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Happiness Or Success Essay

1264 words - 5 pages

The following sample, which reflects an average placement into College Writing I, was written in response to this prompt: "Are success and happiness interchangeable ideas to you? Answer this question in a brief essay with examples and illustrations to support your position." To help you think about your own writing, we have made a few notes to explain what makes this a passing essay. COMMENTS: 1. The writer has a clear thesis and explicitly takes a position on the topic. 2. The writer uses clear topic sentences to explain the purpose of each ¶. 3. The writer develops the ¶ with a relevant, specific example. 4. While the referent of "it" is unclear, this minor error (along with a number of others in this essay) would not cause the essay to fail. We expect to see some minor errors on the sentence level, but a passing essay will always be clear and readable. If an essay is confusing to the readers, it will not pass. 5. The word "clothes" is misspelled "cloths." A few small errors might not cause the essay to fail, but an accumulation of small errors demonstrates a lack of control. 6. The writer avoids basic usage errors, such as confusing their, there and they're; to and too; or its and it's. 7. The writer does more than just define each term and give an example of each. The argument shows a bit of development. 8. The writer shows good unity by concluding the argument firmly and reasserts the thesis. In general, the essay is a little repetitive, but our readers understand that it was written under pressure. While it is not perfect, it shows all of the things that we listed in our letter to you. We expect that a student writing at this level will be successful in College Writing I.
While the ideas of "happiness" and "success" seem related at first glance, I believe they are two separate categories and represent two different ways of looking at the world.1 First of all, happiness is a feeling, which success is not. A person doesn't need to be successful to be happy, because a wide variety of things can make a person feel happy, and those things might not be the same from person to person. Success isn't an emotion; it's a judgment of its own kind. To say a person is successful or unsuccessful is a way of evaluating that person, and deciding whether they measure up to a standard. It's important to see the difference between those two things, or you could end up missing out on happiness. Happiness can come from a sense of personal accomplishment or achievement, which is why happiness and success are easily confused. It feels really good to reach a goal, especially if you've set a goal that is meaningful to you.2 For example, in my high school, there is a history teacher that everyone thinks is a tough grader. Mr. Anderson teaches a European history class that is not required, and usually only the smartest students take that class because of its reputation for being difficult.3 I'm not at the very top of my class, but I liked the other history...

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