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PKhanna
05-19-2010, 04:57 PM
I am planning on taking the GRE in a couple of weeks and had decided to go ahead and get my essays graded via the Live Grader service provided on the Princeton Review website. I have had some friends of mine (who've taken the GRE before and scored well on the AWA) to grade my essays too and they've always said they deserve at least a 4. The last time I took my GRE I got a 4 too. The Live Grader score though has me stumped. They've given me a 3 and I would like to confirm if this a true grade for my essays. I am going to paste them below and would really appreciate if people could provide some feedback :)

AWA-Issue Prompt: "A person who knowingly commits a crime has broken the social contract and should not retain any civil rights or the right to benefit from his or her own labor."Assignment:The issue of the rights of a criminal is a controversial one. On the one hand, a person who has committed heinous acts of crime should be removed of even the most basic privileges. Conversely, if the person committing the crime is judged as being misguided and with no intention of causing harm, should be helped with the right guidance and given the option of living a good life with all its advantages. Hence, in the final analysis, I believe that every criminal needs to be judged on a case to case basis and depending on the severity of crime, punished accordingly.

First, our judicial system in place is an effective system perfected over the years. We not only have a judge in the courtroom with lawyers defending and implicating the criminal. But also, a body of jurors, randomly picked from our public as a sample of our society to judge the person on the stand. This helps in providing a portal for the society's viewpoint on how severe the nature of the crime is.

For example, a person who rapes another person (child or adult) is inexcusable and should be sentenced to the hardest punishment possible. Same is the case for someone killing an innocent person. The people who commit these acts are judged by the jury as breaking the social contract on a major basis and should then suffer for it. They don't deserve the civil rights or benefits entitled to other people who haven't harmed others. In fact, they should devote the rest of their lives laboring only to benefit other lives and trying to give back something to the society.

Additionally, people such as the terrorist who tried to bomb Times Square should be served in exactly the same way. Had he been successful, hundreds of lives would have been lost. These kinds of acts of crime are well thought out acts of violence and intend to cause harm on a massive scale. They don't deserve to live in society and enjoy the same benefits as someone who doesn't mean to harm other people and live in harmony. As mentioned before, they should try and repent for their behavior not just by giving up their civil rights but also by laboring to provide for say disabled people as a way to give back to society.

Finally, we do need to discuss people who commit crimes on a misguided path and not intended to harm anyone. Take for example, a young impoverished child living on the streets who has been unfortunate enough to never have proper guidance as to the right values of society. If he goes and robs a store when in need for money solely because he doesn't know any better we cannot blame him completely and sentence him to the worst possible kind of punishment. Fortunately, we have our excellent judiciary system in place where the jury can discern these sort of individuals who deserve a second chance at being better individuals in society. They can't not be provided basic civil rights as it will only alienate them from society even further. They need to be shown by example that if they work hard they can lead a happy fruitful life. We can't not let them benefit from their own labor as this will only discourage them from leading a clean life. The same is true for people committing crimes where they carry no weapons and have no intention of harming anyone.


Conclusively, while we could argue that all criminals don't deserve the right to retain any civil rights, I think we need to wean out the bad criminals and try and provide guidance and help to the misguided ones. Unfortunately, even though I would have liked to provide a few more supporting examples for my stand on this issue, due to brevity I am unable to do so. In addition, I like how one of my favorite author talks about crime in his book 'The Book Thief", he describes crime as the act where something is stolen from another human being. Murder is described as stealing someone's life, rape as stealing someone's dignity and self-respect and so forth. This way of looking at the issue of crime puts it in a real perspective.


AWA-Argument Prompt: The following is an excerpt from a letter sent by the principal of Greenwood School to the parents of all incoming kindergarteners. "We have decided to institute a policy of all-day kindergarten, instead of half-day kindergarten, for all students at Greenwood School. All-day kindergarten will help all our students achieve at their highest levels. The classes will be 'tracked'; so that average students are together, but high-achieving and low-achieving students will be put together in classes. In this way, the high-achieving students will be able to help pull the low-achieving students up to their level, so that no student falls behind. The all-day kindergarten classes will cover the same material previously covered in the half-day kindergarten classes, but will go at a slower speed to accommodate learning differences. In addition, the students will receive extra instruction in music, art, and physical education. One of the greatest benefits of the plan, however, is that students will be in a structured environment for longer hours, reducing the numbers of hours that otherwise would be wasted at home or in day care."Assignment:The above-mentioned argument provided for increasing the number of contact hours for kindergarten students is a inconclusive and does not come across as being sound or cogent.

First, the author suggests that converting their half-day kindergarten to all-day kindergarten will help their students at their highest levels. Have they taken into account that their students are quite young at that age and might not have the attention-span required to last a whole day at school. Will they be incorporating mid-day naps as they would normally be accustomed to. We are given no conclusive evidence to support this statement which makes us doubtful as a reader about such a plan being befitting for a young child.

Next, it is suggested that average students while be compiled together while the low-achieving and high-achieving students will be put together in classes. This leaved the reader to wonder how they judge a student's level of achievement. Is it purely based on academic progress or are other areas of development taken into account. Why are the average students excluded from the others? Would it not be better to have a mix of all three category of students in every class so they can all benefit from each other.

In addition, it is mentioned that a slower speed of teaching will be incorporated into the the teaching methods. This might help the students with learning difficulties but could be harmful for the other students as they might end up losing interest in a subject they might have normally understood and enjoyed had it been taught at a normal pace. It is also mentioned, that extra classes in music, art and physical education will be provided. Not provide though is whether, the students will be given an option to pick and choose from these subjects depending on their choice. Also, it should have been detailed whether these classes will be taught at a level understandable to young children.

Finally, the author claims the greatest benefit of his plan being the fact that students will be in a structured environment for longer hours and not wasting time elsewhere. Long, structured hours at kindergarten could grow a hatred in the young hearts for school at a young age hindering their future achievements and success. What the author states as wasting time at home or day-care is actually beneficial and in some cases necessary for child's complete mental and physical growth. They learn social interactions in these places along with a lot of other skills essential for their future lives. The love and attention they can get in these places helps them to form their character in a positive manner.

Ultimately, the argument might have been strengthened if the author had provided sound proof where other kindergartens had brought this practice into their structure and their students had a shown a marked increase in their achievements along with being happy about the change brought about in their daily lives. While the author's argument makes a lot more baseless assumptions, due to brevity they were not critiqued in this essay.

ninety
05-29-2010, 12:10 AM
regarding your AWA argument task, i think you have analyzed all of the claims mentioned in a persuasive way
you may add to it "what did they mean by achieving their highest level", in interaction/subjects/...etc and how did they figure it out?
i am not experienced in grading but i would give it a 5-5.5, depending on my little experience in score it now

Shalom Ichthys
11-10-2012, 10:24 AM
Asregards the first essay, you've given pretty sensible examples, yetmuch desired is to go a step further and probe into the mechanics ofdeprivation of civil rights. What kind of criminal offensesnecessitates deprivation, and how much is enough? The first twoexamples seem superfluously similar, and can be summarized to one.Yet, you may conisder one serious vis-a-vis one light offense. Foranother instance of illteracy, I think it is beyond the scope of ourdiscussion.
Lastof all, everything related to the legal system and jury selection iskind of peripheral. They are nice to have, yet chewing up too muchtime to elucidate. I'd try to eschew from pure descriptions, butwould spend much of my time in giving contrasting examples ofdeprivation versus none.


Asregards the second essay, it has dealt a great blow on thepostulation from various perspectives. All of them sound logical andconnected, yielding a 4.5 ~ 5.5, holistically speaking. Yes, theselection mechanism of the best and worst is inself discriminatoryand unscientific, and beyond pedagogical concerns (such as thelearning effect of the toddles) I would consider the voices of thestakeholders alongside. Do the majority of parents agree to this? Howdo teachers feel about increasing their workload? Are they equallyhappy to stay longer in a structured environment?


Also,it is good to consider the profound impact based upon disinclinationin the prolonged hours of study. However, I would also unravel theloftiness and complacency of the kindergarden. How can it supposethat the hours spent elsewhere is a waste? Can it prove itself asoverwhelmingly efficient than all the other kinds of childcare, suchas in the custody of parents and grandparents? Isn't it too good tobe true that it's adopting a monopolist approach, by outruling otherservice providers of that half-day initially released from school?All these point to the biasedness of the argument.