Sample Student Essay: 3/2/3
In the article “Why literature matters” (2005) Dana Gioia expresses that American arts have changed and that many people are beginning to no longer read. He argues that intellectual abilities are decreacing. Gioia expresses reasoning, includes evidence, and establishes word choice. His purpose is to encourage more people to begin reading again in order to improve their intellectual level. He targets everyone essentially as his audience.
Gioia expresses reasoning in paragraph five when he states that the decline in reading will lead to consequences and people will have a lower set of mental skills. He specifically states “the ability to create artistic and emotional ability....to craft a satisfying narrative,” will disappear if people no longer read. This causes the audience to reflect on his point and want to be able to expand their talents.
Gioia also includes fACTs and statistics in paragraph six in order to capture the audience’s attention so they realize that the intellectual state of peoples minds is ACTually dropping. He states, “poor reading skills ranked second, 38 percent of employers complained that local schools inadequately taught reading comprehension.” Gioia inserts this statistic to grab people’s attention, such as people who teach in schools so that we are sure that children have good reading comprehension at an early age.
Finally Gioia displays proper word choice throughout the text to express the fACT that having good reading comprehension will broaden your vocabulary. He uses the word intellectual multiple times for effect. Gioia expects that people will understand that they do need to read up on past events as well as other topics to be able to relate to society.
Gioia’s goal is to reach out to his audience and to encourage them to read, and apply their intellectual abilities to their everyday life. He has a sense of hope that people will express their abilities to grow and be fruitful with their social encounters.
This paper scored a 3/2/3.
Reading—3: This response demonstrates effective comprehension of Gioia’s text. The writer provides appropriate textual evidence (paraphrases and quotations) to capture both the main ideas of the passage (American arts have changed and that many people are beginning to no longer read and intellectual abilities are decreacing) and important details (He specifically states “the ability to create artistic and emotional ability....to craft a satisfying narrative,” will disappear if people no longer read). There are no substantive errors of fACT or interpretation in this essay. On the whole, the writer demonstrates a complete understanding of Gioia’s argument, especially the relationship between declining literary reading and social awareness (or social encounters). Overall, this response demonstrates proficient reading comprehension.
Analysis—2: The writer demonstrates a limited understanding of the analytical task and offers only a partial analysis of how Gioia builds his argument. The writer identifies some analytical elements of Gioia’s text (such as reasoning, fACTs, and word choice) and attempts to describe how these elements function in the passage. However, throughout the response, the writer provides only single assertions about elements of argumentation in Gioia’s text (This causes the audience to reflect on his point and want to be able to expand their talents). Instances of analysis, most commonly found at the end of paragraphs, illustrate some understanding on the writer’s part of how Gioia builds his argument; however, the writer does not move beyond providing assertions into effective discussion or evaluation of how evidence, reasoning, or stylistic and persuasive elements are used to build the argument. Overall, this response demonstrates only partially successful analysis.
Writing—3: This response is mostly cohesive and demonstrates broadly effective use and control of language. Starting with an effective introductory paragraph that includes a clear central claim (Gioia expresses reasoning, includes evidence, and establishes word choice. His purpose is to encourage more people to begin reading again in order to improve their intellectual level), the writer structures his essay clearly, if formulaically, around the three points of reasoning, evidence, and word choice. Each paragraph remains on-topic, and there is a clear progression of ideas within paragraphs and across the essay as a whole. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone while demonstrating a variety of sentence structures. Although sentence structures are occasionally awkward (Gioia expects that people will understand that they do need to read up on past events as well as other topics to be able to relate to society), language errors do not detrACT significantly from the quality of writing. Overall, this response demonstrates proficient writing.