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Posts by Vakax
Joined: Apr 4, 2010
Last Post: Jun 5, 2010
Threads: 2
Posts: 50  

From: Pakistan

Displayed posts: 52 / page 1 of 2
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Jun 5, 2010
Writing Feedback / divorce: Causes and effects on children [11]

Ok, this looked like a page out of a rather nasty misogynists secret diary! The Assertion that marriages fail due to women is an extremely strong one that to back it up you need concrete evidence. Using words like teen pregnancy and pre-teen sex just makes me think that the only one who suffers from a bad case of juvenility here is...you!

I get what you were trying to say with your point of WOMEN here BUT how you wrote it completely missed the mark. Women have been so majorly oppressed over the years that now, when they have attained that EQUAL RIGHTS status, if a marriage fails, everyone readily blames a woman and her aspirations. Thats NO way to covert an audience! Theres this movie you should watch. Its in Urdu but you can watch it with subtitles: "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna"

"Till death do us part" was such a strong start that I was almost ready to be blown away the time I started reading it but it proved to be a complete dud by the end. This issue requires a more HUMANE angle. Monetary problems NEVER push one towards divorce! Thats baseless!(ok, maybe that holds true for someone who truely believes in "Money - root of all happiness") Quote your source and maybe then i'll buy it!!!

Immaturity is too strong a word. However, i do agree that this is a strong point to discuss. People have impractical expectations. Another factor that you can mention here can be willingness to adjust to changes.

Im short on time but i hope you get a gist of how you should proceed.You know, people often say marriages are martial! Why do you think they'd say such a thing? The answer is simple. To add happily ever after to ones martimony requires constant effort on the part of both parties. A man and woman represent the mind and body. Coordination is necessary for effective processing!!! Try to link that thought in your introduction or conclusion.Its open-ended. you can use to discuss whatever you want about divorces!

Best of luck.
Jun 5, 2010
Undergraduate / What can you contribute to SPP? "Helping others" [6]

Umm, how can shoes be made FROM Malayasia? First point.

Global community is putting YOUR spin on the word...However, using global VILLAGE is highlighting that core fact you want to raise in your essay. "Global Village" is a universally accepted fact! Second point.

Dont write In my opinion. We already know its your opinion! Third Point.

...open-mindedness is essential to make "_________" (you need an adjective here.What type of contribution? )contribution in the global community. Fourth point.

The traveling experience developed(??) me to be an open-minded person . (The structure is all over the place. Plus too much use of open-mindedness.Almost makes me think that its the only positive thing in your personality that you are aware of. Rephrase this sentence saying something like, umm, ...traveling experiences developed in me a sense to absorb attributes from various cultures that i became a part of...or something that explains what you mean by OPEN-MINDEDNESS.) Fifth point.

Saying "contribute to the global community" in the end is quixotic!Use words like "try", "help in contributing', " hoping on playing a part in the contribution". Sixth point.

The whole essay, to me, still fails the mark by an angle of 180 and a distance of 100 miles. The point you are trying to raise is good;the approach isnt!?Use of a popular brand is a clever approach...but its still lacking the punch.

Keep working.You are getting there. Best of luck.
Jun 1, 2010

Umm, that was like making a banana milkshake without placing a lid on the blender...It flew just about EVERYWHERE!

The introduction was fine but considering the topic at hand, it comes off as being too trite and pedestrian. The second and fourth paragraphs are basically the same thing and can be incorporated in a rather strong single paragraph. The reasons provided by you are weak and don't bolster your stand to perfection.

Heres what can be done. Start off with something sharp. like "In a world where drama and gossip reign supreme, mass media provides us with the requisite information without a moments delay." or something which supports your notion of "GOSSIP/SCANDALS/PRYING GOOD!"

What i would do is take a trait like for example: humanitarianism, and then mention celebrities like Winfrey, Jolie,etc etc etc. Work with different traits in the same way. Whats good in such essays is to provided concrete examples to support your ideas.

Another thing that you can discuss is how you can construe the information that is being given to you. Like. seeing the effects of DUI or drug overdose or addiction may stir in a viewer/reader, the conscience to make a positive change in his life, etc etc

I hope you get what i am trying to say.

Best of luck.
Jun 1, 2010
Undergraduate / What can you contribute to SPP? "Helping others" [6]

This essay felt toooo COMMERCIAL in its construction. You picked Amazing Race and then instead of drawing parallels between the show and your life, you jumped on the next popular wagon - Adidas!

Your paragraphs aren't coherent at all. You jump from passion to independence and then in the conclusion you write..creativity, enthusiastic, honest, confident, and humorous. I'm sorry but your essay fails to highlight any of these characteristics.Also, your optimism paragraph doesn't meld in with the overall construction.

Heres what you should do. I think the amazing race is a very good concept to build your essay on. Pick four characteristics from the show, for example:Hardship, Group-work, Leadership and challenges and then give each paragraph depth by comparing and contrasting between yourself and the show.

One thing more: Try to connect your paragraphs to a conclusion where it clearly hits the reader how you are right for a degree in PUBLIC POLICY (or whatever it is that you want to pursue at SPP!)

Best of Luck.
May 27, 2010
Research Papers / Solar Power Generator - the price is important [6]

Hi Dex. What you are looking into is indeed one of the most active subject of research these days. I am currently working on two projects that deal with intermittent energy sources and their practical utilization in daily life. One is the harnessing of active power through human motion (muscle power) and the other is solar powered UPS!

I'd be glad to provide help and/or collaborate with you on your research.

Best of Luck.
May 25, 2010
Writing Feedback / "I had a blood disorder" - help with Descriptive Personal Essay [15]

Sorry, I didn't read your TMI question.

Ok, so theres definite room for brutal chopping in the fourth paragraph..."A week later, I was sitting in the waiting room with the...."

Heres what you should do. Sit down.Relax. Breathe. Now thinking that you are the reader, read the first four paragraphs describing the whole incident. What parts of it can you live without knowing? You should chop down the incident, removing parts like "the doctor dropped her pen and such..." and substituting long sentences with words like shocked and perplexed etc...Replace overly-dramatic phrases with simpler ones, as at times "SIMPLE" evokes the best of emotions from the reader.
May 25, 2010
Writing Feedback / "I had a blood disorder" - help with Descriptive Personal Essay [15]

I decided that I wanted to be a Nurse, and help other women going thru with I went thru. I would like to work in Hematology, or a high risk obstetrician's office. Perfect! However, maybe you can mention in your previous paragraphs how looking at complete strangers (nurses) tending to you in your time of need shaped this decision out of you. Those intelligently chosen lines throughout the essay can beautifully lead to this conclusion.

One more thing on "Show don't tell": In writing essays that are read by many people - all with a different outlook towards life - its often best to paint an image thats universally accepted! The reason Kev mentioned King and Koontz is exactly this (Even Rowling and Tolkein for that matter - however I do think the latter tends to overdo it!)

Best of Luck.
May 24, 2010
Undergraduate / "The Perfect Girl is no dream, no illusion" - Common Application [8]

The most common trap that everyone falls for is the use of "...that brings out your individuality" in an essay prompt. Ive read people rambling on and on about how trying to make a 10 foot castle out of Jello points to their strong personality while writing an engineering essay.

Also, The aim of such essays is NOT linguistic mastery (OK, it is but not more than lets say 25%) but rather opening a window in your soul for your readers.

Why don't you keep the first paragraph and by drawing parallels between you and that ideal girl reach to a conclusion that says "The ideal girl does indeed exist in me." I know saying IDEAL is self indulgent, so you can soften the corners of an otherwise hard-edged word "ideal" by saying that not ideal but the quest for that ultimate paragon of perfection is what differentiates me from others. That "QUEST" can be your "INDIVIDUALITY";Your traits that separate you from other people.

Here another idea: Play with the concept of the Philosophers Stone to prove your point.

Best of luck
May 23, 2010
Writing Feedback / "I had a blood disorder" - help with Descriptive Personal Essay [15]

One question? What did you take away from this experience? (except for mentioning it in one line at the very end of your essay?)

Even though it was well-written, I thought it was suffering from what I call the T.M.I syndrome! (Too Much Information!)

What the reader does with your essay is actively processes it. Active is when you read the start and end of every paragraph because you know the information is not giving you anything to process.

How has this experience changed you?! What were you before this that you arent now!? What changes have you felt in your personal/social life? How has this episode mirrored in your way of thinking. Are you more of an optimist now than you were before?

Its vague on this..."Your essay should include reflection, or thoughtful consideration of what has happened to you. The reader should have a sense of what you took away from the experience."

You have to make it a little crisp with a clearer sense of how every visit to the doctor, every injection every injected etc changed your life...

Little did I know that having this blood disorder changed my life for the better. You repeat this line twice throughout your essay and yet I dont see how just exercise

and eating veggies is a phenomenonal change? Is that ALL you took from this near-death experience???Surely not! Brain storm...Go to a dark place in your mind and re-live that time...

Best of Luck and thumbs up for your FIGHTER attitude towards life!!!
May 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "I always loved art" - SUNY Application Essay, experience and educational goals [6]

Umm, I like the start but i would like it even more if you end it with 'indeed, I can say sincerely now that I am an artist.' That would highlight that ARTIST in you in more than just one way. ARTIST as a painter, ARTIST as an Entrepreneur, ARTIST in you mode of business acumen (because artist refers to someone whos creative -not just someone who paints!)... The line would mark the perfect culmination to all of your hardwork.(of course thats only my opinion!)

Also, A short beginning line is more crisp and has more effect on the reader. 'I have always loved(maybe something a little more passionate instead of loved?)art'.I studied oil painting about two ....

Include the other part of this line in a conclusion paragraph.

Best of Luck and congratulations on your accomplishments!
May 22, 2010
Writing Feedback / Art Self-Evaluation piece: the process of creating your art portfolio [3]

Ok, so that made me think of an abstract piece worked on with vivid non-complementing colors.It was....(mind if I borrow a word of yours from the essay for maximum impact?)chaotic!

I mean, I loved parts of it...I really did... How you dealt with the whole Chaotic part was absolutely brilliant. But you leading up to that climax was a bumpy ride. You need a strong start!!!!

The way you introduce Photography in your essay is poorly handled! You only give it one line in all of your essay which is a big NO-NO when you are self-assessing yourself! Give it more meat! I like the way you say "I need to get you to see what I'm seeing," but I dont see how art melds into photography all of a sudden. It hits the reader out of the blue and NOT in a good way.

Your essay clearly misses the last point completely...Use of material and techniques !It is vague on your exploration of a theme . It is basically this in one line " Um, I studied art courses in college and umm as I dont like to finish my pieces, I took to photograpy. ITS CONVENIENT!I just have to use adobe photoshop!"

In addition to other grammatic issues the most important is your use of 'OMG' and 'AN' and 'I'd' etc. Nothing pisses off the reader more than informal use of language while reading a formal piece. Write 'I would' and 'Oh my God' and so on...

Your highlight WAS that one line..."What I love about art is the chaotic part: the oil paint, the watercolor, the clay and the wood, the glue, the stains, the spills and the mistakes." Your reader will only remember you for this ONE line.

Best of luck.
May 22, 2010
Grammar, Usage / Basics of research paper writing [8]

What i understand from this is that you are interested in both 'Production and operations mgm' and 'Management Principles'.You should work with the topic which has the most potential to provide you with innovative results. I say this because a research builds on past work of others and introduces newer perspectives of thinking.

Also, I would like to add here is that the length of your paper should be specified by your professor as research papers have definite page limits for different issues - Fic, non-fic, mathematical, science, etc.

Best of Luck
May 22, 2010
Research Papers / Why Freemason's added to the Design of the Dollar Bill [7]

you should take a sip from Dan Brown's goblet of myth busters! More specifically ...The lost symbol.

What I can help you with is the "Eye of Providence" that shows up on the one dollar bill. Masons hold the faith that every action is observed by the "Master Architect" (Thats God to them - They dont refer to him as Allah or yahwa or God because it is believed that free masons as a group have people from different faiths.) Anyways, the eye reflects the eye of God. The use of this symbol can be traced to different cultures as well - eye of Horus, Christian Trinity,Buddhism, etc

If you read Dan Brown or/and search about free masons, youll see that they believe in a pyramid which holds the hidden secret to unparalleled knowledge and illumination. The capstone of the pyramid holds significance in this respect.

Again, if you have time, give The Lost Symbol a go.(it is rather boring in places, but will help you heaps.)
May 2, 2010
Undergraduate / "I learned to face the challenge" - Transfer common app. essay [8]

Through accomplishments and failures; I learned to dare life (keep it crisp!Makes more of an impact.Also, Pairing two opposites conveys a stronger emotion)

Even though its well-written,its lacking that "kick" that one would expect while eating a pickle.Building on what Kevin said, you should connect each paragraph to a single well-written intro.

Work on it a little more.This is a very honest essay.You should be proud of yourself for this and for your accomplishments.

Best of luck.
May 2, 2010
Graduate / SOP for MA in Art Ed. Explain your purpose for graduate study [7]

It was like a wet-on-wet painting.You worked your way across the essay one paint stroke at a time. Its a good thing.

I do agree with Kevin that the time you introduce us to a teacher of yours - Peter Smith, the effect is brilliant.But as I encounter "Peter Smith and Onlyie Onlyie"again, the "brilliance"of the first time is significantly reduced.In your own words "Less is more".

In that class I discovered I wanted to be an artist.This is too Pedestrian.I dont see any passion

Best of luck with your future.
May 2, 2010
Book Reports / 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' summative Essay on Freedom [4]

Great work Daniel!

As Daniel deconstructed all the Technical aspects of the novel, i'll try to show you the covalent bonds that exist between fact and fiction here.

Fiction: Meriam is the illegitimate daugther of Jalil so she has to live with her mother in a kobla... Fact: Religious intolerance begets cultural precincts. Discuss this with reference to Islam and how the religion works.

Fiction: Meriam's mom hangs herself fearing that Meriam has run away deserting her mother... Fact: Past experiences pave the way for our future actions. Discuss this with reference to psychological changes.Freud has a lot to offer here.

Fiction: Meriam is then married to this old guy (I think he was a cobbler?!), her miscarriages, her husband's abusive behavior...
Fact: Things in the third-world work at a complete 180. Write about Afghanistans cultural pattern, how women are treated,gender inequality, underage marriages and their effect on women,health hazards in young pregnancies.

Fiction:The friendship between laila and tariq, sexual tension, seperation and the farewell romance... Fact01: Men and women cant be friends on religious grounds due to fear of illicit/immoral relationships...You can back it up with some religious backthought.

Fact02: The thought of never seeing someone rouses dormant emotions. Human Psychology playing its part.

Fiction:Rasheeds second marriage, His suspicion, His abusive nature, Meriam and Laila's friendship... Fact01: An important thing about Aghans/Pathans is that according to them men are the masters and women are the slaves. Do background research on this. How this tendency fits in with the general mood of the overall novel - from Jalil to Rasheed. Discuss how Hosseini draws a comparision by introducing the character of Tariq!Why he comes back?Why is HE different from these two other men? One - a fearful man bitten both by religion/culture and conscience. The other - trying to prove his right by his might.

Fact02:How complete strangers unite on a common stand under trying circumstances? For a mutual goal...How one is willing to give up ones life if theres a glimmer of hope for the other persons survival.

Fiction:Taliban regime, Pakistan migration, The package from Meriams father
Fact01: Discuss how the whole taliban era changed Afghanistan. Hint:Talibans are fundamentalists with a twisted view of religion.
Fact02: Pakistan sharing its border with Afghanistan is the natural culmination of their journey.This too because Peshawar(city in Pakistan) has Pathans who are related to Afghans (sharing the same language-Pushto-dialects may vary ofcourse and cultural background)

Fact03:Jalils package confirms that he is infact a loser(in simpler terms) who doesnt have the guts to stand up for his family.A VERY IMPORTANT POINT TO DISCUSS!

Ok, so if I write more, I might as well write the whole thing. I hope you draw inspiration from this.

Do tell me how it shapes up.

Best of Luck.
May 2, 2010
Essays / Choosing thesis and topics for my essay (5 related topics) [6]

Five topics that are interconnected...Interesting concept (provided i interpreted you right!)

An interesting approach would be combining all of the above suggestions and making up a comparative life study of sorts. Where you lived? Why you moved? Draw parallels between the two countries/cities. Language barriers? Cultural differences? Religious freedom?

Even though this may sound too pedestrian, what you can do to "paint it red" is give YOUR perspective of how things run around you. Discuss the positives and negatives.

Hope this helps.

Best of Luck.
Apr 20, 2010

The start is rather weak. The feeling of losing a dear one is painful.To lose your best friend is even more hurting. Or something that grabs your attention. Try to keep it crisp so that it hits the reader with the greatest impact.

"There was a plane crash.Everyone died, and it's likely the plane Antonia boarded."

I am sorry for your loss.

Best of luck with your application.
Apr 20, 2010
Undergraduate / Career goals: see the side of things you never expected to see [4]

This was like the film adaptation of "The DaVinci Code" - Completely pointless.

You are about to embark upon perhaps the MOST creative of fields there is and this is should show your PASSION to pursue that masterful field of imagination and aesthetics and science and what not.

I want to show people the side of things they never expected would be there, through film. What SIDE of WHAT things?!

I plan on creating something that people will enjoy Like? More importantly WHAT DO YOU ENJOY? To see, to create, to visualize!?

Rework. This is too pedestrian! Show passion!
Apr 20, 2010
Writing Feedback / People prefer to work with machines, not by hand - they are lazier [4]

I completely agree with kevin here. The essay was like a good hair day gone terribly BAD!!! However, the points you raised were really good... "earth hour","couch potato" and "automatons" RELEVANT- all of these!!!

'To sum up' sounds odd here (sounds more like something that'd make more impact if u heard it instead of reading it)...'In conclusion' perhaps?Also, the conclusion is rather rushed!

Best of luck.
Apr 15, 2010
Undergraduate / "be more responsible and understanding" - UW Personal Statement [5]

Even though I think that this is a fairly good attempt at writing about your life experiences, I am not sure it successfully manages to address any of the two topics.

* Discuss how your family's experience or cultural history enriched you or presented you with opportunities or challenges in pursuing your educational goals.
You should discuss hurdles/accomplishments in your education through your life experiences here.If you come from a different background tell the reader how you managed to make a place for yourself in school (which reading your essay I am sure you can).Like, maybe you were a star-student even though you didn't have fancy stuff at your disposal...etc

* Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it

If you are going to write an essay on this topic pick a specific event from your life that shaped your personality.The essay that you wrote can be spiked a lil bit to fit in perfectly with this topic.

Best of luck.
Apr 9, 2010
Undergraduate / Tell us something about yourself - your present and future goals [6]

Being a teacher myself, the start came off to me as the unwritten/unspoken oath every teacher in the world takes as he/she boards the ship. It was, to me, full of platitudes. You should probably write a line of two about how you intend on bringing about that "change"?What can you bring to the table that others havent even thought of?

Other than this I thought the ideas were all over the place. You should start off with "what you are doing right now" then go into "what you want to do" and "why do you want to do it".Be crisp.

Best of luck.
Apr 9, 2010
Writing Feedback / Structuring essays for TOEFL and IELTS -01- Introduction paragraph [6]

I like to follow the first format because its easier to read and it looks neat. Toefl people dont resent you for wasting their space.

But at the end of the day it all depends on your writing style. How you like to format it?!

Ideas in the essay are important, formatting is secondary.

will be back with the next part on how to structure the body paragraph.

Best of luck...
Apr 7, 2010
Scholarship / "I'm afraid to fail", essay about myself [12]

buddy buddy buddy, I only gave headings to your individual essays so that you knew what you were to discuss in it. Headings are not required in this sort of essay. and the corrections for the education part that i suggested you should merge in with your second paragraph "about your school life"

No worries, relax.

You are getting there.
Apr 7, 2010
Scholarship / "I'm afraid to fail", essay about myself [12]

You ever went on those roadtrips where the road is so bumpy that you didnt get a chance to appreciate nature the whole way? This is what it felt like.. You have A LOT to offer, trust me, You just need time...But the good news is that we are getting there so cheer up.


The problem here is that the essay starts too abruptly... you could start off with idk maybe " I have heard people saying that the strongest support system in the whole world is family. For me this actually holds true. My family has sacrificed a lot for eighteen years to bring me to a place where I now stand. Throughout these years, my family especially my parents have always stood by me as I tried to find a forte in life. I have three sisters and a younger brother who made growing up interesting and full of fun. I live in Negeri Sembilan. (what type of place is Negeri Sembilan?How did growing up there effect you?) I belong to a stable family which has helped me in pursuing my passions for committed research in education learning (the line gets too intellectual here as the reader doesnt even know your research interests) .

Even though, many people are of the opinion that failure is their best friend but for me, failure is my bane. I am not ashamed to admit that I am afraid of failure. This trepidation of failure to me is an attribute that is necessary for success. A person who is in tune with his emotions has control over his life and accomplishment. (This just leaps at us out of the blue, Proper insertion required!)


As an eighteen (age?) year old boy, I find that life for me has been a process of continuous evolution. The values and morals imbibed in me by my parents and mentors alike have contributed to my development - physical and intellectual. This is evident by my curricular and co-curricular records which have always been excellent. Even though we moved alot and I had to change various schools - which would be hard on any student - I managed to score(im guessing you changed a lot of schools from what i read) 5A's in ______, 7 A's in ____, 11 A's in ____. In addition to this,I have always been active in co-curricular activities. An example of this is the recent National service at Kem PLKN Warisan Masjid Tanah that I took part in. I also took part in a National Chemistry Quiz for which I got Merit. Also, I presented my school in Boarding School Hockey Tournament. Furthermore, I was vice president for the Basketball Club at my school.

I thought you should have added the part with the imagination.Anyways, its your decision.


I am a very determined person. I pave my own path and flow of my future education. (Ummm,not sure about this) I plan to pursue my studies as an undergraduate medical student in Ireland. I must attend one year foundation at selected local institute. I have been doing some research on universities and I found my own target university. Royal College of Surgeon is offers one of the best undergraduate medical courses in the world which and is also one of renowned university sponsored by MARA(Acronym) . After five years of studying medical ine, I willwould like to go back to Malaysia and contribute to the progress of my beloved country.( How? Is there a specific thing that you are aiming for?)


I really want to be a doctor. Even though some people think it an unimaginative job, for my family it isn't so. My father and my elder sister are aircraft technicians and another of my sister is an aircraft engineer. So, coming from a family which thrives on imagination, challenges and innovations I decided I want to be aplan on specialisting in cardiology.(Your specialization should be in the second last paragraph-aspirations)Cardiology is classified as an internal medicine sub specialty. A cardiologist is a physician who is certified to treat problems of the cardiovascular system.Thus, I am confident that my aspirations of pursuing medicine is the perfect culmination of my childhood experiences.(What childhood experiences??) Plus, to contribute to my country, Malaysia as well as to whole world.(Actually the last two lines are redundant!)

Ok so now what you need to work on:


In the part about your education, give us an example of how you developed this affinity for medicine. Did you help an injured friend? Did you volunteer for a hospital? Did you like biology in school? what parts of it? The intricacy of the human respiratory system? the way eye captures an inverted image which is corrected by a complicated matrix of rods and cones? give us something so we know YOU know something about what you are talking about.


Merge this line somehow in your conclusion to get a strong ending...So, coming from a family which thrives on imagination, challenges and innovations...
Apr 7, 2010
Writing Feedback / A mystic path [8]

Asmita is this veil, quite reprehensible. Though our mind did take birth in it, it shields us from the limitlessness of time and space, and the reality beyond, which would petrify our mind otherwise. And that alone, may be its purpose.

An intriguing essay. Well written. I like the quality of MAYA in it even though I dont quite agree with the end.

For me, people are only limited by their ambitions(may be thats Asmita).If not for ambitions(or maybe thats the ritual) DNA, Positrons, Nucleus, Life within life would still have been hidden from us. Like a child pushing to come from darkness into light, this veil pushes us to discover by ripping it apart. So, maybe its not sheilding us, its only there to give us a nudge in the right direction - towards our accomplisments.

Good work though.Two thumbs up.
Apr 7, 2010
Essays / "Support, refute or qualify with the author" [6]

Hey, sorry about that. I got caught up in stuff and just couldnt find time. Anyhoo, lets see what we can do...

Ok, Have you ever gone to a pastry shop wanting to eat a piece of those delicious cakes (chocolate for me) and when it comes, you try to eat a big piece of it and well you are stuck between choking and puking?

What happened here is that you probably wrote the deepest/hardest sentence in the whole passage at the very start of your essay.You need to build it to a climax where you throw this line at us ( where the reader goes...oh wow, never really thought about it)and then gradually go down to a conclusion. Imagine a Guassian curve if you will.

From what I understand the essay's supposed to be subjective and not a mere listing of what the author said...

If I were to write this I'd probably start it like this:

"Why do we keep on watching?" asks Barbara Ehrenreich at the end of "The worst years of our lives". Why indeed - Well, Simply because it gives us a glimpse into lives that we wish we could live.

The sentence that I wrote is double-ended. It can be positive or negative...Some people just pass their time imagining how if they could do what they saw would change their lives...

Then there are people who watch what they see and actually turn their lives around: Quote some reality shows: The biggest loser, American Idol, etc...

There are movies that inspire us to try to take that extra "something" from life: Good Will Hunting, Enough (i actually know someone who took a lot from this movie and changed her life), Provoked, etc

There are cartoons that help kids learn the bitter realities of life through a sugar-coated lens: Lion king, Mulan, The little mermaid,etc Each of these cartoons taught us something about life: Life and death (Lion king), Aspirations (mermaid), Independence (mulan), etc

So even though theres truth in the whole "Couch potato" "root vegetable" concept...it depends on us really. How we like to take in what we see and how willing WE are to change OUR lives. After all.. I am the master of my fate, I am captain of my soul!

Hope this helps you somehow.

Best of luck.
Apr 7, 2010
Writing Feedback / Structuring essays for TOEFL and IELTS -01- Introduction paragraph [6]

Hey people

As I read and try to provide positive criticism to essays here, I see that most of the essays that have the potential of being great are reduced to being just ok due flaws in the overall structuring of the ideas.So, I thought I'd provide you guys with a few general guidelines building on what other moderators and contributors have said.


Everyone on TOEFL and IELTS checking panel knows that what you write on the test is only the first draft and so its definitely faaar from being perfect. However they want to know that the person taking the test has a clear head and he/she knows HOW to write.

Remember the two D's: Direction and Dimension

Direction: You must have a clear sense of direction of how to progress. Think of the topic as a dartboard with the dart being your pen and you have to hit bulls eye.Inshort, appropriately answer the topic.

Dimension: Your essay must have depth in addition to having breadth. An essay that lacks depth creates a negative impression on your reader.On the otherhand your essay must have appropriate length.Inshort, Justify your essay with proper, hard-hitting examples.Organization IS important.

Ok, so HOW exactly is an essay structured for these tests?

Does it happen to ...

REMOVED: see [tweetchennai.com/?s=TOEFL-preparation]

So, heres what you should do...
- Know beforehand what you are going to write about - Form a template.
- Take some time to organize your thoughts/Brainstorming - Write down main points to support the essay.
- Structure your essay

Structuring your essay

Keep in mind the following as you write your essay:

Pick a side and stick to it no matter what!!!

- Clearly state your stand: I am of the opinion.../I firmly believe.../I hold the opinion.../I do not believe.../I dont feel that...
- State the reason for your stand: This is due to the fact.../I believe this because.../as.../since.../The reason i think this is...


Topic: Primary education is not as important as higher education.

Introduction Paragraph: I do not believe that higher education is more important than primary education. Primary education develops a childs intellect to the point where he becomes aware of his surroundings which helps him in his higher education.Primary education is the foundation on which a great building can be erected.

Ok, so I have to run to work. Will be back to continue if this is helping someone.

Take care.
Apr 6, 2010
Essays / "Support, refute or qualify with the author" [6]

This is the right url

Ill take a look at it in a while. Im leaving my desk for a while.

Take care.
Apr 6, 2010
Writing Feedback / "The absence of choice is a circumstance that is very, very rare." GRE issue [3]

Ok, so i was confused which side you were on as i was reading your essay.

You start of with an "against" opening which is good. It shows that you are against the notion which is indeed a side well chosen.

Then in the next two paragraphs you give equal space and time to both sides of the topic.

Heres an idea...Why dont you go at it a little more agressively? Example: The choice to use internet by a student to get help on his homework is indeed smart.Its time saving, it helps give the student more scope about a particular subject. But at the same time his dependency on computers is increasing to a point where he looses interest in books and practical knowledge.Add in a couple of other negative aspects of internet like explicit materials, weaker eyesight, no social life due to networking sites,etc and voila you got a solid paragraph on one way how choice can turn sour on us.

And yes, discussing too much of death does indeed make this whole essay morbid to the point that by the time i finished reading this essay, i had serious issues about doing anything but to wait for deaths knock at my door. Discuss it in one paragraph and move on...There are a gazillion million points you can touch here...The choice to squander my youth on drugs, The choice to be shopaholic, the choice to not study...

Hope this helps.

Best of luck.
Apr 6, 2010
Undergraduate / Essay/Letter on - " We are the Universe - Evolve or Perish " [6]

Yeah writing to friend about evolving or perishing is kinda morbid..The job scenario suggested by Kevin is fine, i think.

But if this was not a letter and just an essay it would have been more interesting.

"Evolve or perish" interesting play of words here. It IS basically "Survival of the fittest" in todays world. If you cant evolve to meet with the fast paced society, you die (figuratively)!

An example: Imagine someone who doesnt know how to operate a computer, mobile phone, an Atm? LIFE is getting easy but accessing that "EASY" requires people to continuously evolve AND adapt.

I actually think this topic is relevant to recent times.

Hoping that you finished your assignment on time.
Apr 6, 2010
Writing Feedback / TOEFL:plan activities for the free time [4]

I gave a comment on another post which im going to paste here...Hope it helps.

... ...
I took toefl with 30 on my writing. The key to a good ...


Hope this helps...

Best of luck.

Waqas Idrees.

... ....

One thing i should point out specific to your essay is that you CANT pick sides in the second last paragraph on these essays...Start with your status, build on it in the next paragraphs and then with finality say that THIS IS WHY i am saying what i am saying.

The link for that post is https://essayforum.com/essay-writing-feedback-3/ielts-essay-topic-d ependence-computers-16417/

Best of luck
Apr 6, 2010
Writing Feedback / Many people think being single equals freedom; Disadvantages of Being Single [6]

If I were to start this essay, i'd want to play around "single and ready to mingle" its now easy to work around this almost cliched saying. Also, it gives the essay a certain punch that maybe some others might lack.

You can say that this sentence clearly drips of desperation going on in the mind of a single guy who is always looking for company and people to hang around with..I hope you get the idea im trying to convey...

Best of luck.
Apr 6, 2010
Undergraduate / the game art and design degree - Need a little help with an Entry essay [5]

I think the start was more powerful with the use of the word A in...When I started playing games I found the new world appearing in front of my eyes. A new world - virtual reality- I just think its more dramatic and aesthetic if you put it that way. Or maybe u could repharse it like

When I started playing games, a whole new world materialized before my eyes. A virtual reality where new moves and additional features added to the games aesthetics thereby making the whole experience more fun.

Good work and best of luck.
Apr 6, 2010
Essays / Do I need to use quotes or anything in a college essay? [9]

I like to use quotes that provides a strong summary to the overall essay that i m going to discuss. Makes a nice impression on the reader IF it makes sense with the overall body of the essay.
Apr 6, 2010
Research Papers / How do I make a general outline for a 12-15 pages paper. [4]

Have you decided on a novel yet? or a theme? Whats your favorite story? you can use anything

01- Harrypotter,Lord of the rings - trust/friendship/hardships/good vs evil

you could use the famous "The woods are lovely dark and deep; and i have promises to keep; and miles to go before i sleep; and mile to go before i sleep" for this...It would blend in perfectly.

02- Twilight series - love, differences

You could highlight how its taboo for many races and cultures to marry outside their sect or whatever and how its forbidden.cool way to defend that using this book.

03- Shining - Complexes taking over ones self

04- IT - Fear and what it can do to you

Moving on to serious topics u can discuss

05- The good earth - living conditions, hardships
06- Million little pieces - a single mans struggle to cure himself
07- 100 years of solitude - A lot to discuss...Too broad a specturm...Excellent for longer essays

or perhaps something religious

08- History of God - a comparative study of religions
09- Quest for God

lastly it could be philosophy

10- Sophies world - Excellent for discussions
11- Through a glass, Darkly - Life and death
12 - Solitire mystery - Pertaining to life

The ones highlighted are excellent for discussion. If you are somewhere in your highschool, you should go with fiction but then its your choice.
Apr 6, 2010
Writing Feedback / 'teacher is a challenging career' - What makes a good teacher? [10]

You missed one point which i think is a crucial one. He/she should be friendly and innovative making learning fun and interactive. I like to give tuitions and from my experience and the feedback that i get, I am of the opinion that to explain a recondite theory in simple terms using daily life examples dumbs the concept down just enough that the student grasps the basics of it and then can build on it in scientific terms.

Good work.

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