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CSUN Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam


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Sample UDWPE Paper B: a "5" paper

There are many arguments presented in this article for credit card debt. Some of the arguments regarding credit card debt state that normal families that are in financial trouble are not those with shady lives but simply hard workers who play by the rules. Another states that the increasing costs while real actual income does not change is also a reason for this debt. Another blames the materialistic lifestyle as the issue of debt. Finally another blames the banks themselves for this debt. From personal experience as well as reading the reports on credit as well as watching the commercials presented, credit card debt is a problem in America.

People these days have discovered that by simply filling out a form, they not only receive a credit card but at most places a free gift as well. This easy access is one reason credit card debt is an issue. At a concert recently, I spoke with a credit card representative and he explained that his company will assign anyone who signs up a credit card no matter the credit history. The credit history only determines the amount of credit that is given to that person. While standing there, at least ten people came up and their main question was "I wonder how much this one will give me?" If the availability of cards was not as unlimited or the process was not as easy, this would promote safe credit card habits, therefore a decline in debt would occur.

Walking through the grocery store I know that I have $20 in my wallet. I grab a cart and slowly make my way through the store. When I finally get up to the cashier I have $100 worth of groceries (mostly junk) in my possession. Instead of putting some of the unnecessary items back, I flash a sly smile and whip out the plastic. The ease as well as the "buy now pay later plan" is something that appeals to society. Unlike a debit card, which stops you when your money is gone, a credit card is unlimited as long as you stay under the max amount. In thinking about this idea, a person can say they will only charge a certain amount; however, if they do not keep track themselves the credit card can be charged past that amount. With nobody or nothing stopping their spending, even the best people can accrue debt. For example, if I were to walk into the jewelry store I would be able to spend the maximum on my credit card even though I might only have $50 actual dollars in my possession.

"Got credit problems? We can help." A commercial of this nature can be seen on almost any channel at any time. As the number of people with credit cards grows, debt continues to grow, and with this debt comes a need to get help. Many people get caught in debt by only paying the minimum that is needed and compiling interest on top of the amount owed. What these "helpers" promise is a lower interest rate on the balance along with future benefits. This does help those in need at the moment; however, this simply adds a "comfort zone" that makes it easier to continue spending without paying strict attention to their bills.

Overall, credit card debt is something that does impact today’s society and will never stop as long as there are credit cards in existence. In order to stop credit card debt we must learn to budget ourselves as well as make a habit of only using a credit card when absolutely necessary and not simply using it so we can still have cash for the night out. Also keep in mind that this is still your money and spend accordingly. As a final note in concluding this argument, when you can walk around and have 6 credit cards in your pocket at your disposal, always remember that they may have different companies or logos on them; however, they all are coming from the same place, your bank account. Now go out and spend wisely.


The writer identifies the arguments and agrees that credit card debt is a problem. She develops her response with carefully crafted examples from her personal experience, such as her experience with credit card representatives, grocery shopping, and advertising. Her personal approach leads to her cautionary conclusion about spending wisely. Even though the "5" essay does not address the essay as deeply or complexly as the "6" paper, it is strong because it addresses the topic meaningfully and executes a solid plan.

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