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For exam 007127, Writing Skills:  A Personal Narrative, you are asked to write a personal essay, based solely on your first-hand personal experience(s), told from the first-person point of view (using the pronoun "I"), meeting the length requirement of between 750 and 2500 words.  This essay should not require or contain any type of research; it should be told from thoughts and memories.

In short, this essay should be about you and your experience(s).

This assignment is the SAME as exam 007868, The Writing Skills Writing Assignment, so there are multiple resources available to you, many of which are i

Writing Skills: A Research Project


Upon posting of the grade, the student gains access

to an instructor feedback file, which indicates where

the exam content was found, provides an explanation

of plagiarism, and extends a warning regarding possible

disciplinary action.

The student is required to complete the retake assignment,

constructing an entirely new essay.

Please refer to the section on “Academic Integrity”

on page 8 of your

Penn Foster High School Student


for more information.



Please be sure to include a header at the top of each

page that includes your last name and a page number at

the right margin.

The very first page of your essay shouldn’t contain a

header, but it should include your name, your student

ID number, and the exam number.

Your paper should be typed and double-spaced using

Microsoft Word or another word processing program

such as WordPad, X Word, AbiWord, and so on. It must

be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format for grading


Use double-spacing, standard one-inch margins, and a

font no larger than the equivalent of Times New Roman 12.

Your final draft should contain between 500

and 1,500 words.

This video clip provides information on specific types of plagiarism

10 Types of Plagiarism:


If the direct link fails to work, go to youtube.com and type “10 Types

of Plagiarism” into the search bar. Next, click on the video clip titled

“10 Types of Plagiarism.”

Writing Skills: A Research Project


Please save your document using your student number,

the appropriate exam number, and your last name, all

connected by underscore symbols. For example, if John

Smith’s student number was 23456789 and he had

completed exam 007130, the file would be saved as



To create a header using MS Word, click on the


tab at the top of the page and then on

the Header icon in your toolbar. Choose the blank header. While you’re still within the header,

click on


again (if necessary) and then on

Page Number

. First choose the option to

place the page number at the top of the page and then the option that will right-justify your

page number. Once your page number is in place, type your last name immediately before it

with a space in between. Once you click out of the header, your last name should be on each

page along with the appropriate page number.

To remove the header from the first page, once again click on the


tab at the top of the

page and then on the


icon in your toolbar. Click on

Edit Header

in the drop-down

menu and finally on

Different First Page.

Writing Skills: A Research Project




Ask yourself all of the following questions before you even

consider submitting your essay for grading. If your answer

to even one of these questions is


then you still have

some work to do.

Does my introduction attempt to “hook” the reader?

Does my essay have a clear and specific thesis statement?

Does my essay accurately develop the ideas included in

the chosen topic option?

Does my essay include both personal experience

and research?

Have I used the first-person point of view (the pronoun “I”)

throughout the essay?

Have I

clearly indicated where paragraphs begin and end?

Does each of my paragraphs support my thesis statement?

Does my conclusion summarize and give closure to

my essay?

Have I effectively proofread my essay?

Have I met the length requirement for this assignment?

Have I followed MLA style for including both parenthetical

and end citations?

Have I included a Works Cited page?

Is my essay formatted according to the instructions?

Have I reviewed the grading rubric on pages 9 and 10?

Have I reviewed the sample paper at the end of this


If you have answered


to every question, you’re ready

to submit!

Writing Skills: A Research Project


Submitting Your Exam

1. Log on to the Student Portal.

2. Click on

Take Exam

next to the assignment you’ve completed.

3. Follow the instructions provided to submit your exam.


You’ve received your second writing assignment for your

Written Communication

course in its entirety, as well as the

information needed to complete that assignment!

You’ve learned what a personal research project is, and

you’ve been given the two topic options that you’re able to

expand upon for this assignment. You’ve reviewed what the

first-person point of view is and why it’s necessary, as well as

the basic guidelines for avoiding plagiarism.

You’re encouraged to revisit the graded writing assignment


Writing Skills: A Personal Narrative

in order to review the

essential parts of an essay (the introduction, the body, the

conclusion, and voice), as well as steps of the writing process

and resources to improve your skills in both grammar and


Writing Skills: A Research Project



EXAM 007130





Not Shown

Grammar and Mechanics (45 points)

Introduction (5 points):

The essay establishes a specific

topic and approach and sets an appropriate tone/mood

for the rest of the essay. It engages the reader and

creates interest.






Coherence and Unity (10 points):

Ideas flow


and logically as the essay is developed. Each paragraph

contains one main idea (with enough detail to develop

that idea clearly and logically) and a connection to the

ideas that precede and follow it. Clear transitions are

present between sentences as well as between para-

graphs. The author remains focused on the topic.






Sentence Structure (10 points):

Sentences are varied

in both structure and length. Sentences are complete,

expressive, clear, and to the point. The essay includes

no run-on sentences or fragments.






Spelling, Word Choice, Grammar and Punctuation

(15 points):

Essay is free of spelling errors. Appropriate

language is chosen for each situation, fitting the

mood/tone set in the introduction. Word choice comple-

ments, does not inhibit, clarity. Essay utilizes correct and

consistent verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, clear

pronoun-antecedent agreement, and so on. Grammar

errors do not interfere with comprehension. Essay is free

of errors such as comma splices, misplaced commas, and

inappropriate end punctuation. All punctuation is used

correctly so as not to inhibit clarity. Errors should not

interrupt or distract the reader.






Conclusion (5 points):

The conclusion provides adequate

closure, reinforces the meaning/significance established in

the introduction, and effectively wraps up the essay.






Research and Citations (40 points)

Support for Ideas (15 points):

Adequate detail and

accurate support are provided for each idea introduced.

Specific, accurate, and relevant examples are used to

show meaning. The essay does not si

mply make blanket

claims without support. Quality

sources (credible, accurate,

reasonable, supported) are used effectively to enhance

the author’s ideas.






In-text Citations (10 points):

Included for all borrowed

material and properly formatted. Each one has a corre-

sponding Works Cited entry. Web addresses and/or links

are not acceptable.






Works Cited (15 points):

Page is included at end of

document. Entries are alphabetized, and each entry has

at least one corresponding in-text citation. All entries are

correctly formatted according to MLA guidelines.







Writing Skills: A Research Project



A sample paper is provided on the following page. Review the

paper before submitting your paper for grading. The sample

paper has examples of in-text citations and contains a Works

Cited page. These items are essential for a research paper.

Without these items, you’ll start off with a grade that is below



EXAM 007130





Not Shown

Content Requirements (10 points)

Essay meets basic content specifications.

Writing an Editorial

—Issue chosen is current, personal

connection is explained, editorial approach is taken,

informed explanation of issue is offered, informed expla-

nation of proposed solutions is offered, support offered as

to how/why solutions can work.

Planning a Career

—Career choice is clear, personal rea-

sons for choice are explained, details about career

(training/education/certification, events of a day or week,

current salary/financial outlook, impact of geography) are

offered, explanation given regarding how/why career

choice is a good fit.






MLA Formatting (5 points)

Heading (1 point):

Included and correctly formatted.

Must appear left-justified on first page ONLY and include

full name, student number, and exam number.






Running Header (1 point):

Included and correctly for-

matted. Begins on page two and includes student's last

name and page number ONLY.






Titles (2 points):

Both title of essay and title of works

cited page are included and properly formatted. Must be

centered and in same font as rest of essay. Neither is

bolded, italicized, quoted, or underlined.






Double Spacing and Indenting (1 point):

Entire paper

is double spaced. Paragraphs are indented. Block para-

graphing is not allowed.







Writing Skills: A Research Project


Student Name: John Doe

Student Number: 12345678

Exam Number: XXXXXX

Scranton’s Tax System

I have always had to drive a good distance to work. The

average commute last year was about 26 minutes (Cortes and

Jarosz), which is about the same as what I have been driving

over my 10 years of working full time. Each experience of

commuting was very different, including the types of roads

and travel time. However, each of the places I worked felt like

a community of workers, where we worked towards common

goals to make the community a better place. That almost

changed, though, with the commuter tax that was proposed

in July of 2014 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Although I think the law itself was misguided and unfair,

the idea behind the tax is a good one. Pennsylvania Act 205,

the act Mayor Courtright used to justify the new tax, would

allow the city to use new measures to strengthen local pen-

sions for retired city workers. Mayor Courtright stated, “the

money will go directly to the pensions. We can’t use it for

anything other than the pensions” (Deabill). The other local

taxes, most notably property taxes, go towards public serv-

ices. From the city’s point of view, adding a greater burden to

Scranton residents would be unfair, since commuters benefit

from those services, such as police protection and fire pre-

vention services. Residents of Scranton do already pay the

third highest wage tax in the state as well, so why increase

that burden? After all, a community sense of sharing bur-

dens is an ideal that has historically helped America to grow

and prosper (Lockwood).

A group of commuters challenged the law in state court.

A near-by mayor, Alexander Chelick, explained the frustra-

tions of commuters, like me, stating “employees are going to

have to pay for parking, they’re going to have to pay a com-

muter tax” (Deabill). The greater point was also that taxes

were being levied on people who had no power to affect the

Create a header and place

it in the upper-left hand

corner of your paper.

Center the title of your

paper. Use double spacing

throughout your paper.

Specific information taken

from an outside source.

The information is followed

by an in-text citation, which

is used to provide the source

The first paragraph is the

introduction. It establishes

the topic which is commut-

ing to another community

to work and the proposal

in that community for com-

muters to pay a tax. The

writer draws the reader’s

attention by getting the

reader to want to learn more

about the commuter tax.

This in-text citation relates

to the information that

comes after the previous

in-text citation.

Notice how the in-text citation

comes after the quotation

marks, but before the end














Writing Skills: A Research Project


local government through their votes, since people who do

not live in Scranton are not part of its elections. The court’s

decision, written by Judge Braxton, based in Philadelphia,

came about 12 hours before the new tax was set to be imple-

mented (Lockwood). The judge ruled the state law that gave

Scranton the power to create the tax was used incorrectly

because an unfair burden was placed on commuters by the

city, and it is against the state Constitution to set tax a cer-

tain segment of the population (Lange).

From the beginning, various commuters argued that the

city was downplaying the effect commuters have on its econ-

omy, even though we do only come to the city for work. As

someone who works in the city, I also use my money in

Scranton. There is a grocery store nearby for quick shopping

after work, and there are fast-food restaurants for quick con-

sumption and gas stations for when a fill-up will get me

home again. Commuter usage of these services helps the

local economy, which continues to benefit the city


Earlier this year, the city exercised its rights under

Pennsylvania Act 47, which allows cities categorized as eco-

nomically distressed to triple what is called the local services

tax, or LST (Lockwood). This new strategy added additional

taxes to all people who work in the city (residents and com-

muters alike), instead of just those who travel into the city to

work. A judge reviewed the plan and agreed with the city that

the plan was permissible and the state act was constitutional

(Lockwood). The plan has also not been as widely condemned

as the original commuter tax because it does seem much

fairer. Some business owners and groups are critical of the

size of the tax increase, however, and are concerned about

how it will affect people’s desire to work in and ability to

spend money in the city.

In all, I do think that this new plan is part of a better,

more balanced approach by the city. The city can create new

revenues with tax increases and through other, more cre



Examination Questions

1. Write a composition using


of the topics listed below. Your

composition needs to be

three to five paragraphs long.

It must

contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

a. Argue for or against the limitation of speed limits.

b. Explain why a certain sport is your favorite.

c. Compare and contrast driving in the winter and driving in

the summer.

d. Analyze the best way to buy a car, mow a lawn, or prepare

a meal.

e. Describe a memorable day in your life.

2. Write a letter of complaint. Follow the rules for a business letter,

and use the

full-block style.

The complaint may be about anything

you wish (such as malfunctioning equipment, poor building main-

tenance, or disruptive noises from a nearby business). You can

base your letter on a true experience, or you can make up all the

details you need.

Please note that a form letter or a template


be used

in constructing your response to question 2. When a form

letter or template is used, you are giving little to no thought

to wording or formatting, and you are not actually creating

your own complaint; you are simply filling in the blanks of

someone else's wo
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