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'The desire to be free' - German needs help with MIT essay

deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 25, 2011   #1
I applying to MIT from german and need a little bit of helping.
Please not be so critical, because my English is not well.
Seriously guys, I at times struggle with the right words and would appreciate any form of feedback very much
since my ear is not really trained to English essays.

The task is:

What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you'd like to tell us about. (*) (200-250 words)

The desire to be free is the core of my personality. Please wait a second before you toss my application into the "takes-himself-too-seriously" trash can and let me explain.

Freedom is the autonomy of the mind, which means two things for me.
Firstly, I am always critical about established opinions and open to new ideas in order to grasp the world intellectually. Working at the "Bahnhofsmission", I poured out coffee and chatted with homeless. These people demonstrated to me that, contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not money that makes you peaceful, but the knowledge that you own yourself.

Similarly, I learned much about cultural misunderstandings when I took part in a movie project that explored the difficult relationship between Jewish and Muslim teenagers by letting them talk with each other.

These experiences give me clearness of mind, but they also make me push the boundaries of my knowledge, be it through reading, talking or experiencing things myself.

Secondly, I push my willpower to new limits.
As part of this endeavor I did 3 years of boxing, took part in a marathon team, , and switched to a polyphasic sleep schedule. When I succeed at these things, I feel the seemingly endless power of mind.

By attaining those feelings often enough I will hopefully eventually become free and just be what I deep down really want to be. Since this is the most unique and wonderful state of mind I consider the passion for freedom the best part of me.

Since I still have to write tons of essays I am now hyperventilating, so you could do a good dead by helping me.
I now will start to review some of the other essays here...
Ali Poonja 3 / 4  
Dec 25, 2011   #2

Thank you for reviewing my essay. The feedback is truly apprecaited.

Your essay is very well written. I like the two thematic parts to this question: The desire to be free and will power.
However, I would perhaps focus on freedom and what it means to you. The will power section can be weaved in as it looks thrown in(one sentence).

Good luck buddy! I have some more essays that I will be uploading. If you could check them out that would be great. Ill forward you the threads. If you have any others let me know!
OP deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 25, 2011   #3
Thanks Ali!
One question: What exactly do you mean by weaved in?
agronr 3 / 12  
Dec 25, 2011   #4
hmm. the essay looks great man. it seems funny and serious at the same time. i like the trash can part :P. i wish i could write such an essay. good job.
Silverbrush 2 / 7  
Dec 25, 2011   #5
Yes it is very witty. I'm not a good grader, but perhaps you could update the flow by combining the "Secondly, I push my willpower to new limits.

As part of this endeavor I did 3 years of boxing..."
Noobzilla 3 / 22  
Dec 26, 2011   #6
Over all, the essay is perfect, but when I write NEVER employ the 'firstly' and 'secondly' paragraphing method because then its too boring for the reader. From what i have read on the Internet, the winning essay always has a continuous flow...so try to that..
OP deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 26, 2011   #7
Thnaks a lot guys, I will incorporate your suggestions.

One question though: Does the admission folk know what polyphasic sleep is?
kwikandrew 3 / 5  
Dec 26, 2011   #8
hey i think it's pretty good. you sound like a perfect MIT student! :D
ibejunpyu 2 / 5  
Dec 26, 2011   #9
i think it is the real example to make a good essay
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Dec 26, 2011   #10

Essay Score 50/100
Your essay started out very strong in the first paragraph but quickly took a turn for the worst in your second paragraph. You attempted to jam way to much into your second paragraph without exploring anything at any level of depth. When schools ask you such a strong prompt as this one, its always best to go in depth about one or two topics that correctly answer the prompt. Your answers to the prompt are superficial at best and do not fully support your response. AAO

Hope This Helps

  • Suggested Structure
Noobzilla 3 / 22  
Dec 26, 2011   #11
Awesome...how do you make this thing work! the site...i mean how to use it
ChihiroLavi 4 / 52  
Dec 26, 2011   #12
I agree with guys above that you should delete "first" and "second", maybe you could try some natural connection.

Other part I think is great!Although the Admission 2012 gives you a review, maybe by some professional guys, I personally think your context is good. I mean, what's the most important is "you" rather than "fake thinking" right? If you do not really feel something toooo deep, I think it's still okay because I could see "you" through this essay, not just trying to satisfy anybody.

Just my suggestion, hope it could help.
OP deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 26, 2011   #13
Well, I think that the essay score is generated by a computer, so you have to enjoy it carefully. While I agree that a possible way would be to connect the two thoughts, I cannot see how I do not go in depth since both aspects, intellectual and willpower are part of my concept of freedom. It would be nice if admission 2012 could explain this, but much thanks to all of you guys, anyway.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Dec 26, 2011   #14
The essays are human scored. When we computer score an essay we mention this. This essay talks about several points and jumps around. When a school asks for an essay of only 200-250 words, its because they want to see how you develop an argument within boundaries. The prompt explicitly asks for a SINGLE attribute and how it has impacted your life so far. Your entire argument is about Freedom of mind. However, you haven't experienced this yet. You close by saying your desire for freedom is your most cherished attribute, however, thats a desire not an actual attribute. An attribute would be that you are egotistical, free thinking, selfish, etc. You state this in the beginning of your essay but give very weak examples of this. Your short essay has quite a few drawbacks that I would not be able to fully exploit them all here. Remember, if you are applying as an international student to MIT the bar WILL be higher for you. As such you need to make sure your application passes all possible tests. Lastly, in one of your closing paragraphs you state " I push my willpower to new limits" however willpower means just that - pushing yourself. As I recommended before, pick only one attribute focus just on that and develop it throughout the essay. AAO
OP deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 26, 2011   #15
Thank you very much for answering. I am sorry that I just implied that this report was computer scored.
However I would like to defend my essay
the point is the following:
desire to be free equals desire for autonomy of mind
two aspects:
intellectual independence: examples: homeless and cultural exchange
willpower: boxing etc.
Maybe I should make the transition so:
An equally important part of my desire to be free is pushing my willpower to new limits.
Concerning the attribute question: I see your point, however personality is the group of behavioural patterns which define you.
If you are egoistic you tend to do things for yourself, if you desire freedom you tend to try to be independent.
Besides, the MIT wants to know someting about my character, and this is certainly a part of it, so I do not think that they will really mind.

Lastly, willpower is somehow like a muscle, so you can push it towards new limits.
But I really appreciate that you took the time to hand score my essay.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Dec 26, 2011   #16
At the end of the day and what I was trying to say is that your arguments- which are not fully developed, are supporting your thesis which is " My desire to be a free thinker is my attribute." However, that is a desire not an attribute. If your argument is reversed it may flow better. I was an admissions officer for 4 years at an Ivy League school. In my experience, the single primary reason why an applicant was rejected once they passed the initial step was because the applicant did not follow directions- primarily in the essays. Depending on the mood of the reader, they may be very strict or lax. In any event its always best to air on the side of caution and answer exactly the prompt of the essay as it is written. - AAO

Lastly, willpower already means to push your limits. People normally say something like: "I had the willpower to forge/push forward." You don't push willpower forward.

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