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Can you please grade my essay?

cricketman1991cricketman1991 Posts: 220Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2007 in SAT Preparation
essay 8 in blue book...
Thanks in advance...

Assignment: Should heroes be defined as people who say what they think when we ourselves lack the courage to say it?





The definition of a hero has been debated for a very long time. Some believe a hero is simply defined as a person who puts himself in physical danger for the good of others. In reality, however, a hero is more than just a man who braves physical adversity. A hero is also a person who speaks up when others fear. A hero has the courage to say what he thinks.

During the first half of the twentieth century, India was owned by Britain. While every Indian despised Britain and its policies, only one man had the bravery to say what he felt. Mahatma Gandhi was opposed to almost every British policy, from forcing Indians to carry passcards, to forcing the Indians to serve the British. Gandhi was the only Indian who said he disliked the Britis, even though everybody felt similarly. For this reason Gandhi is considered a hero. While he did face physical hardship, it was teh courage to speak up that made Gandhi a hero.

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, an innocent man is charged with rape because of his race. While almost everybody knows the man is innocent, only one man has the courage to say it. Atticus, a lawyer, defend the African American. Because Atticas had the strength and will to say what he thought, he is a hero. Having this courage makes Atticus a hero because nobody else would say what he or she thought. This idiosyncracy makes Atticus the hero in the novel.

Personal experience has also defined "hero." In my school, two teachers gave my fellow students and me a project on the same day. These projects were both to be turned in the following day. While we had received numerous similar projects before, we had never received two together. My classmates were very angry, but nobody was brave enough to tell the teacher. I, however, had the courage so I told our teacher that we had already received a project. He calmly said, "ok," and changed the due date. Because I had the courage to speak up, I was my classmates' hero.

History, literature, and personal experience all revela a true definition of "hero." While many people think a ehro is only one who braves physical danger, he is more than that. A hero can also be a person who says what he believes, when nobody else has the strength to.




Thanks in advance. (I know my third paragraph is repetitive, but I didn't realize while writing it)

oh, and grades out of 12 please.
Post edited by cricketman1991 on

Replies to: Can you please grade my essay?

  • D-YuD-Yu Posts: 995Registered User Member
    Good job, cricketmann1991
    I would probably give this essay an 11, you could probably reiterate some of your examples in your concluding paragraph to tie the essay up better

    P.S. the collegeboard online course (if you buy it) grades your book essays for you
  • alpha2400alpha2400 Posts: 185Registered User Junior Member
    I'd give this a 10. You could use more details and more varied/complex sentence structure, but it's a good essay that proves its point.

    Good job.
  • cricketman1991cricketman1991 Posts: 220Registered User Junior Member
    thanks, the online course gave it a ten, but since it's not an actual person, i didn't know how accurate it was.
  • musicgal3musicgal3 Posts: 277Registered User Junior Member
    i would also give this essay a 10.
    you have plenty of strengths:
    - good length with a good number of paragraphs/supporting ideas
    - a clear position
    - well rounded supporting points (i like that you pulled from history, lit, and personal)

    the reason i'd give this essay a 10 and not an 11 or 12 is because i think that you need a longer intro and conclusion. the beginning is what catches the reader's attention at the beginning and the end is what should give the grader a sort of "feel good" and "wow" feeling at the end. so maybe you could start with a few rhetorical questions and end with a statement like, "therefore, society must understand the definition of a hero in order to ..."

    but good work overall (:
  • alpha2400alpha2400 Posts: 185Registered User Junior Member
    ^ In December, my intro was shorter than his and my conclusion was a one liner. I got a 12.
  • D-YuD-Yu Posts: 995Registered User Member
    Nice work, alpha2400, do you have any pointers? I could use a few
  • RahoulVARahoulVA Posts: 1,364Registered User Senior Member
    You could have made the Gandhi paragraph better if you added examples like he was jailed many times and was almost killed many times but faced these threats for the good of his people. You also could have said that Atticus was a well known lawyer and in a way risked his reputation by defending that man.
  • sublimeeesublimeee Posts: 93Registered User Junior Member
    I'd give you a 9. It would behoove you to use higher vocab (like infuriated rather than angry) and add more complex sentences. Your essay is choppy. Good examples, except for the last one, but you need to elaborate and really fill them out. It's like you're just giving an outline. When I read the last example I felt like you couldn't think of anything so you just wrote that.
    A 12 essay is one that throughly succeeds in persuading the reader that this is what you strongly believe (told to me by an SAT essay grader) and yours doesn't really persuade me. It doesn't seem like you have a firm stance.

    "The definition of a hero has been debated for a very long time. Some believe a hero is simply defined as a person who puts himself in physical danger for the good of others."
    --Unneeded.... writing this just wastes your time because it doesn't do anything for your essay. It's just fluff. You need to get to voicing your opinions fast.

    "only one man has the courage to say it"
    "Because Atticas had the strength and will to say what he thought, he is a hero. Having this courage makes Atticus a hero because nobody else would say what he or she thought."
    "Because I had the courage to speak up"
    --Repetitive.

    "Personal experience has also defined "hero.""
    --This makes me feel like I'm reading an 8th grader's essay. It's like you're following a formula for writing an essay.

    "A hero can also be a person who says what he believes, when nobody else has the strength to."
    --I would put "A hero IS a person" rather than "can also be" which makes it seem like you're unsure.

    "History, literature, and personal experience all revela a true definition of "hero." "
    --Too vague. Slightly summarize the examples. Off the top of my head I would put something like, "The life of Ghandi, Atticus Finch and myself reveal a lesser known, albeit equally true, definition of a hero: one who has the courage to say what he or she thinks." That's not great but just to give you an idea of a better conclusion sentence.
  • RahoulVARahoulVA Posts: 1,364Registered User Senior Member
    I wouldn't call those first two sentences fluff. The reader just needs to know his opinion by the end of the intro or by the thesis. It's good to start it off with a general statement, not immediately say your opinion. It makes it more interesting if you start your essay off with something like a question that makes the reader want to finish it to find the answer. Sometimes those first two sentences can relate to what the reader thinks and basically tells people that HEY, this is what you think, and you may be right, but I have a different opinion, and then you tell why.
  • dchow08dchow08 Posts: 3,267Registered User Senior Member
    My thoughts:

    Intro is good.

    Paragraph on Gandhi: Connect it more to how others fear, as you said in your introduction.

    Next paragraph: Your argument as a whole is kind of weak. You basically said, "Atticus did this. Therefore, he's a hero." You don't really answer the question given.

    Next: Same problem with Atticus.

    Overall, I'd probably give this like a 9, because you have something going. You have examples that have the potential of being great supporting evidence. But the question asks, "Should heroes be defined as this or should they be defined as that?" You needed to focus on the question more. Your argument was shaky.
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