Grade Levels II TR

At the beginning of the semester, I published a post titled “Grade Levels” to illustrate the sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle differences between writing samples that could be expected to earn different letter grades in a Composition course. Now that we’ve spent a semester together, you likely have a better idea how your writing ranks against your classmates’ work (and against that A-grade ideal). Here’s what I wrote in September:

I won’t always be able to tell you why your essays don’t quite achieve the grades you want. Even after you respond well to feedback and make your essay grammatically correct, provide good sources, and make reasonable arguments, you might still not earn the highest grade. Writing beautifully and persuasively is more than a matter of following rules, and you may simply require more practice or more skill than can be achieved in a single semester.

Nobody wants to be told: “You just don’t sound as if you know what you’re talking about,” or: “You spend so much time proving the obvious there’s no room left for new insight,” but that may be the truth of the matter, and it may be the unspoken reason your grade didn’t improve as much as you hoped.

Following are some writing samples I hope will illustrate obvious differences in writing quality. The differences are enough to be worth a letter grade. These are relative values, of course, not absolutes. Not every writing course requires exactly this level of accomplishment for an A grade. Neither would the worst example necessarily earn a D grade in this course. Still, the comparisons should be helpful.

It’s time to revisit those Grade Levels now that you’re getting closer to finalizing your work for presentation and grading. For that purpose, I’ve produced four versions of one essay. Discuss the relative values of the three essays in the Reply field below, and grade them A, B, C, or D. (Don’t just grade; discuss the relative values.) Also indicate whether you find this a useful exercise at this stage of the semester.

I didn’t change the order as I revised, so the original version is the green version at the top and the latest revision is the black version at the bottom. If I were assigning grades, therefore, and using all four, they’d be DCBA. Your sequence may differ, even after I explain what I thought I was improving on each new draft. This is, after all, a subjective process. But as much as anything else, I’m trying to give you a sense of how I grade quality, so my preferences are important to anyone interested in grades.

My notes about the improvements to each paragraph appear indented as block quotes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Throughout the nation’s history, contraception has been very influential in leading teenagers to believe that they are safe from pregnancy. Our media engulfs teens to so much sex, it’s not shocking they’re oversexed and are the world’s leaders in pregnancy. Schools focus on battling pregnancy with the promotion of partly successful contraceptive techniques, when instead they should be focusing on combating the promiscuity by recommending the only effective contraceptive: abstinence.

There are some long-term contraceptives which include the IUD and the pill. However, both of these have their flaws. Doctor Costello stated that “Younger teenagers, ‘who we know are at highest risk,’ often resist longer-acting methods because IUD insertion can be painful…” Another flaw for the IUD is that many pediatricians are not properly trained to help insert the IUD. The IUD causes an inflammatory reaction within the uterus and can backfire to a negative effect. The highest and most important factor in missing a birth control pill is pregnancy. Inconsistency in taking the birth control pill also causes irregular menstrual cycles. Neither one of these contraceptive methods protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Abstinence/Celibacy is the most effective and safest form of contraception, and has no negative side effects. Some people might call you out as someone who doesn’t have sex, but there are a plethora of people who don’t have sex, whether it be because of religious callings or personal preferences. There are no defects in abstinence nor can it cause any damage to the body. It’s also free and causes no risk. Unlike a study on other forms of contraception such as the IUD and the pill, that were given out free, many people were still at risk and had more frequent sex with more partners. The best way to avoid pregnancies, STDs, complications of IUDs, and side effects of birth control pills is abstinence; refraining from any sexual activity.

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I wanted to make teenagers and our faith in schools the focus of the introduction, so I made teenagers the subject of my first sentence, and named our trust in schools early in the third sentence. The fact that schools betray our trust and let our teens get pregnant is the thesis.

Our teenagers have been told for years that contraception will keep them safe from pregnancy. At the same time, the media engulf all of us, teens included, in so much sex it’s not shocking they’re oversexed and lead the world in teen pregnancy. We trust our schools to battle teen pregnancy by promoting partly successful contraceptive techniques, but in truth, they should be combating promiscuity by recommending the only effective contraceptive: abstinence.

The second paragraph should clearly identify the two flawed methods schools promote, and why they’re flawed. The first sentence calls out the two. The flaws are that teens won’t get an IUD and they don’t use the pill responsibly. The paragraph also cites a source and links to it.

Two long-term contraceptives schools promote—IUDs and “the pill”—are both flawed. Boston pediatrician Eileen Costello reports that younger teenagers, “who we know are at highest risk,” resist the IUD because “they’re freaked out by the idea of an implanted device in their body.” Insertion can be painful even when practitioners are properly trained, and the device can cause an inflammatory reaction within the uterus. As for the contraceptive pill, it’s only effective when taken responsibly. Inconsistent dosing can cause irregular menstrual cycles and, of course, permit pregnancy. Neither the IUD nor the pill protects against sexually transmitted diseases.

Abstinence deserves a paragraph of its own to balance the one devoted to the ineffective techniques. The paragraph identifies abstinence as flawless and names its benefits before it refutes a possible objection.

The most effective and safest form of contraception—abstinence from sex—has no side effects, keeps teens safe from STDs, and of course prevents pregnancy. It may be difficult to be known as nonsexual, but it certainly doesn’t make a teen unique. They’ll find role models among their religious classmates and those who have made a personal pledge.

The call to action comes first, as the benefits of abstinence did in the paragraph above. Then, following the same pattern, the warning at the end does the job of refuting a possible objection. It also provides a conclusion that ends with a new idea instead of repeating a claim that’s already been made.

Instead of conducting another study on contraception, or worse! passing out free condoms to students, schools should be teaching abstinence. If they don’t, they’ll be perpetuating the message that other forms of contraception are acceptable; and as a result, we’ll condemn another generation of teens to multiple sex partners, diseases, medical complications, and accidental pregnancies.

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Instead of blaming the schools, this version steps back, adopts the blessed first person plural, and acknowledges that the entire culture sends the message to our vulnerable teens that they’re expected to have sex and can do so safely.

The only message it seems we are afraid to send to our children is that they can abstain from sex. Our media engulf our teens in so many sexual images, and tell them so many stories of teen sexuality, we shouldn’t be shocked that they lead the world in teen pregnancy. We’ve told them for years that contraception will keep them safe from unwanted surprises. Well, it’s a lie. We should be telling them the truth—at home, on TV, and in school—that the only truly effective contraceptive is abstinence.

The earlier conclusion hinted that schools were giving out contraceptives for free, but nothing was made of it. Certainly there can’t be a clearer endorsement of safe sex than providing the protection, so it deserves a paragraph.

Even the best contraceptives are only partly successful. The worst of them, condoms, have a high failure rate (the biggest failure being the failure to use them!). While they do cut down on the transmission of STDs, the use, misuse, or non-use of condoms is responsible for the majority of teen pregnancies.

Now that we have a paragraph for condoms, the reader will benefit from seeing the other two flawed contraceptives in paragraphs of their own. For the first time, this version makes clear that the flaw of the IUD is that teens refuse to get them.

IUDs are very effective at preventing pregnancy when teens can be convinced to install them, but they’re a tough sell. Boston pediatrician Eileen Costello reports that younger teenagers, “who we know are at highest risk,” resist the IUD because “they’re freaked out by the idea of an implanted device in their body.” Insertion can be painful even when practitioners are properly trained, and the device can cause an inflammatory reaction within the uterus.

As for the contraceptive pill, it’s only effective when taken responsibly, not to be expected of teens. And when they’re not responsible, inconsistent dosing can cause irregular menstrual cycles and, of course, permit pregnancy. Not to mention neither the IUD nor the pill provide any protection against sexually-transmitted diseases.

The introduction indicated we’re all responsible to send the right message to our teens, so this version acknowledges they might need some help toughing out the hard choice to abstain against the peer pressure to have young sex.

The most effective and safest form of contraception—abstinence from sex—has no side effects, keeps teens safe from STDs, and of course prevents pregnancy. If we care about them, we can help our teens find role models who are abstinent. Among their classmates they’re sure to know many who for religious reasons or because of their personal integrity have pledged to avoid the perils of regrettable promiscuity.

Schools don’t conduct studies, so this version drops that detail and emphasizes instead their real responsibility to educate about every option, not to assume that sex will occur, but to support the celibacy option as well.

Schools have a responsibility to promote all the options to our teenagers. When they elect instead to pass out free condoms to anyone who asks for them, they perpetuate the message that sexual activity is condoned, and that imperfect forms of contraception have the schools’ approval. With that approach, we’ll condemn another generation of teens to multiple sex partners, diseases, and accidental pregnancies.

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This version drops the claim that we’re afraid to tell our teens anything. It clarifies that in all three areas from which they receive information, they need to get one clear message: abstinence is the only way to avoid pregnancy.

The way we confuse our teens about sex is inexcusable. Our media engulf them in so many explicit images and stories about casual hook-ups, we shouldn’t be surprised that they think they’re supposed to be wantonly sexual (and that they lead the world in teen pregnancy). Meanwhile, schools tell teens that safe sex is appropriate, and that contraceptives will protect them from unwanted surprises. Well, it’s a lie. We should be telling them the truth—at home, on TV, and in school—that the only safe sex is NO sex, and that the only truly effective contraceptive is abstinence.

This one paragraph combines the fatal flaws of condoms with the criticism of schools for promoting their use.

When schools promote condom use—even passing them out free to anyone who expresses an interest!—they’re advocating the worst of the contraceptives on the market. Condoms have a high failure rate, even for responsible adults. But the biggest failure of condoms for teens is the failure to use them, and to use them right, and to use them every time. The misuse or non-use of condoms is responsible for the majority of teen pregnancies.

This paragraph recommends that if we can’t get the message 100% right, we should at least promote the device that provides foolproof protection against pregnancy. (The next version would drop or refute the objections about reluctance and complications of insertion.)

Schools would be wiser to promote IUDs for pregnancy prevention. When teens can be convinced to install them, intrauterine devices are the most effective contraceptives, but they’re a tough sell. Boston pediatrician Eileen Costello reports that younger teenagers, “who we know are at highest risk,” resist the IUD because “they’re freaked out by the idea of an implanted device in their body.” They may also hear from those who use them that insertion can be painful and can cause uterine inflammation.

This paragraph continues the argument plan of undermining the effectiveness of any method other than abstinence. (The next version would move it up below the paragraph on condoms.)

Like condoms, the contraceptive pill is effective only when taken responsibly. When typically forgetful or casually non-compliant teens miss a dose, the contraceptive value is lost. Even when they’re not protected, teens on the pill believe they are, and unwanted pregnancy is the natural result.

The comments about STDs have been stray irrelevancies in the earlier versions. This version uses a paragraph to remind readers who might still favor contraception that we want to protect our teens from more than JUST pregnancy.

We’re primarily concerned about teen pregnancy on this page, but it must be said, neither the IUD nor the pill provide any protection against sexually-transmitted diseases. We find it reprehensible of our schools to advocate contraceptives that leave our children vulnerable to illnesses that can live in their bodies forever, scar and disfigure them, make them impotent, even kill them.

The “role model” argument is hard to sustain. This version struggles to offer support for a non-religious basis for choosing abstinence in the face of considerable pressure to be sexually active.

The most effective and safest form of contraception—abstinence from sex—doesn’t just prevent pregnancy. It also has no side effects, keeps teens safe from STDs, and is entirely free! Abstinence also builds character. If we care about them, we can help our teens find role models who are abstinent. They don’t have to be religious to reject promiscuity; a commitment to their own personal integrity is sufficiently admirable.

This paragraph is the clearest version yet of the author’s strenuous rejection of any support schools might offer for options that place our teens at risk. It drops the interim claim that schools should present abstinence as one of many options and finally reveals its real agenda, as it should.

Schools have a responsibility to promote only the best options to our teenagers. They would never consciously suggest unsafe sex to children, but when they promote condom use or forms of supposedly “safe” sex, they are in effect advocating unsafe practices. Unless we turn that message around, we’ll be condemning another generation of teens to multiple sex partners, diseases, and accidental pregnancies.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.
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20 Responses to Grade Levels II TR

  1. ovechkin1comp says:

    Version 1- I give version 1 a B. The writing is concise. It brings up a good argument. The author indicates that birth control exists, but explains the flaws, which I think works well.
    Version 2-I give version 2 a B. The author gives an effective paragraph about conception and abstinence. I think the final paragraph fails to repeat the theme. The last sentence brings up new themes that aren’t explained.
    Version 3-I give version 3 a C. The author goes in depth of describing the different contraception. The attempt to identify the flaws fails to persuade against them.
    Version 4-I give version 4 an A. Although I don’t fully agree with the author, the points are clear. The piece is a little long and wordy, but the writing is effective in persuading towards abstinence.

    I do think that this exercise is fully effective during this time. The similar exercise was more effective earlier in the semester, but this is helpful because this is the time where we will be constantly revising our writing and looking for grades.


  2. jaime1comp says:

    V 1-D
    The opening paragraph is not very clear, and the weak and choppy language mangles the argument the author is trying to present. There are no bold claims in the article and the source material from the pediatrician is not linked so there is no way to validate the author’s claims. In the ending paragraph they contradict their argument by pointing out the stigma that people who abstane from sex often receive. They are arguing for abstinence but point out that a majority of people would criticize you for practicing abstinence. The last paragraph seems rushed, as though the writer attempted to fit the entire article into the last paragraph in an unnecessary attempt to summarize the article.
    The opening paragraph is somewhat clearer and gets the writer’s argument across more effectively but not nearly as effective as the V3 and V4 opening. The author provides a link to their source material starting in this version. It seems that when they discuss IUDs they are attempting scare tactics with the reader by discussing how uncomfortable and painful the insertion procedure can be.
    In this version the author does not point out the stigma the comes from practicing abstinence and instead give the reader examples of others who may practice abstinence that could serve as role models. I do not think the author should be implying that teens that do not use abstinence or that end up the with multiple partners, STDs or pregnant deserve to be shamed. “we’ll condemn another generation of teens to multiple sex partners, diseases, medical complications, and accidental pregnancies.” The tone used in the last sentence is definitely one of shame and disapproval, villainizing anyone who does not support abstinence. Though overall stronger than V1 it is still not as strong as it could be.
    Very bold claims made in the first paragraph, using clear language that gets the authors point across and gras the reader’s attention right away. The author acknowledges that other forms of contraceptives are can be useful and that condoms can help prevent STDs, while also stating that they are only partially effective. Links to the source, but still sticks with the scare tactic when it comes to IUDs. When discussing pill contraceptives, the author discussed the irresponsibility of teens. Teens are possible readers for the article, and criticizing potential readers would turn them against the author, regardless of whether or not their claim holds any truth. The author puts teens that practice that abstinence on a pedestal while lowering teens that do not. This again may potentially turn teens away from the article.
    V 4-A
    Is the strongest essay. It makes the boldest claims and the meaning and ideas in the writing are very clear. The author gets their point across effectively and the strong language keeps the reader interested.
    Overall stronger language and bolder claims create a strong argument and keeps the reader reading. The article does not directly criticize teenagers as in V3, there are still some scare tactic methods used and turning teens away from all types of contraceptives except for abstinence seems counter intuitive. Though it ends boldly, very clearly getting the author’s point across it still shames other teens that refrain from abstinence,
    I think this activity was extremely useful but I think it would have been a lot more useful a little bit earlier in the semester. I don’t remember if the first time we talked about grades if we did an activity like this or not, I think we did. But I think it would be even more useful to compare the results of this activity to the one at the beginning of the semester (if we did something like this in the beginning of the semester). That way we could see how our view of writing and analysis of it has improved, which can be hard to do when you are reviewing your own opinions on your own pieces of writing.


  3. giantsfan1comp says:

    Version 1: D
    This take on the article doesn’t make a lot of sense probably because it’s so wordy. Because it’s so wordy, the author doesn’t make a clear argument. This unclear version jumps to an inaccurate conclusion by saying most pregnancies occur while females are in their teens when in reality most women get pregnant in the twenties and thirties.

    Version 2: B
    The version states a very definite point by siding with teenagers. He states the many risks that come with using birth control and IUDs. Unlike the first version, the author uses the article as an educational tool to teach teens the many risks of sex at a young age. There is room for this version to improve.

    Version 3: A
    This article is well structured with claims that make it strong and support the argument. This author makes this version very formal and informative, by using informal contractions and other basic writing techniques.

    Version 4: B
    Like the first version, this article is way too wordy. The points made are strong, but the author takes too long to make his point, boring the reader. If the author eliminated unnecessary words, it would make this version stronger.


  4. mandragon1comp says:

    Version 1 – I value this draft at around a C because it fails to explain to me what an IUD is and doesn’t talk about what the schools can do to fix the problem of teen pregnancy.
    Version 2- I value this draft at around a B because it does a good job addressing the arguments however I favor version 3’s choice to split up the IUD and the pill paragraph.
    Version 3 – I value this draft the most at around an A because it does the best job of calling out what a lie contraceptives are and how the schools are responsible to promote safest contraceptive: abstinence.
    Version 4 – I value this draft at around a C because it uses an excess of words to describe the other contraceptives versus spending more time on abstinence. It also seems to contradict itself by saying the schools should promote IUD’s over condoms; shouldn’t the schools be promoting abstinence?

    At this stage in the semester I find it useful to find the differences between what a unrefined version of a paper looks like versus a well written version.


  5. bloo1comp says:

    Version 1-D
    While the essay covers a variety of important topics, they’re incoherent; the author’s writing doesn’t really seem to flow or transition well between sentences or paragraphs. The wording is also irregular.
    Version 2: C
    Some fluidity and presence of an argument. Still has some odd wording.
    Version 3: B
    Better wording. More fluid transitions, expressed ideas, and more argumentative.
    Version 4: A
    Strong vocabulary. Ideas thoroughly developed. Easy transition and construction throughout provides for a forceful argument.

    I do find this a useful exercise at this stage of the semester.


  6. iglesias1comp says:

    Version 1: C
    The authors sentences are not put together very well.
    They get their point of view across with an argument but the facts are not delivered very clearly.
    Some statements are strictly opinion based with no facts behind them.
    Presents new material in conclusion.
    Version 2: D
    No clear source for who recited the quotes.
    No set conclusion.
    Confusing material hard to follow along.
    Not structured or planned out.
    Version 3: B
    Clearly states the authors viewpoint on the importance of abstinence.
    Clearly cites Quotations.
    Each paragraph has a set purpose for the reader and explains information successfully to support the authors argument, more structured than version 1 or 2 but still lacks flow.
    Unclear use of the term “we”.
    Version 4: A
    Very structured and well thought out.
    Each paragraph and sentence has a legitimate purpose in getting the authors opinion across to the reader.
    Gives facts and resources.

    I think this is a good exercise at this point in the course. It gives an outside opportunity to criticize work that is not your own and have a neutral first opinion of each piece. Given the chance to judge and grade someone else’s work makes it easier to look more clearly at one’s own writing. Also sets a personal standard of how you would grade someone else and setting the bar to where you know what it would take to earn a good grade in your own eyes.


  7. garwin1comp says:

    Version 1 – C – The arguments are short, and don’t have much support. Seems to have unnecessary repetition.
    Version 2 – A – The reasons for being abstinent are better developed than in version 1. The conclusion strongly reasserts the author’s bias. Seems like a more concise version of version 3.
    Version 3 – A – Well-developed arguments provoke the reader to think like the author. Repetition of the theme, abstinence, is effective. Keeps the same tone throughout – effective. Good length, not too wordy.
    Version 4 – B – The introduction grabs the readers’ attention by criticizing the media and schools. Explains the flaws of contraceptives very clearly, with a strong voice. Maintains the same, assertive tone throughout.

    This exercise was effective; it helped differentiate effective from ineffective writing.


  8. tiger1comp says:

    Version 1 C-
    The author leaves out a most common form of contraception. Condoms are used by most males to ease the idea of getting a girl pregnant and to protect against STD’s for the most part. Furthermore, the author was all over the place in the body paragraph relating the two forms of contraception with out any flow. The article is very biased and only gives you the negatives of the contraceptions described. I am not sure whether it is suppose to be an opinionated paper. The paper does not deserve a D because the effort and research is there. However, it is just lacking necessary discussions on benefits, improved sentence flow, and specified examples of the risks involved in sex.
    Version 2 C+
    The second version is very similar to the first with small changes to paragraph structure and wording. This version does a better job of backing up arguments with evidence. However, I don’t see any large changes to the overall context of the paper itself.
    Version 3 B
    “We shouldn’t be shocked that they lead the world in teen pregnancy.” Who are they? The teenagers of the US?
    The third version takes the use of condoms as a contraceptive into play. I like that all of the contraceptives were broken down into different paragraphs and further analyzed. Additionally, all forms of contraceptives were compared in the end and stated as ineffective when related to abstinence. I would categorize this paper as more fair than the papers I read prior because it takes a less biased approach. The third version simply shows the logic that abstinence is a 100% effective solution to teen pregnancies.
    Version 4 A
    -Gives information on all contraception
    -Flows very nicely
    -Similar to version 3, much more descriptive and easy to understand
    I think schools don’t teach everyone to be abstinent is because it is ignorant to think it will stop people from having sex. Furthermore, the schools identify sex as something all humans will do. They teach students to protect themselves in anyway they can while having sex.
    This is a useful exercise at this stage of the semester. I just hope i fall in the A-grade ideal category.


  9. greentwinky1comp says:

    I found this exercise very helpful. It has really shown me how much I have improved since the beginning of the semester, because I remember struggling with this when it was first introduced. I am now confident in my analysis of the articles, which makes me confident that I have learned a lot over the past few weeks.


  10. dean1comp says:

    Essay 1- This version’s opening paragraph isn’t the strongest because in every sentence of it, it introduces a new character into the essay. There are not a lot, if any bold claims that make you really agree with what the author is trying to sell to you. It’s a good start, but I feel like there is more that can be in it, more that should be in to make the argument stronger. It’s not a bad start but it’s more of a draft than it is a final copy. I think is most likely a C.
    Essay 2- This essay should be a B I think, because while it isn’t the longest it makes its argument very clear. It makes claims that are bold, and it continues with the same theme throughout the whole thing.
    Essay 3- This version is also pretty good, making bold claims and its argument clear on what the author is trying to sell to the audience. Though it is clear, there is still more that can be aded into and improved to make it better. It can be improved but if left the way it is, it’s still a passing grade of what I think is a B as well.
    Essay 4- This essay I believe is the strongest argument, making the boldest claims and also have the clearest statements. The author knows where he stands with this topic and is standing by the claims that he is making. He supports what he is saying, and his argument is well organized and put together. I think this version gets an A, because of the bold claims and the strong argument.

    I think that this exercise was useful because it will show you how even small differences in an assignment can impact your grade by a whole letter grade.


  11. velociraptor1comp says:

    Version 1: C- kind of wordy
    Version 2: B – short and to the point; delivers most important information but could be extended and include more evidence
    Version 3: A – supports points and gives all the information to the audience without sounding repetitive
    Version 4: B – very long, could be shortened and still get its point across. very detailed and informative on the situation

    I do find this somewhat useful at this stage in the semester


  12. greentwinky1comp says:

    Version 1: D
    This version of the article is extremely wordy and makes claims that make no sense. The article says that “some people might call you out as someone who doesn’t have sex.” This is extremely wordy and does not make a point as to why this would be bad. Assuming that this is supposed to be embarrassing, mature teens tend to keep this part of their lives private anyway. In addition to the wordiness of the article, it makes statements that are completely wrong. Saying that “teens are leaders in pregnancy” is obviously not true. Most pregnancies occur to women in their twenties or thirties as people hope to start a family. Does the author mean to say that US teens are the leaders of teen pregnancies in the world? This is unclear.

    Version 2: B
    This article is successful it stating a clear opinion. It provides reasoning siding with the teens concerning IUDs and birth control pills, calling out the responsibility needed and the still imminent risks. Then it overrides this with a better solution – abstinence. Still, this article could be improved. For a seemingly formal article, it is too informal, using contractions such as “they’ll” and “don’t,” which should not be used except with a lighter tone.

    Version 3: A
    The lighter tone of this article makes the informal contractions acceptable. The article is structured well so that there is a good flow to the writing. The claims that it makes are strong and have good support. Although the same support was given in the previous versions of the article, the fine-tuning makes them pop. The author of this article no longer seems like an old-fashioned stick in the mud. He now sounds like an educated person with a strong opinion with good basis.

    Version 4: B
    This article makes many good points, but it is entirely too wordy. While the opinion is strong and the points that it makes are well-founded, it takes too long to get through the article. It needs to be condensed so that readers do not lose interest.


  13. kai1comp says:

    Version 1- D; This version provides some detail, but not enough. It does not discuss other risks besides pregnancy.

    Version 2- C; Again there is detail, but not that much. It discusses the IUD and birth control, but it does not come across severe enough to make a point.

    Version 3- B; There is a lot more detail about multiple types of contraceptives and the down sides to each one. It is much more straight-forward and does not just state the problem, but the issues that stem from them as well.

    Version 4- A; This version gives a lot of detail and insight to each thing discussed. It creates real scenarios about STDs and does no try to sugar coat anything. It gives more upsides to staying abstinent and how teenager shave been lied to about how they should live their lives sexually.

    This was definitely a useful exercise.


  14. eagles1comp says:

    Version 1- A
    The writing is short and to the point. It says everything you need to know from the other versions in less words and stays alonga theme throughout. It doesn’t switch back and forth, rather it has a constant flow from beginning to end.

    Version 2- B
    The writing is choppy but the authors ideas are consistent and follows a path of abstinence. Unlike versions 3 and 4, this writing doesn’t introduce condoms and follows the path of abstinence.

    Version 3- C
    The writing drags on and instead of following a direct path, the author is unable to state his/her point of view early.

    Version 4- D
    The writing takes a while to get to the point and state what the author is trying to say. You can condense the writing a lot and make it flow much nicer rather then talking about condoms and there effective rate.

    I found this exercise helpful and good at this stage of the course as we start to revise our assignments and look to get better grades.


  15. Domia abr Wyrda says:

    Version 1 is a D, the essay uses “you” in its final paragraph that is clear violation of easy structure.
    Version 3 is a C, the essay is slightly rambly and many of its points are poorly defended.
    Version 3 is a B, the points are reasonably well defended and minimal gramatical errors.
    Version 4 is a A, the points are the most researched and well defended, despite one or two gramatical errors.

    Im not sure on the usefulness of this assignment as i have trouble telling what grade each easy is I have an vague impression on which one is better or worse but im nor definitive.


  16. sparky1comp says:

    Essay 1
    The whole essay has good info but doesn’t seem to flow very well.
    P.2 Repetitive and choppy

    Essay 2.
    the first two paragraphs felt strong and had supporting evidence to back up claims.
    The last two paragraphs felt rushed and choppy
    improvement from version 1 but still needs work to finish strong

    Essay 3
    Set up seems to be good but the information seems a little out of line.
    P1 is repetitive

    Essay 4. Even though its the longest essay its the best one.
    Bold clear claims
    Good sequence
    Supporting evidence


  17. perry1comp says:

    Version 1-D
    The transition between paragraphs is slightly unclear. P1 ends by introducing abstinence, but P2 begins with explaining long-term contraceptives. P3 then jumps back and refers to the end of P1. The author makes decent claims, but is too unorganized. The writing is hard to follow and is not persuasive. The quoted doctor should be introduced by her full name, and her quote should also be informally cited. The author never introduces their opinion, and therefore only regurgitates facts, which is next to useless for readers.

    Version 2-C
    The author primarily lacks verb agreement. P1 flows from “our teenagers…them safe” to “media engulfs all of us…they’re oversexed.” The true point is unclear and readers question who the author is speaking for or as. The author appropriately cited the quote they used, which will allow questionable readers to research the context of the quote. The organization is better in V2 than V1, and the author gives their opinion in the last paragraph. The last sentences condemns society and calls each reader to act now to save the next generation-very effective.

    Version 3-B
    The author organizes their thoughts and opinions extremely well. There is a key balance between fact and opinion, which has a better chance to persuade readers. The paragraphs are separated by idea, which allows readers to understand each claim and reason clearly. Readers will not need to question where the author stands on the subject, but will be called to stand with them by the final sentence.

    Version 4-A
    The language used throughout the essay was extremely well-written and persuasive. The author organizes each thought effectively and separates each issue(STDs and teen pregnancy.) The opinion of the author is clear, and is supported by facts continuously. As in V2 and V3, the essay ends with a persuasive rhetorical flourish, which is extremely effective in getting readers to agree.


    • perry1comp says:

      I found this workshop to be extremely helpful in noting what constitutes each grade. Once you go over your perspective in class, it will help to mirror our essays to match what you look for in each grade level.


  18. bagofchips1comp says:

    Version 1: A
    Version 2: B
    Version 3: B
    Version 4: A

    I honestly couldn’t really differentiate the essays from one another. They were all pretty good with the exception that Versions 1 and 2 happen to convey the argument a bit better than the rest. I can’t really explain why it was like this; I’m assuming it was just word-choice and sentence structure that subconsciously appealed to me.

    I don’t believe this kind of exercise is very effective at this stage of the semester, at least for me personally. Maybe the essays were written too similarly but I had trouble finding which one was subsequently “worse” than the others. Maybe I’m just a bad teacher. Nevertheless, I like exercises that focus on sentences rather on actual whole essays.


  19. syntaxattack1comp says:

    Version 1- Version 1 lacks a scholarly tone, and is too short. It bring up good points, but does not have anyone backing the claims made.

    Version 2- Version 2 is concise, and gets the point across. It has a link to a supporting article, reinforcing the authors ideas. The essay is written in an easily manageable, but still intelligent fashion, making it the best written essay out of the 4.

    Version 3- Version 3 is similar to version 2. It is a bit more wordy, making it a lesser essay than that of version 2. If it was revised, and consolidated, it would be a much better essay.

    Version 4- version 4 is a lot longer than it needs to be. The repetitive, and extraneous detail takes away from the argument in the essay.

    Final Grades:
    Ver. 1 – C
    Ver. 2 – A
    Ver. 3 – B
    Ver. 4 – C


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