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Ut Austin Essay B (Poverty and Education)


Bignasty36 2 / 8  
Feb 23, 2010   #1
Id like to start off by saying thank you to all those who helped me with my Statement of Purpose. It turned out far better than I had imagined and I am sure with your guidance Essay B will be just as good.

The prompt is listed below and I am looking forward to your comments and criticisms

Personal Essay
Choose an issue of importance to you - the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope - and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.


The child raised his hand to his mouth and pretended to eat something. He then put his hands together as if to pray, bowed his head, and pleaded for money. I had 20 Indian rupees (roughly 45 cents) remaining and gave the sum to the boy. He thanked me and claimed this was the most money he'd ever received. The boy left our car and proceeded to the next car stuck at the stoplight. As he left, beggars barraged our car from all sides. Mothers pressed their unclothed babies forward, older men lifted their tattered garments to reveal missing limbs, and children told us how long it had been since they last ate. That was my first experience with absolute poverty.

I have travelled abundantly and have visited nearly every state in the union, Canada, many countries in the European Union, Australia, Fiji, India, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. During my travels I have witnessed the living conditions people cope with everyday. Commonalities that I have compared and contrasted along my journeys are groups of people with immense wealth and other groups with very little capital. For example when I took a trip to Dubai summer of 2009, I saw huge multimillion dollar buildings, exotic cars on every street corner, and malls that would make the Mall of America look like a child's play thing. To say the locals were well off is an understatement, but if one looked to the opposite end of the spectrum they would see the blue collar workers who shed blood, sweat, and tears to build Dubai. The men and women would earn a couple of dollars an hour and had to sustain a living in Dubai while sending money home to Indonesia, Pakistan or India. This was the most evident comparison of wealth and poverty that I had ever seen.

After some deliberation I have come to the conclusion that the current system of world aid is in need of a serious overhaul. The organizations that distribute aid need to be more transparent about how they are spending donated money. Organizations need to change their priorities; we need to focus more resources on education. With education we can increase human capital in poorly developed countries exponentially.

After the Haiti earthquake I have conversed with many individuals who believe that we should spend aid money at home and renovate conditions here before we approach international affairs. I respectfully disagree on the grounds that if we invest into underdeveloped countries we can benefit from increased trade with them in the future. In essence by investing a comparatively small sum of money, our economy can reap considerable dividends when the third world nation's standard of living increases. The world functions in a ways that is very similar to the way any sports team functions: when the weakest link is strengthened, the rest of the team can attempt to improve.

Poverty and the lack of education will bring the world to its knees if something is not done. A quote by Norman Peale comes to mind, "Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads can do that." I feel certain that if the citizens of wealthy nations give more of their hard-earned money and charities use it effectively we can overcome the gap that has divided the rich and poor for so long.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Feb 23, 2010   #2
You use the active voice very well. Your writing is engaging and lively. I don't have time for a lot of comments tonight, but let me get you started with a couple of things:

The child first raised his hand to his mouth and pretended to eat something.

I am not crazy about the word "first" in this sentence. It disrupts the flow.

Then as if he was about to pray he put his hands together, kneeled his head in front of me and pleaded for some money.

Change the first part of this to make it active voice and tighten it up a bit ... kneeling refers more to the act of going down on bended knee than something one would do with his head. There are a few words hanging on in this sentence that aren't really pulling their weight--kick them to the curb. Try something like: He put his hands together as if to pray, bowed his head, and pleaded for money. 24 words down to 16.

He thanked me and made a claim that this was the most money anyone had ever given him.

Don't feel like I am picking on you here. I want to take this sentence and show you another way to write it that will make it just a little stronger: He thanked me and claimed this was the most money he'd ever received.

As soon as he left our car was barraged by beggars from all sides.

One more and I will leave you alone, *wink* As he left, beggars barraged our car from all sides. (a small savings of 4 words, but it puts it in active voice)
OP Bignasty36 2 / 8  
Feb 23, 2010   #3
Notoman

Thank you Noto for your suggestions, I see how your suggestions have made the essay flow together better and have made the necessary changes. I hope if you get a chance you will critique the rest of the work.

Thank You,
Hassan Saeed
Notoman 20 / 419  
Feb 23, 2010   #4
Seems how you're being so nice, I'd be happy to do a few more with you. I am just glad I didn't offend you ...

Mothers pressed their cloth less baby's forward,

You want a different word than "cloth less." It sounds like the babies have less fabric. I know what you are going for, but it isn't a word. Substitute unclothed, naked, bare, exposed, undressed, or bareskinned here. You also want to use babies instead of baby's--it is the plural and not the possessive (there is more than one baby, and not the forward that belongs to the baby).

older gentleman lifted their tattered garments to show us their missing limbs

You have an issue with numbers agreement here ... gentleman is singular while the rest of the sentence is plural. I know that you mean respect when you use the word gentleman, but I feel like it brings out the wrong mental image. You could also punch up the verb "to show us" here. (Sorry to be so picky, but I have the impression that is what you want!). Try something like: older men lifted their tattered garments to reveal missing limbs.

young boys and girls

Not that this is wrong, but it does get a little wordy. In a college-application essay with a limited word count, you want to make sure that every word has a purpose. You could condense this by just saying children or youngster.

I have traveled abundantly in the 19 years I've been alive, in that short time span I have been to nearly every state in the U.S., while also visiting several countries in the EU, Canada, Australia, Fiji, the U.A.E, India and Pakistan.

This is a comma splice--two complete sentences put together with just a comma instead of more weighty punctuation or a conjunction. Travelled needs another "l." I'd personally like to see EU and UAE written the first time they are used because I know how illiterate many Americans are when it comes to geography. I don't think it is too important to reveal your age here or that you consider it to be a short time--let the focus be on the experience instead. Here's one possible construction for this sentence: I have travelled abundantly and have visited nearly every state in the union, Canada, many countries in the European Union, Australia, Fiji, India, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. (I changed the order a little to lump them more geographically and to end with the UAE because that is what you talk about in the next part).

Ack! Time to get back to class.
OP Bignasty36 2 / 8  
Feb 23, 2010   #5
Thank you again,

I don't mind the criticism at all I know I am not the greatest writer around and that's why I look to writers like you who can show me what my weaknesses are.

Regards,
Hassan Saeed
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 24, 2010   #6
After some cognitive deliberation I have come to the assumption conclusion that the current system of World Aid is in need of a serious overhaul. The organizations that distribute aid need to be more transparent with about how they are

The world functions in a way that is very similar to the way any sports team functions: when the weakest link is strengthened, the rest of the team can attempt to improve.

I feel certain that if the citizens of wealthy nations give more of their hard-earned money and use it effectively we can overcome the gap that has abridged divided the rich and poor for so long.

:-)
OP Bignasty36 2 / 8  
Feb 24, 2010   #7
Thank You Kevin,

Anyone else have any suggestions to the updated essay that can be found above?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 26, 2010   #8
The subtle changes you made to the beginning of this are excellent. Taking the word "some" out of that 2nd sentence, and restructuring it.. it's looking good!

After some deliberation I have come to the---- I would change the verb tense:
After some deliberation I came to the...

But did you really deliberate? I bet you did not. Maybe that phrase is superfluous, just a cliched thing to say that involves a cool word. It might be more powerful to just say:

The current system of world aid is in need of a serious overhaul.

:-)
OP Bignasty36 2 / 8  
Apr 22, 2010   #9
Thanks to everyone who posted and helped with my essay! I was accepted to UT Austin on 04/20/10 and cant express in words who much your help was appreciated.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 23, 2010   #10
Congratulations! Best wishes for UT Austin!


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