Unanswered [6] | Urgent [0]

Posts by MonsieurWise
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
Last Post: Dec 31, 2009
Threads: 2
Posts: 21  

From: Viet Nam

Displayed posts: 23
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Dec 31, 2009
Undergraduate / "my pursuit of elusive perfection" - Common App Activity and Main Essay [3]

The essay was very well-written, I like the content, it shows your personality perfectly.
The only thing I see trouble within your essay is the last 2 paragraphs. You need a stronger, clearer and more memorable one, for the rest of your essay is strong. I get lost reading the last 2 para, I think you can use more effective ideas and words.

I have read one similar to yours. Consider this idea: "However, as time goes by, I realized that the higher I placed my goal, the higher I achieved, though not necessary accomplished my "real mission."" then you'll give one or two of your accomplishment that put you beyond your peers, thanks to your thrive for perfection...etc.

I personally like the essay and against the idea of throwing it away. It is good, a little embellishment would make it perfect :D.
Ah, could you read mine and leave some comments too? Heheh :PP.
Dec 31, 2009
Undergraduate / UPenn - Academic/Social Communities Essay: "The Penn-gineer In Me" [2]

I do not think it's garbage at all. Your essay is well-written and it answered the question straight and fair.
However, I do think that it needs some spices. The essay is too...humn, normal, too straight that I think will undermine your chance. Try something fresh and new, something creative that will attract their attention right away and will be memorable.

I personally think that you can tell stories as a way to say your idea indirectly. Your childhood with self-made light saber or a fierce robotic competition would be a very interesting story to read.

That is just my own opinion, if you do not hate me after reading my comment, could you look at my latest post and leave a comment? Thanks ^^.
Dec 31, 2009
Undergraduate / Why Stanford is good for me -- any suggestions very welcomed. [4]

It was good on the normal sense. You answered the question right to the point. However, it was a bit "flat".
Generally, I think yours need a bit of personal touch and originality. It seems a bit common: One's history, then one's dream, then one found one's dream school. Try something fresh, tell a story, for example. Make it more interesting to read, because you're applying for Stanford, after all :)

Heheh, thank you for your comment on my post ^^.
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / "Opening up to others", EAOP program - Needs opinions [4]

Uhm, I would say that you should divide the 1st one into paragraphs. You might need to make it more interesting, too. I agree with Jeanny. Divide it out. You spent almost half of your essay talking about your life before the program. Be concise, and it will automatically become effective.

You might need a better transition, too. You went from being someone who was not so popular to commissioner and to secretary. Woah, that's a big change. I would suggest you detail your whole effort of getting into these position, your hardships (I bet there's a lot), even make it a whole short story. May be something like:

I decided to run for office. I silently prepared everything for the election, worrying that people would make fun of me. When they saw my posters, no one took it seriously. "Hey, I bet you 2 dollars she will cry and run off even before she can able to make the speech," I overheard two boys talking in the hallway, not knowing I was there. It did not discourage me, in fact, it even made me more determined; I wanted to show them how I have changed, to proved that I could take on responsibility...etc kinda.

It's just an example. I know it's not that good. However, I know that you can come up with something much better than mine. Make it personal, a little dramatic too (but not so much!).

Divide it out, that's a must!
Ah, as for your 2nd essay... I think you should talk about something else than that program. You already mentioned it in essay 1.
I seriously think you should talk about your process of rising in power to a commissioner, of overcoming yourself in essay 2, then talk about something else in essay 1. You should try to read other essays. You can be creative. "Your World" here can even mean your bedroom, your bookshelf... Of course you can also go with family or school, but either way you have to make it special and stand out.

Please don't feel bad. I started out like you, with no clue at all. I'm never that good at essay. for 3 days I just spent time looking at the blank page and cursed myself.

I hope I helped. What I did was reading others essays a lot to understand how to write...
I wish you the best of luck :)
Thanks for reading mine!
Nov 26, 2009

Humn... I am not as good as Straw, but I feel like your 3rd and last paragraph need to be a little stronger.
Your description of your coach and his influence on you are a bit vivid. I think you can be more specific. Use one of his quote that helped you through the crisis, or tell how his personalites impress you so much that you changed...I think you are making it too general: "He enlightened me with words of wisdom"...etc is something everyone can say.

I think the best way is to tell a small super-short one-paragraph special moment when you met him or talk to him. That would make it much stronger, more specific and interesting.

As for the last paragraph, I suggest you move "Like my coach, I want to be mentor for young individuals, one who they reach to for a helping hand." to the last sentence, changing it to something powerful like "One day, like my coach, I want to use my knowledge and understanding of human behavior, I can help those teenagers growing up a helping hand, a proper guidance, so they will never have to suffer like me. I want to be a family therapist." That's just an example. I think you can come up with something much more personal, much more interesting that what I just did :P.

Avoid generalities, make it personal and unique. Say something that is just like you, and you only.
The other paragraphs are good. And you already had a strong major direction in mind, that would give you a good advantage.
Thanks for fixing mine, heh heh :P
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / "Old Pride" - 500 words personnal statement. [9]

Ah, thank you! And I forgot to post the prompt:
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

please continue to help me T.T
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: Thou art General! [10]

Thanks Straw. I don't know, I'm just scared that I'll go off-topic and they will trash it (how terrible!!). So I fixed it a little, making it more clear about my aspirations from chess...

This is the modified one, please help me...:
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / Common Application Essay - Topic of your choice - Dreams Deferred [40]

Straw, your essay was some of the first one I randomly choose to read yesterday. I though it was so good that I cannot say anything useful so I did not comment. But since you read mine...

Why you think the thesis is not clear? It's something like "it does not hurt to dream big, as I always do", right? It's crystal clear to me.

You should also keep the first kiss hook. It's just a hook_I agree with Big Heart, and a powerful one. What is wrong with that? It is not that they gonna trash the whole thing just because of a hook. It would be wrong if the whole essay was about teenage love and all the high-school dramas kinda, but your essay is not, it's about dreams and life. It gave me the impression that you are intellectually deep and insightful.

How interesting! Your essay is very good indeed. I actually learned one or two thing from your essay.
Thanks for commenting mine. Your specific examples helped me a lot ^^. Sorry I cannot help u that much...
Do you mind reading my other one too...?
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / "Sonata Allegro of Life" UC Prompt 1 [9]

I cannot believe you only spent 10 minutes on this... Gee!! This essay is both solid and consistent, so interesting to read. Your opening wonderfully wrapped up everything on the essay.

I have nothing else to say...10 minutes?? It took me about 4 days for my horrible essays...I just sit there looking at the blank page.

I'm sorry I'm so useless, I can't find a flaw...
Could you read mine too if you have time...?
We have same last name O.o. However, our writing skills are so different >"<
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: Thou art General! [10]

Thanks a lot guys, that really help me find my weaknesses.
But still I can't find a way to fix it. Aye...can "never give up" be an "aspiration"...?
It is that bad that I made xloserr think I want to be a real military general T___T.
I just can't find anything...I just want to success, but I can't be specific (of course I cannot say I want lots of money, a calm life with my family and good food...). So I chose this way to show that I will success at any cost.

Help me!!! >.<
@xloserr: I will read your essays tomorrow and give some feedback indeed!!
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt#1 I am a success [2]

Humn, a very good essay. Concise and strong. Very interesting to read, actually the first one I read talking about such a background and point of view.

Maybe it's so hard to criticize that no one even bother criticize it ^^.
Well, as for the headline, I suggest you change it to be "I will be a success." It's much more close to your conclusion (yeah, it look exactly the same, so it's better be close, I'm just kidding :)). Other than that, I can find no flaws.

Read mine too, please :p
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / UC App, Prompt 1 - my world and its effects on my aspirations [6]

Why are you not happy? I personally think this is good. A classic-type essay with very interesting information about you. I planned to do my essay like this (haha, my family is the same type), but lacked the skill to make it a distinction. Your short sentences balanced the whole essay, make it lighter than most of its type. Your voice is calm and full of reason. Strong conclusion,too.

You can change
"In my family, reason was the key."
And the paragraph about religion (4th) is kinda long. I think you can make it stronger and leave a better impression by making it more concise.

I don't know, I would also suggest you change the headline into something short and catchy, instead of "my world and its effects on my aspirations" write like "My reason" (I know it's a horrible example, I know u will come up w/ a better one)

Sorry I can't be that critical. I hope other posts would find another flaw and make it better. As for me, it's a pretty solid essay.

Could you also take a look at mine :).
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: "Your son has autism."; The Gift [4]

I agree with straw on the 1st one. lol
Wonderful essay though!
straw was right, you might need a better connection between your brother's condition with your last paragraph. Try something stronger, like:
"Looking at my only brother, I wanted to cry. This is not fair at all. Why him? Why no cure? One day, I will be like that Canadian doctor...etc...to cure my brother and other innocent child...etc"

Try this for your last sentence: "I want to be a doctor." That would sum everything up, greatly strengthen your conclusion, and give a very strong impression.

Your essay is great! A powerful conclusion would do it.
Could you read over mine too, heh heh :PP.
Nov 26, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #2: Heart of a Warrior [4]

Interesting essay indeed! I do think this format work, because I read a similar "model" essay in John Hopkins page. I really like this format, fresh, light and new. I actually look for a way to use this format in my essay, but i could not find anything fit, so I gave up the idea =P.

One thing though: I think you should use only one sport throughout the essay, telling how many times you lost (colleges are not gonna know), each time a different kind of defeat (1st time in practice, 2nd time in tournament...ect). That would give your essay more dept and show your passion for the sport (passion is very important O.o), that you will not give up no matter what.

Yeah, it's good! That's what I think. Thanks for editing my essay :PP.
Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #2 - Playing the Cretan lira [7]

This is something "fresh" compared to other essay. I would only suggest that you dig deeper into your passion for Cretan music (you only told us you practiced for 2 years and play, but that did not give us any impression of your passion) and into your pride playing it or practicing like crazy with it. That would make your essay great.

Criticize mine too ^^.
Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / "I'm not a quitter. I will never be" - USC essay [4]

I like it. My only suggestion is that you exchange the place of your 4th and 5th paragraph. That would make your conclusion much stronger and answer the prompt directly..

And somehow it was hard for me to understand the 3rd paragraph. Maybe u should use simpler words, or maybe my English is horrible =PP. I'm an international student, u know ^^

Thanks for reading mine :P.
Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: Thou art General! [10]

My 2nd essay is kinda long, so I can only write 300 words for this one... Please help me make it better. Please criticize it as harshly as you could O__o.

Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

----------------------------------------General.---------------------- -------------
"Check," my grandfather shouted, moving his brutal queen into position, threatening my trembling king hiding behind a pawn in the corner. "Another defeat, my young man," he teased...

I was introduced to chess when I was 8. I was fascinated; chess had a mysterious charm that drew me to it like a magnet. Maybe it was the sophisticated elegant nature of chess? Maybe it was the freedom beneath many rules of chess? I could not explain. I just know I played it like a sport, passionately.

However, I soon realized that chess was more than that. It was a world in itself, a world where each individual would express their personality, their fears and their beliefs; one might be an aggressive impertinent "Roaring German" tactician, while other might be a careful reserved "French Defense" tactic lover. It was a world where I could train and harness my own personal qualities.

In chess, I am the general. Like all generals, I have to be responsible and discipline. Once got in, I am responsible for the fate of my pieces and the game, and to emerge victorious, controlling my emotions and rely on logic alone are critical. However, determination and patience make a triumphant general, as I always want to be the victor. "Think 'Win, win, and win at any cost,' then grind your opponent down," my grandfather taught me.

In life, I also yearn for success, and I will fight for it obstinately until the end. Chess have given me everything I needed for my goal. Responsibility, discipline, determinations...are now my supporters, and I will use them wisely. I am a general, after all!

..."How to get out of this," I asked myself. Suddenly, I noticed that he created a deadly weakness in the center, so I exposed it. "Check king AND queen, grandpa!" I shouted back. He was amazed, then grinned: "Never give up in anything, do you?" "As long as I live, never," I smiled.
Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / I want to push the submit button tonight (Stanford) [19]

Haha, I have to agree with hope123:
"I just might have punched the Y chromosomes right out of him."
I just think you can concise your first one-third of your essay to make it stronger. In my opinion, its main strength is being spread a bit.

However, I really enjoy reading it, every sentence flow. Tell me, how did you learn such good writting???
Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: Family First [5]

This was very interesting to read_the first one I read about Education major. It was touching when you talked about your father... I also think you have a very good start, hooking readers into the essay naturally. You should get your full essay up here so we can have a more complete picture :).
Nov 22, 2009
Undergraduate / The Superman in Me [6]

No no, it flows perfectly. I like your essay. Your headline makes the reader curious and makes them try to read till the end. This essay was very good. :)
Nov 14, 2009
Undergraduate / "Old Pride" - 500 words personnal statement. [9]

Hey Hader, I just read your essay. I don't know why I can't reply on it, so I'll reply here, hopefully you'll read it.

You have to know that I'm not great at essay (being an high school Asian international student), I'll tell you what I think though.

I like your essay. Based on the prompt, I guess you are going for UCs. It was interesting for me to read about the view of a humanitarian.

I would think of you as a passionate person who really care about humanity. You are sensitive and determined (based on your "public speaking", your empathy with the old man, your position as head of the department...)

this is some part I feel strange:
"...but also did this while secretly for years fighting a deadly eating disorder, bulimia. (you should say a little bit about your feeling after knowing the disease here) . Her achievements have paved a path of ambition, spunk and determination for me as an individual."

And for essay #2: You should divided the last paragraph to get a good conclusion:
"...surprised me with a shock (separate here, change a bit to feel more natural) .As I walked into the mission..."
That's it :). I think your essay was distinctive. I hope you'll get into the school you wanted :D
And no, Wow did not come out that early. It was a very, very bad online game as I look back...But it was new at that time, so...^^.

Thanks for reading mine!
Nov 14, 2009
Undergraduate / "Old Pride" - 500 words personnal statement. [9]

Hi, I want to apply to University of Pacific for their dental program... I did not know anything about this program until 2 days ago. The deadline is 15 November. I better be hurry... Please help me...!!

They ask for "a personal statement that let us know more about you than the scores you send us".
Limit 500 words.
Mine: Exactly 500.
Thank you very much in advance

------------------Old Pride------------------

"Anh, 30%. I am very, very disappointed in you!", my teacher announced by math score to the class. Every eye in the classroom turned to me. I could not believe my ears. I went up asking her if it was truly my name. It was. I panicky checked the answers, maybe my teacher made a mistake? No, he graded it right. Suddenly, I realized I just received the worse math grade I have ever known of.

Ten months before, at the beginning of my 8th grade, I was introduced to online video games. It was so attractive that I started sneaking out of school, skipping classes just to "level up." I would lie to my mom that I was doing homework to find an exotic weapon for my character in the game. As a result, my grades went down. When my teachers and parents recognized the cause, it was too late; I was addicted. I went from being a good student to a hopeless case.

I was trapped in an unending spiral. Whenever I felt disheartened by the real world, I found refuge in the game. My condition worsened. Yet, the worse I got, the deeper I had to hide myself in it. I was too frightened to deal with what I had become, so whenever they talked about my grade, I snapped back:"I study math only! I don't like the rest of the subjects, because they are pointless!" Math was my favorite subject. I could get a fairly good grade without studying for it. Protected with an excuse, I plunged back into the game...

Then the fateful day came, shoving me back mercilessly to the real world. The dreadful 30%! It was an accumulation of many skipping days and missing lessons. My final excuse was crushed; I became the worse math student in the class! I cried. My friends could not console me; I believe no one could that day.

Alone in my room that night, for the first time in a long time, I took all the courage and look back. I saw my old image, my old pride vanished. I could not describe myself anymore. What had I become? A worthless "nobody." Such recognition stung my conscience ruthlessly. I never wanted to be worthless! I worth something! Suddenly, I realized I would have to stand up and fix my mistakes. I realized, I wanted to be proud of myself again.

That summer, I made my objective: To regain what I had lost at any cost. The next school year, I asked one of my old math teachers to tutor me what I had missed during 8th grade and begged my best friend to help me with writing and French. I unplugged the computer, promising myself that for the whole year I would not even plug it back. Video game was out of my world. I studied days and nights.

One year gone by. Then, one morning, three weeks after the graduation exam, a letter came. "Results," it read. I opened it, heart pumping, and then made the biggest smile I have ever made; it was my score. It was high, and came with it an acceptance letter of one of the best high schools in my country! I felt happy, I felt pride, I felt relieved. I was out. My life was back. I had proved that I am still useful, both to myself and my society. I knew I was not those who lost their life to their own obsession, I knew I was someone special, someone "more", and...I was right.

Now, I am pursuing for something better for my future: a good education. I have no fear of challenges ahead, because I know, that inside, my old pride will always guide me.