Extended Response: Example 3

Extended Response: Example 3

 

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 – Choose (Before You Write)

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


Five-Paragraph Essay – Beginner Level (You’re Up and Running!)
• 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 – Intermediate Level (You’re Adding On!)
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• 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.
• In paragraph 5, restate your position and its three supporting points, including coming to a conclusion about them.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Advanced Level (Polish Your Essay If You Have Time)
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• 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.
• 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
Working from Home is Beneficial

Some experts say there’s no going back now that both employers and workers have learned that telework can be effective.

“The pandemic has radically changed how we view telework or remote work,” said Timothy Golden, a professor of management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Many individuals and companies have realized that we can work remotely effectively. And so, I think remote work is here to stay.”

“We are going to err on the side of letting more people work remotely for longer periods of time,” said Ravi Gajendran, chair of the Department of Global Leadership and Management in the College of Business at Florida International University.

“When that’s not working as well,” added Gajendran, “the pendulum will sort of swing slightly back towards the office. It’s not going to come back to what it was previously, but what we’re going to find is, as new employees join, as new teams form, and as people who have not worked together before are now working remotely, things are not going to be as smooth.”

But, said Golden, “We know that many employees have been highly productive during the pandemic and have been able to carry on their work in a fashion that was consistent with their productivity before the pandemic.”

According to Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership, remote work has led to more authentic moments between co-workers who’ve ended up meeting a colleague’s pets or families online, as the pandemic provided a virtual window, and therefore greater insight, into a co-worker’s personal side than working at the office ever did.

“You’ve seen many large companies, and in different industries, make announcements about the future of their workforce in how it is likely to be hybrid. And some workers will be working remotely on a permanent basis, and others will be in a hybrid form,” pointed out Golden. “Companies that do this right and do this in the right way, will have a competitive advantage over those who do not.”

Increased telework could free employees from having to live close to where they work. That could also benefit employers who won’t have to be limited to the local talent pool. More jobs could go to places with lower costs of living and ultimately, overseas.

“It could go to Asia or Africa or South America,” said Gajendran.

With more employees working remotely from home, employers could reduce their costs further by cutting back on office space.
adapted from VOA (04/09/2021, 04/12/2021, 04/29/21)

Passage II
Working from Home is Harmful

The benefits of working from home—including skipping a long commute and having a better work-life balance—have been well documented, but employees are literally paying for the privilege, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“People need to dedicate space to work from home,” said Christopher Stanton, an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School who co-authored the study. “For many folks who lived in small apartments or houses before the pandemic, working from home wasn’t a a realistic long-term solution unless they could upgrade to larger apartments or houses.”

The researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau to reach their conclusions. They found that between 2013 and 2017, households with at least one teleworker spent on average more of their income on rent or a mortgage to pay for the extra room needed to work from home.

“A household that was spending about $1,000 a month on rent would be spending around $1,070 on rent. So, it’s about a 7% increase, on average, across the income distribution,” Stanton said.

The researchers estimate that about 10% of people who worked in an office before the pandemic could permanently transition to working from home full time. A recent Upwork survey suggests that 36 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025—an 87% increase over pre-pandemic levels, and these workers could potentially take on the additional costs.

The added expense is easier for high-income households to bear but puts an increased burden on workers who earn less money.

“You might have gotten an increase of 20-ish percent in housing expenses for lower-income households with remote workers compared to lower-income households without remote workers,” Stanton said. “That’s a pretty big chunk of expenditure for those households in the bottom half of the income distribution.”

It is unclear whether employers will help their employees with the increased costs of working from home.  Meanwhile, said Stanton, “I think having nonergonomic setups in small places will ultimately end up leading to fatigue and wear and tear and less productive employees in the long run.”  In fact, fifty-four percent of people who’ve worked from home this past year feel overworked, and 39% say they’re downright exhausted.

Kristen Carpenter, chief psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Ohio State University, added that at-home, remote work causes more work to be performed outside normal business hours, so it’s hard “to draw a boundary that prevents work from being ever-present,” including nights and weekends.

Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership, also pointed out that when people work from home, “they kind of get stuck in this little place,” whereas going back to the office leads to more interpersonal interaction and innovation.
adapted from VOA (04/09/2021, 04/12/2021, 04/29/21)


Prompt

Passage I finds working from home to be beneficial; Passage II finds working from home to be harmful. 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 – 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 – Choose (Before You Write)
• 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) Working from home is productive.
(2) Working from home improves employee interaction.
(3) Working from home saves money.

 

Five-Paragraph Essay – Beginner Level (You’re Up and Running!)
• 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 working from home is productive, improves employee interaction, and saves money.

Working from home is productive.

Working from home improves employee interaction.

Working from home saves money.

In summary, Passage I is the best-supported position because working from home is productive, improves employee interaction, and saves money.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Intermediate Level (You’re Adding On!)
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• 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.
• 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 working from home is productive, improves employee interaction, and saves money.

Working from home is productive.  Passage I uses the pandemic to make the relevant observation that individuals and companies realized they could work remotely effectively.  Many employees have been highly productive this way and can stay this way.  Passage II admits in its very first sentence that the benefits of working from home have been well documented. 

Working from home improves employee interaction.  Passage I is persuasive when it notes that remote work has led to “more authentic moments” between co-workers.  However, workers still have the option of working at the office, as well as at home, in a hybrid form.  Thus, Passage II is incorrect when it claims remote workers get stuck in one place.

Working from home saves money.  Passage I makes a convincing argument for freedom.  It asserts that remote work frees employees from having to live close to office buildings.  It also frees employers from having to pay for as much office space.  Passage II says employees need to spend some money to outfit a home office, but this is less costly than commuting.

In summary, Passage I is the best-supported position because working from home is productive, improves employee interaction, and saves money.  In conclusion, there is no place like home.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Advanced Level (Polish Your Essay If You Have Time)
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• 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.
• 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 working from home is productive, improves employee interaction, and saves money.

Working from home is productive.  Passage I uses an authority—Timothy Golden, a professor of management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute—to make the following relevant observation: “The pandemic has radically changed how we view telework or remote work.  Many individuals and companies have realized that we can work remotely effectively.  We know that many employees have been highly productive during the pandemic and have been able to carry on their work in a fashion that was consistent with their productivity before the pandemic.  And so, I think remote work is here to stay.”  Passage II admits that at least some of what Golden said is true by stating in its very first sentence “the benefits of working from home—including skipping a long commute and having a better work-life balance—have been well documented.” 

Working from home improves employee interaction.  Passage I effectively uses another expert—Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership—to state that remote work has led to “more authentic moments between co-workers who’ve ended up meeting a colleague’s pets or families online, as the pandemic provided a virtual window, and therefore greater insight, into a co-worker’s personal side than working at the office ever did.”  Although Passage II says people who work from home “kind of get stuck in this little place,” Golden affirms that workers aren’t really stuck, because some will be working in a hybrid form, meaning partly at home and partly in an office.

Working from home saves money.  Passage I makes a convincing argument for freedom.  Remote work saves money by freeing employees from having to live close to office buildings and freeing employers from having to pay for as much office space.  According to Christopher Stanton (Associate Professor at Harvard Business School) in Passage II, employees need to spend some money to outfit their apartments or houses with a home office, but this is a small price to pay compared to avoiding a costly daily commute.

In summary, Passage I is the best-supported position because working from home is productive, improves employee interaction, and saves money.  In particular, Passage I leads to the conclusion that working from home is beneficial in that it leaves nobody out: Both employers and employees stand to gain.

 

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
Working from Home is Beneficial

Prior to the pandemic, about 5 million Americans worked remotely. But COVID-19 forced U.S. employers to allow telework on a massive scale, resulting in an estimated 75 million people working from home over the past year.

Some experts say there’s no going back now that both employers and workers have learned that telework can be effective.

“The pandemic has radically changed how we view telework or remote work,” said Timothy Golden, a professor of management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Many individuals and companies have realized that we can work remotely effectively. And so, I think remote work is here to stay.”

“We are going to err on the side of letting more people work remotely for longer periods of time,” said Ravi Gajendran, chair of the Department of Global Leadership and Management in the College of Business at Florida International University.

“When that’s not working as well,” added Gajendran, “the pendulum will sort of swing slightly back towards the office. It’s not going to come back to what it was previously, but what we’re going to find is, as new employees join, as new teams form, and as people who have not worked together before are now working remotely, things are not going to be as smooth.”

But, said Golden, “We know that many employees have been highly productive during the pandemic and have been able to carry on their work in a fashion that was consistent with their productivity before the pandemic.”

According to Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership, remote work has led to more authentic moments between co-workers who’ve ended up meeting a colleague’s pets or families online, as the pandemic provided a virtual window, and therefore greater insight, into a co-worker’s personal side than working at the office ever did.

“You’ve seen many large companies, and in different industries, make announcements about the future of their workforce in how it is likely to be hybrid. And some workers will be working remotely on a permanent basis, and others will be in a hybrid form,” pointed out Golden. “Companies that do this right and do this in the right way, will have a competitive advantage over those who do not.”

Increased telework could free employees from having to live close to where they work. That could also benefit employers who won’t have to be limited to the local talent pool. More jobs could go to places with lower costs of living and ultimately, overseas.

“It could go to Asia or Africa or South America,” said Gajendran.

With more employees working remotely from home, employers could reduce their costs further by cutting back on office space.
adapted from VOA (04/09/2021, 04/12/2021, 04/29/21)

Passage II
Working from Home is Harmful

The benefits of working from home—including skipping a long commute and having a better work-life balance—have been well documented, but employees are literally paying for the privilege, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“People need to dedicate space to work from home,” said Christopher Stanton, an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School who co-authored the study. “For many folks who lived in small apartments or houses before the pandemic, working from home wasn’t a a realistic long-term solution unless they could upgrade to larger apartments or houses.”

The researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau to reach their conclusions. They found that between 2013 and 2017, households with at least one teleworker spent on average more of their income on rent or a mortgage to pay for the extra room needed to work from home.

“A household that was spending about $1,000 a month on rent would be spending around $1,070 on rent. So, it’s about a 7% increase, on average, across the income distribution,” Stanton said.

The researchers estimate that about 10% of people who worked in an office before the pandemic could permanently transition to working from home full time. A recent Upwork survey suggests that 36 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025—an 87% increase over pre-pandemic levels, and these workers could potentially take on the additional costs.

The added expense is easier for high-income households to bear but puts an increased burden on workers who earn less money.

“You might have gotten an increase of 20-ish percent in housing expenses for lower-income households with remote workers compared to lower-income households without remote workers,” Stanton said. “That’s a pretty big chunk of expenditure for those households in the bottom half of the income distribution.”

It is unclear whether employers will help their employees with the increased costs of working from home.  Meanwhile, said Stanton, “I think having nonergonomic setups in small places will ultimately end up leading to fatigue and wear and tear and less productive employees in the long run.”  In fact, fifty-four percent of people who’ve worked from home this past year feel overworked, and 39% say they’re downright exhausted.

Kristen Carpenter, chief psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Ohio State University, added that at-home, remote work causes more work to be performed outside normal business hours, so it’s hard “to draw a boundary that prevents work from being ever-present,” including nights and weekends.

Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership, also pointed out that when people work from home, “they kind of get stuck in this little place,” whereas going back to the office leads to more interpersonal interaction and innovation.
adapted from VOA (04/09/2021, 04/12/2021, 04/29/21)

 

Prompt
Passage I finds working from home to be beneficial; Passage II finds working from home to be harmful. 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 – 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 – Choose (Before You Write)
• 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) Working from home is unproductive.
(2) Working from home hampers employee interaction.
(3) Working from home costs money.

 

Five-Paragraph Essay – Beginner Level (You’re Up and Running!)
• 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 working from home is unproductive, hampers employee interaction, and costs money.

Working from home is unproductive.

Working from home hampers employee interaction.

Working from home costs money.

In summary, Passage II is the best-supported position because working from home is unproductive, hampers employee interaction, and costs money.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Intermediate Level (You’re Adding On!)
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• 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.
• 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 working from home is unproductive, hampers employee interaction, and costs money.

Working from home is unproductive.  Backed by facts, Passage II is able to make a strong statement when it says working in small setups at home ultimately ends up in fatigue and less productive employees.  In fact, fifty-four percent of home workers feel overworked and 39% are exhausted.  Passage I has no numbers to back up its claim that people can work remotely effectively.

Working from home hampers employee interaction.  Passage II cleverly notes that when people work from home, they get stuck.  Going back to the office leads to more interpersonal interaction and innovation.  Passage I even admits that working from home doesn’t always work well, meaning that people end up back in the office.

Working from home costs money.  Passage II convincingly has money in mind when it states that households with at least one teleworker have to spend some of their income to pay for the extra room needed to work from home.  Lower-income households need to spend even more of their income to set things up at home.  Passage I offers no solutions for employees paying out of pocket to work from home.

In summary, Passage II is the best-supported position because working from home is unproductive, hampers employee interaction, and costs money.  In conclusion, there are places other than home.


Five-Paragraph Essay – Advanced Level (Polish Your Essay If You Have Time)
• In paragraph 1, introduce your position and its three supporting points.
• 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.
• 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 working from home is unproductive, hampers employee interaction, and costs money.

Working from home is unproductive.  Passage II comes out swinging with Christopher Stanton, an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, who asserts having nonergonomic setups in small places [at home] ultimately ends up “leading to fatigue and wear and tear and less productive employees in the long run.”  In fact, “fifty-four percent of people who’ve worked from home this past year feel overworked, and 39% say they’re downright exhausted.”  Although Timothy Golden (professor of management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) claims in Passage I that “many individuals and companies have realized that we can work remotely effectively,” he has no real numbers to back him up.

Working from home hampers employee interaction.  Passage II cites another authority—Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership—to point out that people who work from home “kind of get stuck in this little place.”  She goes on to convincingly argue that “going back to the office leads to more interpersonal interaction and innovation.”  In Passage I, Ravi Gajendran, chair of the Department of Global Leadership and Management in the College of Business at Florida International University, even admits that working from home doesn’t always work well, such that “the pendulum will sort of swing” back towards the office.

Working from home costs money.  Passage II hits home with data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which found that “between 2013 and 2017, households with at least one teleworker spent on average more of their income on rent or a mortgage to pay for the extra room needed to work from home.”  Stanton adds that “you might have gotten an increase of 20-ish percent in housing expenses for lower-income households with remote workers compared to lower-income households without remote workers, a pretty big chunk of expenditure for those households in the bottom half of the income distribution.”  Passage I offers no solutions for employees “literally paying for the privilege” of working from home.

In summary, Passage II is the best-supported position because working from home is unproductive, hampers employee interaction, and costs money.  In particular, Passage II leads to the conclusion that working from home can be so harmful that it never stops, becoming an “ever-present” task performed outside normal business hours without a boundary.

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