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“Once, we built structures entirely from the most durable substances we knew: granite block, for instance. The results are still around today to admire, but we don’t often emulate them, because quarrying, cutting, transporting, and fitting stone require a patience we no longer possess. No one since the likes of Antoni Gaudí, who began Barcelona’s yet-unfinished Sagrada Familia basilica in 1880, contemplates investing in construction that our great-great-grandchildren’s grandchildren will complete 250 years hence. Nor, absent the availability of a few thousand slaves, is it cheap, especially compared to another Roman innovation: concrete.”

Weisman, Alan. The World Without Us. New York: Macmillan, 2008. Print. 22.

Student Writing Sample

In the past, people constructed buildings with the most durable materials available: granite block, for example. We typically do not build buildings from such materials today because quarrying, cutting, transporting, and fitting stone is a tedious and expensive process.

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