Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writing Benchmark 2009 - Question 1 - Rating: E

Original material provided by UMich ELI may be found here.

Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE)
Writing Section
Benchmark Set 2009

The following composition was written by an ECPE examinee and scored using the 5-point ECPE Writing scale.

Some psychologists claim that people inherit most of their personality traits from their parents. Do you think this is true? Give specific examples from your own experience to support your viewpoint.

Rating: E

I am writting about the thought which have some psychologists. They claim that people inherit most of theirpersonality traits from their parents. I believe that this is absolutely true.

First of all, until we could leave from our home and our parents and if we will be able to live in a house alone or with our children and wife, we live with our parents yet. We are growing up with them. We inherit some of their personality traits. They are the people who birth us and actually is logical to inherit their characterist of their face and more their personality traits.

If you grow with a family who are outgoing persons, you will inherit this and you won’t have problems with other people. We will go out with your friends and generally you will have open mind head for many thinks about the life. If the family argue every day for rediculous reasons, the child maybe has problems with his confidence because the child learn to solve his problems with fights.

On the other hand, the children inherit the love, the kind from their parents and with them will grow. They inherit the kindness and the confidence to go on their lifes when their parents die.

I inherit the love and the kindness from my parents. We learn to talk and solve our problems inside from this. We have normal life. I want to inherit this to my children.

The writer attempts an introduction but copies a lot from the original wording of the prompt. Therefore, it is not clear from the outset whether the writer has actually understood the prompt. The rest of the essay develops the topic very simply, particularly the examples given to show how our parent’s behavior can affect our behavior. Connections between ideas are often absent or unsuccessful. For example at the beginning of paragraph 4, the writer says, “on the other hand.” This connector is used to indicate that an opposing point of view is going to be presented. However, what follows seems to be corroborating evidence.
There are pervasive and basic errors in sentence structure (e.g., word order, articles, and prepositions) that cause confusion. Incorrect use of vocabulary also causes confusion. For instance, the writer uses meaningless, canned phrases (e.g., “you won’t have problems with other people”) and L1 influence is clearly evident. There are many unclear phrases; for example, “birth us,” “characterist of their face,” “open mind head.”  
Overall the essay requires a lot of effort to decode and it is never clear whether the writer has understood the
word “inherit” from the prompt. This persistent lack of meaningfulness is characteristic of an “E” level Essay.


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