Sample Essay 4

Ideas and Analysis: Score = 4
Development and Support: Score = 4
Organization: Score = 4
Language Use and Conventions: Score = 4


As modern civilized society progresses into the future, the less civilized we have become. Though machines may benefit our society and growth, they also have important draw-backs. In relying on machines as employees, many human employees suffer negative economic consequences. Robots built entirely for the purpose of bringing the future of tomorrow into the present of today also eliminate opportunities of human-to-human interactions.

As the dream of tomorrow’s future becomes ever closer, machines have become more refined and civilized where as humans have lost the ability to display even the most basic courtesy let alone show mutual respect to one another. A variety of machines such as self-checkouts can perform simple tasks. These usually offer convenience and time to their users, but the effect is lost opportunity for the human being to engage in civilized interaction. The more these opportunities disappear, the less understanding and respect we have for one another. Convenience also is taking on greater importance. As machines evolve and we devolve, there seems to be a greater push for machines to become more innovative and precise, enabling their users to have everything at their finger tips. “Smart” phones, for example, have made it very easy to participate in “social networking” which has led people to believe they are being more social. But because interactions that require some “soul connection” are becoming harder and harder, this “social networking” seems to de-socialize us as people.

Machines are increasingly popular in the workplace. Though there are financial benefits to machine labor, they are restricted to a handful of people. And there are no benefits to those who lose their jobs. The increased job loss will effect the overall economy, but it will also create more tension between people in society and mean more de-socialization. Even though society itself has also benefited from advances in technology (from indoor plumbing to instant communication), pursuing it too hard leads to an obsession that is harming humanity.

With more and more machines “making our lives easier” and promoting “progress,” there seems to be a decline of growth in humanity. The role of machines should maintain a focus on those that are used to “help” us as a whole, not “do” for us as individuals. Though machine have displayed superb ability for bringing us into the future, the loss of human jobs as well as ettiquitte should not be swept aside. Too much of a good thing can in the end become bad.

Scoring Explanation

Ideas and Analysis = 4
The writer advances a clear thesis by engaging with multiple perspectives. Evaluation of these perspectives follows a pattern of concession and critique: We may concede that machines spur progress (as Perspective 2 believes) and that new technologies drive the way we imagine the future (Perspective 3), but we must also recognize that our obsession with the convenience technology affords has a dehumanizing effect (Perspective 1). In this way, the writer has evaluated a number of assumptions that underlie the given perspectives, and has recognized the complexities that arise in doing so. It is worth noting, too, that the writer does not make explicit mention of the given perspectives. Nevertheless, their ideas clearly join the writer’s own in the analysis that drives this argument.

Development and Support = 4
Lines of clear reasoning run through the argument, strengthening and supporting its thesis. There are two essential components to the writer’s point that human-to-machine interaction is detrimental to society, and each one receives elaboration. The writer extends analysis by reasoning through a number of factors that complicate prevailing ideas about new technologies. For example, the writer discusses the idea that social networking encourages more social activity, and then complicates this notion by questioning whether the nature of the interactions on social media is truly social. Throughout the response, the writer remains focused on consequences that come from machines receiving more attention than humans. In this way, her ideas and their intended effect become clear to the reader.

Organization = 4
The writer employs a clear organizational strategy. The introduction identifies two main considerations for analysis—benefits of intelligent machines and social and economic consequences. Through a discussion of these particular considerations, the writer’s larger purpose—to argue that machines should play only a limited role in our lives—emerges. Transitions connect ideas, particularly within paragraphs (Convenience also is taking on greater importance; Even though society itself has also benefitted).

Language Use = 4
The writer’s facility with language contributes to the clarity of the overall argument. Word choices such as civilized and social networking (alongside de-socialize) emphasize the writer’s thesis, creating a consistent reference to it without simple repetition. Variety in sentence structure increases reading interest, and ironic turns of phrase such as bringing the future of tomorrow into the present of today underscore the writer’s main critique.

Next—sample essay #5 . . .