50 Minutes
Te essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can read and comprehend a passage
and write an essay analyzing the passage. In your essay, you should demonstrate that you have read
the passage carefully, present a clear and logical analysis, and use language precisely.
Your essay must be written on the lines provided in your answer booklet; except for the planning
page of the answer booklet, you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough
space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable
size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write.
Try to write or print so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.
You have 50 minutes to read the passage and write an essay in response to the prompt provided
inside this booklet.
1. Do not write your essay in this booklet. Only what you write on the lined pages of your answer
booklet will be evaluated.
2. An off-topic essay will not be evaluated.
As you read the passage below, consider how President Truman uses
evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.
reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power
to the ideas expressed.
Adapted from President Harry S. Truman’s Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union,
January 7, 1948, Washington, DC.
We are here today to consider the state of the Union.
On this occasion, above all others, the Congress and the President should concentrate their attention, not upon
party but upon the country; not upon things which divide us but upon those which bind us together—the enduring principles of our American system, and our common aspirations for the future welfare and security of the
people of the United States.
Te United States has become great because we, as a people, have been able to work together for great objectives
even while differing about details.…
Te United States has always had a deep concern for human rights. Religious freedom, free speech, and freedom of
thought are cherished realities in our land. Any denial of human rights is a denial of the basic beliefs of democracy
and of our regard for the worth of each individual.

Today, however, some of our citizens are still denied equal opportunity for education, for jobs and economic advancement, and for the expression of their views at the polls. Most serious of all, some are denied equal protection
under laws. Whether discrimination is based on race, or creed, or color, or land of origin, it is utterly contrary to
American ideals of democracy.
Te recent report of the President’s Committee on Civil Rights points the way to corrective action by the federal
government and by state and local governments. Because of the need for effective federal action, I shall send a
special message to the Congress on this important subject.…
Our second goal is to protect and develop our human resources.
Te safeguarding of the rights of our citizens must be accompanied by an equal regard for their opportunities for
development and their protection from economic insecurity. In this Nation the ideals of freedom and equality can
be given specifc meaning in terms of health, education, social security, and housing.
Over the past twelve years we have erected a sound framework of Social Security legislation. Many millions of our
citizens are now protected against the loss of income which can come with unemployment, old age, or the death of
wage earners. Yet our system has gaps and inconsistencies; it is only half fnished.
We should now extend unemployment compensation, old age benefts, and survivors’ benefts to millions who are
not now protected. We should also raise the level of benefts.
Te greatest gap in our Social Security structure is the lack of adequate provision for the Nation’s health. We are
rightly proud of the high standards of medical care we know how to provide in the United States. Te fact is, however, that most of our people cannot afford to pay for the care they need.…
Another fundamental aim of our democracy is to provide an adequate education for every person.
Our educational systems face a fnancial crisis. It is deplorable that in a Nation as rich as ours there are millions of
children who do not have adequate schoolhouses or enough teachers for a good elementary or secondary education. If there are educational inadequacies in any State, the whole Nation suffers. Te Federal Government has a
responsibility for providing fnancial aid to meet this crisis.
In addition, we must make possible greater equality of opportunity to all our citizens for education. Only by so doing can we insure that our citizens will be capable of understanding and sharing the responsibilities of democracy.
Te Government’s programs for health, education, and security are of such great importance to our democracy
that we should now establish an executive department for their administration.…
Our third goal is to conserve and use our natural resources so that they can contribute most effectively to the welfare of our people.
Te resources given by nature to this country are rich and extensive. Te material foundations of our growth and
economic development are the bounty of our felds, the wealth of our mines and forests, and the energy of our
waters. As a Nation, we are coming to appreciate more each day the close relationship between the conservation of
these resources and the preservation of our national strength.
We are doing far less than we know how to do to make use of our resources without destroying them. Both the
public and private use of these resources must have the primary objective of maintaining and increasing these
basic supports for an expanding future.
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Write an essay in which you explain how President Truman builds an argument to
persuade his audience that continued investment in the nation’s collective welfare is based
on the ideals of American democracy. In your essay, analyze how he uses one or more of
the features listed in the box that precedes the passage (or features of your own choice)
to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Be sure that your analysis
focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.
Your essay should not explain whether you agree with Truman’s claims, but rather explain
how he builds an argument to persuade his audience.


Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by Essay Pro