Sample Essay 5

Ideas and Analysis: Score = 5
Development and Support: Score = 5
Organization: Score = 5
Language Use and Conventions: Score = 5


It is no secret that today’s workforce no longer consists entirely of people. Rather, machines are being developed to complete many of the tasks which humans have traditionally done. This can greatly increase productivity and efficiency of simple, repetitive tasks. Many people view this as a great positive and point out that it leads to a more uniform and less expensive product which is better for everyone. However, some people are more wary of this popular trend of automating the workforce and question whether this progress is truely positive. Their concerns, though, are outweighed by the benefits these machines offer.

It is the popular view among companies which are moving toward automation that robots can do many tasks better than humans. For example, in the automotive industry, most of a car’s individual components are manufactured by pre-programmed robots which have much greater and more precise output than would be possible for a human. In addition, robots cut down the cost of production by a considerable amount. If a company hires an employee to complete a simple task for $50,000 per year but could instead buy a machine for a one time purchase of $30,000, it is far more cost effective to buy the machine. Lower cost of production means that the goods produced can now be sold at a lower pricepoint which passes the savings on to the consumer. Companies producing goods rightly contend that the use of machines to complete low-skill jobs has only positive impact for everyone.

Beyond these benefits for industry, some believe that machines will shape the future for the human race. Innovation and invention of new more intelligent machines can push us as humans toward new, unimagined possibilities. For example, before the first airplane was invented, people could only dream of human flight, but at the moment of takeoff, a whole new world of unimaginable possibilities was suddenly within our grasp. Through even just that one invention, an entire multi-billion dollar a year industry was born, and our lives improved and advanced in a multitude of ways. Who can know what great advancements may be brought about by a more intelligent machine than what we possess today? The possibilities are endless.

There are those who are less enthusiastic about all this progress and advancement. They argue that by not having to interact with fellow humans, we no longer are required to be courteous and have tolerance for others. While this may be true, this is a minor cost for a major increase in efficiency. Take the example of self checkout systems in grocery stores. Self checkout permits consumers to procure their goods and get out of the store quickly. This might seem like a small time-saver, but considering how often this experience is repeated reveals a cumulative effect. Across time, consumers end up saving hours, which improves the efficiency of their daily lives, allowing them to spend time on things that are of greater interest and meaning to them.

Whether humans like it or not, machines are becoming more and popular in the workplace and are decreasing the need for humans to work those jobs. This can lead to advancement of society, a greater end product or service, and even a lower consumer cost of goods. Many people are frightened of change, but unfortunately for them, the past is gone and now we must look to the future.

Scoring Explanation

Ideas and Analysis = 5
This argument engages productively with multiple perspectives. By viewing each perspective through the lens of a particular ideology, the writer establishes and employs a thoughtful context for analysis. Within this context, the writer articulates and addresses implications that range from benefits for industry to efficiencies for consumers. Competing views are also evaluated within this framework of capitalist ideals. The writer grants that intelligent machines reduce human interactions in places like the grocery store but argues that this is a good thing, as it allows for a more efficient experience for the consumer. In this way, the writer has addressed two values in tension, and an evaluation of the conflict serves to advance the argument.

Development and Support = 5
The essay is focused on its purpose throughout; the entire response works in service of the larger argument. The reasoning and illustration in each body paragraph function to deepen understanding of why the writer believes that the benefits of intelligent machines outweigh potential drawbacks. In using hypotheticals to explain her thinking, the writer responds to anticipated questions. For example, when she claims that robots cut down the cost of production by a considerable amount, she answers the question of how with an example that illustrates the difference between the ongoing salary of a regular employee and the one-time cost of a machine. She extends the idea further by noting that decreased cost of production means that the goods produced can now be sold at a lower pricepoint which passes the savings on the consumer, making clear the larger significance of this point. This careful thought process makes for a compelling, well-developed argument.

Organization = 5
The writer employs a productive organizational strategy. The introduction presents a roadmap for discussion, and this outline serves as a unifying force for the argument. The argument progresses logically: the writer first establishes benefits of the increasing presence of intelligent machines and then attempts to strengthen her case by acknowledging and rebutting a counterargument. Transitions are used when necessary and appropriate, making the connections among ideas readily apparent and contributing to a smooth, pleasurable read.

Language Use = 5
This response exhibits several markers of advanced language use. Word choice and sentence structures are precise and diverse, and are used to communicate complex ideas with relative concision. A formal, academic tone demonstrates strong comprehension of the rhetorical situation and works in service of the writer’s measured argument.

Next—sample essay #6 . . .