Extended Response: Example 1

Extended Response: Example 1  Extended Response: Example 1

Basics
The second section of Reasoning Through Language Arts evaluates your ability to integrate reading and writing by way of a 45-minute Extended Response. GED guidelines specify that you will be asked to write an essay about the best-supported position—the most persuasive side of an argument—presented in two passages with opposing points of view.  Accordingly, you will need to produce evidence supporting the most convincing position from either Passage I or Passage II.  Attention to specific details within the passages will help you find the necessary pieces of evidence.

GED.com has excellent resources to help prepare for the Extended Response as follows:
poster
videos
guidelines – english
guidelines – spanish
quick tips – english
quick tips – spanish
practice passages – english
practice passages – spanish

Here, at HowtoPasstheGED.com, a five-paragraph essay will be used as a framework for writing an Extended Response.

Five-Paragraph Essay – Outline
Paragraph 1:  Introduction of your position with three supporting points.
Paragraph 2:  Discussion of first point.
Paragraph 3:  Discussion of second point.
Paragraph 4:  Discussion of third point.
Paragraph 5:  Summary and Conclusion of your position and its three supporting points.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Beginning)

• Read Passage I and Passage II.
• Choose the best-supported position.
• Select three points supporting this position.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Continuing)
• Write the first sentence of each of the five paragraphs.
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• In paragraph 2, put down the first point.
• In paragraph 3, put down the second point.
• In paragraph 4, put down the third point.
• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Continuing)

• In paragraph 2, write at least three sentences about the first point, including mentioning something from the other side.
• In paragraph 3, write at least three sentences about the second point, including mentioning something from the other side.
• In paragraph 4, write at least three sentences about the third point, including mentioning something from the other side.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Finishing)

• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points, including coming to a conclusion about them.

The example below goes over the process of writing a five-paragraph essay as an Extended Response to Passage I versus Passage II.

Passage I
Eliminate Fossil Fuels


A “viable but narrow” path exists for the world to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report.  

It includes an immediate end to new investments in oil, gas, and coal production, an end to sales of gas-powered cars by 2035, and installation of renewable energy at record-breaking pace.  

“The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal make this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. 

On the plus side, the report said, the investment of $5 trillion per year by 2030 provides a major boost to the global economy, adding millions of jobs in clean energy, energy efficiency and manufacturing, and upping global GDP growth by 0.4 percentage points per year. 

The Paris-based agency’s report, “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” said that the climate pledges countries have made so far, “even if fully achieved, would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050” and limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the goal established by the U.N. Paris climate agreement.  

The transition requires “an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported, and used globally,” the report said, including, “from today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants,” meaning plants with the ability to capture their CO2 emissions. 

Electric power must be carbon-free by 2040, the report said, and vehicle manufacturers should stop selling internal combustion engines by 2035. 

“This should be a clarion call to fossil fuel companies around the world that they cannot double down on business as usual,” said Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In a net-zero world, IEA says that by 2050, solar power will be the world’s largest source of energy, and solar and wind together will produce 70% of the world’s power.  

“This transition is for and about people,” Cleetus added, which “is as important as the techno-pathways that the report points out.”

With heat waves, droughts, and intense storms increasing with climate change, Cleetus added, “it’s really important to recognize that inaction is the most costly thing we can do right now.”
adapted from VOA (05/18/2021)

 

 

Passage II
Continue Fossil Fuels

The United States still relies primarily on fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal to produce nearly 400,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually for commercial, industrial, and residential consumers.

President Joe Biden wants the United States, by the year 2035, to have carbon-free electricity or what is termed “net zero,” meaning an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and so-called carbon offsets, such as planting of trees.

“There’s no way that it is feasible without technologies that aren’t currently in the marketplace today,” Mike Sommers, president and chief executive officer of the American Petroleum Institute, replied to a VOA question on a conference call with reporters.

API’s 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the energy in the United States.

API supports the 2015 Paris Climate Accord to cut greenhouse gases. The organization has unveiled its own climate action plan, which endorses a federal price on carbon emissions and pledges to advance cleaner fuels.

“While some public utilities may be able to get to net-zero emissions by 2035, for many others, that will not occur without technological breakthroughs in energy storage and other advanced technologies,” according to Desmarie Waterhouse, vice president of government relations for the American Public Power Association.

The APPA represents not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that provide power to 2,000 U.S. towns and cities.

“It is difficult to see how such a large undertaking could be done in less than 14 years without massive investments by the federal government in research, development, and demonstration of advanced clean energy technologies and changes in federal law to expedite the construction of clean energy infrastructure. And all of this needs to be done while ensuring the reliability of the grid and affordability of electric service for consumers,” Waterhouse said in a statement to VOA.

As a result, “fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in America for years to come,” acknowledged the new Interior Department secretary, Deb Haaland, at a forum.

“There are people who think that we can shut down everything and just run everything with solar and wind. That’s a fallacy,” Washington State University professor Anjan Bose, a consultant to the electric power industry, said.
adapted from VOA (03/27/2021)


Prompt

In the setting of climate change, Passage I is in favor of eliminating the use of fossil fuels; Passage II is in favor of continuing the use of fossil fuels. In your response, analyze the positions presented in Passage I and Passage II to determine which passage is best supported. Use relevant and specific evidence to back your choice. You have 45 minutes to plan, type, and edit your response.

Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Beginning)
• Read Passage I and Passage II.

• Choose the best-supported position.
In this example, Passage I is chosen as the best-supported position.

• Select three points supporting this position.
(1) The International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels.
(2) Investing in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy.
(3) There is no time to waste.

Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Continuing)
• Write the first sentence of each of the five paragraphs.
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• In paragraph 2, put down the first point.
In paragraph 3, put down the second point.
• In paragraph 4, put down the third point.
• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points.

Passage I is the best-supported position because the International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels, investing in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy, and there is no time to waste.

The International Energy Agency (IAE) favors ending the use of fossil fuels.

Investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy.

There is no time to waste.

In summary, Passage I is the best-supported position because the International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels, investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy, and there is no time to waste.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Continuing)

• In paragraph 2, write at least three sentences about the first point, including mentioning something from the other side.
• In paragraph 3, write at least three sentences about the second point, including mentioning something from the other side.
• In paragraph 4, write at least three sentences about the third point, including mentioning something from the other side.

Passage I is the best-supported position because the International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels, investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy, and there is no time to waste.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels. It is concerned that a “viable but narrow” path exists for the world to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. It has issued a “clarion call to fossil fuel companies around the world that they cannot double down on business as usual.” Even the American Petroleum Institute (API), cited in Passage II, supports the 2015 Paris Climate Accord to cut greenhouse gases.

Investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy. According to the IEA, investment of $5 trillion per year by 2030 will add “millions of jobs in clean energy, energy efficiency, and manufacturing.” This investment will increase global GDP by 0.4 percentage points per year. Although the American Public Power Association (APPA), in Passage II, freely admits that “massive investments” are needed to facilitate clean energy technologies, it does not acknowledge the economic benefits of such investments.

There is no time to waste. The IEA calls for “an immediate end to new investments in oil, gas, and coal production.” It says that vehicle manufacturers should stop selling internal combustion engines by 2035 and electric power must be carbon-free by 2040. Without quick action, the IAE fears that worldwide temperature will rise higher than the goal set by the UN Paris climate agreement. In Passage II, the API and APPA both come up short; they do not directly state any concern about catastrophic global warming.

In summary, Passage I is the best-supported position because the International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels, investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy, and there is no time to waste.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Finishing)
• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points, including coming to a conclusion about them.

Passage I is the best-supported position because the International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels, investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy, and there is no time to waste.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels. It is concerned that a “viable but narrow” path exists for the world to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. It has issued a “clarion call to fossil fuel companies around the world that they cannot double down on business as usual.” Even the American Petroleum Institute (API), cited in Passage II, supports the 2015 Paris Climate Accord to cut greenhouse gases.

Investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy. According to the IEA, investment of $5 trillion per year by 2030 will add “millions of jobs in clean energy, energy efficiency, and manufacturing.” This investment will increase global GDP by 0.4 percentage points per year. Although the American Public Power Association (APPA), in Passage II, freely admits that “massive investments” are needed to facilitate clean energy technologies, it does not acknowledge the economic benefits of such investments.

There is no time to waste. The IEA calls for “an immediate end to new investments in oil, gas, and coal production.” It says that vehicle manufacturers should stop selling internal combustion engines by 2035 and electric power must be carbon-free by 2040. Without quick action, the IAE fears that worldwide temperature will rise higher than the goal set by the UN Paris climate agreement. In Passage II, the API and APPA both come up short; they do not directly state any concern about catastrophic global warming.

In summary, Passage I is the best-supported position because the International Energy Agency (IEA) favors ending the use of fossil fuels, investment in energy sources other than fossil fuels will boost the world economy, and there is no time to waste. In particular, Passage I leads to the conclusion that transitioning from fossil fuels is “for and about people” who would otherwise die from heat waves, droughts, and intense storms brought about by climate change.

 

Remember, the RLA Extended Response is based on what YOU determine to be the best-supported position presented in either Passage I or Passage II.

In order to demonstrate that YOU have room to maneuver, the example below goes over the process of writing a five-paragraph essay as an Extended Response to Passage I versus Passage II with a different choice.

Passage I
Eliminate Fossil Fuels


A “viable but narrow” path exists for the world to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report.  

It includes an immediate end to new investments in oil, gas, and coal production, an end to sales of gas-powered cars by 2035, and installation of renewable energy at record-breaking pace.  

“The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal make this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. 

On the plus side, the report said, the investment of $5 trillion per year by 2030 provides a major boost to the global economy, adding millions of jobs in clean energy, energy efficiency and manufacturing, and upping global GDP growth by 0.4 percentage points per year. 

The Paris-based agency’s report, “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” said that the climate pledges countries have made so far, “even if fully achieved, would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050” and limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the goal established by the U.N. Paris climate agreement.  

The transition requires “an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported, and used globally,” the report said, including, “from today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants,” meaning plants with the ability to capture their CO2 emissions. 

Electric power must be carbon-free by 2040, the report said, and vehicle manufacturers should stop selling internal combustion engines by 2035. 

“This should be a clarion call to fossil fuel companies around the world that they cannot double down on business as usual,” said Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In a net-zero world, IEA says that by 2050, solar power will be the world’s largest source of energy, and solar and wind together will produce 70% of the world’s power.  

“This transition is for and about people,” Cleetus added, which “is as important as the techno-pathways that the report points out.”

With heat waves, droughts, and intense storms increasing with climate change, Cleetus added, “it’s really important to recognize that inaction is the most costly thing we can do right now.”
excerpted from VOA (05/18/2021)

 

 

Passage II
Continue Fossil Fuels

The United States still relies primarily on fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal to produce nearly 400,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually for commercial, industrial, and residential consumers.

President Joe Biden wants the United States, by the year 2035, to have carbon-free electricity or what is termed “net zero,” meaning an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and so-called carbon offsets, such as planting of trees.

“There’s no way that it is feasible without technologies that aren’t currently in the marketplace today,” Mike Sommers, president and chief executive officer of the American Petroleum Institute, replied to a VOA question on a conference call with reporters.

API’s 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the energy in the United States.

API supports the 2015 Paris Climate Accord to cut greenhouse gases. The organization has unveiled its own climate action plan, which endorses a federal price on carbon emissions and pledges to advance cleaner fuels.

“While some public utilities may be able to get to net-zero emissions by 2035, for many others, that will not occur without technological breakthroughs in energy storage and other advanced technologies,” according to Desmarie Waterhouse, vice president of government relations for the American Public Power Association.

The APPA represents not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that provide power to 2,000 U.S. towns and cities.

“It is difficult to see how such a large undertaking could be done in less than 14 years without massive investments by the federal government in research, development, and demonstration of advanced clean energy technologies and changes in federal law to expedite the construction of clean energy infrastructure. And all of this needs to be done while ensuring the reliability of the grid and affordability of electric service for consumers,” Waterhouse said in a statement to VOA.

As a result, “fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in America for years to come,” acknowledged the new Interior Department secretary, Deb Haaland, at a forum.

“There are people who think that we can shut down everything and just run everything with solar and wind. That’s a fallacy,” Washington State University professor Anjan Bose, a consultant to the electric power industry, said.
excerpted from VOA (03/27/2021)

Prompt
In the setting of climate change, Passage I is in favor of eliminating the use of fossil fuels; Passage II is in favor of continuing the use of fossil fuels. In your response, analyze the positions presented in Passage I and Passage II to determine which passage is best supported. Use relevant and specific evidence to back your choice. You have 45 minutes to plan, type, and edit your response.

Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Beginning)
• Read Passage I and Passage II.

• Choose the best-supported position.
In this example, Passage II is chosen as the best-supported position.

• Select three points supporting this position.
(1) The United States still relies on fossil fuels.
(2) The technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist.
(3) The dates for eliminating fossil fuels are confusing.

 

Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Continuing)
• Write the first sentence of each of the five paragraphs.
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• In paragraph 2, put down the first point.
In paragraph 3, put down the second point.
• In paragraph 4, put down the third point.
• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points.

Passage II is the best-supported position because the United States still relies on fossil fuels, the technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist, and the dates are confusing.

The United States still relies on fossil fuels.

The technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist.

The dates are confusing.

In summary, Passage II is the best-supported position because the United States still relies on fossil fuels, the technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist, and the dates are confusing.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Continuing)

• In paragraph 2, write at least three sentences about the first point, including mentioning something from the other side.
• In paragraph 3, write at least three sentences about the second point, including mentioning something from the other side.
• In paragraph 4, write at least three sentences about the third point, including mentioning something from the other side.

Passage II is the best-supported position because the United States still relies on fossil fuels, the technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist, and the dates are confusing.

The United States still relies on fossil fuels. It uses coal and natural gas to generate electricity for commercial, industrial, and residential consumers. The members of the American Petroleum Institute (API) “produce, process, and distribute most of the energy in the United States.” Worse yet, the United States is not alone. In Passage I, the International Energy Agency (IEA) clearly signals that reliance on fossil fuels remains a global problem.

The technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist. Although the API supports the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, it also points out that cutting greenhouse gases “will not occur without technological breakthroughs in energy storage and other advanced technologies.” The American Public Power Association (APPA) likewise says that eliminating fossil fuels cannot occur without a massive commitment by the federal government in research and development in clean energy technology and infrastructure. Although the IEA, in Passage I, cites the economic benefits of investing in clean energy, it, too, admits that the transition requires “an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported, and used globally.”

The dates are confusing. The Paris Climate Accord was reached in 2015. President Biden wants to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2035. This timeline, twenty years apart, seems relatively straighforward. Meanwhile, in Passage I, the IEA lists multiple dates: 2030 ($5 trillion invested per year), 2035 (end of gas-powered cars), 2040 (electric power carbon-free), and 2050 (solar power largest source of global energy). How is the world supposed to keep the IEA’s gobbledygook of goals straight?

In summary, Passage II is the best-supported position because the United States still relies on fossil fuels, the technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist, and the dates are confusing.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Process (Finishing)
• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points, including coming to a conclusion about them.

Passage II is the best-supported position because the United States still relies on fossil fuels, the technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist, and the dates are confusing.

The United States still relies on fossil fuels. It uses coal and natural gas to generate electricity for commercial, industrial, and residential consumers. The members of the American Petroleum Institute (API) “produce, process, and distribute most of the energy in the United States.” Worse yet, the United States is not alone. In Passage I, the International Energy Agency (IEA) clearly signals that reliance on fossil fuels remains a global problem.

The technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist. Although the API supports the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, it also points out that cutting greenhouse gases “will not occur without technological breakthroughs in energy storage and other advanced technologies.” The American Public Power Association (APPA) likewise says that eliminating fossil fuels cannot occur without a massive commitment by the federal government in research and development in clean energy technology and infrastructure. Although the IEA, in Passage I, cites the economic benefits of investing in clean energy, it, too, admits that the transition requires “an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported, and used globally.”

The dates are confusing. The Paris Climate Accord was reached in 2015. President Biden wants to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2035. This timeline, twenty years apart, seems relatively straighforward. Meanwhile, in Passage I, the IEA lists multiple dates: 2030 ($5 trillion invested per year), 2035 (end of gas-powered cars), 2040 (electric power carbon-free), and 2050 (solar power largest source of global energy). How is the world supposed to keep the IEA’s gobbledygook of goals straight?

In summary, Passage II is the best-supported position because the United States still relies on fossil fuels, the technology for eliminating fossil fuels does not yet exist, and the dates are confusing. In particular, Passage II leads to the conclusion that the goal of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy, though commendable, requires a realistic view of sources, needs, and time.

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