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Posts by silverystars
Joined: Aug 24, 2007
Last Post: May 30, 2011
Threads: 14
Posts: 105  

From: United States of America

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silverystars   
May 30, 2011
Essays / How to compare and contrast myself and another member of my family? [9]

Hello Yeong,

In essence, the purpose of comparing and contrasting anything in life is to 1. help you classify and distinguish between two given items, individuals, or ideas (or groups of items, individuals, or ideas) and 2. clarify and define your thoughts and therefore allow you to grasp and/or form new concepts.

I hope this helps!
silverystars   
May 25, 2011
Grammar, Usage / Referencing: Listing chapter titles in continuous prose [6]

Hello Krogan! (Awesome name, by the way.)

Here is the (really) short answer: American prose is an inherently diverse, experimental form of writing that is strongly influenced by American culture, history, and language.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
May 23, 2011
Book Reports / Descriptive Essay about a red -winged black bird? HELP? [12]

Hello Christina,

You're welcome. Honestly, this is some great writing. I would rephrase the end paragraph to something like the following, which you may retool and do with as you please:

When visiting the Pond Apple Slough some warm and breezy morning, and a high-pitched trill sound cries out, be sure to look around you. Gaze up into the sky or low upon the ground. Look for a black, glossy bird with onyx gemstone eyes, dagger-shaped beak, cherry red and lemon-colored shoulders, jagged-shaped wings, fan-shaped tail, and claw-like feet. You may then for yourself see the beautiful and magnificent red-winged black bird.

As you edit your essay, be sure to look for when the appropriate punctuation is needed. For example, hyphens help to delineate certain descriptions that might otherwise require a double take. (Or is it double-take? Ha ha!)

Also, beginning a sentence with "So," which is perfectly fine if you choose to do so, is more often than not superfluous. The same is true for "Just," "And," "But," and so on and so on.

But that's just me. And I'm not your boss. So write what feels right!

Keep up the good work...
silverystars   
May 22, 2011
Book Reports / Descriptive Essay about a red -winged black bird? HELP? [12]

Hello Christina,

Good job. This is some great descriptive writing. I was drawn in immediately to the scene you set. A few suggestions:

1. It was a warm, breezy morning. (Or, It was a warm and breezy morning.)

I prefer the insertion of "and" myself.

2. The red-winged black bird has a glossy, jet-black appearance . . . His eyes possess the quality of onyx gemstones.

This is how I would write those particular descriptions. This is purely editorial on my part, and not a reflection on your writing skills.

3. His shoulders begin to puff out as he sings his musical, harsh (?) pitch call.

Don't change to a different term if "harsh" is the word you are going for. However, "high pitch" seems more fitting in this description.

4. His wings moved elegantly as he flew away into the beautiful, light- blue sky.

I noticed a shifting view at this point. Is it supposed to be something that has passed, or is it presently happening?

Overall, though, fantastic work. Keep going!
silverystars   
May 22, 2011
Essays / Replacement of USD as reserve currency in many countries (argumentative essay topic) [5]

Yes, it is a very good (though a potentially polarizing and controversial) topic for argument.

Start by asking yourself the question: "What is money?" Well, at one time in America, currency was backed by gold, also known as the gold standard. In other words, $100 in paper money equaled $100 in gold, and could be traded as such.

But at right about the time of the Great Depression in the 1930s, that all changed. The U.S. dollar simply became a symbol of value, so to speak, yet it could not be traded at the bank for its value in gold.

For the sake of argument, here are some of the results of the U.S. dollar not being backed by the gold standard. This is not my own view of things, but rather based on, as Sgt. Joe Friday would say, "Just the facts, ma'am."

1. Increased inflation, which is the combination of rising prices and lower purchasing power of a given currency. This can reduce the value of the U.S. dollar to, well, nothing.

2. The Federal Reserve can and does create money independent of the gold standard. They've created more money in the last year and a half than they have in the entire history of the Federal Reserve.

3. The Federal Reserve isn't part of the government, and therefore isn't officially controlled by government, not even by the President.

I hope this helps!
silverystars   
May 19, 2011
Undergraduate / A Chinese proverb / Favorite place - admission essay to boarding school [9]

Hello Blue,

Thanks for the clarification, though I understood what the assignment was. My, how rigid standards tends to stifle the creative mind! Not to be rude, not in the least, but it is possible for you to combine the two assignments, while still adhering overall to either. Just my two cents.

Suggestions:

1. To begin, the important thing to keep before you is your assignment. Imagery as a means of building interest is good, but your introduction should also touch upon what makes it your favorite place.

2. An anecdote is a good idea. Hopefully it is a personal one, so that you can speak from your own experience. As I've said (or rather, quoted) many a time before, "That which is most personal is most universal".

3. Speaking of the versatility of the piano, etc., should be reserved perhaps for the first paragraph, to establish the what: the technical stuff, the rote, the prerequisite information for those not as familiar as you are with piano music and so forth. Thus the subsequent paragraphs will be well primed and set up for the why and how, which is far more interesting to read about (in terms of it being a favorite place of yours, that is.)

4. Your conclusion doesn't necessarily have to echo your introduction. Perhaps it can drive home a point within the body of your essay. The hard and fast rule of writing is: there is no hard and fast rule for writing. Of course, keeping a good structure is important, but having that, you can be free to write and convey virtually whatever you can dream up.

Good luck, Blue!
silverystars   
May 19, 2011
Writing Feedback / TOEFL:It is only worth watching movies that can teach us something about real life [4]

Hello Shijie,

When I saw your post, I was instantly reminded of this thread:

TOEFL - movies: serious or amusing?

But that is neither here nor there. I digress...

People nowadays have various preferences about movies. Some people are addicted to comedies and science-fiction movies, while others are attracted to serious movies that can teach them something about real life. From my perspective, al Though the serious movies do bring some benefits, (such as?) it does not mean that they are the only kind of movies that are worth watching . . .

Think of the previous as peer-editing and suggestions, and not as the final word in what you should do.

Good luck!
silverystars   
May 19, 2011
Writing Feedback / Final Honors English Paper- Why do I deserve to pass this class? [6]

Hello Rick,

First off, the idea of constructing your final paper as a narrative, and one that is highly self-aware in terms of the topic ("Why I Deserve to Pass This Class") is a very good one. Like your teacher, I implore you to do so without patronizing, by which I mean without condescension of the offending kind. But in order to be most effective in that, start your essay with a bang: by being offensive and condescending. I'll explain.

So here I am sitting at the computer trying to figure out what exactly I am going to write to indeed coherse you into passing this paper and in return allowing me to pass the class.

For this being merely part of your free writing, this is a good start: I am going to coerce you into passing this paper. However, for this to work, you have to lay on thick layers of irony and self-awareness. After all, you state outright that you thought you could sleepwalk through this class. So I suggest that you incorporate that swagger into the beginning portion.

In the end, however, you are also on the right track with your realization of what the class is truly about. Sure, you read some books, you delved into some esoteric areas that are about as foreign now as they ever were. (Hamlet, for example.) But, if I understand correctly, it's the set of standards you were held to in order to succeed that have stuck with you the most.

With a healthy dose of deadpan humor -- in other words, using haughty patronization as a smokescreen, if you will -- you can make this work. Expand and philosophize a bit on your experience of coming into this class with preconceived notions, only to have them altered for the better.

Good luck!
silverystars   
May 19, 2011
Undergraduate / A Chinese proverb / Favorite place - admission essay to boarding school [9]

Hello Blue,

Consider writing an essay that incorporates and combines the best of both ideas: 1. the importance of first-hand experience as illustrated by the Chinese proverb, and 2. your experience with the piano and music.

The format of the essay would depend on what you want to say. Are you informing/explaining, persuading, or entertaining? Hopefully, your essay would be a bit of all of those, but I digress. Don't be a slave to a given format, but you also must make clear what your format is, as well. It's paradoxical, but still very key to an effective essay.

The hardest part oftentimes is putting pen to paper, or whatever might be the modern digital corollary to that idiom. In other words, begin to write freely about the two subjects and see where it takes you. If you find a way to bring them together cohesively, I think you will be amazed by what you come up with.

When at all possible, write about what you enjoy and what you are genuinely interested in discussing at length. Then those who read it will more likely enjoy doing so just as much.

Good luck!
silverystars   
Jun 8, 2009
Essays / Essay on myself, how to write it? [35]

Hi Imtiaz,

Welcome, and do not be so modest! Try this idea-generating technique that has been passed down through the ages: talking. It might seem stupid, but it has worked well for me. Record your voice (on your computer, on a tape recorder, etc.) as you talk out loud about yourself. Start with the basics: your name, your age, where you live, where you were born, who you were born to (namely, your parents.) Then move on to what you do and what you like to do (it is funny how those two can be extremely different things!) This would include your work, your chores, your hobbies and interests, etc. After talking as suggested, you will probably think of something about yourself that you will want to convey to others. In summary: talk, then write down what you talked about. Remember that this technique is for getting ideas on paper, mind you, not necessarily for coming up with a final draft. We'll worry about that part later!

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
May 7, 2009
Writing Feedback / Essay on advantages of computer games [16]

Right on, Sean. In my opinion, though, you don't have to cite specific games, but rather specific examples of video game use. For instance, there are nursing homes employing the use of the Nintendo Wii, as it is gaming based on physical movement, allowing the elderly to participate in both sport activities and technology. Go to Google Images and type in "Nintendo Wii In Nursing Homes" to see what I mean.
silverystars   
May 6, 2009
Book Reports / The Crashing Symbols of The Glass Menagerie and My Little Town [27]

It's okay: Bs happen!

The profession of teaching has to be able to withstand the good with the bad. Sometimes, the good outweighs the bad. Most of the time, however, the above quote more than applies.

It was a margin error. That's all it took.

The funny thing is that my teacher once suggested that I not block quote a particular source, and by the time I received my essay back, written next to it (in red ink, of course) was, "No block quote?" (Picture me grinning and bearing it.)

It's not that I was set up to fail, but there is always something to be found by the critical eye.
silverystars   
May 6, 2009
Book Reports / The Crashing Symbols of The Glass Menagerie and My Little Town [27]

At one time, it would have been a big deal to me to have received a B on account of a formatting error. At one time, I would have probably responded with negative protest. But I remind myself of this, written by Grace Llewelyn and abridged by me. I ought to print this up and plaster it on my wall:

It makes sense that people who like controlling others gravitate toward teaching. It's a great profession for people who wish they were a king or God . . . It is this controlling and designing quality that disturbs me again and again in teachers - including myself - and in administrators. The most dangerous people in life are often those who want most to help you, whether or not you want their 'help'. "She's the sort of woman who lives for others," wrote C.S. Lewis. "You can tell the others by their hunted expression."

In a broader sense, criticism is to be expected in all aspects of life. That is, unless you do or say nothing at all! So if you get a B, just remember that it's the work you put into it that counts most!
silverystars   
May 6, 2009
Writing Feedback / Essay on advantages of computer games [16]

Hello!

I would suggest that you rearrange the order of the middle three paragraphs so that the importance of computer games builds up, from "fun" (paragraph #3) to "educational" (paragraph #4) to "healing" (paragraph #2.)

Also, review your main points with more detail for your conclusion to be most effective.

Some other suggestions:

It is true thatT he most striking feature of the present century is the process of science.

The belief behind this treatment method is that exposing people to the source of their fear within a controlled environment may actually lead to a cure. Two of the most common phobias that have been treated with computer games are claustrophobia, or a fear of confined spaces, and acrophobia, a fear of heights.

Another important aspect is that computer games allow us to have fun. When we are very bored, tired or stressed, c omputer games are a good source of enjoyment.

Keep going!
silverystars   
May 4, 2009
Book Reports / Given this topic: the play 'Pygmalion', what do you think I am to write about? [14]

Your teacher is right. Your thesis should be a snapshot of your essay. Therefore, it needs to say why:

In Pygmalion, Shaw promotes the importance of good appearance, proper language, and class in social standing...

because...etc., or,

in order to illustrate...etc. or even,

as being values that have both good and bad effects on society.

However, these would depend on what your outline is. Care to share it with us?
silverystars   
Apr 29, 2009
Writing Feedback / Rough Draft on relation between the epigraph and Gatsby in The Great Gatsby [4]

Hello and welcome!

I would strengthen your thesis by simplifying it, as it should be a easy-to-understand distillation of your point of view. Rather than use the symbols, use what you see to be the meaning behind the symbols of "wearing the gold hat and bouncing high."

Also, I believe that page number citations are only necessary if you quote a passage in some form from the book.

WhenThough Daisy and Gatsby had originally met, they were once madly in love with one another, but Gatsby was only able to give Daisy a letter and a promise of his return after the war; whereas another man was able to provide for her the worry-free life and pearl necklaces to which she was accustomed.

The emphasis placed on the word "there" implies that Daisy never expected Gatsby to become so wealthy. S he starts to question whether she made the right choice in rejecting Gatsby five years earlier.

In Gatsby's bedroom, Daisy stops to use a dull, gold hairbrush, which absorbs her attention. Meanwhile, Gatsby starts to opens his closet to show Daisy what is inside.

I'm sure Kevin and/or Sean will be of further service. Good luck!
silverystars   
Apr 27, 2009
Book Reports / Given this topic: the play 'Pygmalion', what do you think I am to write about? [14]

Hello Nate,

Glad to be of service. Although, in my opinion, Shaw probes "the importance of language, importance of appearance, and the ability to change," as opposed to "stress"ing or promoting them. In the end, though, I suggest you ask yourself questions about the values promoted in the play --- for example, are the importance of good appearance, beauty, proper language and/or the upper class promoted as good or bad? It is, ultimately, up to you.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 27, 2009
Book Reports / "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker critic my literary analysis essay [4]

Hello,

You have something, but it needs some refining. That's why we're here!

I would rephrase your thesis into something that focuses and ties in better with your main body. The trick is that I'm not even sure myself the best way to do that: "In trying to understand her own African-American heritage, Dee..." ...does what?

Dee comes home from college and tries to get closer to her own heritage, but only does so, initially, in a shallow, materialistic sense. There are conflicts, sure, but, specifically, what kind? Though it might be obvious in the main body, it needs to be portrayed as well in your thesis. In other words, if the reader (i.e. your teacher) were to see only your introduction and conclusion, the gist of your essay should be loud and clear.

Also, I would clarify the passage about Asalamalakim and the conflict between Dee's culture and black power culture. It needs to relate directly to your thesis.

Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" contains a parallel to the author's childhood. As a little girl, she was shot in the eye by a BB gun, similar to how Maggie was burnt in a house fire.

During their meal, Dee ate the pork and collards that her mother prepared, which Asalamalakim did not eat. Being Muslim, he does not eat pork.

During this time, Dee finds out how the quilts were made and wants to have them to put up as a display of her culture. Dee, however, does not receive the quilts from her mother because she has promised Maggie she would receive them once she is married.

Keep going!
silverystars   
Apr 26, 2009
Book Reports / Given this topic: the play 'Pygmalion', what do you think I am to write about? [14]

Hello,

By "values," your teacher means various ideals or principles that are accepted and challenged by society. Here are some suggestions.

- The importance placed upon appearance.
- The subjectivity of beauty.
- The ability to change, externally and internally.
- Language as a primary characteristic of one's identity.
- Class as a primary characteristic of one's identity.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 23, 2009
Essays / "Ambition" essay - how to start it? [14]

Here is another one:

"As falls the dew on quenchless sands, blood only serves to wash ambition's hands." - Lord Byron

In other words: ambition can be a bad thing.
silverystars   
Apr 22, 2009
Research Papers / Written Literature....a recent development? [6]

It's not that I like to contradict authority figures...sometimes, I love to. Oral literature is one thing, sure, but let's not forget that literature itself implies writing, as the word comes from the Latin littera, or letter. To drive the point home, here's an example: if someone recites the greatest example of oratory ever known to man, is that person therefore qualified to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature? :) "Written literature" is like a musicologist saying "concordant harmony" --- it is redundant! It's somewhat sad that such a misnomer has burrowed its way into our language.

But, anyway, now I can see what you are asking. This is going to require some research on your part, of course, but here is what I know. Oral literature is anything memorized and recited: songs, epics, myths, legends, traditions, old wives' tales, bedtime stories, jokes, modern-day urban legends, etc., etc. Take any of these and compare them to literature (I'm not going to say "written literature"!) and you will see an informality and ease about them that is often difficult to translate or distill.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 22, 2009
Research Papers / Written Literature....a recent development? [6]

Hello,

Hmm...it seems redundant to me, as "literature" would imply "written." Even then, the question would then be, "How is literature a relatively recent development?" The short answer is: it isn't. Perhaps it means modern literature, both fiction and non-fiction, as we know it today, which has become something very different from the tales, fables and parables of old.

If this doesn't help, I don't know what will!
silverystars   
Apr 22, 2009
Writing Feedback / English Comp. CLEP - "Discontent is vital to growth and development" [7]

Hello,

You have a good start!

I would strengthen your introduction by placing your first sentence, which is a strong thesis statement, at the end of the paragraph: "Although discontent is oftentimes considered to be synonymous with strife, it is, in reality, a harbinger of progress." I would also strengthen the last paragraph by, in your own words, paraphrasing the essay question, rather than paste the entire quote verbatim.

Other suggestions:

Without discontent, no one would have reason to seek a better way to complete their tasks, and human invention would come to a standstill .

Leonardo dealt with the discontent he felt over man's inability to fly by concocting all sorts of flying apparatuses , thus paving the way for inventors after him to create the hang-glider and the airplane.

This is a statement that is amazingly true. A s long as...

Hope this helps! :)
silverystars   
Apr 20, 2009
Writing Feedback / Descriptive Essay: Joffrey's is My First Distance [5]

Hello,

You have a great start! I have just a couple of suggestions.

I think "destination" would be a more accurate word than "distance".

One thing I would also make clear is a particular point of view. In the introduction and conclusion, I would speak directly to the reader. However, I would suggest that your main body be what you see, from your point of view, so that the reader can almost see, hear and even taste Joffrey's through your description.

The first thing that catches my attention is the beautiful arrangement of gray circle-shaped tables, making the place seem more wide.

When passing by Joffrey's coffee shop, I smell the tasty yet cheap coffee that refreshes and clears my mind.

I always see welcome smiles on the faces of the staff .

If you get a chance to come to the university, make Joffrey's your first destination , and enjoy the tasty coffee, a cookie, and the good service.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 19, 2009
Writing Feedback / What is the right stuff essay [5]

If you do choose to paraphrase Wolfe, that can work great, though it should be done in a way that makes sense regardless of whether the reader has or hasn't read the book. By making your thesis a straightforward embodiment of what you are saying, however, it can give you a lot of room to be creative in your writing elsewhere in your essay.

The idea of trying to convey both ego and ambition is great, but I don't feel arrogance is the most effective word for describing that combination. There are always plenty of words, such as aspiring, cavalier, cocky, conniving, cunning, devious, domineering, enterprising, high-and-mighty, hustling, insolent, lofty, pretentious, shrewd, sly, and wily!
silverystars   
Apr 19, 2009
Writing Feedback / What is the right stuff essay [5]

Hello,

I have to go ahead and reply, if only because of this:

the steps of the ziggurat to the pinnacle of the pyramid

Personally, in terms of metaphor and descriptive language, I would use only that which is most necessary. In terms of a thesis, though, it is probably easiest to comprehend without metaphor: "Arrogance, conditioning and bravery are the characters traits that all pilots require to achieve their goals ."

Also, I'm not sure if "arrogance" would be the word I would choose. "Ambition" seems like a more accurate word, since it's a term that encompasses a lot of characteristics: a drive for success, a strong desire, and intense emotions.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 18, 2009
Writing Feedback / Art Paper - Elizabeth Murray [4]

Like Kevin said, I would strengthen the first paragraph. One way of doing that is by quoting Murray near the very beginning, and then drawing an interesting analogy from it. Here is one I just Googled: "What I want more than anything else in my life and in my painting is, however I get there, for things to unify and for things to come together." By featuring her words at the get-go, it can instantly ratchet up the interest of the reader.

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 18, 2009
Essays / Mary Louise Pratt, "Arts of the Contact Zone" [4]

My family was originally from Emporia, Kansas and was, therefore, a lot to get used to.

I first noticed some instances of transculturation between myself and the other school kids. They seemed to be protective of one another, whereas Americans seemed to divide ranks among each other. In America, they had many cliques .

Overall, this is a great subject! Not only because it is based on something you have experienced, but even in terms of broadening horizons. I feel like I've actually learned something. :)
silverystars   
Apr 17, 2009
Book Reports / The Crashing Symbols of The Glass Menagerie and My Little Town [27]

Here is what I have so far for the final paragraph. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it has potential. :)

(...) Placing "The Glass Menagerie" and "My Little Town" in a side-by-side analysis serves to emphasize that creative aspect. Both play and song combined show Tom's depiction of his father through religious symbolism in his physical absence and spiritual presence. Both associate Amanda with themes of escape and contempt. Both convey Laura's dreamy and potentially colorful nature singlehandedly shattered by Jim's logical manner and lack of thoughtfulness. Ultimately, both play and song combined show Tom's almost violent desire to escape the confinement of his family, and both leave the result of which ambiguous and open to the audience to decide the effects and the effectiveness of his actions. (...)
silverystars   
Apr 17, 2009
Book Reports / The Crashing Symbols of The Glass Menagerie and My Little Town [27]

Thanks for inspiring a "light-bulb" moment, Sean! This led to me discover the theory of reader-response criticism, which I strongly identify with. I don't totally disregard that, most likely, Paul Simon wasn't inspired by "The Glass Menagerie". What I am saying, though, is that I like my interpretation, and I hope that whoever reads it likes it, too! In the end, if you actively hear or read or see a work of art, you become involved in the art itself. You add to its significance and meaning through your own interpretation. I had better funnel this revelatory feeling into finishing this essay!
silverystars   
Apr 16, 2009
Writing Feedback / Essay: Are exams necessary? Yes ... they are! [5]

Hello,

The one thing I would recommend, since you have a good thesis, is that you personalize it. It's one thing to say that "exams test students' skills," and then proceed to write in a general manner about it. But the best way to persuade the reader that what you are saying is true is to prove it. That can be done by making an example of a news article, a study, a book, a movie, or, best of all, in my opinion, something from your own experience.

The point is that you should be able to support your claim in some way that will add meaning and dimension, and, as I've said somewhere before, that which is personal is most universal. Likewise, if exams really do "enable [students] to overcome their nerves," support it with a specific example. You can do it!

Hope this helps!
silverystars   
Apr 16, 2009
Essays / "Ambition" essay - how to start it? [14]

Hello,

Welcome! Something that always helps me in starting on any topic is to read what other people have to say about it. I'll always find things to agree or disagree with, but that is the thing: it helps you to think and analyze, actions which are at the very foundation of a good essay! Here are some quotes:

"Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine." - Elvis Presley

"Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build." - Julia Ward Howe

"It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women." - Louisa May Alcott

"Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens." - Lao Tzu

Perhaps at least one of these quotes will help to kick-start your critical thinking!