Sample Essay (Score = 3)

Page 1

Begin WRITING TEST Here.

Educators debate extending high school to five years because of increasing demands on students from employers and colleges to participate in extracurricular activies and community service in addition to having high grades. Some educators support extending high school to five years because they think students need more time to achieve all that is expected of them. Other educators do not support extending high school to five years because they think students would lose interest in school and attendance would drop in the fifth year. Both sides have strong points, but I agree with the educators who say that their shouldn't be an extension to high school adding a fifth year.

I agree that high school should not be made up of a fifth year because I agree with those people who say that students would loose interest. Some adolescence are already loosing interest in school and an increasing number of students are becoming dropouts. Being an high school student myself, it is hard and some students don't realize their full potential and think it is easier to give up than to succeed. I think adding an extra year to high school would increase the number of dropouts a year, create very serious attendance dilemmas, and cause student's interest in school to decline.

Page 2

I also feel that there should not be another year to high school because I just feel that it should be a job of the instructors at an high school to prepare us, high school students, for college within those four years of high school. I feel that creating another year to high school would decrease the teacher's interest and they would do a poor job and wait until the fifth year to make up for their mistakes. The teacher should have the need to do their best to prepare us for college and careers within the four years of high school

I just think that five years is too long and students would get bored with school. Their drive would definitely decline. Students would loose interest and attendance would drop. The students would become dropouts.

Scoring Explanation

This essay shows some understanding of the writing task.

The writer takes a position on the issue (Both sides have strong points, but I agree with the educators who say that their shouldn't be an extension to high school adding a fifth year) and offers some context for discussion by repeating the prompt as an introduction. By using the prompt as part of the essay, the writer acknowledges a counter-argument but does not discuss it at all.

Two main ideas are developed to support the writer's position (. . . I agree with those people who say that students would loose interest. . . . I also feel that there should not be another year to high school because I just feel that it should be a job of the instructors at an high school to prepare us, high school students, for college within those four years of high school), with the first idea repeated twice in separate parts of the discussion (I just think that five years is too long and students would get bored with school). Discussion of each idea is limited to general statements that are never illustrated by specific reasons, examples, or details (I feel that creating yet another year to high school would decrease the teacher's interest and they would do a poor job and wait until the fifth year to make up for their mistakes), but the essay does maintain focus on the specific issue in the prompt.

Organization is simple and clear but provides no evidence that ideas in the essay are logically sequenced within the discussion. Simple transitions connect the paragraphs (I agree . . . I also feel . . . I just think . . .) without making meaningful connections between ideas. The introduction and conclusion are clearly discernible as intentional frames for the discussion, but are underdeveloped—either because the language is merely repeated from the prompt or because the writer did not extend summation past a single conclusive statement.

Language use shows some sentence variety (Some adolescence are already loosing interest in school and an increasing number of students are becoming dropouts) and appropriate word choice (potential, succeed, attendance). Some errors distract but do not impede understanding.

Next—sample essay #4 . . .