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"Homeless for a night" Stanford Essay, an experience intellectually stimulates you


em2always 15 / 79  
Oct 30, 2010   #1
I dragged the refrigerator box thought thy dry, dirt patched grass, looking for a place to sleep for the night. Makeshifts cardboard structures popped up everywhere as teens constructed their homes for the night. It was Night in a Box, an event to increase awareness for homelessness and raise money for the ...

This is my first draft. please tear it to shreds. i need a concluding sentence & lots of advice!!
My character limit is 1500 im at 1700. what can i cut?

after edits:
I stood in the dinner line, my shivering hands gripping a plastic spoon and bowl in he left, and a flimsy cup of water in the right. A single ladle of condensed chicken noodle soup poured into my bowl and I took broke a white roll from the bag stamped with 99 cents in red letters. Sitting on the frozen bleachers I wolfed down the food, but no seconds were allowed, so I headed back to camp. The fairground was desolate, lonely, and cold, inhabited only by makeshift cardboard structures and teenagers huddled together in groups. I dragged my refrigerator box through the dirt-patched grass, looking for a place to sleep. The nippy October air whipped past my ears as I knelt down on the dirty ground, ripping duck tape pieces to hold my house together. When things were suitable, I unrolled my sleeping back into the brown cave and climbed in. My long legs didn't fit in the structure and as the cardboard door flaps hit my feet as I slept.

This night was lucky not a common event for me. It was a benefit called "Night in a Box" to raise money for the homeless by spending a night out in conditions similar to their own. When I woke up the next morning with a stiff back and a head cold I was greeted by steaming pancakes and hot chocolate. The United Way counselors who ran the program wanted to reward us for sticking it out all night. I then began to realize how lucky I was. I was only homeless for a night; some people are homeless their entire lives. People in poverty do not receive lavish breakfasts to make up for sparse dinners. In the warm four walls of my home, people's real suffering feels so far away. It took a night sleeping in a box for me to begin thinking outside of it.
mneale324 4 / 15  
Oct 30, 2010   #2
I know that you said that you have to cut your essay, but I really think that you need to elaborate on the conclusion. Right now it ends fairly abruptly. I think that you need to focus more on how it affected you and less about what you actually did.
buddingscholar 2 / 3  
Oct 30, 2010   #3
"I dragged the refrigerator box throughthe dry, dirt- patched grass, looking for a place to sleep for the night. Makeshifts cardboard structures popped up everywhere as teens constructed their homes for the night."

"Teens asked their neighbors to sponsor them to sleep outside for a night and the money help those in need.

Better if worded like this--> "Teenagers raised money for the homeless by spending a night out in conditions similar to their own."

"What then must it be like for people for whom sleeping outdoors is their reality?"

This is worded really awkwardly. It's good that you recognize you need a concluding sentence, because i agree with what mneale324 said, right now your essay ends very abruptly. It needs something to bring it all together. Maybe you could tie it together by saying how this inspires you to...[fill in the blank].

Please read my essay and comment:
sonye93 1 / 2  
Oct 30, 2010   #4
I agree with the other comments, and suggestions.

I think you should add qoutes around titles, for example, "It was " Night in a Box" , an event to increase awareness for homelessness..." and "...building to watch " The Pursuit of Happyness Happiness" ..."

Also...For this sentence, " In the warm four walls, people's real suffering felt so far away and we were told that if we got too chilled, we could sleep inside." You might want to try something like, "Within the warmth of my four walls, what I "endured" was nothing compare to the real deal."

You have to include concluding lines, maybe showing how this experience changed your mindset, since the topic is an experience that "intellectually" stimulates you.
OP em2always 15 / 79  
Oct 30, 2010   #5
Thank you guys for all your feeback. I still think I need more reflection on the experience & yet again i have exceeded the word limit
OP em2always 15 / 79  
Oct 30, 2010   #6
any more suggestions greatly appreciated! I'll edit yours in return
amused 1 / 3  
Oct 30, 2010   #7
I stood in the dinner line, my shivering hands gripping a plastic spoon and bowl inthe left, and a flimsy cup of water in the right. A single ladle of condensed chicken noodle soup poured into my bowl and Itook a white roll from the bag stamped with 99 cents in red letters.

In the next line I would avoid using the word 'suitable' because sleeping in a box isn't suitable at all. Maybe try using a different word?

When things were suitable , I unrolled my sleeping back into the brown cave and climbed in. My long legs didn't fit in the structure and as the cardboard door flaps hit my feet as I slept.

You can edit mine here:
tennislover 4 / 12  
Oct 30, 2010   #8
Your essay is really descriptive and full of details, which is probably why your over the word limit.

I had the same problem. I explained the event instead of actually explaining how i was affected by it. I think you should just get right into. Forget about the details, and talk about how this event made you step outside the box.
OP em2always 15 / 79  
Oct 30, 2010   #9
will it be boring without the details? i don't want to lose my writing flair...ah suggestions?
scout01 - / 2  
Oct 30, 2010   #10
sonye93
The movie title is actually spelled "Happyness" with a Y (reference to a misspelled daycare center in-movie)
Italack 1 / 1  
Oct 30, 2010   #11
"A single ladle of condensed chicken noodle soup poured into my bowl and I took broke a white roll from the bag stamped with 99 cents in red letters."

This part sounds a bit awkward:
...and I took broke a white roll from the bag stamped with 99 cents in red lettersI would suggest:
A single ladle of condensed chicken noodle soup poured into my bowl; I took a white roll from the bag stamped "99 cents" in red font.

Misspelling and another suggestion for this part:
I unrolled my sleeping back into the brown cave and climbed in.
I would suggest:
I unrolled my sleeping bag into the browncardboard cave and climbed in.

Say whhaaaat?:
This night was lucky not a common event for me.
I would suggest:
Luckily, the events of this night were not a common occurrence for me.
(I still dont like the way I put it on that one, but something along those lines)


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