The following is an example of a high-scoring essay response to our free practice GED Essay Prompt. Below our GED sample essay is a brief analysis justifying its perfect score.
Police militarization is a hot-button topic these days. Some believe that criticizing the actions of the police hurts their ability to do their job, while others argue that the police are overstepping their authority and often cause more harm than good. Both passages address this issue head on; however, the critique of police militarization published by the ACLU is the best-supported and ultimately the most convincing argument.
While the second passage lacks specific statistical data, the ACLU states that there were 80,000 military raids by police last year. This is surprising and supports the idea that military-style raids have become too commonplace in society. The writer then highlights the inherent problem with these raids: “of all the incidents studied where the number and race of the people impacted were known, 39 percent were Black, 11 percent were Latino, 20 were white.” Police militarization has disproportionately impacted African-Americans, further supporting how detrimental police militarization is to society.
Another reason why the ACLU’s argument is better-supported than Hagner’s argument is because it directly discusses ethical corruption, unlike Hagner’s essay. The ACLU states, “Companies like Lockheed Martin and Blackhawk Industries are making record profits by selling their equipment to local police departments that have received Department of Homeland Security grants.” The ACLU implies that the reason for this militarization is profit; if this is true, then there is no actual real-world need for the militarization of the police. Private companies are ultimately designed to make money, not help the police, so police militarization poses an ethical problem.
Finally, the ACLU’s argument is much more convincing than Hagner’s argument because it uses much more impactful diction. The forcefulness of calling the drug war “wasteful and failed” highlights the high-stakes nature of this issue. Readers, most likely taxpayers, have a vested interest in not having their money wasted by the government. The author goes on to imply that the reader may not be safe, since “heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night.” The tone of this essay is much more impassioned than the tone of the second, helping to draw engage the reader on an emotional level.
In summary, the ACLU’s argument is better-supported because it includes more data, accusations of ethical corruption, and forceful language that engages the reader. Hagner’s argument has some merit, because it does a good job organizing points with a numbered list, but it is ultimately too dry in tone and does not include any data or quotes from authority figures to back up its claims. The ACLU’s argument winds up more effectively convincing readers that the militarization of police is something we should all be concerned about.
Sample Essay Analysis
This essay is very well-organized. It uses 5 paragraphs and lays out the structure in the following manner:
- Paragraph 1 — Introduction (why the ACLU position is better-supported)
- Paragraph 2 — Reason #1 — Statistics (two examples given from passage)
- Paragraph 3 — Reason #2 — Ethics (one example given from passage)
- Paragraph 4 — Reason #3 — Diction (two examples given from passage)
- Paragraph 5 — Conclusion
In the introduction, the author thoughtfully presents the topic of police militarization and explains why it is relevant in today’s society. Both arguments are introduced, and the thesis is clearly placed at the end of the paragraph so they are easy for the reader to find. The thesis clearly states which argument the author believes is better-supported, and the language is confident.
Each of the next three body paragraphs is well-organized, starting with transitional words or phrases and including at least one example that supports the thesis. The body paragraphs cite specific examples from the passage, and then explain how those examples support the overall argument. The author uses three different examples: statistics, ethics, and vocabulary, to prove why the ACLU’s argument is better-supported. These diverse examples show that the author understands what makes an argument weak or strong.
Finally, the concluding paragraph makes a minor concession to the opposing side, praising the numbered list that appears therein, before reiterating the thesis from the Introduction.
The essay avoids any grammar or spelling errors and the sentence structure is clear and varied with the appropriate usage of commas and other punctuation. Clear command of the English language is demonstrated. As a result, this essay would earn a perfect score.