HM Student or ChatGPT?


We asked English, history, and science teachers to give us a prompt that they have used or is similar to one they might use in a real assessment. One of the responses is written by a sophomore at the school, the other by ChatGPT. Can you guess which is which?



To what extent is The Great Gatsby a critique less of any individual character in the novel than of the cultural zeitgeist itself? Answer in 150 words.

#1: Although each character in The Great Gatsby has their biases and weaknesses, overall, the characters are merely a representation of the cultural zeitgeist of the Roaring 20s: flamboyant and outgoing, yet unfair. For example, Tom Buchanan buys his wife a several-hundred-thousand dollar necklace due to his extravagance, yet he secretly has an affair with another married woman at the same time. He also often shows his bigotry, supporting white replacement theories, and abuses his wife and mistress, both emotionally and physically. However, these were the sad realities of the time in which the novel is set, causing Tom to not just represent himself but also a larger group of people during the time period, chiefly white heterosexual males. A similar case appears with Nick, who spends a large portion of the book grappling with his sexual orientation, but cannot admit any of his feelings and is forced to resort to euphemisms due to the homophobia at the time, representing the silenced, but existent LGBTQ population.

#2: Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is often seen as a critique of the cultural zeitgeist of the 1920s. The novel portrays the excesses of the era, such as the excessive wealth, materialism, and superficiality that characterized the upper class society. The characters in the novel, particularly Jay Gatsby, represent the decadence and moral decay of the era. Gatsby’s obsession with wealth and status, and his willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve them, exemplifies the values of the time. Furthermore, the novel also critiques the societal norms and expectations of the time, particularly the rigid class distinctions and the lack of moral compass among the wealthy. The characters in the novel are portrayed as shallow, selfish, and morally bankrupt, and the novel’s portrayal of their actions and behaviors serves as a commentary on the cultural zeitgeist of the era. The novel exposes the excesses and moral decay of the era, and serves as a reminder of the dangers of valuing material wealth and status over genuine human connection and morality.



The cells of an ant and a horse are, on average, the same small size; a horse just has more of them. In 150 words, give two distinct advantages of small cell size.

#1: Small cell size can have several advantages in living organisms. One advantage is that small cells have a greater surface area to volume ratio, which means that they have more surface area relative to the amount of cytoplasm inside them. This is important for processes such as transport of materials and gasses across the cell membrane, as it allows for more efficient exchange between the cell and its environment. Another advantage of small cell size is that smaller cells are able to divide and multiply more quickly. Because they have less cytoplasm to divide, it takes less time and energy for a cell to divide, leading to faster growth and reproduction of cells. This is especially important for organisms that need to repair or replace damaged tissue quickly or for organisms that reproduce rapidly, like cancer cells. It is also worth noting that small cells allow for more efficient diffusion of molecules across the cell membrane which also enables more efficient functioning of metabolic reactions that takes place in the cell.

#2: Ants and horses have a considerable size difference, yet the size of their cells are typically about the same: small. This is because small cells are preferable in organisms for a variety of reasons. A cluster of small cells has more surface area than a single large cell. More surface area allows for cellular diffusion to happen at a faster rate. Oxygen and nutrients have an increased amount of space to travel in, while carbon dioxide has more space to travel out. In addition, cellular functions are better controlled and executed within small cells. The nucleus directs cell activity by sending signals to organelles inside the cell, as well as to other cells in the body. With a smaller cell, these signals have to travel a shorter distance to reach their destinations, making the whole process more efficient. Over time, organisms best suited for survival tend to live and reproduce, passing on their favorable traits. Thus, these two factors and precedent of survival demonstrate that a smaller cell size benefits organisms like ants and horses.



Why did the United States become involved in Vietnam and why did it lose the war? Write an answer in 150 words.

#1: With amplifying fears of communism and communism spreading throughout Europe and Asia, the United States supported the French after their loss to the Vietminh, and constructed a divide in Vietnam; creating South Vietnam in an attempt to limit the spread of communism. With this advancing fear of communism and communist rule, the US soon offered direct aid to the newly constructed colony, an involvement that would later increase as tensions rose. In its defeat, the US demonstrated an inability to win the Vietnam War. Not only did they lack of proper motive and proper tactics for war contribute to this defeat, but the lack of transparency between the US government and the people, as well as the growing rejection of the war by the American people, contributed as well, while the strong zeal of the Vietnamese and the extent they were willing to fight strengthened their chance of victory in the end. 

#2: The United States became involved in Vietnam in the 1950s because they wanted to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. The US believed that if Vietnam became communist, other countries in the region would also become communist. They provided support to the South Vietnamese government and military to fight against the communist North Vietnamese. However, the war was not going well for the US and South Vietnam, and the US gradually increased the number of troops sent to fight in the war. The US ultimately lost the war because they were not able to defeat the North Vietnamese and their allies, the Viet Cong. Additionally, the US faced strong opposition from the American public, who were against the war and the high number of American casualties. The US also struggled to win the support of the South Vietnamese people, who were not fully committed to the war effort.



English: Option 1 — HM student, Option 2 — ChatGPT.

Science: Option 1 — ChatGPT, Option 2 — HM student. 

History: Option 1 — HM student, Option 2 — ChatGPT.