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The ability to think: Common Application. Elaborate on one Activity.


Shadow93 9 / 40  
Aug 7, 2010   #1
In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer).

Begin------------

Not many people in the world can claim to have engaged in a permanent extracurricular. No one will be able to play football or dance forever. However, there is one activity that I believe transcends limitations. And that is the ability to think.

And debate in its simplest form is the art to think critically. As long as you are alive and conscious, you retain the ability to think. And if you are not conscious... well, you wouldn't really care by then.

As captain of my team, I truly believed that I have made a difference in the lives of everyone who learned from me. Awards and recognition are soon forgotten by the world, but the joy of being able to teach and guide the largest team in our schools history is never forgotten. They would always know how to think, and I, always remember.

End--------------
freezard7734 17 / 209  
Aug 7, 2010   #2
For example, n o one will be able to play football or dance forever.

This will give a better transition between the sentences.

T hat is the ability to think.

Unless you are John Steinbeck (just a joke :), it's generally bad practice to begin your sentences with 'And.'
Actually, I think you should combine that sentence with the previous one:
"However, there is one activity that I believe transcends limitations: the ability to think."
How about that?

And if you are not conscious... well, you wouldn't really care by then.

This sounds too casual. Try to replace it with something stronger, or, instead, I recommend that you cross out the sentence because it seems more of a digression. Also, try to add more content in this paragraph.

but the joy of being able to teach and guideteaching and guiding the largest team in our school's history is never forgottenalways remembered (this is just a suggestion - i thought varying the words would make the sentence sound better)

They would always know how to think, and I, always remember.

I'm not sure what you mean by this sentence. Try to fix the awkward wording here. If this is your concluding sentence, make it stronger, as this sentence is supposed the wrap up the whole essay.

Overall, it's ok. However, you should elaborate on the activity. Currently, your essay is devoid of details. Try to describe what you did as a captain of the debate team, or what your debate team did. Try to present a specific experience that will encapsulate your contribution to the debate team. This will make your essay more strongly emphasize your role as part of the debate team. After all, the main idea is to elaborate on one activity :]
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Aug 8, 2010   #3
Unless you are John Steinbeck (just a joke :), it's generally bad practice to begin your sentences with 'And.'

Yes, another way to fix it would be like this:
However, there is one activity that I believe transcends limitations, and that is the ability to think.

And Debate in its simplest form is the art of thinking crit ically.

...the largest team in our school 's history is never forgotten.

The ending seems confusing... I suggest this: They would always know how to think, and I would always remember the experience of thinking with them.
linmark 2 / 328 7  
Aug 9, 2010   #4
The ending seems confusing... I suggest this: They would always know how to think, and I would always remember the experience of thinking with them.

Who are you referring to as THEY? This is what confuses me here. And I am left wondering what is meaningful about your experience of "thinking with THEM??"

I truly believed that I have made a difference in the lives of everyone who learned from me.

It would help to read some examples of how you made a difference to "others?" (assume you are referring to your classmates) What did "they" learn from you??
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Aug 10, 2010   #5
Who are you referring to as THEY?

"everyone who learned from me"

:-)

And I am left wondering what is meaningful about your experience of "thinking with THEM??"---- Yes, I think it will be good if this essay goes into some more detail about this notion of "thinking together as a team." That is a good concept to explore.
linmark 2 / 328 7  
Aug 10, 2010   #6
Sorry Kevin, I still don't get who is "everyone who learnt from me" - shouldn't this be my debate team mates or ??? a more specific description? It's rather grandiose to sweep who you made a difference to under this general description.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Aug 11, 2010   #7
It's rather grandiose

Yep! It is grandiose. That is a good word for it, too.

I mean, it is valid to celebrate the fact that one's contribution can be something others can learn from. Like, for example, I like to think that my peers learned from me sometimes in college. I think it is possible to talk about learning from one another mutually.

As captain of my team, I truly believed that I have made a difference in the lives of everyone who learned from me.--- this is not an example of mutual learning, though. It is grandiose, like Linmark says.

Then again, maybe Longwen was constantly teaching others and now remembers this as an experience of becoming a tutor and a leader. If it was an experience like this, I understand why he would want to express it.

Yet, I really think it does seem grandiose. The solution might be to talk about how YOU learned from your opponents and teammates while ALSO acting as a mentor to younger students.
OP Shadow93 9 / 40  
Aug 23, 2010   #8
Thank you so much for your comments!! It was a huge failure on my part to be so thoughtless in writing that draft out. I made a totally different one.

This is a first draft, so don't judge it too harshly!

Im looking for 4 major points of advice:

1) Is the tone appropriate for Common Application?
2) Is it lacking in detail? If so, what kind, If yes, what should I remove to make room for it?
3) Should I make another one?
4) Give me your first impression in your fictional role as an Admission officer!

My decision to join debate has been the best one in my life so far. In my 3 years as honorary captain, and 1 year as captain-in-chief, I have watched and assisted it grow from a small team to the most decorated, active, and prestigious club in our schools history. Championships have been won, records have been broken, and tears have been shed; as every victory, every match, and every defeat etched its mark on my heart.

My teammates might have believed I was a prodigy, but in reality, I could not have done it without their teaching and guidance; nor without the support from the lasting friendships from different batches and different schools that have formed. This is my last year, the year to give back, the year to lead, the year to show others the path that I had once followed and where I found happiness.
OP Shadow93 9 / 40  
Aug 24, 2010   #9
This is a first draft, so don't judge it too harshly!

Im looking for 4 major points of advice:

1) Is the tone appropriate for Common Application?
2) Is it lacking in detail? If so, what kind, If yes, what should I remove to make room for it?
3) Should I make another one?
4) Give me your first impression in your fictional role as an Admission officer!

My decision to join debate has been the best one in my life so far. In my 3 years as honorary captain, and 1 year as captain-in-chief, I have watched and assisted it grow from a small team to the most decorated, active, and prestigious club in our schools history. Championships have been won, records have been broken, and tears have been shed; as every victory, every match, and every defeat etched its mark on my heart.

My teammates might have believed I was a prodigy, but in reality, I could not have done it without their teaching and guidance; nor without the support from the lasting friendships from different batches and different schools that have formed. This is my last year, the year to give back, the year to lead, the year to show others the path that I had once followed and where I found happiness.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Aug 24, 2010   #10
I have watched and assisted it grow from a small team to the most decorated, active, and prestigious club in our schools history. Championships have been won, records have been broken, and tears have been shed; as every victory, every match, and every defeat etched its mark on my heart.--- this part is written beautifully!!!

My teammates might have believed I was a prodigy, but in reality, I could not have done it without their teaching and --- perfect! I like it...
jelidtj 5 / 21  
Aug 24, 2010   #11
- I think the tone works
- mmm detail.. i think it has enough detail based on the word limit.. you talk about what the team has done, what you've learned and how you benefited from each other

- In my opinion it isn't necessary to make a new one

just two little things:

I have watched and assisted it grow from a small team to the most decorated, active, and prestigious club in our schoolsschool's history.

My teammates might have believed I was a prodigy, but in reality, I could not have done it without their teaching and guidance; nor without the support from the lasting friendships from different batches and different schools that have formed.

i think this sentence is a little to long and not clear enough...

that's all ! overall its a good paragraph

~All the best~
kcmonster 1 / 8  
Aug 24, 2010   #12
I agree with all that jelidtj said.

My impression as an admisson officer is that debate is something that you connected with, not only on an academic level, but on a personal level as well. That is what "we" (they) like to see. I also enjoy the fact that you don't take all the credit of making the the team so great, and that you realize that this year is the year to give back to the team and share with others what has made you happy.

All in all, great job!
mea505 - / 265  
Sep 21, 2010   #13
Hi!

I am offering the following suggestions to your final draft:

every victory, every match, and every defeat remains forever etched in my heart.
--> I am sure this is correct, meaning that "remain" should be changed to "remains." If you were going to write the sentence with only one of the three, i.e., "every victory 'remains' forever etched in my heart," it would also make sense.

My teammates believed I was a prodigy, but in reality, I could not have done it without their teaching and guidance; nor without the support from the lasting friendships that have formed, nor without the support from the lasting friendships that have formed.

--> the semi-colon does not belong there, as the last sentence is not a complete sentence. It needs to be changed to a comma.

Otherwise, the essay looks good! You have come a long way, as I see the number of people who have chimed in with respect to your two essays!

--> I will also have to take issue with the person who suggested that the word "And" does not belong in the beginning of a sentence. While that was true years ago, it has changed, and it is now considered to be OK to start a sentence with the word "and."

Have a good day!

Mark


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