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Practice FSWE Essay 4

Practice FSWE Essay 4

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Please evaluate my practice FSWE essay.

Testing Rubric:
1-3 are failing marks. 4-6 are passing. The essay is read and grded by two people and their scores are added together for a total maximum score of 12. So the goal is to get at least a 4. 4 is good enough.

A paper at this level is adequately developed. The writer’s purpose is clear and
the analysis is generally supported by relevant examples. The writer’s rationale
may not always be fully developed. The paper has a clear structure with an
introduction, body, and conclusion, but the structure may be too obvious and
ideas may be subordinated to structure. Alternatively, the paper may exhibit
lapses in organization. Transitions are usually used effectively. Sentences clearly
express meaning and exhibit some variety, but there may be some repetition.
Word choice is appropriate to the audience and is usually precise. While there
may be some errors in grammar, usage, or mechanics, a competency with
language is apparent. The errors may be distracting, but they only occasionally
impede understanding.
A paper at this level is well developed. The writer’s purpose is well defined and,
for the most part, the analysis is supported by sound reasoning and relevant,
effective examples. Analysis and judgment may show thought and insight. The
writer’s rationale is well developed and integrated into the text of the paper. The
structure is logical and coherent, with clear organization, an effective opening and
closing, and effective transitions. Sentences are usually concise and varied in
structure. Word choice is usually precise, varied, and is appropriate to the
audience. The writing shows good command of the language. There may be
occasional errors in grammar, usage, or mechanics, but the errors pose minor
distraction and they do not impede understanding.
A paper at this level is substantially developed. The writer’s purpose is very well
defined and the analysis is supported by sound reasoning and relevant, effective
examples. Analysis and judgment show thought and insight. The writer’s
rationale is very well developed and very well integrated into the text of the
paper. The structure is unified and coherent, with clear organization, an effective
opening and closing, and effective transitions. Sentences are concise, interesting,
and varied in structure. Word choice is precise, varied, and appropriate to the
audience. The writing is fluent and shows superior command of the language.
There may be occasional errors in grammar, usage, or mechanics, but the errors
pose minor distraction and they do not impede understanding.

I handwrote this essay in 50 minutes in accordance with the rules of the FSWE. I will present it without spellchecking or editing so to represent the actual essay as it was written.

When evaluating please be aware of the following:
  • When composing the essay, the point of view should be clearly stated and supported.
  • Writing should be evaluated on quality of writing, not the opinions expressed.
  • A sucessful essay should have an obvious structure and clear thesis supported by relevant substantiating details.
  • It should show my ability to analyze the topic in a way that is appropriate for the intended audience (a foreign service officer).
  • The writing should be coherent with only occasional lapses that do not impede flow or readers' comprehension.
  • Language should be generally concise with clear and appropriate word choices.
  • The language should be free of errors in grammar and syntax, with only minor errors in spelling and punctuation.
  • There is no limit on length.

The topic:
In recent years, there have been a number of mergers between firms in entertainment, communications,
publishing, banking, automobile manufacturing, and other industries. Some people think that mergers result
in lower operating costs, greater efficiency and increased productivity for business. Others think such
mergers are beneficial because they result in enhanced services and lower costs for consumers. However,
some argue that mergers are not beneficial for society because they often result in loss of jobs and may
reduce people's access to goods and information. In your views, are mergers beneficial? Carefully explain the rationale for your position.

My essay:

Advantages to Mergers

     The merging of companies in the United States and abroad is beneficial, not only to companies, but consummers as well. A company can use the merger opertunity to cut costs, slim down operations, and reduce redundance. This can allow for better deals for the consumer as well as for investors. Mergers also incourage people to work together who would otherwise be working against each other which can help improve efficency in the long term.
     In most mergers, though, short term gains like cutting operating costs and reducing a bloated workforce are more important goals. When two firms merge, like what happened with Apple and server-side computer producer, Next, comapanies are presented with the oppertunity to slim down a bloated workforce. This in turn allows for the new company to reduce costs and give more to the consumer.
     Giving more to the consumer is exactly what most companies have in mind when a merger takes Place. When two companies combine they not only get more people, but more customers and technology as Well. A prime example of this was when Palm, Inc. merged with Be, Inc. Palm got the expertise of Be, Inc. engineers and Be, Inc. was introduced to a new market for their products. Mergers combine like-minded companies together to make more innovative ideas happen. This can breath new life into an aging company and create new ways of thinking.
     New ways of thinking are always good, but another thing that mergers can do is to ensure all people are working with each other instead of fighting against themselves to get to the same goal. When a company joins with another, the two entities have a chance to combine their best minds together to get more done, as opposed to struggling to undercut each other at every turn. Consider two rival supermarkets located across the street from each other. When competting with each other the stores are always cutting profit margins and trying to lull consumers from one another. As one entity they can save more profits previously reserved for competition and give the savings back to the consumer in the form of increased goods and services.
     Goods and services might increase, but some would argue that the short-term loss of work makes it not worth it. This is not the case. A company that merges with another will experience lay off, but this is not only good for the company, but good for the laid off workers as well. Being laid off is a difficult experience but it gives the complacient worker a good, if not harsh, chance to improve themselves. In the long term, these workers can find find other, often better, jobs or use the opertunity to further their education. Through short term difficulties, long term successes are made.
     The short and long term advantages of company mergers are many. The ability to reduce redundancy and increase profit margins are a strong incentive for like0minded companies to merge. The advantages of combining the best minds and technology together in one Place also sweetens the deal. Concentrating less on competition and more on expanding services can benefit everyone, and laid off workers can thrive as they reinvest their energies in new enterprises. The merger is a long-standing business investment that when used wisely, can and will improve not only companies, but the people they serve now and long into the future.

Please be critical. I want to improve my essay writing skills as much as I can for the test and beyond.

Thank you for your help.

  • Spelling needs improvement. Using computers and word processors has made us lazy (myself included) when it comes to spelling. Make sure you leave time to go back to proofread your essay. I think you'll catch a lot of errors that way.

    I like how you gave specific examples of your points. This can backfire though if you don't know the details well. Be careful.

    I also like how you presented your stance of the topic. I think your arguement was even stronger as you addressed some cons too. ie: job loss.

    Try to clearly define your argument in the initially paragraph with 3 points. I was a bit confused.

    -"... cut costs, slim down operations, and reduce redundance." is this one point or three?
    -"better deals for the consumer" seemed to change to more innovative products
    -"incourage people to work together"
    • Thanks for the comments. I actually had fifteen minutes at the end of paragraph four, that is why I thought to add the counter-argument. I hope I have time to do so in the real exam as well.

      You are right about the intro paragraph. I tend to discover better arguments when I'm writing and have to change the intro, but I didn't double-space so it was a little cramped.
  • I have a headache so this is going to be shorter than my last review. Will go back and read it later. :)

    I think this was much better written than your last one. I like the how you specifically pointed out examples of companies, but as Mog said knowing about what happened with the companies is equally important. I didn't get that feeling with the Apple and Next examples, but I did get a feeling you knew what you were talking about with the the Palm example.

    Echoing what Bigmog said, I think your introductory paragraph needs work this time. The conclusion was pretty good, but the thesis paragraph seems weak (in the sense opposed to strong) I think that might be due to the lack of clarity on your points, like Mog pointed out.

    Your transitions are great, but they're leaning towards being a touch too obvious (as noted for the "4" on the rubric) But I would say, better have them obvious than not there at all.

    The point of these papers is to convince people of your way of thinking. Your goal is to never allow a person the chance to argue back because 1) every argument they MIGHT make is already addressed with a counter, 2) all your logic is generally sound 3) your evidence to support your cases are generally sound.

    So, with that being known, try and stay away from using words like "always" and "never" etc, such as in, "New ways of thinking are always good." I read that and was like, "NUH UH! Not always!!"

    Yeah, sorry, my head is throbbing and I can't really do much careful analysis of your writing, but I do think this topic was much better. At the very least, because of your IT examples that you are probably semi intimiately aware of, it makes it seem like you know your shit.

    If I were to put this on that grading rubric, it would be at a 3 or 4. I'm not sure how strict they are. Your ideas are good, but unfortunately, they're not presented in the best manner (but this is why you're practicing, and this is why you're getting better.) The rubric asks for variety in sentence structure, and I feel your sentences are very much the same every time. A good one to sprinkle here and there is the semi-colon one. I swear this one is great! For example, two sentences.
    Cheese is the best thing on earth.
    But most people think butter is better.
    "It is argued by a vocal few that cheese is the best thing on earth; however, anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of people feel that butter is better."
    Basically, combines two short sentences. Use a semi-colon before but, however, yet, therefore, while, etc and a comma after it. It looks fancy, it's "advanced" and it's really simple to throw one in here and there.

    Oh and word choice... I don't think you should start replacing normal words with stupid pretentious ones. That usually pisses off readers, actually. So I think you're basically fine... Though as I noted last time, try not to use slang. "The advantages of combining the best minds and technology together in one Place also sweetens the deal." It's not really slang, slang, but it isn't appropriate for the tone of the writing.

    Uh, I digress, I think. Anyways, I think 3-4 is a good score for someone who didn't have to write papers to graduate from university. I wrote papers on weekly basis and I doubt that I'd get a 6. I think this is a vast improvement on the last paper which I would have rated around a 2-3. To me, the line between a 3 and a 4 on this is very thin and isn't related to your thoughts (once again, your ideas are good and generally clear and understandable) but to the structure and layout still needs work, but that's , like I said, seeming to improve every essay. :)

    P.S. I had no idea you were so economically conservative. :) Yay to social liberals and economic conservatives. ;D
    • Thank you for your comments, Himene. Your advice is very helpful and I will try to heed it in the exam itself.
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