This disease had ravaged the human race since prehistorical days, and yet with the technology of vaccines, free thinking humans dared to imagine a world free of smallpox. Using technology, battle plans were drawn out, and smallpox was systematically targeted and eradicated.
Technology will always mark the human experience, from the discovery of fire to the implementation of nanotechnology. Given the history of the human race, there will be no limit to the number of problems, both new and old, for us to tackle. There is no need to retreat to a Luddite attitude to new things, but rather embrace a hopeful posture to the possibilities that technology provides for new avenues of human imagination.
The author of this essay stakes out a clear and insightful position on the issue and follows the specific instructions by presenting reasons to support that position. The essay cogently argues that technology does not decrease our ability to think for ourselves, but merely provides "additional time for people to live more efficiently.
In further examples, the essay shows how technology allows for the linking of ideas that may never have been connected in the past like medicine and economic models , pushing people to think in new ways. Examples are persuasive and fully developed; reasoning is logically sound and well supported. Ideas in the essay are connected logically, with effective transitions used both between paragraphs "However" or "In contrast to the statement" and within paragraphs.
Sentence structure is varied and complex and the essay clearly demonstrates facility with the "conventions of standard written English i. Thus, this essay meets all the requirements for receiving a top score, a 6. Surely many of us have expressed the following sentiment, or some variation on it, during our daily commutes to work: "People are getting so stupid these days!
Furthermore, hanging around with the younger, pre-commute generation, whom tech-savviness seems to have rendered lethal, is even less reassuring. With "Teen People" style trends shooting through the air from tiger-striped PDA to zebra-striped PDA, and with the latest starlet gossip zipping from juicy Blackberry to teeny, turbo-charged cell phone, technology seems to support young people's worst tendencies to follow the crowd. Indeed, they have seemingly evolved into intergalactic conformity police.
After all, today's tech-aided teens are, courtesy of authentic, hands-on video games, literally trained to kill; courtesy of chat and instant text messaging, they have their own language; they even have tiny cameras to efficiently photodocument your fashion blunders! Is this adolescence, or paparazzi terrorist training camp?
With all this evidence, it's easy to believe that tech trends and the incorporation of technological wizardry into our everyday lives have served mostly to enforce conformity, promote dependence, heighten comsumerism and materialism, and generally create a culture that values self-absorption and personal entitlement over cooperation and collaboration.
However, I argue that we are merely in the inchoate stages of learning to live with technology while still loving one another. After all, even given the examples provided earlier in this essay, it seems clear that technology hasn't impaired our thinking and problem-solving capacities. Certainly it has incapacitated our behavior and manners; certainly our values have taken a severe blow.
However, we are inarguably more efficient in our badness these days. We're effective worker bees of ineffectiveness! Harnessed correctly, technology can improve our ability to think and act for ourselves. The first challenge is to figure out how to provide technology users with some direly-needed direction. The language of this essay clearly illustrates both its strengths and weaknesses. The flowery and sometimes uncannily keen descriptions are often used to powerful effect, but at other times, the writing is awkward and the comparisons somewhat strained.
See, for example, the ungainly sequence of independent clauses in the second-to-last sentence of paragraph 2 "After all, today's tech-aided teens There is consistent evidence of facility with syntax and complex vocabulary "Surrounded as we are by striding and strident automatons with cell phones glued to their ears, PDA's gripped in their palms, and omniscient, omnipresent CNN gleaming in their eyeballs, it's tempting to believe However, such lucid prose is sometimes countered by an over-reliance on abstractions and reasoning that is not entirely effective.
For example, what does the fact that video games "literally train [teens] to kill" have to do with the use or deterioration of thinking abilities? On the whole, however, the response develops its ideas about the ways that technology can promote isolation and conformity with well-chosen examples, even if its ideas about the positive effects of technology are less successfully realized.
Because this essay provides generally thoughtful analysis and takes a complex approach to the issue arguing, in effect, that technology neither enhances nor reduces our ability to think for ourselves, but can do one or the other, depending on the user and because the author makes use of "appropriate vocabulary and sentence variety," a score of 5 is appropriate. In all actuality, I think it is more probable that our bodies will surely deteriorate long before our minds do in any significant amount.
Who can't say that technology has made us lazier, but that's the key word, lazy, not stupid. The ever increasing amount of technology that we incorporate into our daily lives makes people think and learn every day, possibly more than ever before. Our abilities to think, learn, philosophize, etc. Using technology to solve problems will continue to help us realize our potential as a human race.
If you think about it, using technology to solve more complicating problems gives humans a chance to expand their thinking and learning, opening up whole new worlds for many people. Many of these people are glad for the chance to expand their horizons by learning more, going to new places, and trying new things. If it wasn't for the invention of new technological devices, I wouldn't be sitting at this computer trying to philosophize about technology.
It would be extremely hard for children in much poorer countries to learn and think for themselves with out the invention of the internet. Think what an impact the printing press, a technologically superior mackine at the time, had on the ability of the human race to learn and think.
Right now we are seeing a golden age of technology, using it all the time during our every day lives. When we get up there's instant coffee and the microwave and all these great things that help us get ready for our day. But we aren't allowing our minds to deteriorate by using them, we are only making things easier for ourselves and saving time for other important things in our days.
Going off to school or work in our cars instead of a horse and buggy. Think of the brain power and genius that was used to come up with that single invention that has changed the way we move across this globe. Using technology to solve our continually more complicated problems as a human race is definately a good thing.
Our ability to think for ourselves isn't deteriorating, it's continuing to grow, moving on to higher though functions and more ingenious ideas. The ability to use what technology we have is an example. This essay meets all the criteria of a level-4 essay. The writer develops a clear position "Using technology to solve problems will continue to help us realize our potential as a human race". The position is then developed with relevant reasons "using technology to solve more complicat[ed] problems gives humans a chance to expand their thinking and learning" and "we are seeing a golden age of technology".
Point 1, "using technology," is supported with the simple but relevant notion that technology allows us access to information and abilities to which we would not normally have access. Similarly, point 2, the "golden age," is supported by the basic description of our technologically saturated social condition.
Though the overall development and organization of the essay does suffer from an occasional misdirection see paragraph 3's abrupt progression from coffee pots to the benefits of technology to cars , the essay as a whole flows smoothly and logically from one idea to the next. It is useful to compare this essay to the level-3 essay presented next. Though both essays entail some surface-level discussion and often fail to probe deeply into the issue, this writer does take the analysis a step further.
In paragraph 2, the distinction between this essay and the next one the level-3 response can most clearly be seen. To support the notion that advances in technology actually help increase thinking ability, the writer draws a clever parallel between the promise of modern, sophisticated technology computer and the actual "impact" of equally "promising" and pervasive technologies of the past printing press.
Like the analysis, the language in this essay clearly meets the requirements for a score of 4. The writer displays sufficient control of language and the conventions of standard written English. The preponderance of mistakes are of a cosmetic nature "trying to solve more complicating problems.
In general, these errors are minor and do not interfere with the clarity of the ideas being presented. There is no current proof that advancing technology will deteriorate the ability of humans to think. On the contrary, advancements in technology had advanced our vast knowledge in many fields, opening opportunities for further understanding and achievement. For example, the problem of dibilitating illnesses and diseases such as alzheimer's disease is slowing being solved by the technological advancements in stem cell research.
The future ability of growing new brain cells and the possibility to reverse the onset of alzheimer's is now becoming a reality. This shows our initiative as humans to better our health demonstrates greater ability of humans to think. One aspect where the ability of humans may initially be seen as an example of deteriorating minds is the use of internet and cell phones.
In the past humans had to seek out information in many different enviroments and aspects of life. Now humans can sit in a chair and type anything into a computer and get an answer. Our reliance on this type of technology can be detrimental if not regulated and regularily substituted for other information sources such as human interactions and hands on learning. I think if humans understand that we should not have such a reliance on computer technology, that we as a species will advance further by utilizing the opportunity of computer technology as well as the other sources of information outside of a computer.
Although this essay does contain minor errors, it still conveys ideas fluently. Note the effective word choices e. In addition, sentences are not merely varied; they also display skillful embedding of subordinate elements.
Since this response offers cogent examination of the argument and conveys meaning skillfully, it earns a score of 6. The author of this proposal to increase the budget for Mason City riverside recreational facilities offers an interesting argument but to move forward on the proposal would definitely require more information and thought.
While the correlations stated are logical and probable, there may be hidden factors that prevent the City from diverting resources to this project. For example, consider the survey rankings among Mason City residents. The thought is that such high regard for water sports will translate into usage. But, survey responses can hardly be used as indicators of actual behavior. Many surveys conducted after the winter holidays reveal people who list exercise and weight loss as a top priority. Yet every profession does not equal a new gym membership.
Even the wording of the survey results remain ambiguous and vague. While water sports may be among the residents' favorite activities, this allows for many other favorites. What remains unknown is the priorities of the general public. Do they favor these water sports above a softball field or soccer field? Are they willing to sacrifice the municipal golf course for better riverside facilities? Indeed the survey hardly provides enough information to discern future use of improved facilities.
Closely linked to the surveys is the bold assumption that a cleaner river will result in increased usage. While it is not illogical to expect some increase, at what level will people begin to use the river? The answer to this question requires a survey to find out the reasons our residents use or do not use the river. Is river water quality the primary limiting factor to usage or the lack of docks and piers?
Are people more interested in water sports than the recreational activities that they are already engaged in? These questions will help the city government forecast how much river usage will increase and to assign a proportional increase to the budget.
Likewise, the author is optimistic regarding the state promise to clean the river. We need to hear the source of the voices and consider any ulterior motives. Is this a campaign year and the plans a campaign promise from the state representative? What is the timeline for the clean-up effort? Will the state fully fund this project? We can imagine the misuse of funds in renovating the riverside facilities only to watch the new buildings fall into dilapidation while the state drags the river clean-up.
Last, the author does not consider where these additional funds will be diverted from. The current budget situation must be assessed to determine if this increase can be afforded. In a sense, the City may not be willing to draw money away from other key projects from road improvements to schools and education. The author naively assumes that the money can simply appear without forethought on where it will come from.
Examining all the various angles and factors involved with improving riverside recreational facilities, the argument does not justify increasing the budget. While the proposal does highlight a possibility, more information is required to warrant any action.
Each paragraph in the body of this perceptive essay identifies and examines an unstated assumption that is crucial to the argument. The major assumptions discussed are:. Support within each paragraph is both thoughtful and thorough. For example, paragraph 2 points out vagueness in the wording of the survey: Even if water sports rank among the favorite recreational activities of Mason City residents, other sports may still be much more popular. Thus, if the first assumption proves unwarranted, the argument to fund riverside facilities — rather than soccer fields or golf courses — becomes much weaker.
Paragraph 4 considers several reasons why river clean-up plans may not be successful the plans may be nothing more than campaign promises or funding may not be adequate. Thus, the weakness of the third assumption undermines the argument that river recreation will increase and riverside improvements will be needed at all.
Instead of dismissing each assumption in isolation, this response places them in a logical order and considers their connections. Note the appropriate transitions between and within paragraphs, clarifying the links among the assumptions e. Along with strong development, this response also displays facility with language. Minor errors in punctuation are present, but word choices are apt and sentences suitably varied in pattern and length. The response uses a number of rhetorical questions, but the implied answers are always clear enough to support the points being made.
Thus, the response satisfies all requirements for a score of 5, but its development is not thorough or compelling enough for a 6. The problem with the arguement is the assumption that if the Mason River were cleaned up, that people would use it for water sports and recreation. This is not necessarily true, as people may rank water sports among their favorite recreational activities, but that does not mean that those same people have the financial ability, time or equipment to pursue those interests.
However, even if the writer of the arguement is correct in assuming that the Mason River will be used more by the city's residents, the arguement does not say why the recreational facilities need more money. If recreational facilities already exist along the Mason River, why should the city allot more money to fund them? If the recreational facilities already in existence will be used more in the coming years, then they will be making more money for themselves, eliminating the need for the city government to devote more money to them.
According to the arguement, the reason people are not using the Mason River for water sports is because of the smell and the quality of water, not because the recreational facilities are unacceptable. If the city government alloted more money to the recreational facilities, then the budget is being cut from some other important city project.
Also, if the assumptions proved unwarranted, and more people did not use the river for recreation, then much money has been wasted, not only the money for the recreational facilities, but also the money that was used to clean up the river to attract more people in the first place. Paragraph 1 offers reasons why the first assumption is questionable e. Similarly, paragraphs 2 and 3 explain that riverside recreational facilities may already be adequate and may, in fact, produce additional income if usage increases.
Thus, the response is adequately developed and satisfactorily organized to show how the argument depends on questionable assumptions. However, this essay does not rise to a score of 5 because it fails to consider several other unstated assumptions e. Furthermore, the final paragraph makes some extraneous, unsupported assertions of its own. Mason City may actually have a budget surplus so that cuts to other projects will not be necessary, and cleaning the river may provide other real benefits even if it is not used more for water sports.
This response is generally free of errors in grammar and usage and displays sufficient control of language to support a score of 4. Surveys are created to speak for the people; however, surveys do not always speak for the whole community. A survey completed by Mason City residents concluded that the residents enjoy water sports as a form of recreation.
If that is so evident, why has the river not been used? The blame can not be soley be placed on the city park department. The city park department can only do as much as they observe. The real issue is not the residents use of the river, but their desire for a more pleasant smell and a more pleasant sight.
If the city government cleans the river, it might take years for the smell to go away. If the budget is changed to accomodate the clean up of the Mason River, other problems will arise. The residents will then begin to complain about other issues in their city that will be ignored because of the great emphasis being placed on Mason River.
If more money is taken out of the budget to clean the river an assumption can be made. This assumption is that the budget for another part of cit maintenance or building will be tapped into to.