Writeplacer Sample Essay 1

Below is a sample essay response for our WritePlacer Practice Essay 1. We recommend that you write your own practice essay before you review this example. After the sample WritePlacer essay there is a commentary which explains why it would earn a perfect score.

America has come so far as a society that it’s crazy that our citizens don’t all have access to affordable healthcare. Americans are dying of diseases that have been cured. Diabetics are risking their lives by skipping shots because they can’t afford regular doses of insulin. People are avoiding going to the doctor for their ailments until it’s too late, all because they can’t afford treatment. It is the responsibility of every American citizen to make sure that we all have affordable access to healthcare, even if that means we pay higher taxes.

The American healthcare system works on a hierarchy controlled by money. Health care has become so expensive that poor Americans are forced to forgo medication or only see a doctor when they are forced to go to the emergency room. Rich Americans, however, have access to any medical treatments and medications their money can buy. Money should not be the thing that determines the value of a human life. The lives of all of our citizens are important, and keeping healthcare inaccessible to the poor is accepting that money is the most important indicator of personal value. You either have money, or you deserve to die. This is not the America that we pretend to be.

On the Statue of Liberty, it says, “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.” We love to think of ourselves as the land of opportunity, a place where people can find a new life, work from nothing to something, and make a life for their families. Nowhere in the poem inscribed on Lady Liberty does it say “as long as you have money.” One of the first questions a hospital asks to new patients walking in the door is, “do you have insurance?” Too many of our citizens have to answer that questions with a “no,” and get turned away because of it. If you were walking around a mall and saw someone collapse to the ground, would your first question to them be, “how much money do you have?” Money should never factor into a person’s decision to provide or receive life-saving care.

Whether we like to admit it or not, though, money is important in our society. What people don’t realize, though, is that universal healthcare could potentially cost less in the long run. When hospitals have to treat patients without insurance, they raise their prices to make up the difference, and guess whose bill goes up? While universal healthcare would likely mean an increase in taxes, it could also mean a significant drop in healthcare prices. Not only is helping your fellow American the right thing to do, but it may also be the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Some people will say that if someone doesn’t have insurance, they should get a better job, but not everyone has that luxury. Fewer and fewer employers are offering health insurance for low-paying jobs, and poor Americans get stuck in a cycle that doesn’t allow them to move up. Instead of telling people to do something that our society has made near impossible, we should be willing to shell out a few extra dollars every April to keep Americans alive. How much is someone else’s life worth to you?


Essay Commentary

This response would earn the highest possible score, which is 8. Even though the WritePlacer essay is scored holistically (meaning as a whole, not by its parts), let’s look at a detailed explanation of how this essay scored well in each of the essay criteria:

Purpose and focus
The writer begins their essay with a description of the problem and why they think it is a problem that needs to be addressed, leading to their claim that America should provide healthcare to all of its citizens. This claim runs consistently throughout the essay as the writer always makes sure to refer back to it and relate their examples to it. The writer concludes the essay with a counter-argument that addresses an opposing viewpoint, and then refutes it. This provides a strong conclusion to the claim that the writer has maintained and proven throughout the whole essay.

Organization and structure
The writer organizes their essay with purpose and care. Each body paragraph focuses on a new and different example, but always refers back to the claim. The counter-argument at the end of the passage emphasizes the importance of the writer’s claim. The writer also effectively uses transitions to move from idea-to-idea. Phrases like, “whether we like to admit it or not,” link different ideas together, and phrases like, “this is not the America we pretend to be,” help the writer move from one paragraph to the next.

Development and support
The writer uses varied examples in the essay to give readers a complete and satisfying view of the problem. The writer starts off by discussing the inequity of America’s current healthcare system, then moves on to discuss what America was designed to be, and finishes with an explanation of how universal health care could even save people money. In doing this, the writer provides a current view of health care, juxtaposes it with the hopes of America’s past, then presents potential benefits of a future with universal health care.

Sentence variety and style
The writer uses varied sentence structure to craft a style that is engaging and convincing. For example, the writer uses several rhetorical questions, which could be distracting. By varying the sentences around them, though, the writer is able to avoid overusing questions.

Mechanical Conventions
While this essay response may not be perfect, there are no noticeable mistakes in mechanics or conventions. The writer effectively displays their command of the rules of the English language.

Critical thinking
This response displays a high level of critical thinking. The organization of the response takes readers through the issue effectively and is very convincing. The fourth paragraph in particular displays the writer’s critical thinking. After trying to convince the audience emotionally by arguing that we should want to help others, they switch to a more logical argument, positing that universal health care might actually cost less than our current health care system. This is a unique and effective way of thinking because the writer crafts their response in a way that it can be convincing to people of varying viewpoints.

More Resources

WritePlacer Essay

Accuplacer Practice Test