Friday, December 10, 2010

Writing Benchmark 2009 - Question 2 - Rating: D

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.

Many popular movies are based on books. Some people believe the book versions are better than the movie versions. Which do you prefer? Why? Support your answer with specific examples.

Rating: D

It is an undeniable fact that many famous movies are based on novels, which makes them even more popular. However, it is widely debated whether the movies or the books are better. This issue have made two groups of people, which of whom strongly support their opinion.
Some books have had enormous success and are considered all time classics. The “perfume”, “Da Vinci Code”, “Alexander The Great”, etc. have gained people’s admiration and are getting known from generation to generation. Almost in every home there are some famous novels like those.
One the other hand, great movies, which are based on novels, have been created. With huge care and a really high budget brilliant movies have forged people to fullfil the cinemas. The enormous movies industry have  succeed to form a movie in a great similarity to its source-novel.
Athought this huge effort, in my opinion it is impossible to be a real transformation of the book’s elements to a film. The imagination world that we can find in books can’t be replaced by a movie. Books make us imagine and participate to the scenes in our mind. “Alexander The Great” as a movie, for instance make a lot of people dissapointed.
Consequently, as hard as movie industry can try cannot replace books with movies. Books will always be in the first place of our heart.


The introduction paraphrases the prompt and indicates that there is debate on the issue. From the outset, however, there are signs that the writer is not very proficienct. First, the language used is a little strong (e.g., “it is an undeniable fact”). The strong language used suggests more controversy than the prompt actually implies. Second, the final sentence of the introduction is muddled and the reader has to make considerable effort to understand what is meant.

The remainder of the essay develops the topic simply. The writer gives examples of three books and states that these are very popular. He/she then states that some films are extremely popular. However, the essay does not clearly develop the reasons for these claims. As a result, the essay is unsuccessful in its attempts to address different perspectives on the topic.
The essay contains numerous, low-level grammatical errors (e.g., articles, plurals, tense and aspect, and prepositions). The reader has to pay close attention to understand what the writer is trying to say. Additionally, words are used inappropriately to the point that they cause confusion (e.g., “forged,”, “fullfil,” and “form”—all in paragraph 3).
Overall, the reader has to make considerable effort to understand what the writer is trying to say. This is indicative of a “D” band essay.


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