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Biology, "mock trial" - University of Michigan Essay


srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #1
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) What led you to choose the area(s) of academic interest that you have listed in your application to the University of Michigan? If you are undecided, what areas are you most interested in, and why?

The message behind curiosity had been an enigma to me for so long. Where was it leading me? Why was it so undefined? How could I use its power? I was hapless by the depth of this thought.

Two and a half years ago, I did work looking at kidneys from the deceased but was too overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what I was encountering; it was a situation I had created in my mind. I was too intimidated to progress any further.

This past summer, I did lab work attempting to inhibit growth of BK virus through various drugs. I was immersed in my subject; every drug provided a powerful opportunity, a voice that I refused to ignore. I would spend hours scrutinizing potential effects of every drug and even more time bombarding my lab assistant with ideas and questions. I had no other motive than to indulge my curiosity. I had every scenario played out in my mind before I even started and gave each considerable importance. My determination was bounded by a suppression to not just learn, but to want.

The result of this scrutinizing process: abject failure. Once again, I was simply dominated by the subject. I was paralyzed, I had no answers. The power of these drugs and the nature of the BK virus replication seemed implausible. It was this challenge to my sense of plausibility that left me powerless.

It was the dominant nature of this subject that allowed me to realize just how dynamic it was, but all this did was strengthen my compulsion to find answers. The challenge presented to my curiosity ignited an interest unlike any I have ever had. As it turns out, curiosity need not lead me anywhere, curiosity is the one thing compatible with science and will lead to mediums where I can find answers; however undefined they may first appear to be.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #2
any comments appreciated, does this really reveal something to you, are there any badly used words? Does it seem off topic, do you have a sense of understanding what I'm saying in the last para? just some fodder for thought, but any impressions and comments you have are welcome. Thanks alot.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Oct 28, 2009   #3
This essay doesn't seem to have much of a point. You start off by admitting to not having handled a couple of biology-related situations very well, then switch to talking abruptly about a mock trial. Decide what you want this essay to say about you, then write an essay that shows that you possess whatever quality you picked.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #4
thanks for the comments do you think i should just cut the mock trial part out and focus on the bio, any thoughts on the opening and first para, does that seem alright, i was trying to show that i was use to being able to manipulate things how i wanted but in the lab i couldn't, but i guess its not clear. I see what you're saying about going from talking about not handling a situation well to curiosity though, thanks.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #5
one more thing EF_Sean, this essay asks what led you to your area of interest, i feel like i do convey this when i talk about how implausible the experiment seemed and how i had no control over the situation which is a challenge i liked and made me passionate about the subject. I felt like the challenge of this transpired my interest, and this is what the prompt asks for. IF i talk a little bit more about my curiosity and get rid of the mock trial and possibly the kidney situation two and a half years ago, would i be answering the question and still revealing something about me? Do i really have to reveal something about me in this essay in terms of quality? Thanks alot for the feedback, really appreciate it
soxfan 2 / 5  
Oct 28, 2009   #6
The writing is very strong, but the essay doesn't seem coherent. You seem to transition abruptly from topic to topic, and finish with the idea of curiosity. If you want to convey that your curiosity is what drove you towards biology and the College of LSA then you should incorporate it throughout more of the essay not just the last couple lines.

Also, you seem to be using big words that show off your vast vocabulary, but they sometimes seem to break up the flow of the essay. There is nothing grammatically incorrect with your use of the words, but it gives the essay a very formal sense that makes the essay bland and boring.

After reading the essay i feel like you don't really answer the prompt well. You have plenty of anecdotes, but they don't flow well together. You need to tie everything together by incorporating your curiosity throughout the entire essay. This will make it more cohesive and an overall better response to the prompt.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #7
I have modified my essay take a look to see if it is any better I tried to keep it more focused. I didn't look at your advice until I posted this, so I will consider your advice on big words, thanks alot, I have another essay with the word gurdwara in it which i would like for anybody to look at provide feedback. Thanks Alot you guys really made a differnece
owlcity24 2 / 6  
Oct 28, 2009   #8
I don't really understand what holding the kidney has to do with your curiosity of the BKV virus. It seems a little out of place.

"This past summer, I attempted to find inhibit the growth of BKV virus through various drugs"
I think you might have some grammatical error. Are you finding the inhibitor?

Also, I am a little confused at where this is all taking place. You have lab assistants?

I like the rest of your essay though. You sound really interested in biology. Especially with "I had every scenario played out in my mind before I even started and gave each significant importance. "

I think it shows that you are not only interested, but you also think things through.

You had commented on my essay, and I was wondering if you re-look it over?
Good luck!
EF_Stephen - / 264  
Oct 28, 2009   #9
I've read both, and they still both seem confusing to me. I understand about the curiosity part, but there are gaps in the piece where you were thinking about something but didn't write it down.

Biology is a process. Show your experience like a step-by-step process to where you are now.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #10
what do you mean by gaps in the piece piece where you were thinking about something but didn't write it down. This sounds like good advice, I'm just having trouble understanding what you mean and how i can improve it. Also, i feel like making step by step would take away from the idea of curioisty due to the word limit, i dont know what to do, i feel like making it step by step would completely change everything? Is it that bad where I should do that? I don't know if everything I'm doing is completely wrong or if I'm on the right track, if its just minor tweaks or if everything is completely wrong and should be started from scratch. Any of the EFs do you think I'm trying to hard, it seems like other people have more basic, more settled down essays and theyre getting good feedback, am i just trying to do too much and making this essay try to do too much or come across as something it cant be? Somebody help me please, I am starting to get a little scared, I put alot into the essays and the deadlines are coming up and its not looking good so far.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Oct 29, 2009   #11
Your essay is improving, and seems more focused, but you could strengthen it even further. What is your thesis? Figure that out, then stick a thesis statement at the very beginning of your essay. That will give you a reference point you can use to tighten the essay further.
Moonshadow0302 - / 68  
Oct 29, 2009   #12
I agree with all the above suggestions - the first version of the essay made no sense whatsoever. The second one is a definite improvement, but I think more than anything the use of "big" words without knowing the meaning of them, makes the essay a complete mess. Here are some instances which I think you should look into -

by the sheer magnitude of the situation I had created in my mind when I touched these "live organs".

What do you mean by this? Was it a situation that existed or was it an imaginary situation that you had created in your mind?

I attempted to find inhibit the growth of BKV virus

Again, what do you mean you attempted to find "inhibit"?

I had no motive other than to succumb my curiosity. I had every scenario played out in my mind before I even started and gave each significant importance.

This sentence should perhaps read - I had no other motive than to indulge my curiosity. I had every scenario played out in my mind before I had even started, and gave each considerable importance.

The imperious nature of this subject allowed me

A subject cannot be imperious, people can be imperious.

It is this compulsion which engineered my pursuit of comprehending the subtleties of the biological language.

This is toooo verbose - try to use simpler words. You will not be impressing the Adcom through your use of such big words.

and the challenges presented to my curiosity were what transpired an interest unlike

transpired does not fit in here - I presume you meant "inspired"

curiosity itself is the one thing compatible with me

what do you mean compatible with you?

and is the pioneer to the central dogma that is biology

Your curiosity cannot be the pioneer, you might be the pioneer. Also what do you mean by 'the central dogma that is biology" what is biology the central dogma to??

I would suggest you redo your entire essay removing all these unnecessary words and replace them with simpler language.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 29, 2009   #13
thanks alot for the advice i agree about the words only question i have is if i change the words to easier words do i still need to redo the entire thing? Some of these words werent my own doing, I def wasnt confident with all of them which is a big no-no thanks alot for pointing this out.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 29, 2009   #14
also my idea is that im still lost at what ive seen and am curious to find answers, should this be my thesis? Wouldn't it make the entire opening with reference to how I was earlier irrelevant? Is that a good thing, did this intro have any purpose or did it just almost dilute the essays meaning? Is my attempt to try the opening line to the concluding one with regards to curiosity a successful one, or is just painful for the reader? Also do phrases like "I was immersed in my subject; every drug provided a powerful opportunity, a voice that I refused to ignore." and "My determination was bounded by a suppression to not just learn, but to want" sound artificial or they do a good job showing my voice and what I thought? thanks alot
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 29, 2009   #15
Here is my updated version of the essay. It isn't that radically different, but I tried to have a more defiend thesis and get rid of that horrible, pompus word choice. I didn't get the comment about the whats wrong with "inhibiting growth of BK virus", that was a phrase used a hundred times by lab assistants and many others associated with the lab. But anyway, see if this is any better, thanks alot.

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