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The Essay

  1. The essay may be used as a preliminary placement test and as a final evaluation at the end of a school term. The progress of the student can be determined by any improvement between the first and second essay. 
  2. The essay may be returned to the student with the teacher's suggestions for a rewrite.  Do not require more than one rewrite. 
  3. Essay topics should be clear and applicable to the lifestyle of the student.   

Click here for the rewrite.   

Grading the Essay

The essay should be evaluated by two different criteria: grammar and organization.
A numerical evaluation should be given for both grammar and organization.



Circle each grammar error and mark the error with the following code

A  checklist for organization

vt = verb tense

vf = verb form

sva = subject-verb agreement

mw = missing word

ww = wrong word

pos = part of speech

sp = spelling

c = capitalization

p = punctuation

pr = paragraph

s =  acceptable only in speech, too informal

npa = noun-pronoun agreement

sf  = sentence fragment

ro = sentence run-on

incoh = incoherent

  1. introductory paragraph

  2. concluding paragraph

  3. body paragraphs

  4. support for topic sentences

  5. stayed with the topic

Grammar evaluation  "Is Honesty the Best Policy?"'

17 total errors

3 spelling

1 capitalization

2 sentence fragment 

2 missing word

2 verb tense

2 run on sentence

3 punctuation errors

2 paragraph (no concluding paragraph )

grade in grammar:  C

20 error or more:  F

10-19 errors: C

5-9 errors: B

0-4 errors A

Mei, you have given excellent examples of why you believe that honesty is the best policy. Now you must organize your essay into three paragraphs:

1. an introduction

2. your specific examples

3. a conclusion  

grade in organization: 75

Is Honesty the Best Policy?     

by Mei Wong

                (sp)             (c)

          I   beleive that   Honesty    is the best policy for a number of very good 

                                                                                               ( sf) 

 reasons that come from my own personal experience.  And the experience of

                                                           never (mw)                                   ( p)

many of my  good friends.  I have ^               witnessed an experience  ,   when


 people have gotten away with deceit or deception.  



          My first experience with dishonesty comes when I played hooky from 


school with my best friend in the fifth grade we pretended to walk to school in 


the morning as usual ^  but instead went far away to a park with a playground, 


creek, and walking paths.  We had a very good time, but when we returnd 


later in the day to our homes, we found  police waiting at our homes.  The 


school phone our homes, and our parents were very worried about us. 


We were not allow to go to any social events for a month afterwards.  

   (pr)                                                                                   (one word)            

 In another incident,  a student in my school was caught shop lifting a shirt 

                                                                l        (sp)

from a store in our neighborhood.  He now has a crimnal record. The


dishonest act was not worth the twenty dollars the shirt cost.


           In my last example, my brothers best friend cheated on his algebra


 exam.   Because he received a good grade, he was passed to the advanced 

                                                                                     (ro, mw and)

 algebra class.  He was unable to do the advanced work       Had to withdraw from


 the class in the fall semester.   


no concluding paragraph