Purpose At the beginning of each semester we ask all students in the writing cla

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Purpose
At the beginning of each semester we ask all students in the writing classes to take a diagnostic writing exam.  This exam is administered by all writing teachers, and all writing students are given the same choice of questions.
The purpose of the exercise is two-fold. One purpose is that your writing sample gives your professor an idea of the range of abilities in the course section. The other reason is that the diagnostic acts as a check on the assessment of new students.  We want to be sure that each of you has been placed in the writing class that will best suit your needs.  
Directions
Please choose only one of the passages below, either Topic A or Topic B, on which to write your essay. We suggest you read both questions quickly before deciding which one on which to focus your response. Then go back and spend a good amount of time rereading the question youve chosen, you may want to read it several times before writing your essay. In your writing, we ask that you identify what you believe to be the authors position and respond to that position in some way. Consider evidence from the passage, from your personal experience and observation, or from your reading to support your thinking.
You will have an hour and fifteen minutes for the diagnostic assessment.  
We ask that you:
Double space, and use 12 point, Times New Roman font, and black text.
Have your name and ID number appear clearly on your document.
Use your time well and suggest following these time frames as a guide 
15 minutes: Understanding the question and brainstorming
30 minutes: Writing your ideas in a coherent manner
15 minutes: Proofreading: revising and editing
If you’ll notice, the time frame only adds up to an hour which allows for wiggle room should you need more time in one area or another.
SHORT FORM
PROMPT A
…masculinity is a popular cause; around the world, male politicians are tapping into social anxieties about its apparent decline, for their own ideological ends. The Chinese government, for instance, has declared a masculinity crisis. Nothing justifies this but it is tapping into something real a widespread, politically potent anxiety about young men.
Boys are sometimes over-disciplined and overmedicated for not conforming to behavioral expectations in school. And while more women than men are diagnosed with anxiety or depression, men are more likely to commit suicide or die of drug overdoses.
Men and boys need good jobs, affordable access to team sports, an education system sensitive to their social and emotional development, public parks, mental health support, access to substance abuse treatment and paternity leave. All of this requires public funding. To thrive, many men also need the freedom not to be men at all, but rather to become sissies, scrawny historians or even women, a cultural evolution that many oppose.
from The New York Times, Dec 4, 2021
Liza Featherstone (@lfeatherz)

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