California State University, Northridge
Access Keys

This information applies to pages in the CSUN template system. Windows-press ALT + an access key. Macintosh-press CTRL + an access key.

The following access keys are available:

CSUN Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam


To Contact Us...

Phone: 818-677-3303
Fax: 818-677-3632

Sample UDWPE Paper C: a "4" paper

Some of the arguments in the article say that the reason why people are in debt is because expenses are higher now than they were in the 1970's. Another argument is that we are living in a materialistic place, especially in California and New York. Everybody wants to look good and have the best, so they use their credit card to make these expenses. Some arguments blame teens for using credit cards. Teens already use credit cards and spend money. Banks and financial institutions are also blamed for the rise in credit card debt because they lower monthly payments on credit cards. Others just think that Americans are comfortable with having credit card debts.

Credit card debt is a big problem in America. America is becoming a materialistic place. Everyone wants nice cars, nice houses, and they want to look their best. This problem exists because people want the "Hollywood Image", especially in California and New York. People want to have materialistic things but can't afford it, so they buy everything with a credit card. Debt is a problem because people spend more than what they make. If people spend more than what they make, they will never end up paying the debt off. The debt will just continue to increase. I have experienced this myself. I usually find myself wanting many things, and end up buying them. I find myself having more "wants" than "needs." I usually hear myself say "I want…" Americans have come to earn credit card debt because they usually buy their "wants" more than their "needs." Their "needs" are usually less than their "wants," and that is how debt rises.

Some people are not as materialistic as others, but still find themselves in debt. The reason why people are still finding themselves in debt is because expenses have increased in the past thirty years. The article mentions that "75% of the family budget goes to mortgages, insurance, and fixed expenses." This amount has increased ridiculously, resulting in families finding themselves in debt. Many people can relate to this. People have to pay for many insurances, mortgages and bills. All of these expenses are high. I can relate to this because I find myself having to pay for school, books, insurance, rent and many other bills. My monthly income is not enough to pay all of these expenses off. After students are done with school, they find themselves in huge amount of debt because they have to pay off their loans.

A huge part of why we even have credit cards is because sometimes we need them. If we don't have credit cards, we can’t build our credit history. If we don't have a credit history, we aren't allowed to buy cars or houses with low monthly payments. Having credit cards is a cycle in life because without one thing, we can't have the other. When people have credit cards they have to use them. It doesn't help that banks offer many credit cards to people, ending in high debt. Banks also encourage low monthly payments. If people pay low monthly payments, they will never end up paying their credit card debt off. They will probably end up paying for the objects they bought, two or three times. People aren't forced to pay high monthly payments in order for it to take longer to pay the card off. If it takes longer for a person to pay a credit card debt, the credit card companies will be making a lot of money. I can definitely say I have experienced this because I am always offered to get a credit card. There are many stores that carry their own credit cards, and offer them for their customers. Offers are tempting and they can add to a future of credit card debt.

Credit cards are definitely a problem in America, especially since there are so many. People will always be able to find themselves in debt if they keep spending more than they can afford. It is such a big problem because people need credit history in America, and in order to have it we need to use our credit cards. Credit card debt will always be a problem because of high expenses in America. Everything is so expensive. Expenses are rising and will continue to rise in America.


The writer demonstrates an understanding of the issue but in a more limited way than the "5" or "6" paper. General examples rather than specifics support the main point of the essay. For example, in the fourth paragraph, the discussion focuses on people spending more for what they want but does not offer any specifics. The sentence structure is also much simpler in this essay, as compared to the "5" and "6" papers, but the writer demonstrates control over language and flaws do not detract from essay content. This is an adequate paper that takes a satisfactory approach.

Previous Paper: a "5" paper

California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-1200 / © 2006 CSU Northridge