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steamedrice's Essay Scoring/Help Thread

steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
edited April 2010 in SAT Preparation
Hey everyone! It's been awhile, but I've finally returned. All the people who PM'd me last time thanking me for improving their essay score made me really happy. Hopefully, I can help even more people this time around.

How this works: Very simple. You post a prompt and a corresponding essay written by you. I will read it within 48 hours and respond to your essay with a score, 2-3 strengths, 2-3 things to work on, and an overall feedback summary.

Some useful links below...
- Some points aren't fully accurate, but AcademicHacker's essay advice has some solid tips
- From College Board, the latest essay prompts

Post away!
edited April 2010
80 replies
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Replies to: steamedrice's Essay Scoring/Help Thread

  • soulostarsoulostar 6 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    YES the thread is back!! lol

    Your advice helped me so much on my last SAT, i'll be posting an essay for you to read soon!
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  • d12345d12345 114 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hey I just took the March SAT Test and received an 8 on my essay. I am not the best of writers but I want to improve my score to a 10. Here is my essay that I wrote from the March test so if you can take a look and see how I can improve I would appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

    [url=http://s700.****/albums/ww9/goldenglove10294/?action=view&current=essayImageActiondo1-1.jpg]essayImageActiondo1-1.jpg picture by goldenglove10294 - Photobucket[/url]

    [url=http://s700.****/albums/ww9/goldenglove10294/?action=view&current=essayImageActiondo.jpg]essayImageActiondo.jpg picture by goldenglove10294 - Photobucket[/url]

    PS. Sorry about the messy handwriting
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi d12345,

    Your essay is a very solid 8. You seem to have a very good general idea of what an SAT essay should look like, and there are just a few specific areas you can work on. More detail below…

    Strengths:
    +Strong foundation and structure. The four paragraph approach with an introduction, two supporting examples, and a conclusion was effective here.

    +Well done on the conclusion. The use of a famous quote to end your essay is a nice touch that adds sophistication.

    Areas to work on:
    -Eliminate first person. First person (the use of “I” or “me”) is generally considered bad form in formal essay writing. Try to take out all instances of “I” to make your writing more forceful. For example, the “I do not agree” in the first paragraph and the “what I call success” in the third paragraph should be removed and rewritten.

    -Use more specific and detailed examples. This is the most important thing to address. First, narrow down your examples. Don’t just talk about Abraham Lincoln; talk about something smaller, like his victory in the Lincoln-Douglas debates or his role in the Reconstruction effort. Then, give specific details about that narrower area. Right now, your examples are too broad and give only vague details. You may want to pre-research a few examples so that you’ll be able to go deeper.

    -Make your introduction stronger. The problem with your current introduction is partially the first person described above. I would also take a look at the [url="http://****/w/essay/approach"]CABE method (Contradiction-Assertion-Because-Examples)[/url] described at ****. Incorporating this method will start your essay off better.

    Overall, you’re a much stronger writer than you give yourself credit for. You shouldn’t have any problems raising your essay score to a 10. Indeed, you’re probably just three steps away. 1) Eliminate first person in your writing, 2) follow the CABE structure for your introduction, 3) research a few examples from history and literature, then pack your body paragraphs full of specific details.

    I hope this helped you! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, and post again in this thread if you have another essay you’d like me to read.

    Richard
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  • d12345d12345 114 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    This will definitely help me for my May Sat coming up soon. Thanks a lot!
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  • soulostarsoulostar 6 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Is honesty always the best policy?

    Truth is considered as the ultimate beauty of universe; however, I can hardly agree that “Honesty is always the best policy”. People need “white lies” to make everything simpler, moreover brighter, and this paradox reality is proved by many examples in literature and movies, which reflect the real life vividly.

    My first support is taken from the “The Final Leaf” of O’Henri. In this touching story, Johnsy left her fate to the leaves of the ivy; she assumed that when the final leaf felt down, it would be the time she must surrender Mr. Pneumonia and go to the afterlife. However, that ivy leaf did not fall down as she had expected, but still clung on the wall with recalcitrance. This magic brought Johnsy a light of hope as well as told her how wicked she was, and then she realized that she wanted to be more steadfast than that small leaf. The transformation in her thinking and her mental created a positive change in her health, as she started to eat more and take necessary medicine. Finally, she came back to her vigorous life but also found out the truth. The old artist living in the same apartment with her had drawn a specious ivy leaf in the night the real one felt down to encourage Johnsy; consequently, he got sick and passed away after that. Obviously, though the old men deceive Johnsy, no one can blame his for his trickery but respect him more for his sacrifice.

    Recently, movie fans all over the world rush into cinema in order to watch a phenomenon named “The Dark Knight”, and this breath-taking movie brings another exemplified evidence for my position. Near the end of the movie, Batman, who is the actual hero of Gotham, decides to pretend as an evil man and give his accomplishment of killing Joker to Harvey Dent, the Two Face man who is already dead. It is a big lie to people of Gotham; however, it gives them an optimistic faith in their government and the justice of the world, which Batman supposes to be more beneficial to Gotham.

    I believe that everyone in this normal complicated world makes a lie at least once, even the good guy or the bad one, for different reasons and in with different purposes. In many cases, while honesty may hurt people, the fallacy makes good thing. Although people always treasure the candor, sometimes it seems to be better to look beyond the truth.
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  • tim739`tim739` 213 replies15 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Prompt: Does being ethical make it hard to be successful?

    My mother constantly reminds me that using questionable means to achieve success is ultimately detrimental to success. Her paradigm holds true because being successful does not make it hard to be ethical, as numerous examples illustrate. Abraham Lincoln was a beacon of ethical behavior for the United States. Dorothea Dix reformed a multitude of prisons and mental hospitals. Barack Obama was ethical during his campaign and was ultimately successful.

    Firstly, Abraham Lincoln achieved a high degree of success while maintaining an impeccable ethical standard. Lincoln faced the onerous task of uniting the fragmented nation during the Civil War as well as the seemingly impossible task of abolishing the evil institution of slavery. Throughout the process, Lincoln exemplified a high ethical standard because he vehemently believed in the equality of all human beings and he dedicated his life to ending slavery. Lincoln was successful in both these ventures while remaining ethical throughout the whole process. Abraham Lincoln's adherence to ethical standards illustates that one can be ethical and successful at the same time.

    Lincoln was not the only one to be ethical and successful; Dorothea Dix was extremely successful iduring her efforts to reform an inhumane prison system. During her time, prisons were rife with filth, disease and officials oblivious to the suffering of the residents of the prison. Dix recognized the injustice and spoke publicly about the prison conditions. Dix was successful; many new forms were implemented that ameliorated conditions. Dix was ethical because she applied a great deal of effort toward people she had never known in order to improve life for them. Since she was succesful and ethical at the same time, being ethical does not make it hard to be successful.

    Thirdly, Barack Obama was successful during his presidential campaign and ended up being successful. Obama never resorted to personal attacks on his opponents' character and he never relied on illegal campaign funds. Obama believed in fair competition between politicians. He achieved success when he won the presidential nomination and later, the actual presidency. Obama's success and high ethical standards illustrate that being sucessful does not result in an inability to be ethical.

    In conclusion, the examples of Lincoln's, Dix's and Obama's rigorous adherence to strict ethical standards point to one essential truth; that success and ethical behavior are not mutually exclusive. One can be ethical and succesful simultaneously and it is not hard to achieve success while remaining ethical.
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  • Ren the SAT'erRen the SAT'er 2181 replies122 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's good that you're back; a lot of people can benefit from your advice :)
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks Ren, that's what I'm hoping for :)

    ===

    Hi soulostar,

    I'd score your essay a 9, just off of a 10. Here's an explanation:

    Strengths:
    +It seems that you have a solid understanding of the SAT essay structure; each portion of your essay individually (the introduction, the examples, the conclusion) is solid on its own, and you organize everything logically.

    +Well-done on the introduction, following the contradiction-assertion-because-examples format. You clearly put forth your thesis. Try not to use the word “prove” if possible, though.

    +Good efforts to incoporate advanced vocabulary (specious, recalcitrance, candor) and common sayings ("honesty is always the best policy"). However, make sure you fully understand the language devices you use (see below).

    Weaknesses:
    -It's definitely good to use more sophisticated language, but don't use what you don't understand. There’s a few language errors here. For example, "this paradox reality" should be "this paradoxical reality" and "exemplified" is a verb and cannot modify "evidence".

    -Try to streamline your examples and write more succinctly. Your use of specific and detailed evidence is very promising, but streamline it more if possible. This will help tremendously with your essay's readability (remember the essay graders get tired, too) and help you meet the time limit as well.

    -Limit the use of first person ("I believe" and "I can hardly agree"). Generally, first person is considered out of place in a semiformal essay such as the SAT essay.

    In general, the organizational and structural aspects of your essay are extremely good. The main things to work on would be eliminating nagging language errors and writing in a clear, concise manner. Practice, practice, practice!

    Hope this helped! Feel free to PM me or post here if you have any other questions, and I'll respond as quickly as possible.

    Richard
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi tim739’,

    I would score this essay a solid 10. I was impressed by the strength of your writing, and there are just a couple minor areas to work on here.

    Strengths:
    +Strong structure and choice of examples. All your choices fit the prompt very well and support your argument. Your body paragraphs are all well-linked back to your overall argument, and your introduction/conclusion are well-written.

    +Your essay flows very well due to the transitions you implemented. I especially like the one in the third paragraph, using a semicolon (sophisticated grammar) and pointing out a similarity between the two examples.

    +Very strong vocabulary use. I saw numerous uses of advanced vocabulary; from “paradigm” to multitude,” from “adherence” to “ameliorated.”

    Weaknesses:
    -The main thing to work on is being more specific and detailed within all your body paragraphs. The Dix example is done fairly well, but the Lincoln example especially uses vague evidence and isn’t fleshed out enough; use more convincing evidence of specific things he said or did. The Obama example could also use improvement.

    -This is a minor issue, but try to proofread your essay really quickly at the end to catch mistakes such as “Barack Obama was successful during his presidential campaign and ended up being successful”

    -Another minor issue. Try not to use the same word twice in a sentence, even when it’s a prompt word: “Lincoln was not the only one to be ethical and successful; Dorothea Dix was extremely successful iduring her efforts to reform an inhumane prison system”

    Overall, this was definitely a strong essay, and you should be able to score in double digits consistently. To bring your writing to the next level, make sure your example paragraphs are using persuasive evidence in the form of specific details. You may want to pre-research a few examples to help with this.

    Hope this helped! As always, feel free to post here or PM me if you have any questions. :)

    Richard
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  • tim739`tim739` 213 replies15 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Fantastic advice, probably one of the best pieces of advice I've ever had. The score you gave me was exactly the score the SAT graders gave me and you gave me a lot of really useful advice. Thanks for taking the time to read it and thanks for improving my SAT score!
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  • hvairlinehvairline 197 replies18 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Ok here is my essay(don't be frightened i'm an international student)

    Do you agree that it's wisest to put things off if you can?

    The key to success is as Benjamin Franklin said "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today".Postponing our responsibilities or our future actions is never a wise decision.I believe that if you can do something today,than by all means,don't postpone it.People who prove this thesis include my mother and my younger brother.

    My brother,as the young pupil he is,always postpone's stuff.At some pointhe had an excessive amount of free time prior to an important exam period.Everybody instructed him to use his free time wisely and study.However he decided not to folow everybody's advises and postponed his studies for the next day.Day after day passed and he continued this action.The exam period finally arrived and he then realized how much studying he had to complete.He was overwhelmed and didn't know how to act.Resultely,due to the inadequacy of time,he did poorly on his exams.If only he had decided to use his precious free time for the required studying.All his later on misfortune could have been avoided.A least he learnt an important lesson.

    My mother is quite the opposite of my brother.She does everything she can today(without overwhelming herself fo course) and never postpones her duties or her required actions.She comprehends that this is the key to success.And it has worked for her in her life.She is now a company executive that works a reasonable amount of time without neglecting her family.

    These two examples prove my reasoning.If we have the choice and of course the time we should never put off things.Benjamin Franlin,the man who inveted electricity gave us this exact advice.I really think that it will be wise for us to follow it.
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  • PatNPatN 30 replies7 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Prompt: Does being ethical make it hard to be successful?

    The pressure to succeed in life can push anyone to extremes. For some, dishonorable methods appear to offer an advantage and guarantee of success. In some cases, it certainly does, and in a world run by subtle rules of natural selection, these advantages may become necessary for success. However, while dishonest and unethical behavior may confer advantages to the individual, they are detrimental to society if they become the norm; therefore, society must take efforts to ensure fairness and ethics for its members.

    As a student, the most obvious form of dishonest actions I observe is cheating in school. Clearly, cheaters have an advantage over others; they can get perfect academic results without any work. However, cheating in school defeats the purpose of education, as it allows success without equipping students with the information they need to contribute to society. Going by Kant's theories of ethics: if everyone cheated, no one would learn anything, and society would be backwards indeed. Therefore, rules and safeguards are necessary to prevent cheating in school, with strict enforcement of those rules. Society must protect itself from the dishonesty of the individual.

    On a broader scale, another example of dishonorable and dishonest practices that benefit individuals are monopolies in businesses. In 19th century and early 20th century U.S., this was the norm. With industrialization, huge companies like Rockefeller with oil and Carnegie Steel were able to force out all competition and control the market. Their monopoly of the market gave them a huge unfair advantage; however, it allowed them to jack up prices and have too much power, which was bad for society as a whole. Therefore, the government was compelled to issue anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation banning such practices.

    In conclusion, although unethical, dishonest practices often do give significant advantages to those who use them, they are often bad for the collective society. This is demonstrated both through academic cheating and large business monopolies. In such instances, society is obligated to do what it can to prevent the use of these dishonorable tactics.
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi hvairline,

    I would score this essay a 6-7. This is a promising start for an international student, and you should be able to quickly raise your score with a targeted approach. More details below.

    Strengths:
    +The quote that begins the essay works very well. Bringing in a famous quote from a well-known historical figure such as Benjamin Franklin is a strong tactic that shows readers your knowledge.

    +You have the basics down. The fundamental structure of your essay has all the necessary parts--an introduction, supporting examples, and a conclusion.

    +It was clever how you linked your introduction and conclusion around the common theme of Benjamin Franklin.

    Weaknesses:

    -Although you have the basic layout down, you need to work on fully developing each part of your essay--especially the body paragraphs. Check the links at the top to read more about how to develop your body paragraphs.

    - I would recommend using historical and literary examples into your essay instead of personal examples; check [url="http://****/w/essay/idea-sheet"]SAT essay ideas[/url] for some samples. You can also use examples from Malaysian history as well if you are familiar with that.

    -There are some language problems here (“postpone’s” instead of “postpones”; “his later on misfortune”; etc.). Something you can do right away is eliminate first person in your essay (don’t use “I believe” or similar phrases). After that, I would recommend writing and reading in English more often to improve your grasp of grammar conventions. The best way for international students to improve their English is through daily practice.

    Overall, you have a solid foundation with room to improve. The biggest step to take right now is improve your selection and development of examples. Over time, as your English improves, your language problems will lessen as well.

    Hope this helped! PM me if you’d like to talk in more detail. :)

    Richard
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  • hvairlinehvairline 197 replies18 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks very much for the advice,i will apply it and see what happens!
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  • SkylarkinSkylarkin 61 replies10 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Prompt: Do you think originality is organizing old ideas in new ways?

    "We are like dwarves standing upon the shoulder of giants and so able to see more than the ancients." This quote by a 12th century French philosopher epitomizes the conduct in which innovative new ideas are born since the dawn of mankind. The following examples from American history and mathematics clearly demonstrate originality is breeded from the organization of previous ones.
    The colonization of America in the 17th century was an attempt oppressed Puritans to escape their monarch, King George III, in Great Britain. These Puritans and other Europeans who first established the Thirteen Colonies were intent in creating a purely democratic government which give rights to its people. However, the basis of this government was incorporated by the Founding Fathers from the one in their mother-country. Great Britain's Parliament, which consists of the House of Lords, Sovereign, and House of Commons, was organized into an American version of Congress with a Senate and House of Representatives. Though most Americans carried on living complacently with the fact that they have escaped from the spheres of influences in Britain, it is inevitable that the foundations of which the American government was built on were basically recycled British ideas constructed into new ones.
    The notion of building upon existing ideas is evident in Isaac Newton's lifetime achievement. Considered a genius in physics, mathematics, and astronomy, Newton has made novel discoveries such as: the law of motion, law of universal gravitation, calculus, etc... Although Newton's lifetime dedication to these discoveries are evident of his extraordinary intellect, these findings would not have been possible if not for the the works of those who have came before him. These "giants": Nicholaus Copernicus, Galelei Galileo, and Johannes Kepler have made significant strides in the aforementioned fields of science and subsequently paved the road for Newton. Hence, Newton's groundbreaking discoveries were substantially possible through the reorganization and careful insights of discoveries of the past.
    In the aforementioned cases of the American government and Isaac Newton's discoveries, a new entity of creation was produced through the careful and critical application of older ideas. Although there are infinite unknown possibilities to an American government or discoveries made in realm of science, the satisfactory results that came from the Founding Father's and Isaac Newton's reapplication of older concept are undeniable. Therefore, one can only hope that there will continue to be a "shoulder" for which all intentions and aspirations to bloom on.

    - thank you for reading and grading richard, and can you also give some suggestions to which other examples i can use to solidify my stance?
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  • python38python38 1096 replies208 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Prompt:

    "Given the importance of human creativity, one would thhink it should have a high priority among our concerns. But if we look at the reality, we see a different picture. Basic scientific research is minimized in favour of immediate practical applications. The arts are increasingly seen as dispensable luxuries. Yet as competition heats up around the globe, exactly the opposite strategy is needed."

    Assignment:

    "Is creativity needed more than ever in the world today?"

    Essay:

    "Creativity is essential to the progress of the human race. It is often impossible to predict the future consequences of something seemingly meaningless. At face value, certain projects or activities may seem negligible, but they often turn out to yield far more than what we originally expected.

    Take the World Wide Web. It was created by someone who was working at CERN - a particle accelerator that, before being built, would have seemed to serve no other purpose apart from being a physics laboratory. No-one could have predicted that some particle physics research would lead to the discovery of the World Wide Web.

    At the height of the Cold War, both America and the Soviet Union embarked in a "space race" in which each superpower attempted to put a man on the Moon before the other. It seemed obvious that the field of cosmology would benefit the most - and yet, nowadays, most scientists agree that the most important thing we gained was the discovery of a cure for smallpox, which came about as the result of some seemingly insignificant medical research.

    A few months ago, I re-took up creative writing as a hobby. On the face of it, this was only something that I was doing for fun, but the skills I learned as a consequence have proved indispensible. It taught me how to structure and plan, how to use proper grammar, and it also improved my vocabulary.

    It is impossible to understand what we may gain from doing something, even if at first sight it seems simple and meaningless. Creativity is not the bastion of impractical minds, but the bridge that leads to a better world. And if we wish to make progress - progress which all of the human race depends upon - we must not discard creativity, but embrace it."

    ^In retrospect, I need to learn more examples to use... what do you think?

    P.S. I have to say, this is jolly helpful of you. Thanks :)
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi PatN,

    I would score this essay an 8. Your writing and structure are both very strong; only the body paragraphs are holding you back from double digit scores. More detail below…

    Strengths:
    +Very well-written introduction. The use of a contradiction-assertion-because structure for the introduction is extremely effective and provides a good start for the essay.

    +Overall, strong writing. Vocabulary use was fairly advanced with some good words such as “detrimental.” Grammar and style were excellent, with minimal mistakes, advanced structure (yay for semicolons), and good variety.

    +Some interesting ideas. Bringing in Kant’s theories is a very strong point that shows respectable base knowledge.

    Weaknesses:
    -First and foremost, narrow down your examples much more. This is extremely important. Both the topics you chose (academic dishonesty and monopolies) are very broad topics. Instead of talking about cheating, talk about a specific incident of cheating with dramatic repercussions or flesh out discussion about Kant. Focus on just the story of Carnegie steel instead of monopolies in general.

    - Focus your body paragraphs. Remember ****’s golden rule: specific, detailed, relevant. This partially follows from choosing narrower topics, but include very specific details to support your point. Don’t be vague.

    -This is also very important to remember: know what the prompt is asking. It might have been just this essay, but it seemed like you missed the point a little. The question posed was: “does being ethical make it hard to be successful.” Your argument, however, was “society must prevent the use of dishonorable tactics.” Make sure your argument is relevant and directly addresses the prompt.

    Overall, you’re a naturally strong writer and shouldn’t have any trouble improving your score to 10+. Just make sure you answer the prompt correctly and focus everything down.

    I hope this helped you! Feel free to PM me or post here if you have any questions. You’re always welcome to post another essay if you’d like me to read more of your work.

    Richard
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  • iLeafiLeaf 6 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    My Debut Essay Thanks steamedrice!

    Prompt: It is important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority.

    Authority can’t be valid permanently, and blindly believing the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority may plant false belief in our mind inveterately. Although following the authority can sometimes be expedient when facing dilemma, we indeed need to question the authority, to break through the shackles and to build a new sky for creativity. Examples from Jack Welch and Thomas Paine can properly prove that.

    One great example comes from Jack Welch, CEO of General Electricity(GE), who challenged the inveterate corporate culture mode and embarked on his renovations through the 1980s. By cutting the prevalently used lackluster old-line units and dismantling the unnecessary parts, most of which were using by other competitive company at that time, Welch eradicated inefficiency and paved the way for future development of GE. Welch also streamlined his company, motivated his staffs, and expanded the broadness of the stock option from just top executives. With these strategies which gained encomium, he successfully increased the recorded revenues of his company from $26.8 billion to $130 billion, thereafter his policies are now widely adopted by many CEOs cross the America, and even throughout the world. Welch is a fascinating businessman to analyze because he undergoes many adversities when questioning the authority and finally, turns a dying company to one of the world’s leading enterprise. Only by challenging the ideas and decisions of authority can he achieve his goal, and we can always find a sense of creativity in his GE legend.

    Another persuasive example pertains to Thomas Paine, a British revolutionary who challenged the colonial ruling and urged to build a democratic society. At the beginning of the American Revolution, the American colonies were, with deep misgivings and hesitancy, moving toward independence. Few people favored complete independence, while Loyalists, who firmly believed in conservative thoughts, were powerful. However, dismissing monarchy, Thomas Paine, an early advocate of republicanism and liberalism, published his ideas bravely in Common Sense in 1776. The book was outspoken, touché and pierced to the truth, which he firmly believed. It quickly spread among the literate, and, in three months, 120,000 copies sold throughout the American British colonies. It impressed deeply upon everyone’s mind that his belief become one of the most important ideology of the American Revolution. In seeing the ways to break through the shackles put by Loyalists, Thomas Paine was able to liberate people’s inveterate thinking and, by publicizing Paine’s democratic idea, America emancipates herself. If no one had stand out to reveal the dark ruling by Loyalists, America would have still be in a position which people were coerced by colonialism.

    Jack Welch and Thomas Paine all got their fames by questioning the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority and by proposing their creative viewpoint. There would be no question that challenging the authority can always motive our society to advance. It will always be the case in the past and in the future.
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi skylarkin,

    This is a very good essay with many strong points. I would score it a 10-11. More detail below....

    Strengths:
    +The introduction is very well-written. You bring in an interesting and relevant quote to begin the essay and describe your argument in an effective manner.

    +The overall language use is superb. Words such as “epitomize,” “complacently,” and “evident” as well as the varied sentence structures make this essay a pleasure to read.

    +The examples are well-chosen; both Newton and the government of the Pilgrims are very relevant. You give many good details as well, especially with the parallel structure of Parliament vs Congress.

    Weaknesses:
    -This was a minor issue, but if possible keep your example paragraphs fully relevant. Some phrases seemed to be straying from your overall argument that originality is based on previous ideas. For example: “though most Americans carried on living complacently with the fact that they have escaped from the spheres of influences in Britain.”

    -Develop all your ideas fully. I felt that your body paragraphs were missing a final level of detail, especially in the Newton paragraph. How exactly did Kepler, Galileo, Copernicus pave the way for Newton? It would be much more convincing if you pointed out specific discoveries that built on previous discoveries--such as the Congress-Parliament detail in the previous paragraph.

    -To improve the flow of your essay, add a transition sentence in between the two paragraphs. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; something like “just as the American government built on the British government, Newton called upon the foundation of previous discoveries in his own work.”

    Overall, your work is extremely strong. There are only a few minor areas you need to address with utilizing the final level of detail in your essays. You may want to start thinking about bringing your writing to a 12 level, perhaps by incorporating a counterexample.

    For a start on more examples, I would suggest the [url=”http://****/w/essay/idea-sheet”]SAT essay idea sheet[/url] at ****. Beyond that, look for topics that you’re interested in (global health would be an example for me) and research a little bit about individuals and programs in their history and current events. Literature generally yields good examples as well; for example, .

    I hope this helped! Post here or PM me if you’d like to know more about counterexamples or if you have any questions in general.

    Richard
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  • steamedricesteamedrice 110 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi python38,

    I would score this an 8. This is a solid essay with a few specific areas to address. Full explanation below…

    Strengths:
    +Something that really stood to me was how you narrowed down a much broader topic (the necessity of creativity in this world) to a smaller, more manageable, and focused argument about creative activities that initially appear insignificant but eventually lead to great results. Strive to achieve this every time.

    +Solid effort at advanced language use. The sentence structures here are well done and fairly varied, and some decent vocabulary words (indispensible, bastion) were effective.

    +Good diversity of examples in this essay. You take your support from classic history in the form of Cold War, scientific history in the form of CERN, and from your own life.


    Weaknesses:
    -The biggest problem with your essay is the lack of depth in examples. It seems like you’re almost skimming through your examples, not taking the time to fully develop any individual one. Put specific details into your body paragraphs. The deeper the level of knowledge you display, the stronger your essay appears.

    -It may actually help you to start with two examples instead of three, and pre-research some examples you can use. This will help you support each example in greater depth. Continual practice will also allow you to write more and go deeper.

    -Include transitions between your paragraphs so it doesn’t seem like a laundry list. I’d suggest reading over the SAT essay guide or watching the video at **** (the link is in the original post). Focus on the TILT section.

    Overall, your level of writing is very solid. I don’t believe that you necessarily need to learn more examples to use; instead, you should focus on learning how to use examples more effectively by going into deeper detail. Address this issue, and consistent double digit scores will be no problem.

    Thanks for letting me read your essay! Let me know if I can help you further in any way. :)

    Richard
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