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WritePlacer ESL

Guide with
Sample Essays

May 2010

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Introduction to WritePlacer ESL
Prompts within the ACCUPLACER System have been carefully designed so that the student can
respond quickly and in a variety of ways. Prompts are free of technical or specific literary references and
do not require specialized knowledge. The prompts are designed to stimulate critical thinking and are
relevant to any number of fields and interests. Students will be asked to draw on a broad range of
experiences, learning and ideas to support their point of view on the issue in question.

Scores on WritePlacer ESL range from 1 to 6. An essay that is too short to be evaluated, written on a
topic other than the one presented, or written in a language other than English will be given a score of
zero. A prompt consists of a short passage followed by an assignment that asks the student to focus on
the issue addressed in the passage.

Instructions to Students
Writing an essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express your
ideas in writing. On the next screen, a brief statement will be presented, followed by an assignment that
relates to the statement. You should respond to the assignment by writing an essay in which you
develop your point of view. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples.
The position you take will not influence your score.

Your essay will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your
position. The following four characteristics of writing will be considered.

Word Use The extent to which you are able to use a wide range of words and phrases
accurately.
Sentence Use - The extent to which you are able to use a variety of sentence patterns with
both independent and dependent clauses.
Grammar - The extent to which you are able to express ideas using grammatically correct
English.
Organization and Development - The extent to which you are able to focus on the
assigned topic and to develop ideas clearly.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 2 May 2010


Sample Prompt
______________________________________________________________________________

Passage

A woman recently received an inheritance of $25 million from an unknown, distant relative. She cannot
decide what to do: spend it, save it, or give most of it away.
______________________________________________________________________________

Assignment

If you suddenly received a large sum of money, what would you do with it?
______________________________________________________________________________

Sample Essays
On the pages that follow there are descriptions of each of the eight WritePlacer ESL score points
followed by two sample essays that were assigned the indicated score. Annotations are provided for each
essay explaining why the essay was given the score it received. Studying these sample essays and the
accompanying annotations will point out the elements considered during the scoring process.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 3 May 2010


SCORE of 1
Description of Score of 1

A response in this category demonstrates little competency in the elements of on-demand essay writing
in English.
The writing sample exhibits a simplistic expression of ideas and little to no development or
organization.
The writing sample exhibits a very limited range and variety of simple words and word phrases.
Frequent errors in word selection, word forms, and spelling obscure meaning.
The writing sample is typically characterized by short, choppy, simple sentences.
The writing sample exhibits little or no control of grammatical forms.
Sentence punctuation is omitted or used incorrectly.

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 1. The annotations explain why the essay
received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof1

IfIsuddenlyreceivedalargesumofmoney.OnefirstthingI'mgivesomemoneyhelpfor
childrenhospital,Iamhelpinggetwellandhappy.BecauseIthinktheyarehappymehappy
too,thenafterthatIamcomemycountry.Becausemycountryhavealotofpoorpeople
needhelping.Theyareneedfoodandhealthy.AndthelastthinkIwouldliketotravel
arroundtheworldhelpingpoorpeoplethemneee.Thatallmydecide.

_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampledemonstratesasimplisticexpressionofideasandlittledevelopmentor
organization(OnefirstthingImgivesomemoneyhelpforchildrenhospital....thenafterthat
Iamcomemycountry).Frequenterrorsinwordselectionandwordformsobscuremeaning,
andthewritingsampleexhibitslittlecontrolofgrammaticalforms(Becausemycountryhavea
lotofpoorpeopleneedhelping.Theyareneedfoodandhealthy).Exhibitinglittlecompetency
intheelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,thiswritingsamplereceivesascoreof
1.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 4 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof1

Ifisuddenlyreceviedalargesumofmoney,Igavemostofitaway.Igavemostofmoneyfor
thepeoplethattheyneedthismoney.Someonethatdon'thavejob,orheorshecan'tdojob
,becauseheorsheissick.Theycanusethemoneyfortheirlife.Theirchildrencangotoschool
,incoldweathercanwearwarmclothes,theycaneatgoodfoods.

Ifisuddenlyreceivedalargesumofmoney,Icanspendonepartofmymoneytomyfriends
thattheyneedmoneytodoeverythingthattheywant.theycangivememymoneylater,or
whentheydon'tneedmymoney.
_________________Annotations_________________

DemonstratinglittlecompetencyintheelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,this
writingsampleexhibitsasimplisticexpressionofideasandlittledevelopmentororganization
(...Icanspendonepartofmymoneytomyfriendsthattheyneedmoneytodoeverything
thattheywant).Thewritingsampledisplaysaverylimitedrangeandvarietyofsimplewords
andwordphrases(Someonethatdonthavejob,orheorshecantdojob,becauseheorsheis
sick)andthereislittlecontrolofgrammaticalforms.Sentencepunctuationisoftenused
incorrectly.Thiswritingsampleearnsascoreof1.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 5 May 2010


SCORE of 2
Description of Score of 2

A response in this category demonstrates limited competency in the elements of on-demand essay
writing in English.
The writing sample exhibits rudimentary development of ideas with an inconsistent ability to
express ideas clearly in an organized pattern or with sufficient supporting details.
The writing sample exhibits inconsistent competency in word use containing commonly used
words and word phrases. Frequent errors in word selection, word forms, and spelling often
obscure meaning.
The writing sample exhibits inconsistent control of sentence use with some evidence of control
of simple sentences. Commas and periods may be used to mark sentence boundaries, although
there are many errors. Minimal attempts to coordinate sentences and to use subordinate clauses
may be evident. Errors in grammatical forms are numerous.

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 2. The annotations explain why the essay
received the indicated score.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 6 May 2010


SampleEssay#1Scoreof2

IfIwouldreceivealargesumofmoney,thatlotsofthingsIwanttodo.Asastudent,Iwantto
getmoreandmoreknowledgeandlookaroundtheworld,soIwishIcanstudyabroad,toknow
differentcultureofsomecountries,thatImustneedalargesumofmoneytosupportmystudy
plan!

Ofcourse$25millionarealargesumofmoney,excepthelpmetostudyplan,Icoulddoother
things.Ithinkmanypeoplewillusethesemoneytobuycars,houses,...andsoon,butIdon't
agreewiththesearegoodideas.Ifyouonlyusemoneybutdon'tmakemoreandmore
money,thatoneday,mostofyourmoneywillbespentout.Ihaveafutureplan.Iwouldfinda
company,atthefirstitmustadevelopingcompanyandithaveahugedevelopingspace.ThatI
willusemymoneytogiveitsomehelp.InthefuturewhenIhavefinishedmystudyplan,Ithink
Icouldgetmoremoneyandusethesemoney,maybeIcanbuildacompanybymyslef.I'mnot
onlyseeone$25million!

Infact,Ialwaysconsiderthemoneyisatool,itusedtohelpmetogetmyeachpurpose.I'ma
person,mylifeisthe"running".WhenImakeoutadream,soonIhaveanextdream.Atthelast
youwillfindthatyougetyourdream,themoneyonlyisanumber!IthinkIwillgiveallofmy
moneytomanypooraresintheworld,usemypowertohelpasmoreaspossiblepeopleget
theirdreams.

________________Annotations________________

Thiswritingsampledemonstratesrudimentarydevelopmentofideasandinconsistent
competencyinworduse(Imaperson,mylifeistherunning....Atthelastyouwillfindthat
yougetyourdream,themoneyonlyisanumber!).Frequenterrorsinwordselectionandword
formsoftenobscuremeaning(Ofcourse$25millionarealargesumofmoney,excepthelpme
tostudyplan,Icoulddootherthings).Commasandperiodsareusedtomarksentence
boundaries;however,therearemanyerrors(Asastudent,Iwanttogetmoreandmore
knowledgeandlookaroundtheworld,soIwishIcanstudyabroad,toknowdifferentcultureof
somecountries,thatImustneedalargesumofmoneytosupportmystudyplan!).Exhibiting
limitedcompetencyintheelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,thiswritingsample
receivesascoreof2.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 7 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof2

IfIsuddenlyrecievealargesumofmoney,Ican'tdecideeasily,neither.Like,whenIgo
shoppingmanythinglooksgood,soIwanttobuyallofthem.butIhavetoomuchmoney,I
wouldhesitateandcould'ntdecide.

ok,Igotplanswithit.

Firstofall,Iwilldeposithalfofit.Ithinkbankissafeplace.
AndIwillbuyticketforgoingtoEurope.Ihavetoreservehotel,too.(Iwanttogoespecially
London)

Iwanttotaketripaslongaspossible.
AndIgotoshoppingmall,Iwillbuygiftformyfamily,freindsandmanythingsfortrip.

IfIhaveenoughmoneytobuyhouseandcar,Iwillbuythat.AndIwillheldabigpartyinmy
newhouse,orreserveconventionroom.Ican'tforgetfamouceband.

Beforegoingtoeurope,Iwillgivesomemoneytomyfamily.(Ithinkmydadwillbuymany
thingforfishingandclimbing,momwillsavethatmoney,mysisterwillbuyclothes,brother
willbuycomputerandgames.Nowonder.)

Atlast,Isendsomemoneytopoorfamilywithnoname.

Andthen,IwillgotoairporttohaveagreattimeinEurope.

Howaboutmyplan??

Ifyouhaveaplanbetterthanmine,tellme.

Iwillthinkaboutyours.

_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampledisplayslimitedcompetencyintheelementsofondemandessaywriting
inEnglish,exhibitinganinconsistentabilitytoexpressideasclearlyinanorganizedpattern
(AndIwillbuyticketforgoingtoEurope....Beforegoingtoeurope,Iwillgivesomemoneyto
myfamily).Frequenterrorsinwordselection,wordforms,andspellingoftenobscure
meaning.Althoughminimalattemptstocoordinatesentencesareevident,errorsin
grammaticalformsarenumerous(IfIsuddenlyrecievealargesumofmoney,Icantdecide
easily,neither....butIhavetoomuchmoney,Iwouldhesitateandcouldntdecide).This
writingsamplemeritsascoreof2.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 8 May 2010


SCORE of 3
Description of Score of 3

A response in this category demonstrates emerging competency in the elements of on-demand essay
writing in English.
The writing sample exhibits an emerging use of paragraphs and topic sentences while it may
lack overall focus and development.
The writing sample exhibits an emerging use of complex vocabulary. Errors in word selection,
word forms, and spelling sometimes obscure meaning.
The writing sample exhibits an emerging use of complex sentences but with distracting errors in
word order and punctuation.
The writing sample exhibits emerging control of grammatical forms, such as verb tense, with
varied and numerous errors.

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 3. The annotations explain why the essay
received the indicated score.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 9 May 2010


SampleEssay#1Scoreof3

IfIsuddenlyreceivealargesumofmoneywhichismydream,first,I'llorganiseabigparty.I'll
inviteallmycosinsandfreindsandI'llbuythemalotoffthings.ThesecondthingI'lldoisto
buyahousseandespeciallyacarformyhusband.ThanI'llpasstothemostimportantproject.
Asmeandmyhusbandaredoctorsinourcountry,wecan'texercisehereinUSA.infact,I'm
abletospendallmymoneytoreleasethisdream.Todothis,wehavetolearnenglishvery
well,becausewemusthaveahightlevelinenglishtohopetopassthetesttotake
residency.So,we'llregistrateinthemostseriousschoolsandofferthemostinteresting
books.Whenourenglishistoogood,we'llstarttopreparethemedicalexam.Thisoneisvery
difficult,soduringthispreparationwecouldnotwork,soI'llreserveasumofmoneyespecially
forshopping,andmedicalcaresuntilthedayoftheexam.Ofcoursemedicalschoolarevery
expensive.Registrationsonlyneedalotoffmoney,don'tforgetbookswhichareexpensive
too.ButI'mreadytospendallmymoneyuntilthelastcenttobecomeadoctorinUSA.Ifwe'll
passthisexam,beorewe'llstartresidencywe'llneedarest,soI'llbuytwoticketsformeand
myhusbandtovisitourparents.Afterthis,myhusbandwillcontinuehisstudiesandwe'lltryto
haveababyforwhoI'llofferbeautifullthingsandI'llspendwithhimanicetime.Whenhewill
bethreehearsoldIcontinuemystudies.
_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampleexhibitsanemergingcompetencyintheelementsofondemandessay
writinginEnglish,butitlacksoverallfocusanddevelopment.Errorsinwordselectionand
wordformssometimesobscuremeaning(Asmeandmyhusbandaredoctorsinourcountry,
wecantexercisehereinUSA.infact,Imabletospendallmymoneytoreleasethisdream....
So,wellregistrateinthemostseriousschoolsandofferthemostinterestingbooks).The
writingsampledemonstratesanemerginguseofcomplexsentences;however,distracting
errorsinwordorderandpunctuationoccur(Afterthis,myhusbandwillcontinuehisstudies
andwelltrytohaveababyforwhoIllofferbeautifullthingsandIllspendwithhimanice
time).Variedandnumerouserrorsingrammaticalformsalsooccur.Thiswritingsamplemerits
ascoreof3.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 10 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof3

IfSomedayirecivealargesumofmoneylikethewomanoftheexmple.Oneofthefirst
thingsiwoulddoistotakeanicetriptoEuropeandKnowallthehistoricalplaces.ItWould
takeareallylongtimebutit'sworthy.
AftertravelovereuropeMySecondChoicewouldbetogetareallyniceguitargear.Lotsof
newMusicEquipment.Andplaylikeafreakforacoupleofyears.Usemoneytohaveanice
OWNStudioanddosomenicerecordings.
Wheniachivetheminimusicaladventureiwoulddosomebusinessforsure.Tobemore
specificiwouldbereallypleasedbeinginversionsit.Oneofmyfirstinvestwouldbein
TelecomunicationsCommpanysandliquorenterprisestoo.WinnosandInternetobsesiveswill
existalmostforever(HHAHHAHA).NicemoneyonthoseMarkets.
IfthosethreepointscometrueitwouldbeaplseasuretobecomeanPhilathropistHelp
Peopleoftheworldwithbizarrediseases.PeoplesufferingofHunger.Ithinkwhenyouhave
nothingtocareaboutinyourpersolalifeyoustarttocareaboutotherspeoplewayof
living...AmIright????(HAHA).Iwouldliketosavesomedolphinstoo..NAH..Noway.IthinkI
wouldn'tbeanicephilanthropist.Butiwouldgiveitatry100%Sure!.
ThenafterallthosenosenseideasiwouldliketorejoinMusicalStudys.Toknowsome
moreofmybelovedartMusicespecificallyguitar.Iwoulbbecomposingalldaylongand
studyinghowtohandleHarmoniesineverywayitculdbepossible.Finallyiwoulddedicateall
posibletimetoteachmykidshowtodoarelationshipwithmusicandreallife...thatsabig
bizarreissueyougottabelievemeguys!.
Wellthosearethebasicideasthatcomestomymind.Ithinkmostofitaredreamsof
childhoodbutwhoisn'tstillachildonhisownmindmostoftheday?Ithinkeveryoneofus
haveakidinourbrainbutwehavetoknowhowtocontrolhimperhapsicantcontrolhim
much.Ithinkmanyofusweredreamingat10yowithbeingASuperSportsStar.Thischildhood
dreamkeepsmeawakemanynightsthinkinginhowtobecomeaFootballSuperHeroeit
neverhappenedbutistillrememberwithsomemelancholy.Ithinkihavenothisgtoaddhere
nowimleaving.Seeyougoodluck.

_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampleexhibitsanemerginguseofparagraphsandtopicsentences;however,it
lacksoverallfocusanddevelopment(Ifthosethreepointscometrueitwouldbeaplseasureto
becomeanPhilathropist....ThenafterallthosenosenseideasiwouldliketorejoinMusical
Studys).Althoughthereisanemerginguseofcomplexvocabulary,errorsinwordselection
andspellingsometimesobscuremeaning(Wheniachivetheminimusicaladventure....Tobe
morespecificiwouldbereallypleasedbeinginversionsit).Distractingerrorsinpunctuation
occur(AftertravelovereuropeMySecondChoicewouldbetogetareallyniceguitargear.Lots
ofnewMusicEquipment....UsemoneytohaveaniceOWNStudioanddosomenice
recordings),butanemergingcontrolofgrammaticalformsisevident.Demonstratingan
emergingcompetencyintheelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,thiswriting
sampleearnsascoreof3.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 11 May 2010


SCORE of 4
Description of Score of 4

A response in this category demonstrates moderate control of the elements of on-demand essay writing
in English.
The writing sample exhibits moderate control of focus, organization, and supporting details, with
a sense of audience awareness. The writing sample exhibits evidence of the use of a prewriting
strategy.
The writing sample exhibits moderate control of a wide and complex range of vocabulary but
with some distracting errors in word selection, word forms, and spelling.
The writing sample exhibits moderate control of complex and varied sentence structure.
The writing sample exhibits moderate control of grammatical forms. Repetitive errors in word
order, punctuation, and other aspects of grammar are distracting but may not interfere with
comprehension.

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 4. The annotations explain why the essay
received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof4

Ifisuddenlyrecievealargesumofmoneyiwoulddothreethingswithit.First,iwillgiveapart
ofittothecharity.Second,iwillbuyahouseformyfamily.Third,iwillsaveapartofitforme
sothaticanstartmyownbusinesswheniamready.

First,iwillgiveapartofittothecharitysothattheycouldhelpthepoorpeople.Ibelievethat
ifihelpthemgodwillhelpme.Ihaveseenthelifeofpoorpeople,theydon'thavegood
clothes,theydon'thaveenoughfoodtoeat.Theylivein
slums.Whenpoorpeoplegetsicktheydon'tgetthebestmedication.Iwillhelpthosepoor
peoplebypayingapartofmymoney.Sothattheycouldhaveenoughfoodtoeatandgood
clothestowear.Theycouldhavethemedicationwhentheygetsick.

Second,iwillbuyahouseformyfamily.Weliveinanapartmentandthereisnotenough
spaceforustokeepourthings.Wecannotevenspeakloudandcannotlistentomusicloud.
wecannotcookoutsidetheapartment,wecannotplayinfrontofthedoor.Wecannothavea
dishoutsideonourairconditioner.Inourhousewewillbeabletoalmostanythingwewant.
Wecanlistentomusicasloudaswewant,wecanspeakloud,wecanplayandcookinthe
backyardofourhouse,wecanhaveadishontheroofofourhouse.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 12 May 2010


SampleEssay#1Scoreof4Continued

Third,iwillsaveapartofitformesothaticanstartmyownbusinesswheniamready.Iwill
gotoanexpensivecollegeandgetthebesteducationwhichiwillneedtostartmybusiness.I
canmakealotmoremoneyifistartmyownbusinessthanworkingonajobforanother
company.Iwillalsobemyownboss.Idon'thavetolistentoanybodyelseortherewillbe
nobodytogiveorderstome.Iwillbecomealotricherthanbeforeifistartmyownbusiness.I
willbeabletogivejobstoalotofpeoplewhoneedthem.

Finally,ifisuddenlyrecievealargesumofmoneyiwilldothreethings.Firstiwillgiveapartof
ittothecharity.Second,iwillbuyahouseformyfamily.Thirdiwillsaveapartofitformyself,
sothaticanstartmyownbusinesswheniamready.

_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampleexhibitsmoderatecontroloffocus,organization,andsupportingdetails
anddisplaysevidenceoftheuseofaprewritingstrategy(First,iwillgiveapartofittothe
charity.Second,iwillbuyahouseformyfamily.Third,iwillsaveapartofitformesothati
canstartmyownbusinesswheniamready).Thewritingsampledemonstratesmoderate
controlofawideandcomplexrangeofvocabulary(Iwillgotoanexpensivecollegeandget
thebesteducationwhichiwillneedtostartmybusiness),butsomedistractingerrorsinword
selectionandwordformsoccur.Repetitiveerrorsinpunctuationandotheraspectsof
grammar(Ihaveseenthelifeofpoorpeople,theydonthavegoodclothes,theydonthave
enoughfoodtoeat....Wecanlistentomusicasloudaswewant,wecanspeakloud,wecan
playandcookinthebackyard)aredistractingbutdonotinterferewithcomprehension.
DisplayingmoderatecontroloftheelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,this
writingsamplereceivesascoreof4.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 13 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof4

Manypeoplewouldspendallthemoneytotheirselfiftheygetachancetohaveit.ButIfIget
tohavealargeamountofthemoney,Iwilldosoemthingdifferentfromotherpeople.IfI
receivealargeamountofthemoneyIwouldsavesomebutgivehalfofthemtomyfamilyor
tomyparents.

ThereasonwhyIwanttosaveitisbecause,first,Icanusethemforlater.IfIhavetousethe
moneyforbuyingapresentsorhavetopayformycollegemoneyIcanusethemoneyandpay
it.ThatwayIdonotneedtoaskmyparentsforthemoneyandmakeothersthinkthatIdonot
haveanymoneytomyself.

Second,Icansavethemforemergencyreason.Justincasemyhousegetsonfireormycar
getsbrokedownorsomebodystealssomethingfromme,Icanusethemoneytogetanew
houseorfixthecarorrewardapersonwhofindsthethief.

Third,Icanusethemformyself.IfIwanttogotoavacation,Icanusethemoneyforthe
planeticketortopaythetraintogotoanycountrythatIwouldliketovisit.Inaddition,Ican
spendthemoneyforentertaiment.Ialwayswantedtogotobroadwayshow.IfIgetthe
moneyIwouldtakemyfriendstoNewYorkandwatchtheshow.

ButIwanttogivethehalfofmoneytomyparentsortomyfamily.BecasueIfmygrandparents
getssickortheygetsintotheaccidentanddonothaveenoughmoneytopaythehospitalbill,I
cancertenleyhelpthembygivingthemoneythatIhave.AlsoIfoneofmyfamilymemeberwant
toopenastoreorwantstogotoavacationortotripwiththeirfriends,Icangivesomemoneyto
makethemdowhattheywantstodo.

Mostpeoplesaysthatapersonwoulddoanythingtogetamoneyoriftheyhaveamoney.
Receivingalargeamountofmoneywouldmakemethinklotofstufformakesmedolotof
things.ButIfIhavealargeamountofmoney,Iamnotgoingtohaveallofthemtomyself.I
amgoingtosharemyjoyandluckwithpeoplethatIcareabout.Soagain,Iwillgivesometo
myfamilysotheycanhelptheirselveswithitandhavesomeformyselfandenjoywhatIhave.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 14 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof4Continued

_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampledemonstratesmoderatecontroloffocus,organization,andsupporting
detailsandexhibitsevidenceoftheuseofaprewritingstrategy(IfIgettohavealargeamount
ofthemoney,Iwilldosoemthingdifferentfromotherpeople....Iwouldsavesomebutgive
halfofthemtomyfamily).Althoughthewritingsampledisplaysmoderatecontrolofcomplex
andvariedsentencestructure(Justincasemyhousegetsonfireormycargetsbrokedownor
somebodystealssomethingfromme,Icanusethemoneytogetanewhouseorfixthecaror
rewardapersonwhofindsthethief),somedistractingerrorsinwordselectionandwordforms
occur.Whiletherearerepetitiveerrorsingrammaticalforms(Mostpeoplesaysthataperson
woulddoanythingtogetamoneyoriftheyhaveamoney....IfIhavealargeamountof
money,Iamnotgoingtohaveallofthemtomyself),theseerrorsdonotinterferewith
comprehension.Exhibitingmoderatecontroloftheelementsofondemandessaywritingin
English,thiswritingsampleearnsascoreof4.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 15 May 2010


SCORE of 5
Description of Score of 5

A response in this category demonstrates consistent control of the elements of on-demand essay writing
in English.
The writing sample exhibits consistent control of focus, organization, and supporting details,
with a sense of audience awareness. The writing sample exhibits the use of a prewriting strategy
with some analytical development.
The writing sample exhibits consistent control of a wide and complex range of vocabulary, but
there may be a few distracting errors in word selection, word forms, and spelling.
The writing sample generally exhibits consistent control of sophisticated and varied sentence
structure.
The writing sample exhibits consistent control of grammatical forms. Some errors in word order,
punctuation, and other aspects of grammar may be distracting but do not interfere with
comprehension.

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 5. The annotations explain why the essay
received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof5

IfIsuddentlyreceivedalargesumofmoney,atfirstIwouln'tknowwhattodowithit.Maybe
thefirstthingthatwouldcometomymindwouldbetospenditallonthosewhoIcareforand
me.Butthanitwouldprobablytakemeawhilebeforedecidingwhattodowithit.Iwouldn't
knowwhattospenditonorwhotogiveitto.Iwoulddefenetlygocrazy.ButafterI'mcalm,I
wouldsitdownandmakeupmymindanddecideifIwouldkeepthemoneyandbuyallofthe
thingsthatIhavealwaysdreamedofbuying,orifIwouldjustgiveitallawaytohelpallofthe
poorpeoplearoundtheworld.

ButifIwastokeepthemoney,Iwouldbuymymomahugeluxurioushouse.Thishousewould
haveanenormeouskitchenjustlikemymomwouldlikeit.Thehousewouldhavetohavesix
bedroomsandfivebathrooms,abiglivingroomandabigdinningroom.Itwouldalsoneddto
haveabigbackyard,becausetherewouldneedbeenoughspaceforaswimingpool.Than
afterIwouldbuymymom,mysister,mydaughterandmyselfabradnewcar.ThanIwould
payforallofmysister's,mydaughterandmycollegeexpenses.Thanwewouldgoshopping,
wewouldhavetotraveltoNewYorkCaliforniaandMiamitogetallthelatestthingsinfashion

ThanwewouldgotoMexico,travelallMexicostardingfromthenorthandendingwiththe
south.ThangotoItalyI'vealwaysdreamedaboutgoingtoItalyandwhileI'mthereprobably
buyahouseovertheretoo,IwouldbuyitinRomeorinVenice.ThancomebacktoRenolive
atmymom'shugehousegotocollegewatchmydaughtergrowandgivealltherestofthe
moneylefttomymom.Thatwayshewouldn'tneedtoworkeveragain

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 16 May 2010


SampleEssay#1Scoreof5Continued

Butlet'sberealisticitwouldbenicehavinganddoingallofthosefunthings,butthereare
peoplewhowouldneedthemoneymorethanIdo.Peoplewhoaredyingcauseofhunger,
kidswhodon'thaveawarmhouseoreventhebasicstafthatwehavelikeclothesandshoes.I
wouldcreateafoundationspeciallytohelpthosepoorpeopleallaroundtheworld.Iwould
buyanairplanesoIcouldpersonallytakeallofthethingspeopledonate.Iwouldliketohelp
allthepoorpeoplearoundtheworld.Iwouldtakethecanefood,clothes,moneyandwould
teachthemhowreadandwrite.OfcorseIwouldneedthehelpofotherpeoplebecauseI
couldn'tdoitbuymyself.WithallofthemoneythatIwouldhaveIwouldbiuldschools,
housesandhospitalsforthem.Mygoalwouldbenottohavepoorpeopleallaroundthe
world,itwouldbeagreatsatisfactiontoaccomplishthat.

WhenyoudoorbuythingsforyourselfitfeelsgoodbutI'velearnedthatwhenyoudoorbuy
thingsforohterpeopleyougetagreatersatisfaction.ThatiswhyIwouldratherspendallof
themoneyonthosepoorpeople,Iwouldlovetohelpthemout.Itwouldbebettertousethe
moneyforagoodcausesuchasthisone.AndIthinkthatourwourldwouldbedifferentifwe
wouldallhelpoutthosespeoplejustalittlebit.ButthisiswhoIspendthemoneyon,ifI
suddentlyreceivedalargesumofmoney.

________________Annotations_________________

Displayingconsistentcontroloffocus,organization,andsupportingdetails,thiswritingsample
exhibitstheuseofaprewritingstrategywithsomeanalyticaldevelopment(...itwouldbe
nicehavinganddoingallofthosefunthings,buttherearepeoplewhowouldneedthemoney
morethanIdo....Mygoalwouldbenottohavepoorpeopleallaroundtheworld).Consistent
controlofawideandcomplexrangeofvocabularyisevident(...Iwouldbuymymomahuge
luxurioushouse.Thishousewouldhaveanenormeouskitchen),butafewdistractingerrorsin
wordformsandspellingoccur.Thewritingsamplegenerallyexhibitsconsistentcontrolof
sophisticatedandvariedsentencestructure(Whenyoudoorbuythingsforyourselfitfeels
goodbutIvelearnedthatwhenyoudoorbuythingsforohterpeopleyougetagreater
satisfaction).Whiletherearesomedistractingerrorsinpunctuationandotheraspectsof
grammar,theseerrorsdonotinterferewithcomprehension.Exhibitingconsistentcontrolof
theelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,thiswritingsamplemeritsascoreof5.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 17 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof5

IfIrecievedalargesumofmoney,forinstance$25million!Iwouldsendaportionofittothe
countriesthatwerehitbythebiggestnaturaldisasterrecordedinthehistoryoftheworld.
Afterthatiwouldofcourseputsomeofthatmoneyintomybankaccountoriwouldplanon
openingasmallbusiness.finallyiwouldsendthemoneythatisleftovertomycountry
pakistantothepoorpeopleoverthere.
Outof$25millioniwouldsend$5milliontothecountrieswherethetsunamihittohelpthe
countriesrecoverfromthistragicevent.Thecountrycansupplyneedsforthecitizenssuchas
foodandshelterwiththeextramoneytheywillberecieving.
Themoneycanalsohelpthecosttorebuildthevecationingplacesthatwerealsodestroyedby
thetsunami.
Wellafterthemoneyissenttothecountriesiwouldinvestthethe$10millionintoasmall
businessthatwillkeepmymoneycommingin.Asmartmanalwaysinveststodoubleoreven
tripletheammountofhisprofits.IwouldbuyasmallfranchisesuchassubwayoraBurger
Kingtokeepthemoneyflowing.Ofcourseiamalsogoingtoputsomemoneyinthebankto
haveasafeplacejustincasethebusinessdoesntfunctionprobably.Iwouldput$5millionin
thebank.
Finallywiththe$5millionthatiwillstillhaveleftoveriwouldsendthatmoneytomy
countrytohelpthepoormakealiving.Mycountrywhichispakistanhasthelargestpopulation
oflowerorevennoclasscitizens.Iamoneoftheluckyoneswhohasagoldenoppurtunityto
comehereandmakesomethingofmyself.soiwouldsendthemoneyovertheretosupport
thepoorandprovidethemwithfoodandthebasicessentialsoflife.
Inconclusion,thesearethethreethingsIwoulddoifIsuddenlyrecievedalargesumof
money.MaybeIwilldonateasmallportionofittoST.Peter'scollegeandthanicanhavemy
nameonabigwallinofthecampuses,wouldntthatbesomething?

_________________Annotations_________________

Thiswritingsampleexhibitsconsistentcontroloffocus,organization,andsupportingdetails
anddisplaystheuseofaprewritingstrategywithsomeanalyticaldevelopment(Finallywith
the$5millionthatiwillstillhaveleftoveriwouldsendthatmoneytomycountry....Iamone
oftheluckyoneswhohasagoldenoppurtunitytocomehereandmakesomethingofmyself.
soiwouldsendthemoneyovertheretosupportthepoor).Thereisconsistentcontrolofa
wideandcomplexrangeofvocabulary(Asmartmanalwaysinveststodoubleoreventriple
theammountofhisprofits.Iwouldbuyasmallfranchise...tokeepthemoneyflowing),buta
fewdistractingerrorsinwordselectionandspellingoccur.Thewritingsamplegenerally
displaysconsistentcontrolofsophisticatedandvariedsentencestructure;consistentcontrol
ofgrammaticalformsisalsoevident.Somedistractingerrorsinwordorder,punctuation,and
otheraspectsofgrammaroccur(finallyIwouldsendthemoneythatisleftovertomycountry
pakistantothepoorpeopleoverthere),buttheseerrorsdonotinterferewithcomprehension.
Thiswritingsampleexhibitsconsistentcontroloftheelementsofondemandessaywritingin
Englishandearnsascoreof5.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 18 May 2010


SCORE of 6
Description of Score of 6

A response in this category demonstrates strong control of the elements of on-demand essay writing in
English.
The writing sample exhibits strong control of focus, organization, and supporting details, with a
sense of audience awareness. The writing sample exhibits an insightful and engaging expression
of ideas.
The writing sample exhibits strong control of a wide and complex range of vocabulary, with
infrequent errors in word selection, word forms, and spelling.
The writing sample generally exhibits strong control of sophisticated and varied sentence
structure, with few errors.
The writing sample exhibits strong control of grammatical forms. Some errors in word order,
punctuation, and other aspects of grammar do not interfere with comprehension.

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 6. The annotations explain why the essay
received the indicated score.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 19 May 2010


SampleEssay#1Scoreof6

Thequestionis"WhatwouldIdoifIsuddenlyreceivedalargesumofmoney?"Formyselfthis
questionwillnotbehardtoanswer.

Ihavebeenmarriedfor16yearsandbeganhavingchildrenattheageof20.IthoughtthatI
wasmatureenoughtohandleeverthingthatcamealongwiththatresponsibility,boywasI
wrong.Iforgotaboutoneofthemostimportantpartsofraisingchildrenandthatisthe
financialresponsibility.Eversincegettingmarriedandhavingchildrenlife,financially,has
beenonelongstruggle.Everythingfromfoodandsheltertoenrollingkidsinextraactivitiesto
drivingusedvehicles.Everythingcostsmoney.Whoeversaidthatmoneydoesn'tmakeyou
happywasandidiot.Ihaveeverythingbutthat.

IfIwasstosuddenlyreceivealargesumofmoneyIknowexactlywhatIwoulddo.Firstand
foremost,avacationhasbeenwelldeservedforalongtime.Iwouldtakemyfamilyoffour
(andtwodogs)onafun,warm,excitingvacationtoDisneyWorldfortwoweeksandthento
CancunforanothertwoweekswhileIthoughteverthingthrough.AfterthevacationIwould
thenbeginorderingallthematerialthingswehaveeverwanted,withinreason.Thesewould
ofcoursebeanewhouse,around1800squarefeetfullyfurnishedwithahugekitchen.Then
forsurewewouldbeabletohaveafullystockedkitchen.Mykidscouldhavetheirfriends
overtoeatanytimewithouthavingtoworryaboutbudgetingthefoodforthemonth.We
wouldhavenewfurnitureandeverythingwouldmatch.Myhusbandandkidswouldthennot
beembarrasedtoinvitetheirfriendsovertoentertain.Thenofcoursewecouldhavenew
vehicles,withwarranties,sothatwecouldtakeourfamilyouttothebeachandnotbe
concernedwhetherornotthecarwouldmakeitthereandwhetherornotwecouldaffordthe
gas.Wehavetobudgetthatalso.

Thethingthatwouldmostexcitemeaboutthishugesumofmoneyisthatwecouldallgetthe
educationswewantanddeserve.Iamthirtysixyearsoldandjustgoingbacktoschoolto
becomeaLicensedPracticalNurse.Thisisaveryscareytimeformebutthescariestthingis
theamountofsacraficingmyfamilywillhavetodofinancially.Thereasonwehaveagreedon
thissacraficeissothatIcangetajobthatcanhelpsupportmychildrensotheycangetan
education.Idon'twantthemtohavetotakeoutstudentloansandstartoutindebt.Thisis
justsomethingIfeelstronglyabout.
Afterallourneedsandsomeofourwantsaretakencareof,Iwouldthenbegintohelpoutside
familyandspecificcharitiesthatIbelievein.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 20 May 2010


SampleEssay#1Scoreof6Continued

Iwouldlovetodonatemoneytoundrprivelidgedchildrenwhodonotgettheopportunityto
playinextraactivitiesoutsideofschool,suchashockeyandbaseball.Theseactivitieswere
oursavinggrace.Theyhavekeptusbusyasafamilyandtheykeepmykidsoffthestreet
lookingfortrouble.Theirtimeisoccupiedbytheseextraactivities.Ibelievetheseactivities,
whatevertheyare,helpbuildchildrenscharactersandteachthemstructureanddiscipline.
Notenoughmoneyisgiventothesechildrentohelpoutwithequipmentandoutoftown
tournaments,sothisiswherethemoneycouldcomeinhandy.Inorderforustopayforthese
extrasformychildrenIdelivertheLeaderPosteverymorningat4:30am.Noteveryonecan
dothis,sothisiswhereIwouldlovetohelp.
Ibelievethatcomingintoalargesumofmoneyatthistimewouldbebeneficialformyfamily
becauseofeverythingwehavegonethroughandlearnedaboutlife.Forotherpeoplewho
haven'tbeensoluckythismoneycouldbeadownfallforthem.Ihaveheardofsuchhorror
stories.
InconclusionIwouldliketosaythatperhapseverthinghappensinlifeforareason.WillIever
comeintoalargesumofmoney?ProbablynotbutifIeverdidtrustmeIwouldnothavea
problemspendingit,afterallyouonlyliveonce.

_________________Annotations_________________

Demonstratingstrongcontroloffocus,organization,andsupportingdetails,thiswriting
sampleexhibitsaninsightfulandengagingexpressionofideas(IthoughtthatIwasmature
enoughtohandleeverthingthatcamealongwiththatresponsibility,boywasIwrong.Iforgot
aboutoneofthemostimportantpartsofraisingchildrenandthatisthefinancial
responsibility).Thewritingsampledisplaysstrongcontrolofawideandcomplexrangeof
vocabulary(Ibelievetheseactivities,whatevertheyare,helpbuildchildrenscharactersand
teachthemstructureanddiscipline),althougherrorsinwordselection,wordforms,and
spellingdooccur.Thewritingsamplegenerallyexhibitsstrongcontrolofsophisticatedand
variedsentencestructure,withfewerrors(Idontwantthemtohavetotakeoutstudentloans
andstartoutindebt....Afterallourneedsandsomeofourwantsaretakencareof,Iwould
thenbegintohelpoutsidefamilyandspecificcharitiesthatIbelievein).Thereisalsostrong
controlofgrammaticalforms(Ibelievethatcomingintoalargesumofmoneyatthistime
wouldbebeneficialformyfamilybecauseofeverythingwehavegonethroughandlearned
aboutlife).ExhibitingstrongcontroloftheelementsofondemandessaywritinginEnglish,
thiswritingsamplemeritsascoreof6.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 21 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof6

Therearelotsofthingthatwecandowithalargesumofmoneyinthisworld.Wecan
spendthemforourselvesorspendthemforothers.Sincemyparentsarebusyworkingto
makealinvingforthierfourchildren,andIaminterestedinvoluteering,Iwouldspendthat
largeamountofmoneyformyfamilyandvolunteering.
First,Iwouldusesomeofmoneyformyfamilytoeasemyparentsburdenbypaying
tuitionsandloansandtoshowmythanksforthembymakingfamilytrip.Sincemyfamilyhas
fourchildrenwhoareallenrollingcertainkindsfschools,itishardtopayingalleducational
feeswhiletheyneedothermoneyforthenecessitiesindailylives.Moreover,asIamstudying
asaninternationalstudentoutsidemyhomecountry,itrequiresmuchmoremoney,even
twiceasmuchmoneyasusualstudentsspendfortheirtuitionsandlivingthingsinmyhome
country,Japan.Soitwouldbequitehelpfulformyparentstopaytuitionsandfeesofallthier
fourchildren.Also,Iwouldusethatmoneyforloansofourhouse.Sevenyearsago,my
parentsboughtahouseinacity,whichisconvenientorchildrentogotoschools,andwhichis
comfortableformyentirefamilytolivein.Theloanwillnotbecompledpayingevenmy
parentsbecaomeoldenoughtoretirethierjobs.Itcouldhardenthierlivessincetheyhaveto
payforhouseloansafterfinishandretirethierjobs.Therefore,Iwouldliketousethemoney
forpayinghouseloanstoeasetheburdenofmyparentssothattheycanseekthierinterests
andhobbliestoenrichtheirlives.Toaddtothat,I'dliketospendthatmoneytoshowmy
thankstomyparentsandgrandparents.Theyhavebeenbusyworkingtomakealivingfor
themselvesandforthierfamilies.They'veevensacrificedthiertimesfortheirjobs,inother
words,they'vebeentryinghardtomakeourlivesbetterbyworkingextrahours.Becauseof
that,Ireaalyliketoshowmygratitudeforthembymakingfamilytrips,wheretheycanrelax
andenjoythierowntime.
Next,Iwouldliketospendthatmoneyforvolunteeringbydonatingandusingthemtojoin
somevolunteerworks.IwoulddonatepartofthemfortheorganizationslikeNGO,RedCross,
WHOandsoforthtohelppeopleinthethirdworld.Today,everysingledays,thereare
hundredsofthousandspeopledyingfromdisease,starvation,mulnutritionandotherreasons
causedbypobertyandlackofeducation.IbelivethatthosemoneyIdonatewouldhelp
improvethierlivesbyeducatingthem,constructingsanitaryfacilities,givingthemmedical
care,andprovidingthemfoods.Also,notjustdonatemoneybutI'dliketousethemtojoin
thoseworksasavolunteer.Iwanttoactuallycontributethoseworks.But,itcostslotsof
moneyifIgotoabroadtohelppeoplesuchasSudan,Philipin,NeparlleandIndnesia.So,I'd
liketouseitformyownexperiencesofvolunteering.
Inthoseways,IwouldliketousealargeamountofmoneyifIrecieveit.Iwouldspenditon
myfamilyandvolunteering,inotherwords,onprivateconcernsandsocialmatters.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 22 May 2010


SampleEssay#2Scoreof6Continued

_________________Annotations_________________

Displayinganinsightfulandengagingexpressionofideas,thisessayexhibitsstrongcontrolof
focus,organization,andsupportingdetails(Sevenyearsago,myparentsboughtahouseina
city....Therefore,Iwouldliketousethemoneyforpayinghouseloanstoeasetheburdenof
myparentssothattheycanseekthierinterestsandhobbliestoenrichtheirlives).Despite
someerrorsinwordselection,wordforms,andspelling,thereisstrongcontrolofawideand
complexrangeofvocabulary(...therearehundredsofthousandsofpeopledyingfrom
disease,starvation,mulnutritionandotherreasons....IbelivethatthosemoneyIdonate
wouldhelpimprovethierlivesbyeducatingthem,constructingsanitaryfacilities,givingthem
medicalcare,andprovidingthemfoods).Strongcontrolofsophisticatedandvariedsentence
structureisevident.Theessayalsodemonstratesstrongcontrolofgrammaticalforms,and
whileithaserrorsinwordorder,punctuation,andotheraspectsofgrammar(Sincemy
familyhasfourchildrenwhoareallenrollingcertainkindsfschools,itishardtopayingall
educationalfeeswhiletheyneedothermoneyforthenecessitiesindailylives),theseerrorsdo
notinterferewithcomprehension.Exhibitingstrongcontroloftheelementsofondemand
essaywritinginEnglish,thisessayreceivesascoreof6.

WritePlacer ESL Guide with Sample Essays 23 May 2010