Appendix D. Sample Student Essays

Sample definition essay

Ngoc Phan
Level 7 Writing
July 14, 2020

Taking Control of Your Life

         When most people hear the word education, they simply think about it as a process of teaching and learning in a school or college. However, it is a process of continuous learning which can be achieved anywhere, any time, and at any age. During the history of human development, education has played an important role in society as well as in an individual’s life. In fact, education is one of the keys that empowers people to take control of their lives by directly affecting an individual’s financial position and lifestyle, social position, and personal skills.

         At first glance, the level of education is the strongest predictor of an individual’s income, which is also the main component that ensures people a better life. It is obvious that one who is well-educated tends to get a better-earning opportunity, so they can easily afford a healthier lifestyle. Furthermore, people with higher education and varied experiences usually form healthier behavior and make proper financial decision to extend their life expectancy. For instance, well-off people are willing to pay more for healthier foods, are able to afford the cost of a gym membership, or are capable of access to medical care. According to the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, compared to low-income people, higher educated people are less likely to have heart disease or serious illness, as well as financial trouble. Higher education guarantees a strong financial position, which later leads to a better life and future.

         Additionally, it should be noted that education is the main factor that affects the social status of individuals. In other words, education is a tool that shapes one’s social identity. Regardless of socioeconomic background, education gives people an equal opportunity to be in the same social position later on. For example, Oprah Winfrey, who is now one of the richest and most influential women in the United States, had a poor and difficult childhood. By focusing on studying and actively participating in her field, step by step, she finally attained her dream. She is now an American television personality, actress, and entrepreneur. She said, “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” Indeed, education helps people widen their wisdom, acquire knowledge, and raise their self-esteem. With social status, people can significantly enhance the quality of life, as well as the opportunities and privilege within society. Knowledge or education empowers people not only in social position but civilization as a whole.

         Along with the effect on the financial position and social position, the development of personal skills is one of the most important outcomes of education. The education system helps people to expand their critical thinking to understand what is right and wrong in their concept, as well as to care about the core ethical value such as justice, respect, responsibility, and citizenship toward self and others. For instance, educated people learn how to present themselves without offending others. They understand that one’s opinion is different from others so that they respect other’s ideas. However, along with skill and degree, manners should be considered as an essential part as well. Educated people are supposed to choose a proper manner that fits modern society. All together, manners and personal skills support individuals to grow to their full potential.

         Without a doubt, the benefits coming from education are innumerable. Education can broaden one’s boundary, strengthen one’s weakness, and enrich one’s knowledge. By affecting an individual’s financial position and lifestyle, social position, and personality, education empowers people to take control of their lives. Education is not the only way or the easiest way that can lead people to a better future. In contrast, it is a long but sustainable way to reach to the final destination as well as to attain one’s dream. As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

Sample cause-and-effect essay

Ngoc Phan
Level 7 Writing
July 26, 2020

Underage Brides

         A marriage between two people where one or both are younger than 18 years of age is defined as an early marriage or child marriage. According to the research by PBS, even though this definition includes both girls and boys, girls are more likely to experience child marriage. Reported by the United Nations, each day, 37,000 girls under the age of 18 become brides. Without the girls’ knowledge or acquiescence, they are often compelled to an arranged marriage with someone older than them. In other words, despite getting married, child brides do not even know what marriage looks like. This, however, is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that marriage should be entered into only with free and full consent. It should be noticed that early marriage has caused numerous impacts on girls’ lives. Low access to education, higher risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and physical health devastation are some harmful consequences of early marriage on child brides.

         Firstly, the effect of early marriage on girls is the limited access to education. According to UNICEF, child brides are more likely to drop out of school, and some younger brides, who are 14 and under, cannot finish primary school. The first reason for the low access to education is the disapproval of their husbands. Since husbands pay a great dowry to marry young girls, child brides are immediately put into the role of mothers and wives. Rather than playing and studying like what girls at their age should do, child brides are expected to become women who take responsibility for significant domesticities. Moreover, when girls get pregnant or have children, they have no time to keep up with their study so they have to leave school. Briefly, due to the lack of support and hardship of having children, it is almost impossible for girls to finish their basic education. Consequently, leaving school prevents girls from widening their wisdom, acquiring knowledge, and developing their authority, confidence, social skills, and network. In other words, without education, young brides cannot build up their personality, play an active role in public, improve their earning opportunities, and make their decisions about when and whom to marry. Moreover, according to the Equality Now, the limited access to education traps child brides in a cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and exploitation. While education is a tool to empower individuals to take control of their lives, girls who are married early are taken away the chance to grow to their full potential.

         Secondly, child marriage increases the already risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse that child brides experience throughout their lives. At first glance, by putting young girls in a marriage without their consent, child marriage itself is a form of violence. Having limited access to education as mentioned above, child brides absorb a nonprofit belief that it is nothing wrong for husbands to beat them. According to studies of UNICEF, “Women who marry early are more likely to be beaten or threatened, and more likely to believe that husbands might sometimes be justified in beating his wife.” In such kind of marriage, husbands have a higher position and stronger finance in families so child brides may have less decision-making ability in their bodies about when they can say no to sex and how they can use contraception to protect themselves. Reported by ICWR, girls who are married before the age of 18 are three times reported to have sex with their husbands in the last 6 months without their consent. Furthermore, they describe their first sexual experience as forced. As a consequence, young brides are more likely to suffer from severe mental illness such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, self-harm, and suicide attempts. As marriage should be a safe place that is held with respect, love, and caring; child brides, who deal with either domestic violence or sexual abuse, find their early marriage the opposite.

         Along with mental illness, early marriage results in devastating young brides’ physical health. Having a poor family background and low level of education, child brides aren’t taught to have safe sex. Additionally, having financial dependence on their husbands, girls are also forced to get into sexual activities against their will. Therefore, soon after getting married, young brides who are more likely to have children while still physically immature tend to face serious health problems. According to UNICEF, “girls ages 10–14 are five times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20-24. Girls aged 15–19 are twice as likely to die.” Indeed, child brides’ lives are threatened in pregnancy by dealing with complications such as heavy bleeding, anemia, and infections. Especially when giving birth at the age of 18 and under, child brides are at risk of having obstetric fistula, which is the reason for obstructed labor. Obstructed labor is when a mother’s pelvis is too small to push an infant’s head out of her body. As a result, girls experiencing obstetric fistula not only face life-threatening issues but also receive the neglect of their husbands and the segregation of society. According to the NCBI, compared to unmarried girls, young brides tend to get infected with STDs, generally HIV and HPV. This happens due to the lack of sex education where they might not be aware of HIV risk factors, contraception, and treatment. It is obvious that child marriage not only affects girls’ mental health but deeply impacts girls’ physical health in adverse ways.

         Without a doubt, early marriage strongly affects girls in many different ways. Low access to education, higher risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and physical health devastation are some ways how child marriage deprives girls of their crucial rights to education, safety, and health. “Child marriage not only puts a stop to girls’ hopes and dreams. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity,” says World Bank economist Quentin. Indeed, child marriage not only causes serious impacts on girls’ lives but society as a whole. It is a global issue, and should not be practiced anywhere. By ending child marriage, girls would live free from domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as to be entitled to an education, which is the most important key to empower them to take control of their lives and ensure a better future.

Sample Discussion Essay

Ngoc Phan
Level 7 Writing
August 8, 2020

 Is Abortion Freedom or Desperation?

         According to WHO, globally,  “of the estimated 211 million pregnancies that occur each year, about 46 million ends in induced abortion.” Generally, abortion is known as the removal of a fetus or embryo from the uterus. Due to the differences in beliefs, cultures, religions, and personal morals, when it comes to abortion, people can have various points of view about this problem. Indeed, abortion has been one of the most controversial and ethical issues for decades. However, no matter what, it always depends on women whether they want to choose abortion or not. Therefore, the right of women to access safe and legal abortion is crucial and should be added to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and practiced across the world. While abortion is an act of killing an innocent baby and adversely affects women’s physical health as well as their mental health, there should be benefits that come along. It is to protect women’s health and lives by ensuring them to access to safe abortion and empowering women to take control of their bodies so that their children are guaranteed to have better living conditions later on.

         Although legal abortion is essential to protect women’s human rights, people cannot deny its negative impacts. According to the Pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, worldwide, over 40 million unborn babies are killed by abortion each year. At first glance, some might say fetuses are not considered human beings so there is nothing wrong with abortion. However, under the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, unborn children are recognized as human beings and should be protected from harmful acts. Hence, abortion is an act of killing by taking away the life of the unborn child. Moreover, in several cases, abortion results in devastating the mother’s physical health. According to Healthline, since abortion is obtained legally, most women have no complications outside of prevalent effects such as bleeding, cramping, vomiting, and feeling pain. However, as the gestational period increases, women are more likely to deal with potential complications from second-trimester surgical abortion, which can include infection, excessive bleeding, and damage to parts of the reproductive system, reported by Better Health. Furthermore, if the women continue to have another abortion, it can lead to the injury of the cervix and may cause premature birth or miscarriage in later pregnancies. Along with women’s physical health, abortion is associated with women’s mental health and emotional well beings. Reported by the 2011 study and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, having an abortion rapidly changed women’s mental health. Women who had an abortion were 81 percent more likely to deal with a mental health issue and were on the verge of developing an anxiety disorder, experiencing depression, abusing alcohol, and committing suicide. In addition, even if abortion is legal across the world, stigmas about abortion still exist within the communities which strongly affect women’s emotions. As a consequence, after abortion, women may experience various emotions such as grief, regret, sadness, or guilt which lately impact their lives. In short, an act of killing a baby as well as the severe effects on women’s physical and mental health are some abortion’s drawback.

         On the other hand, there are so many advantages when abortion is legal worldwide. First of all, accessing to legal abortion is a key factor in protecting women’s comprehensive health. Compared to illegal abortion, legal abortion reduces the risk of death and suffering for women. According to WHO, by allowing women to access to safe abortion procedures where performed by trained providers and follows WHO guidelines, women can avoid fatal consequences such as infection, sepsis, and genital trauma. Besides, legalizing abortion helps to decrease the rate of unsafe abortions, which most of the time lead to death and injury. ”23,000 women die of unsafe abortion each year and tens of thousands more experience significant health complications, ” reported by WHO. As a result, understanding the vital role of safe abortion in protecting women’s lives and health, over the last 25 years, more than 50 countries allow the right to access to safe and legal abortion, according to Amnesty International. Secondly, being able to access legal abortion allows women to take control of their bodies whether when and with whom to start a family. In other words, with abortion, women can choose when to have a child or how many child they should have. Indeed, having a child is an important decision regardless of women who have no children or who already have. It is a long-term plan and requires women to prepare for both physical and mental aspects. An expected child is often born in “ideal” conditions and is entitled to bring up in love and financial security. In contrast, in the latest research posted in The Journal of Pediatrics, children whose mothers were denied by abortion are more likely to live under poverty as well as the lack of motherhood. Therefore, abortion is the only solution to decrease unintended birth as well as guarantee better outcomes for their child later. Briefly, protecting women’s health and lives and allowing women to make choices about their bodies in order to ensure the future of their children are some benefits that come from abortion.

         In conclusion, since the debate over whether access to safe and legal abortion should be added into UDHR is open-ended, understanding its advantages and disadvantages can help people to acknowledge this context before taking any decisions. Along with the negative sides of legal abortion, which is the killing of an unborn child and the adverse effects on both women’s physical and mental health, legal abortion also comes with several benefits, such as protecting women’s health and lives and empowering women to take control of their life to guarantee the welfare of their children. Hilary Clinton says, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” Regardless of time, this statement is always accurate. While access to legal abortion is considered essential to women’s health, finding a way to solve abortion seems to be more significant. Finding the best solution to solve abortion should be the first and foremost goal. As a result, providing people with sex education as well as contraception and birth control is a good way to start to decrease abortion.





Appendix D. Sample Student Essays Copyright © 2023 by Timothy Krause. All Rights Reserved.