing team. If judges are like umpires, then they should be treated like umpires, not team owners, fans or players.

Justice Barrett has said she wants to convince people “that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.” Justice Alito himself declared the importance of judicial objectivity in his opinion for the majority in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overruling Roe v. Wade — a bit of self-praise that now rings especially hollow.

But the Constitution and Congress’s recusal statute provide the objective framework of analysis and remedy for cases of judicial bias that are apparent to the world, even if they may be invisible to the judges involved. This is not really optional for the justices.

I look forward to seeing seven members of the court act to defend the reputation and integrity of the institution.

Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, represents Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District in the House of Representatives. He taught constitutional law for more than 25 years and was the lead prosecutor in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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