The following essays are provided for practice for new raters. Raters should read and rate these essays and compare their ratings with those provided. Raters with ratings different from those provided should carefully reread the scoring criteria, the model essays, and the examples of rated essays.

Practice Essay 1


For many, the colorful landscapes and warm climate make the South an enjoyable place to live. But the evergrowing problem of racism scars our beautiful land. The South has many qualities which are both likeable and unlikeable.

To some people the land is one of the most likeable qualities of the South. In the South children can play in the lush hills of Alabama. The mountains of North Carolina are everchanging with the seasons. Along the coasts of the Atlanta Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico one can feel the cool ocean air while walking on the sandy, white beaches. In the spring and summer the South is green with vegetation. In the fall and winter everything across the land is golden brown.

For many people one of the most unlikeable things in the South is the problem of racism. One can experience racial prejudice from both blacks and whites while in the South. Many white people feel that blacks are subordinate to them because they were once slaves. Many blacks think that white people owe them something because of something that happened in the past. A person can read about racial riots in Georgia in the newspaper or can watch whites and blacks fight on Florida television stations. Sometimes it seems as if no one wants to solve this problem and heal an infectious wound.

The landscapes and warm climate make the South an enjoyable place to live for many. However, the growing problem of racism scars our beautiful land.

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Practice Essay 2


Welfare is for the betterment of the poor. People receive Welfare benefits to help support their families. These benefits include provision for medical, food, and clothing expenses. People on welfare should not be forced to work because some are unable to work and they could lose their welfare benefits.

Some people that receive welfare benefits are unable to work. Welfare provides benefits for those who are unemployed and disabled. The welfare benefits help the people who have an uncurable illness. Also, when they need to attend the doctor their medical expenses will be paid for. Furthermore, the welfare benefits will help them to pay for food and clothing expenses. As a result, it would be very unfair to force these people to work because they are receiving welfare.

Secondly, people on welfare could lose their benefits if they are forced to work. Those who receive welfare get financial aid from the government. If the government finds out that they are working, their welfare benefits will be taken away. Also, the government feels if they can work, they should not be receiving welfare. In addition, these people will save the government money if they are able to work. These people will have to pay the government a large sum of money on the welfare that they received.

Finally, being on welfare has it advantages and disadvantages. People on welfare should not be forced to work because some are unable to work and they could lose their welfare benefits. Welfare should mainly be for the elderly, not the young teenagers.

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Practice Essay 3


College can help to bring about many changes in an individual. Intellectual changes, perceptual changes, and even changes in personal habits may all play a role in the college experience. The area of personal eating habits is perhaps one of the most commonly discussed changes observed in college freshmen. The concept of the "freshman fifteen," referring to the tendency of college freshmen to gain weight, has proven itself no myth in my own experience.

When I began college, I had generally healthy eating habits, a product of having lived with my parents all my life and being forced to eat my vegetables. In my first four months of college life I tried to continue these habits which had been ingrained in me since the early days of strained spinach; however, as the freedoms of college became more apparent, I realized that I did not have to finish my green beans in order to have chocolate cake. I seemed to come to this decision simultaneously with the rest of the girls in my freshman dorm. Soon the lobby of our building became a receiving line for the Domino's Pizza delivery man. This trend continued as evidenced by the boxes of candy and bags of potato chips lined up across our desks that gave a whole new meaning to the term "cramming." By the end of my freshman year I had gained close to twenty-five pounds. Two main factors made this transformation take place so smoothly that I never even noticed it happening: the fact that everyone else did the same thing and the absolute absence of any type of measuring device such as a simple bathroom scale.

Fortunately, since my first year at an institute of higher learning, I have learned that I will have to take responsibility for my own eating habits. I now know that my mother will no longer watch over my shoulder to make sure I have eaten my carrots instead of slipping them to the dog; I will have to do that job for her. I have also discovered that chocolate cake can be a wonderful thing when taken in moderation, but when eaten in excess, it becomes the nemesis of my hips. I have also realized that when I eat better, I feel better, and I perform better.

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Practice Essay 4


Mark Twain's, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is an exciting piece of literature to read. In it, Huckleberry Finn enjoys fishing, climbing, swimming and exploring. He, however, does not like to attend school, take baths nor live in a family environment. This portrays him as an illiterate, savage, unclean and aloof boy. Yet, he is quite clever and very adventurous. Like Huckleberry Finn, monotony is not a lifestyle which is particularly appealing. Because dating is an adventure, I would not like to go to the movies for a date.

The movies have always been a common attraction, rather a conventional solution in the rule book of dating. The movies for dating is always a premiere choice in ten, it allows for a first-date couple, two hours of time to relax in each others presence and in that chronological sequence it allots time for the couple to segment their conversational speech patterns. Thus, with a lengthy conversation the outing may end. When the "dutch", "my treat" or "traditional" date has adjourned, the mind reflects on the evening as well as the pockets. Thus the spender, cheap or not, tells himself that the evening went well sociable and monetarily.

Viewing television is like being at the movies, except that one has no commercials. Well enough, there is a new toy in town called a video cassette recorder/player, VCR for short. It is exactly like the movies with a few more advantages. One can rewind, fast forward, or pause if the restroom is being utilized. Because the movies is similar to television it can be attended to anytime.

The movies is a dying attraction, it is monotaneous, rather general. Holding no type of adventure, in the sense that it is not a physical or exploring outing. It is not challenging like dancing, horseback riding, mountain climbing, existing historical landmarks or going to a museum. These sort of outings are challenging mentally and physically. They withdraw skills, intellect and endurance. By far a limbo contest is for everyone, fear of heights is damaging and knowing who invented the can opener, cannot be too thrilling. But it provides a change of pace from being a "couch potato", (a fanatic television or movie viewer).

Dating is not specifically restricted to movie-going, but a movie is primarily the first choice for many. It has its advantages providing it is a film which is going to be shown only once. However, its drawbacks prevail: reputation, slight boredom as well as that of a minor backache and hemoroidal symptoms. On the whole, a date should give one something to talk about for at least a week. You may have fallen off your horse or gotten your historical data confused, but it shows that you withstood the challenge. That of skill, intellect, endurance and good commaderie.

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Practice Essay 5


For many years, gambling has been a controversial issue within many state governments. The question of the legalization of gambling is not an easy one. Some states, such as Nevada, have chosen to legalize gambling as a means of additional revenue. Other states, such as Georgia, have not legalized gambling for many reasons including moral issues and concern about public welfare. Even though there may be some economical advantages to legalizing gambling in Georgia, the overall effects of gambling in the lives of however many compulsive gamblers there may be in Georgia would ruin these people, their families, and their friends.

Gambling can be a good source of revenue in some states by providing extra money that the government might not have had otherwise. This money may be spent on the educational system, public utilities or any type of community programs. In addition to its economical advantages, gambling is also enjoyable entertainment for many people. What people fail to see is the destruction in the lives of the people for whom this entertainment becomes a habit they cannot break.

The life of a compulsive gambler can be destroyed in so many ways. A man may lose his job because he is falling behind in office work worrying about where all his money has gone. If the gambler loses all of his savings and no longer has a job, he cannot provide for his family or himself and may fall deeper into debt with no way out. If a gambler borrows money to gamble or even to pay back gambling debts, he may still find himself unable to keep any money to live on. This problem will not only affect him, but also his children and wife will be harmed by his problem. If gambling were legalized, this viscous cycle of behaviors would be an easier trap to fall into than it already is. Look at the statistics of compulsive gambling in Georgia when gambling is not even legal yet. How many more people would fall prey to gambling? How many more lives would be ruined?

Besides the effects in the personal lives of gambling victims, another negative aspect of gambling is crime. In cities such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the organized crime rate is astounding. Do Georgians want the mob or loan sharks roaming their cities? There is enough crime to deal with already without worrying about more coming in as a result of legalizing gambling.

Georgia has had a good record of economy for many years. Why should Georgia allow people to possibly risk their lives, homes, families, jobs, and safety over an entertaining pastime? The revenue is not worth it. If gambling is so important to some people, then they can always get on a plane to Atlantic City, because Georgia does not need gambling to keep its economy alive.

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Practice Essay 6


The world is full of many beautyful places. I plan on traveling to those places which fill my mind with beauty and wonder. However, if I were awarded an expense paid trip to any one place in the world, I would immediately travel to Heidelberg Germany.

I've already spent seven years of my life in Heidelberg. I was an adolescent then and all of my memories are detailed and happy. I know that the best cherry tree is off Romerstrasse, I know where the best fishing hole is in the Necker river and I know the quickest route through the wood to the Heidelberg castle. The reason I want to return to the city now however, is because I would like to view it in my eyes as an adult. I would like to visit the bars, buy "things" from the boutiques and camp along the river side.

Not only do I want to go to Heidelberg to capture old and new memories but also to hook up with old and make some new friends. I've been back in the states for eleven year but I've kept in touch with my German friends as this time has past. Over these years, the letters I've mailed and received have changed tremendously. I used to write about bubble gum and beating up boys but now I write about bourbon and kissing boys. The letters I've received have also changed in the same effect. Just to see the people I've written too over the years would make my trip worthwhile.

Capturing memories and seeing old friends is great, but it always has been the culture and the language that has kept me interested in the country itself. When I lived in Heidelberg, I insisted on going to the local German public school. Therefore now, I can speak German and would love to delve into a conversation with an older cultured Heidelberg person who would tell me its history. Stories told about history through the eyes of older "experienced" individuals have always facinated me. The city of Heidelberg has always facinated me, therefore I want to travel there and indulge in German conversation with older beer drinking men in bars.

If I were awarded an expense paid trip to Heidelberg Germany, I would leap for joy. I want to travel down memory lane. I want to meet up with my "old" friends and I want to use my German speaking skills.

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