Why This Essay Gets an A

Essay 1

Why This Essay Gets an A

Topic/Thesis/Content: 19 points This essay gets 19 points for topic/thesis/content because it includes an excellent thesis that acknowledges potential conflicting points of view while strongly stating the author’s own position. The thesis is then supported by well detailed paragraphs that define the terms and explain the quotes the author is using, making their position and reasoning clear. Organization: 19 points This essay gets 19 points because it is logically organized and easy to follow, moving from an explanation of the difference between punishment and abuse to discussing how punishment can help a child form better decision making, personal discipline, and finally, better ethics and morals. Some transitions could be improved, but overall, the essay flows very well. Quality of References: 18 points This essay gets 18 points for quality of references because they are all excellent, peer-reviewed sources drawn from the databases. Use of Sources/MLA Documentation: 18 points This essay gets 18 points for use of sources and MLA documentation because it uses all of its sources well, correctly documents them (even in the instance where it appears to combine them), and most importantly, provides detailed explanations of what the reader should understand from the quotes provided. Grammar/Mechanics: 20 points This essay gets 20 points for grammar and mechanics because it is well edited and has no noticeable errors that in any way detract from the author’s point. Total Score: 94 This essay is a solid A for a number of reasons. It is well thought out, organized, and explained. Its argument is supported by excellent sources, and these sources are explained to the reader. Its only real fault is that it could more clearly define what “Taibatsu” is, but that is but one of its details, and the reader still gets a sense of what the author is discussing. Most importantly, the author acknowledges that this argument does not exist in a vacuum. The introduction acknowledges opposing points of view. The conclusion draws connections to broader arguments in society. Overall, this is an A essay because it conscientiously engages in a dialog about its topic.







Essay 2

Example “A” Essay

Professor North Lake

English 1301

19 April 2017

The Power of Punishment

Growth is one of the most important parts of being human. Whether one does something

against what they know is right or not, it is vital that that individual grows and learns from their

actions. This is what will lead one to thrive in the real world. For children, there are certain

facets of growing up that encourage this type education and self-progress to occur. Corporal

punishment plays a necessary role in promoting this ability to grow and thrive. Although

punishing children too harshly can be destructive, I argue that punishment is necessary in a

child’s growth because it leads to better decision making, encourages more discipline, and

promotes better morals.

Although it is evident that punishment can escalate and lead to outcomes such as physical

or verbal abuse, the pros strongly outweigh the cons. The idea that corporal punishment can lead

to abusive parental behavior is a huge topic of controversy among individuals. In the experiment

“The Role of Race in the Association between Corporal Punishment and Externalizing Problems:

Does Punishment Severity Matter?.” conducted by Geneviewe E. Lapre and Monica A. Marsee,

it is stated that “Although this popular punishment style is often associated with short-term

obedience (Gershoff 2002), children who experience corporal punishment may display long term

psychosocial adjustment problems” (Lapre and Marsee 1). Basically, this is promoting the idea

that punishing children may cause them to follow the rules or not make the same mistake again

for a while, but it could affect them detrimentally later on. Too strict of punishment could lead to

Commented [ER1]: This is a very strong thesis. It acknowledges the opposing point of view while strongly stating the author’s.

Commented [ER2]: The author combines two citations here which leads to some confusion over which source is saying what.



Essay 3

possible mental problems for children and emotional distress. But, this only occurs if corporal

punishment is too severe. Of course, if a parent is abusing their child either verbally or physically

and leaving marks or scars, the child is going to feel emotionally and physically unstable. It

would lead most anyone to feel this same way considering the severity of the punishment. But,

corporal punishment doesn’t mean abuse; or at least it shouldn’t. It can be mild punishment that

purely pushes an individual in the right path without putting any psychological or physical harm

on themselves. It can have various benefits, including its ability to lead to better decision making

in children.

Most every individual strives to make better decisions in their life. Corporal punishment

can be a major contributor for a child to learn from their mistake and make a better decision in

the future. In Patrick Lenta’s essay “Corporal Punishment of Children.” he states that

“individuals justify a punishment by identifying the goods that it can bring—deterrence of

wrongdoing…” (Letna 2). The purpose of this statement is to highlight the idea that a child that

receives physical punishment from a parent will most likely not make their wrong decision

again. This is because, of course, punishment is associated with bad not good. If the parent is

constantly showing warmth and affection, the child may never change their ways towards better

decision making. The use of this type of punishment will ensure that children have learned what

they did wrong, and thus will be less likely to make the mistake again. In reality, knowing that

the decision they made resulted in self penalization, the child should make future decisions that

will benefit themselves and others. This is just one modest example of how corporal punishment

can have beneficial long-term effects. Another apparent one is its ability to send children down

the right path when it comes to self-discipline and direction.

Not only can corporal punishment lead to better decision making, it can also help ensure

Commented [ER3]: Here the author draws a clear line between what they consider appropriate punishment and what they consider abuse. This helps the reader understand what exactly they mean by those terms.

Commented [ER4]: While it is becoming more and more acceptable to use “they” as a genderless singular pronoun, most instructors will still want you to use “his or her” in a situation like this.

Commented [ER5]: Here the author does an excellent job of explaining the quote to their readers.



Essay 4

discipline in a child. Disciplining a child is a very important measure taken to ensure that they

know where they stand as far as rules go. In the article “Corporal Punishment in Japan.” written

by Aaron Miller, Miller discusses how Taibatsu is a form of corporal punishment used in Japan.

It is stated that “Taibatsu has been used in japan for centuries, mostly by adult men to socialize

growing boys into ‘proper ways’ of Japanese adult life” (Miller 40). This way of punishment

turns immature young boys into proper young men. It has also been used for a very long time

(centuries to be exact) leading one to believe that it must be effective considering it is still in use.

Taibatsu is a form of physical punishment, but that doesn’t mean it is abusive or wrong in any

sense. Not punishing a child can lead this child to believe that there is nothing they need to fix

because they aren’t doing anything unsound. When in reality, there is something that needs to be

done. With corporal punishment, it is straightforward and clear to the child that they have made a

mistake. Thus, not wanting to go through the punishment again, they will most likely make a

better decision in the future. The same goes for Taibatsu. It is a very abrupt form of punishment

that effectively molds these boys and teaches them proper ways. Without this corporal

punishment, it is quite unlikely that individuals would have any reason to stray from rule

breaking in light of being disciplined. This will most likely lead to children continuing to break

the rules that are set in place to help them. Not only can corporal punishment enhance discipline,

it can also lead to a better code of ethics.

Morals are a very important facet of one’s life. They are what allow individuals to make

the decisions they know in their heart are right. Last but certainly not least, punishment has the

ability to promote better morals for a child. In Hazel Blum’s article “Reforming (But Not

Eliminating) the Parental Discipline Defense” she states that corporal punishment is “a desirable

and necessary instrument of restraint upon sin and immorality” (Blum 9). It is evident that Blum

Commented [ER6]: The author should be more specific about what kind of physical punishment is involved in Taibatsu.

Commented [ER7]: This transition could be stronger if the author stuck with either ethics or morals. While the two are closely related, they are not the same.



Essay 5

is reiterating the idea that this form of punishment is a vital part of keeping children away from

the danger or threat of developing a bad code of ethics. Children will base much of what they

believe is right or wrong from what they are taught as children and what they learn from their

parents. If parents don’t provide strict enough punishment or are far too easy on their children,

then these said kids won’t develop a moral code of what is right or wrong. If they get a certain

punishment from their parents, this will provide a straightforward method of letting children

know that a certain action they performed was frowned upon. Every time the possibility comes

up for the child to make the decision again in their young and adult life, they will be cognizant of

the memory of getting punished from performing said activity or pursuing whatever it was that

allowed them to get punished. Thus, they will probably associate the action that got them in

trouble with being morally wrong. Hopefully this will lead them to develop morals that they

know are tried and true because of the punishment they received as children. With the good

morals set in mind, children will most likely be able to use their mistake to build a better future

life for themselves. As it can clearly be seen, corporal punishment has a plethora of noticeable


Even though abuse is real and can occur, it is obvious that corporal punishment has many

beneficial outcomes including its ability to help a child make better decisions, provide them with

more discipline, and encourage a better code of ethics. Parents today tend to be much less strict

on their children because of issues such as physical abuse that seem to be headlining all around.

Because of this, children are beginning to lose sight of what they know is right and lose their

sense of morality. The ubiquitous corporal punishment that used to be present in most household

is what kept children in line and taught them the rights and wrongs of life. Without this, children

could develop a decreased work ethic, have less drive, and have less discipline in future social

Commented [ER8]: This can be cut

Commented [ER9]: This is excellent use of this less common term

Commented [ER10]: Note how the author reviews their main points at the beginning of this conclusion.

Commented [ER11]: Note how the author expands here from their specific argument about punishment to a broader argument about the decline of society. Connective your argument to a larger argument is a great way to conclude your essay.



Essay 6

and formal situations. If people don’t know how to act and don’t know what to and what not to

do, the world will simply not spin as it should. The question is, will individuals see the benefits

of corporal punishment and use it to keep this travesty from occurring?






















Essay 7

Works Cited

Blum, Hazel. “Reforming (But Not Eliminating) the Parental Discipline Defense.” University of

Michigan Journal of Law Reform, vol. 49, no. 4, Summer2016, pp. 921-948.

EBSCOhost, dcccd.idm.oclc.org/login?



Lapré, Genevieve and Monica Marsee. “The Role of Race in the Association between Corporal

Punishment and Externalizing Problems: Does Punishment Severity Matter?.” Journal of

Child & Family Studies, vol. 25, no. 2, Feb. 2016, pp. 432-441. EBSCOhost,


Lenta, Patrick. “Corporal Punishment of Children.” Social Theory & Practice, vol. 38, no. 4,

Oct. 2012, pp. 689-716. EBSCOhost,



Miller, Aaron L. “Corporal Punishment in Japan.” Anthropology in Action, vol. 23, no. 1,

Spring2016, pp. 39-45. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3167/aia.2016.230106.






Commented [DI12]: Works Cited page follows accurate MLA format


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