Here is my Essay. My notes are at the bottom.
Limit: about 500 words
Prompt: Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.
It is amazing how much one can change with just a little help from a person. This influential person did not point out how to change my life, nor did he impose the change upon me. He simply inspired me, and for that, I admire him. His introverted presence in my teenage years has established a stronghold for my future which has led me to become independent. His advice is directly related to his history and experiences, and it has been with this which he has taught me discipline throughout my life. It is an honor to have such a father.
My father and I share the same birth place, but totally different upbringings. His childhood was dominated by my grandfather's poverty which nearly inhibited his formal education. If it was not for his prioritized ambition, his fate would be similar to his four brothers: fastened to the lower middle class tier in a third world country. He educated himself up the social ladder across the Pacific and into America. His persistence is awe-inspiring, but more so is his retention. He literally taught me everything he knew, and that is what I idolize about him.
To my father, grades are everything. I still recollect the expensive summer grade books he bought in hope I would learn the next grade's material before hand, the long hours during weekends we sat on hard wood floors practicing mathematics, and watching our favorite nature shows on Discovery. The greatest influence was his bitter, unyielding tutoring. I always resisted it, and despised it, but now I am grateful. Through fifty problems a day, he taught me algebra, physics, patience, and zeal. My priceless time with my father has laid my academic foundation and to my passions of science and mathematics.
As I grew older, he became less involved with my education. With this independence I have started to peruse other curiosities, such as creating music, enrolling in science fair, and founding an environmental club. Though he has never bluntly rejected any pursuing interests of mine, he has however always instigated the simple question of "Will this help you go where you want in life?" This simple question has changed my perspective. With every choice I make I feel guilt and the pressure of my father's expectations. I feel confused, because I do not always know the answer to that question. However, I feel certain that if I put dedication into my commitments, like my father did, success is bound to happen in some form or another. I do not have to struggle myself out of poverty, rather I have to struggle my way into my niche in life.
I see myself independent in college, still working long nights and dwelling into what provokes my interests. My curiosity will never cease, nor will the dedication that inspired me. My father has set me up and helped me realize what I am supposed to be: independent and motivated.
I can't say this is one of my best essays, but I Really would like comments on where i should improve my content, where and if i need to be more specific, and flow of the essay. Thank you.
Oh also any input on how I may add a conclusion of only aorund 30 or so words.
I still feel I need suggestions on the first sentence and the last sentence. A small conclusion, maybe any suggestions (as specific as you guys can) on how to add to the conclusion and reduce the body paragraph if need be. The word count is about 500 words.
awesome essay, really :)
There are indeed some aspects you could work on a little bit more.
1) Intro and conclusion - your intro starts with a definition-like sentence. Not a very good idea in my opinion, but I do like the way you reveal that your father is the person only at the end of the essay. The conclusion is also sort of weak, almost inexistent. Personally, I like to start and end with an image, something that appeals more to the emotion than to logic. But, that's just me.
2) "The greatest influence was his bitter, unyielding tutoring. I always resisted it, and despised it, but now I am grateful. My priceless time with my father has laid my academic foundation and to my passions of science and mathematics." This transition you tell us is to vague. Go deeper on how you have changed because of him. Remember the basic rule in writing: SHOW don't TELL.
Other than that, you've got a pretty awesome essay and I do hope you get accepted into Princeton (I'm not applying there by the way, hehehe)
your conclusion seems rather weak, doesn't do the job i think you want of capping off your essay. Also, don't focus so much on the characteristics of your father as much as he changed you. That whole introduction about him wasn't needed and really it loses the readers interest and doesn't relate to what you say later. Anyway, if I were you I would focus my essay around two things 1. How he was earlier with his strict beliefs on grades and much more importnatly 2 This new found indepndence he has given you and the question he asks is this leading you to where you really want. Those are the two things that can make your essay stick out and have an impact on the reader, if you focus on those two things from the beginning and develop your essay through that instead of your dads characteristics i think youll have something much stronger.
Your intro has to be very strong if your going to write about something like your father influencing you, because many many people are going to choose this route, you need something that jumps off the page, i think you might have it w/ this new found independence if you can expand on it significantly and show changes in your father. That would show a unique, but true and profound influence on you.
Good luck sorry if was a little harsh, but its Princeton:)
"Will this help you go where you want in life?" , This simple question has changed my life.
I think you know the way to choose the important detail to express your idea but it's essential that you concentrate more time on that detail.
I'm glad to read your essay because your father is also like my father. They both love children and ready to sacrifice to children.
Have a good time!
Thank you all SOOOOO much VERY very helpful, and not too harsh at all, thank you very much. made me VERY happy. :-)