DIRECTED WRITING: 35 MARKS
DIRECTED: ARTICLE: Factual
You are concerned over the implications and long-term health effects of the haze. Write an article to the local newspaper expressing your concern based on all the notes below.
- the reasons behind the haze
- role of government and society
- steps that can be taken
- give relevant examples of:
- health complications
- roles of government and individuals
When writing the article you should remember:
- to lay out the letter carefully
- to use paragraphs
- that you letter is to the press
Haze: A Danger to Health
The haze is a constant phenomenon faced by Malaysia and her neighbouring countries. The haze is basically pollution of atmosphere, which is clogged with pollutants and other substances from forest fires.
The haze is a direct effect of forest fire in Kalimantan and other parts of Indonesia due to slash and burn method of farming. The Indonesian authorities appear to have no power to control farmers from practising such methods. The haze is further worsened by open burning practised by most Malaysians. Open-field burning of rice straw by the rice planters and open burning of dried leaves and garbage done by the public are a few examples that done by Malaysian. Many are ignorant of the health effects of open burning.
During the haze, hospitals and clinic often report a dramatic increase in respiratory problems, lung infections and asthma attack. The Air Pollution Index (API) usually indicates the hazardous and dangerous levels of pollution during this period. The haze has long-term side effects. Prolonged inhalation of polluted air will result in serious lung infection which particularly affects the elderly.
The government must play its role to reduce the haze treat. It has to cooperate with the Indonesian authorities to stamp out forest fires. The culprits must be brought to justice, either through healthy fine or prison sentence. Constant vigilance would ensure the perpetrators do not repeat their offence.
The government should also raise the public awareness of the dangers of forest fire. Continuous campaign of the cause, solutions and steps-need-to-be-taken to reduce the haze need to be promoted through all types of social media like television, radio, newspaper and even via internet. The authorities should also provide assistance to farmers and introduce more sophisticated forest clearing methods.
In Malaysia, strict laws must be imposed to penalise those who practise open burning. On-going campaigns on the dangers of open burning should be intensified. Individuals too have a role to play. They must participate in every campaign and stop burning. Students can advise their parents not to practice open burning.
Every individual has to remember that we do not own the world, but instead we lent it from our future generations. We must protect our world so that our grandchildren woulh have a healthy earth to live.
Ahmad Harun bin Hashim
Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
From: Penilaian Topik Vista SPM/Sasbadi/2009
ARTICLE: Article for School Magazine / Newsletter
In spite of government’s clear call to students to study English well, many students still show very little interest in studying the language. As Chairperson of the English Language Society, you are going to try to persuade the students to study the language by writing an article in the school newsletter. In the article you have to tell the students the importance of studying the language. Your article is given in the point form below:
- will help you to further your studies
- will help you to get a job
- will help you in your job
- will help you in your travels
- will help you to enjoy many interesting programmes in television
- will help you to appreciate many of the world’s most beautiful literary works
The Importance of Studying English
It is a big concerned for teenagers nowadays as they are unaware of the importance of English language as they tend to ignore to learn the language. Students’ attitude towards the language is also crucial to make sure that these teenagers can face the future world better by learning English language as it is an international language.
Although the government has repeatedly told us of the importance of English, many students are still not bothered about studying it seriously. There is also a campaign that still on to make all the Malaysian becomes a better English learner, which is ‘Enhance Proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia, Strengthen the English’. English is the most important and the most useful language in the world today. There are many reasons why you should study the language properly.
First and foremost, English will definitely help you a lot when you want to further studies. Almost all books at university are written in English in all subjects. Plus, it is a compulsory for any candidate to pass English with credit before entering any universities. So, if you are poor in English, you will blow you chance for better education or worse, you are going to have a big problem studying at university.
The second reason why you have to study English well is that it will help you to get a job. When you go for a job interview, the interviewer will surely talk to you in English. The first impression you should give in order to success and have the job is, to respond in English fluently. Your chances of getting the job are very slim if you stutter while interviewing.
A good command in of English will also help you greatly in your job. If the company you work is actively involved in international trade, you have to speak to prospective customers in English. Miscommunication might occur if your English is bad. And this will put your company at risk and you will likely be dismissed if this happen.
Good English will also help you a lot when you travel. Every country in the world studies English. Even the roadside stall-holders in China speak fairly good English! At least some of the people you meet on your travels in other countries can understand English. The language is certainly practical when you are lost in your trip. Communication problem will not happen if you can converse well in English. Inevitably, English is one of the languages used in any airport in the world in making announcement. Knowing English well, therefore, make travelling overseas easier.
Besides all these, entertainment is one of the major advantages you will experience if you good in English. You will enjoy television’s best programmes. We must admit that many of the best programmes are produced by the Americans and British companies. High self confidence influenced by the programmes will indirect inculcate in yourself when you are fluent in the language. Quality time is worthily spent if you understand and enjoy the programmes.
Based from all the above elaboration, I hope that students will see the importance and realise how importance the language is for their own future. Although it is a second language in our country, it is now a main language all over the world.
DIRECTED: ARTICLE / REPORT: Newspaper Article / Report
There has been an attempted robbery in your area. As a newspaper reporter, you have been assigned to write a report of the incident for publication in a local newspaper. Using the notes below, write out your report.
- couple – taking a walk
- two men approached them
- ordered couple to give jewellery
- a struggle – husband injured
- one neighbour – taking a dog for a walk
- heard shouts – went to investigate
- robbers saw dog – fled
- couple made police report
Couple Foils Robbery Attempt
PULAU PINANG, Thu – An elderly businessman and his wife foiled a robbery attempt by two men armed with a screwdriver and a knife. The victims were reported safe from any bad injury.
Tan Ah Wok, 60 and his wife were taking a morning walk near their home in Helen Heights yesterday when two men on a motorcycle stopped them under the pretext of asking for directions. As Mr. Tan was giving directions, one of the robbers pointed a knife at him and ordered them to keep quiet. He then relieved Mrs. Tan of her jewellery and instructed Mr. Tan to hand over his ring and watch. When he refused, a struggle ensued. Meanwhile, his accomplice grabbed a helmet and hit Mr. Tan on the head with it. On seeing this, his wife started screaming.
One of their neighbours, R. Subramaniam, who was taking his dog for a walk, heard the screams and when to investigate. On seeing Subramaniam and his dog, the robbers fled. “I was taking my dog for a walk when I heard someone shouting for help. Knowing that something was wrong, I ran there as fast as I could. Before I reached the scene, the robbers fled on a motorbike. They were probably afraid of my Rottweiler.”
Mr. Tan, who suffered a small cut on his head, was given outpatient treatment at a private clinic. He said that it was a horrified experience as he never expected the two men would attack his wife and him. He thought that they were lost and needed help. He also mentioned that the guard who in charge nowadays easily allowed the strangers to enter their residents. State CID Chief Supt Harun Din advised him and the people to be more careful in giving help to strangers. The guard also must be stricter in letting people from entering any residents without proper permission.
He added that the suspects, aged between 25 and 30, were believed to be illegal immigrants. He said there had been similar incident last week when two men approached a factory worker who was on her way home after work. The duo then relieved her gold chain and cash. He advised the residents to be alert and reports to police any suspicious-looking characters lurking in their area.
From: Spot on Model Compositions and Summary/Oxford Fajar/2007
DIRECTED: REPORT – Police Report
You witnessed an accident. The police officer has asked you to make a report. Use the points given below:
- when the event happened
- where the event took place
- how it happened
- description of the vehicles
- step taken
To: Sergeant Razali Kamrin
From: Julia Selamat
Date: 7th September 2011
Report of the accident on Jalan 2/14
On 7th September 2011 at 10.30 a.m., I was walking alone Jalan 2/14 which is next to the children’s playground. As I was about to cross the road to enter the park, I saw a car driving swiftly down Jalan 4/14. It was a Honda Civic with the number plate BEH 9110. Another car, a Toyota Vios 1.5 with plate number WHM 4657 came out of Jalan 4/14 as well. The Honda Civic was driving too fast that make it did not have time to avoid collision.
The accident caused a loud crash. The Honda Civic hit the Toyota Vios on the driver’s door. The door could not be opened and the driver had to get out from the passenger’s door. The driver of the Toyota Vios was lucky as he survived with no physical injuries. Both air bags popped up when they collided to each other. They both were fortunate as their car was not badly damaged and dented.
The Toyota Vios’s windscreen was shattered to pieces. The Honda Civic’s headlight and signal light were smashed. There was plenty of glass on the road. The two drivers startled to argue. The driver of the Honda City was a woman. They blamed each other and the argument stopped when her mobile phone rang. Most of the passerby slowed down their vehicle to watch the accident. Some pedestrian came by and offered help.
As it happened, I ran into my house which is close by. I called the nearest police station and in ten minutes, a police car drove up. I told the police officer I had witnessed the accident and offered to come out to the station to give a statement. The cars were towed to the side of the road first, and then were brought to the police station before to workshop. Pictures were taken for insurance claim.
In my opinion, the driver of the Honda City is to blame for the accident. She was driving too fast and did not pay any attention to vehicles coming out from the side road. The driver of the Toyota Vios should have stopped at the junction.
Write Better Compositions and Summaries for SPM 1119 English/Oxford Fajar/2006
DIRECTED: REPORT – Book Report
As a class project, you have been asked to write a book report. You decide to write a report of a book you have just read.
Use the following notes in your report:
- main characters
“The Story of My Life” is an autobiography written by Helen Keller. It tells us how Helen Keller, who was deaf, blind and mute, defied the odds to become one of the most celebrated personalities in the world. The story was set in Alabama in 1997.
In the first half of the book, Helen Keller writes about how she was afflicted with scarlet fever while she was still a baby and how illness left her deaf, blind and mute. The story outlines the frustration Helen Keller experienced as a child – alone in a dark and silent world – unable to communicate with anybody. The author then goes on to say how her life changed with the arrival of her new-employed teacher and nanny, Anne Mansfield Sullivan.
The second part of the book relates how Helen Keller studied the deaf and dumb language and learnt how to write using Braille and then went to college and graduated. The story goes on to say how she spent the rest of her life helping the deaf and dumb all over the world.
I enjoyed reading every page of the book. I found some sections of the book, especially those that deal with the early part of her life, poignant and touching. It made me realize how difficult life must be for the handicapped. It also made me realize how fortunate I was. It has made me more sympathetic towards the plight of those who are less fortunate than I am, especially the handicapped who has given up hope in the face of misfortune, and the severely handicapped who have lost the will to live.
The story is very touching and informative. It arouses the feelings of the readers. I admire Helen Keller for her determination and diligence. I appreciate the painstaking efforts taken by the teacher. The book has a good moral lesson for all. It shows the triumph of the human spirit in the face of indomitable obstacles. It makes us wonder whether Helen Keller was just another victim of fate or whether her birth has a special significance. Was Helen Keller fortunate or unfortunate? Helen Keller was unfortunate to have suffered the cruel twist of fate but the world is fortunate to have had a person like her. Her life shining example to prove the adage, “where there is a will, there is a way”.
DIRECTED: REPORT – Report to Principal
You are very disappointed by the conditions and services provided by your school canteen. You decide to write a report to inform your school principal about the poor conditions and services of the canteen. These would include:
- insufficient table and benches
- food and drinks not covered
- too little food counters
- dirty and clogged drains – smelly
- food – expensive and lacks variety
- inadequate food – late comers have nothing to buy, to eat
- cold food – not fresh
- rude canteen workers
To : Mr. Hasnan bin Jalal,
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permata
From : Malik bin Abdul
Date : 24 March 2011
Report about the School Canteen
I am writing this report is to draw your attention regarding the school canteen. Many of the students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permata are unhappy about the conditions at the school canteen. There were lots of complaints regarding this issue.
In the first place, there are insufficient tables and benches. Our school has a student population of over 1 000. There is only one period of recess time for all forms. More than 80 per cent of the students go to the canteen during recess to buy food and drinks. Unfortunately, there are only about twenty-five tables and fifty benches which can accommodate less than half the number of students. As a result, many students have to stand while eating.
The food sold at the canteen not only expensive but lacks of variety. The menu is the same every day. For the past five years, ever since the present canteen management took over, students go back to the same food.
The hygiene and preparation of food leave a lot to be desired. The food and drinks are not covered. They way canteen attendants dress speak volume about hygiene. With their lackadaisical attitude, the food they sell would one way or the other become contaminated.
My fourth complaint about the canteen pertains to the etiquette of the canteen workers. They are rude and arrogant. They often shout at students. The students are always on the receiving end of their bad moods.
We hope that conditions at the canteen will improve. The canteen should provide better amenities. There should also be a different menu everyday so that students will not have to taste the same food day in and day out. Cleanliness should be given top priority.
We hope that you will look into our complaints and take steps to remedy the situation. The students are prepared to boycott the canteen if their complaints go unheeded.
Malik bin. Mohd Jalil
DIRECTED: FORMAL LETTER: Letter of Complaint
Raju a/l Lingam,
123 A, Lorong Bahagia,
07231 Bandar Baru Sentol,
Bandar Baru Sentol Council,
07200 Bandar Baru Sentol 16 JUNE 2011
Uncollected Rubbish and Clogged Drains
I am writing this letter is to attract your attention to the above title. As the representative of the community, I am calling to tell you that the 300 odd residents living in Taman Sentosa are extremely unhappy about the lackadaisical attitude of the local town council towards the uncollected rubbish and clogged drains in our area.
2. The rubbish in our area has not been collected for more than a week. The rubbish is supposed to be collected on alternate days but this has not been the case. The town council workers collect the rubbish according to their own whims and fancies. The uncollected garbage has attracted not only flies and mosquitoes but also wild dogs which had attacked the residents on several occasions. These stray animals also scatter the rubbish and make the roads dirty and smelly. As a result, residents have to bear the discomfort of stench from the garbage and risk their health.
3. We are also disappointed with the town council workers for not clearing the clogged drains which are filled with rubbish. The drains would usually overflow when there is heavy rain and the rubbish would then flow into the compounds of our houses. Besides, putting up with the unbearable stench emitted from them, the residents have to spend hours cleaning their compounds of rotten vegetables, food leftovers and other rubbish.
4. Due to dengue outbreak recently, we are really concerned about the residents’ health especially the children. Fogging service also was not done accordingly to the schedule. The fogging authority only did their job whenever a case of dengue aroused. They even fogging the neighbourhood late at night that caused us to leave the residents. They need to consider the residents who have babies and also to those who need to wake up early in the morning for work. The fogging also caused the people to have breathing problem when we were not told the exact time of fogging.
5. We have made numerous appeals to the Municipal Council to look into our complaints but to no avail. We have been putting up with this predicament for more than a week. We hope the health authorities would do something to check these health hazards.
(RAJU a/l MANIAM)
DIRECTED: FORMAL LETTER: Letter of Application
You came across the following advertisement for the post Accounts Assistant Clerk.
Write a letter of application together with curriculum vitae to the manager.
In your letter, include the following:
- your curriculum vitae
- the reasons for your interest in the job
- your ability to work independently
- pursuing a degree in Accountancy
Do remember to:
- use the formal letter
- use all the points given
- elaborate each points given
Chong Mei Lin,
40, Jalan Templer,
Taman Hati Bersih,
76 000 Seremban,
Lim and Sons Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd.,
Lot 123, Interstate Industrial Area,
76 001 Nilai,
Negeri Sembilan 18 JULY 2010
Dear Sir / Madam,
Application for the Post of Accounts Assistant
I wish to apply for the post of Accounts Assistant as advertised in The New Strait Times dated 15th July 2011.
2. I have the necessary qualifications as stated in my curriculum vitae which is attached to this letter. I have experience working in both food manufacturing and also auto manufacturing fields. I am currently working in Lazat Ice Cream Sdn. Bhd. in capacity of an Accounts Assistant and have been here since January 2008. Before this, I was working in TFR Auto Enterprise as an Accounts clerk. Since my present position offers little prospect for career advancement, I would like to be attached to a fairly large organisation such as yours.
3. I would like to work in Nilai as I intend to further my studies and get professional qualification. I have registered with a college in Nilai to do ACCA on part-time basis. With this high additional education level and knowledge, I can perform better in applying the accounts knowledge in the future job.
4. I can assure you that I am capable person who can work independently. I am able to handle full sets of accounts, up to three sets at a time. I am interested in working with a company like yours as I feel I can grow well with the company. I am a team player, adapt easily to any working environments and can work with people from all works of life.
5. I was active in extra-curricular activities and was considered as responsible and dedicated worker. I led and organised many activities for the school clubs so I am confident that I can be an asset to your company in this capacity. Furthermore, i have a good command of English.
6. In view of my qualification and experience, I would expect a salary more than RM 2 000. And since I have my own car, I would have no problems travelling outstation should the job require.
7. I look forward to hearing from you and I am fully prepared to attend an interview at any time convenient to you.
(RAJU a/l MANIAM)
DIRECTED: INFORMAL LETTER
Your friend in Singapore has written to you to inform you that his cousin in Penang was down with dengue fever. He would like to know the situation in Malaysia as he plans to bring his family over for the holidays in June. Write a letter to brief him about the current situation.
In your letter, include the following:
- express concern over the health of your friend’s cousin
- news about the situation
- steps taken authorities
- present situation
Do remember to:
- use the informal letter format
- use all the points given
- expand each of the points given
- write in paragraph
No. 34, Street of Fame,
Taman Bukit Bintang,
14 January 2011
How are you? I’m sorry to hear that your cousin had dengue fever. This problem seems to have become very serious all of sudden. We always feel that the problem is not our concern until someone close to us is affected.
My neighbour’s daughter who was in Standard 6 last year could not sit for UPSR examination because she was down with dengue fever on the eve of the exam. Fortunately, the authorities gave her an exemption so she is now in Form One. There were also a few students taking the examination in the hospital.
According to the news, students made up nearly 30 per cent of the 1 500 suspected cases over the first three weeks of the year. About 53 per cent of 621 confirmed cases last year comprised children and youth under the age of 24. These statistics are quite worrying. This has prompted the health ministry to increase checks on aedes breeding grounds in school and public areas. The construction sites are largely to blamed. The problem is made worse by the rainy season. The stagnating water attract the mosquitoes to lay egg and breeding on the areas.
The authorities have taken various steps to control the situation. Fogging has been carried out in many public areas and most of the housing estates. Contractors at the construction sites have been instructed to take appropriate actions and warned to clean up. They could be fined up to RM 3 000 for breeding aedes mosquitoes. Lot of campaigns through the television, radio and newspapers were taken to make people aware of the issue and take precaution rather than cure them.
Before the long holidays for the Chinese New Year, schools all over Malaysia carried out a clean-up campaign of the school compound. The residents’ association in my housing are also organised a family day clean-up of the housing estate. There were huge piles of rubbish especially old tyres and containers littered by the hawkers near the might market site.
The situation in Malaysia has improved since the end of January. There have been no reports of new cases of dengue. So, don’t worry. You can bring your family for a holiday here in June. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
Send my regard to your mom and dad. Do take care.
Your school is having a month-long ‘A Healthy Body Campaign’. As President of the Health Club of your school, you decide to give a speech on the ‘Tak nak Campaign’ recently launched by the government.
Tak Nak Campaign
A very good morning to our dear Principal, Mr. Hasnan bin Jaafar, teachers and students.
Recently, our former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched an anti-smoking campaign called “Tak Nak”. You can now see this short and rhyming catch phrase “Tak Nak” everywhere – on billboards, posters, TV ads, and sometimes I even hear it on the radio. Though some people have criticised our government for setting aside a staggering sum of RM100 million over 6 years for the campaign, it is nothing compared to the huge amounts that tobacco companies spend to promote smoking.
But in this war against smoking, money definitely talks; it is necessary for the Tak Nak Campaign to constanly remind us of the hazard of smoking because about 50 Malaysian teenagers light up for the first time every day. In fact, some of these youth progress steadily from this to regular use, with addiction raking hold within a few years. And this is despite the warning on every pack of cigarettes that states unequivocally “Smoking is dangerous to your health”.
What can the Tak Nak Campaign do to combat this? Their aggressive advertising creates media awareness among the public, especially among the fashionable young crowd, that smokers have yellowed teeth and suffer from shortness of breath and tells them that it is not cool to smoke. It is also not responsible of them to affect non-smokers with second-hand smoke.
Also, there is a succession of infomercials on TV and in the papers showing the debilitating effects of tobacco addiction on the body and gruesome statistics of smoke-related deaths. We are now familiar with the graphic pictures of damaged lungs on billboards which should scare people into not smoking. This works, as I know some of my friends are quitting now, or trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke per week.
However, I feel any anti-smoking campaign is more effective if other people and organisations are actively involved too. Yes, the first step has been taken by the top, but sad to say, many of our politicians smoke themselves. Nearer to home, so do some of our parents and teachers.
These adults have to be good role models by not smoking themselves. If they do smoke, they should tell their children and students that they regret that they ever started, and then take steps to quit smoking as soon as possible. They must practise what they preach.
On a more positive note, I commend the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union for its zero-tolerance of smoking because they know that smoking and health just do not mix. How can our sportsmen excel if they cannot stop smoking.
Dear teachers and students, thank you for your attention. Let me end my speech by reiterating that smoking is a bad habit, so make Tak Nak your mantra. If you have started smoking, say Tak Nak and quit! And if you haven’t started smoking, say know that smoking not only damages your health but you are also literally burning your money.
The following Graduation Writing Proficiency Examination essays were written by HSU students during a regularly scheduled GWPE. Except for the elimination of cross-outs, the essays are reproduced here exactly as written. Insofar as possible, the essays were chosen to represent the entire range of possible scores. (No essay received a score of One on Essay Topic I.) The majors represented by the authors of these essays are, in alphabetical order, Art, Biology, Business Administration, Environmental Resources Engineering, Fisheries, Geography, Geology, Industrial Arts, and Resource Planning and Interpretation.
Personal-Experience Essay Prompt
You have 45 minutes to write on the following topic.
A distinguished essayist once wrote: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
Write an essay in which you:
- Describe a book that has strongly affected you.
- Explain how your reading of this book changed your outlook.
- Tell why you think this book had such a profound effect on you.
Sample Essay Score: Six
During my third year of college I became acutely aware of the Womens Rights Issue. I made an attempt to re-examine many of the cultural norms that I had previously accepted as just being "the natural order of things." One of the paths I took to expand my awareness of the female psyche involved women's literature. That is why I spent one weekend of my life in bed--crying, laughing, feeling sometimes confused, and often, incredibly angry and distraught. On that rainy Humboldt Friday night I had decided to read "The Women's Room."
The author, Marilyn Fridey, describes the lives of several women from the 1950's to present. These women are nothing out of the ordinary. They either go to college and then get married, or they get married without bothering about the pretense of college--after all, they know that college is only a way to find more economically promising husbands. Myra, the main character whose life is traced throughout the book vaguely wonders why she is not content cooking pot roast, scraping shit from the baby's diapers, and picking up her husband's dry cleaning. Her only solace is the neighborhood of women who share concerns over coffee in the afternoons.
They wonder why Katherine, a Catholic woman who has 9 children and an alcoholic husband, committed suicide. "She had a normal life, they thought, she just should have talked her husband into using birth control." As for the rest of the women, including Myra, their lives, fears, disappointments and yearnings, were much more subtle, yet equally suicidal in their quiet desperation.
Many years down the road, Myra's life finally changes. Her husband has "made it", the kids have grown, and life is easy economically. Myra has a nervous breakdown. Once recovered, she divorces, and becomes a graduate student at Yale. Though painful and difficult, it is here that she comes to terms with herself, realizes her potential, and learns to live with herself--not necessarily happily--but at least honestly.
After I finished the story of Myras world that Sunday evening, I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing uncontrollably from a terrible nightmare. Though I couldn't remember the dream, I came to a profound realization. Myra's life was my mothers.
Most of my life I had revered, respected and admired my father for going to college, being intelligent and worldly, having power and control. In short for being a man.
My mother always seemed too "wishy-washy", easily trodden upon, overly dependent because she had chosen the role of HOUSEWIFE, MOTHER. I rebelled against the tradition, and feared wearing those chains someday. Consequently, I strove to be like my father.
Until this book, I never realized how much more courage it took for a person to live within a stifled role, and find contentment by living through other people. During that night of crying I understood my mother for the first time--I respected her inner strength, compassion, gentleness.
Ever since then, my relationship with my mother has evolved, and we are very close. I will probably never adopt the role in life that she chose to take, but I now respect her for her life, and understand the reasons why she made those choices. Reading of Myra's evolution as a female changed the way I feel towards myself, my feelings and compassion for my mother, and provided me with a much more sensitive view towards the lives of many women in our society today.
Comment:Clearly a well-written, superior essay. Each of the three parts of the topic is covered and well developed, with considerable detail provided. Despite an occasional lapse in the use of the possessive and a few other matters, the paper is strong in mechanics. Sentence structure is sophisticated and effective.
Sample Essay Score: 5
Through the ages of 8-15 I was an avid reader of pleasure books. The majority of the books were mysteries such as Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Books about animals were avoided because they usually had a very sentimental theme, and I was very emotional when it came to animal suffering.
When I was approximately 10 years old I read a book titled Misty & Chatlenaque. This book was about a young horse that was stranded on an island. It had been on a horse-trading ship when the ship wrecked on the rocks. Misty went through several adventures where wild dogs tried to kill her, horse traders tried to capture her (and beat her in the process), and the sea tried to swallow her.
A little girl who lived on the Island found Misty and tried to protect her from the wild dogs and horse traders. The story was told from the horse's point view, and the agony and terror Misty went through passed on to me. I felt as if it were me who was being chased and beat.
A girl at the age of ten is influenced by the things she sees and reads. Years after reading the book I had the notion that horse ranches were terrible to horses. I also felt that horses were very human in the sense that they could think, feel, understand, and have emotions.
Whenever I passed by a horse who was behind a fence I had to stop and feed it, talk to it, pet it, and feel sorry for it. Every horse had that "Misty" look in its eyes, and I felt it was "crying out to me".
After reading Misty and Chatlenaque, horses became more than just an animal to me. They became something I could relate to and sympathize with. I myself was a lonely child who felt neglected (even though I wasn't) and "penned". While reading the book I felt the horse and I were one. Years later I felt like horses and I had something in common and could relate to each other.
Now, I know horses do not understand what I say to them, but I still stop and talk to them as if they were human. I feel that if I had not read that book eleven years ago I wouldn't feel as attached to horses as I do now. To this day, I refuse to read another horse book or watch a horse movie that looks like it might be "emotional" or "sentimental".
Misty & Chatlenaque is still a very prominent book in my mind, and details of it are remembered frequently. It has had the profound effect of altering my view of horses and will probably remain in my memory for life. The book also had the effect of making me not want to read those kinds of books again. Their emotional impact was too great on me so I only read mysteries and school books. To this day I have my reservations about reading an emotional book, especially if it pertains to animals.
Comment:A very competent paper, nearly free of mechanical errors but lacking the coherent development of the superior essay. It is also occasionally repetitious and a bit unfocused at times. (The correct title of this book is Misty of Chincoteaque.)
Sample Essay Score: 4
In the summer of 1981 I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers on the Warm Springs Dam Project. Much to my objections I was to spend the entire summer living alone, without my wife, since she had obligations to keep in Eureka, California.
The project was located 7 miles southwest of Cloverdale, Ca., in an area which is essentially agricultural. Housing in the area was very scarce and the lodging which could be found was either too expensive or unsuitable. By my own preference, I decided it would be nice to camp out in the woods for the entire duration of the summer.
At first the evenings after work were hot but beautifully peaceful. It didn't take long though until I found my self bored to death looking for something to do besides play solitare. How did the people in the early days of our world stand life without television. I was forced to find some other means of entertainment which just happened to be reading.
The only reading material which was at my camp was a book left there by my wife on her last visit entitled "The Stix Complex." This book to most of the world I'm sure has no great literary value, but to me, it was the greatest entertainment I had ever found. I realized that in the reading of a book, ones own imagination can bring out much more detail in a story than television ever could.
I don't feel that it was the specific book that struck me so much that summer, and it probably could have been any book. I realized that we expect to be entertained by television and movies so much that we forget that we can entertain ourselves to a much higher degree. I still watch television, but I now read much more for enjoyment.
Comment:Although this essay addresses all three aspects of the topic, development of them is thin. The writer devotes most of the essay to describing his situation and passes rather quickly over the book itself and its effects on him. Still, despite a few mechanical flaws, this is clearly a competent piece of writing.
Sample Essay Score: 3
I was strongly affected by a book I read called Never Cry Wolf. The book discribes a remote animal behavor study, located in a mountainous region of northern Canada. The purpose of the study was to observe the animal behavior of wolfs in there natural environment. The study was conducted by a wildlife biologist, working for the Canadian goverment.
Up until the time I read the book, I had the impression that wolfs where among the meanest creatures on the planet. I may have received this impression from childhood fairy tales that were told to me. After reading the book severl times, my impression of wolfs had changed. I no longer viewed wolfs as mean creatues, but instead viewed them as primarly passive creatures. Their intent was not to harm, but to survive.
Animal behavior became a primary interest of mine after reading the book, Never Cry Wolf. Although, I am not a wildlife major, I have assisted in a wildlife study on wolfs. I would have never gained this experience if I had not read Never Cry wolf. The knowledge I gained from the book has opened my eyes to nature.
Comment:While no parts of the topic are omitted, treatment of them tends to be superficial. The writer provides very little supporting detail. Considerable repetition is present because of the predominantly simple sentences used. (Note, for example, how the three opening sentences can easily be combined into one: I was strongly affected by a book I read called Never Cry Wolf, which describes the behavior of wolves living in their natural environment in the mountains of northern Canada.) Spelling is also weak.
Sample Essay Score: 2
The purpose of this essay is to describe my personal experience; that of a particular book which has greatly affected me. This book is Sweet Thursday by John Stienbeck. This book has greatly affected my over all outlook on life in general. Sweet Thursdaychanged the way I think about myself and others. Also, it has changed the way I feel about my own career.
The main character of the book was Doc. Doc had a very profound outlook on twards life, which I found quite interesting. He gave his career all of his attention yet still felt an emptyness inside. This was because he was without a meaningful relationship with a women. I too feel this emptyness, but because of Sweet Thursday I am able to understand what it is. This understanding gives me hope when career goals are overwelming.
Comment:Although this essay does not ignore the question, it treats it very poorly. The essay is both thin in content and lacking in development. The writer uses repetitious simple sentences rather than more sophisticated sentence structures which would combine and properly subordinate thoughts and eliminate the repetitions.
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