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.
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.
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.
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.