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'love for my country' - Stanford essay: intellectually engaging idea.


hern255 13 / 48  
Dec 10, 2009   #1
I would really appreciate editing of grammar, spelling, punctuation, or any critique.

Do you think it is boring?
Do you really feel I am engaged with the idea presented?

Thank you in advance. :)

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Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

Looking at the blue and white of my flag waving in my hands and in the hands of three of my friends, in front of many other delegates from different countries, my mind was invaded with many images which made me remember El Salvador, my people, our situation. Images of our daily life: children selling candies or cleaning cars in traffic lights, complete families sleeping under a bridge, murders, crimes and extortions which affirm once again that El Salvador is the country with highest level of violence in the region. In that moment I thought: what do other countries have? What do they do that make them flourish and that we donït do? I was there, standing on the stage, happy to represent my country in a Math competition where we had the honor to get seventh place among Iberoamerica, and I thought why our country canït compete in other aspects as lowest level of poverty, or violence, good level of economy or tourism or other things that make other countries better than ours. Maybe I am not able yet to answer these questions fully, but after long meditation, I reached some conclusions: It is us, the new generation, who have the big challenge to transform our country, to make it a better place to live. In order to do that, one word came to my mind: LOVE. Whatever we want to do, we must to do it with love. After all, is love for my country what made me think in all those images that day, is love what make people to live in peace, to care about others, to pursue a safer world, where everybody has opportunity of development and where human rights are respected. Love is the key word. Now that I am asked about an engaging idea, I can say nothing engages me more than that: the improvement of my country and the usage of love as a weapon to change my country and thus the world.
Vulpix - / 71  
Dec 10, 2009   #2
Grammar edits:
Change your first sentence to begin with "As I looked at the blue and white [...]" Otherwise, "Looking at" refers to "my mind", and that doesn't really make sense- I mean, minds can't see anything, it's your eyes that see things.

"children selling candies or cleaning cars in traffic lights"
This should be "at traffic lights", since the children are not actually inside the traffic light.

"I thought why our country can't compete in other aspects as lowest level of poverty, or violence, good level of economy or tourism or other things that make other countries better than ours."

This phrase doesn't make very much sense to me- perhaps you should say "I wondered why our country didn't have the low poverty and violence levels, economic vitality, and tourism industry that would allow it to compete with its better-off neightbors", or something like that.

"Maybe I am not able yet to answer these questions fully, but after long meditation, I reached some conclusions: It is us, the new generation, who have the big challenge to transform our country, to make it a better place to live."

"Some conclusions" should be "a conclusion", singular, since you only mention one conclusion. Also, "It is us" doesn't need to be capitalized.

"In order to do that, one word came to my mind: LOVE. Whatever we want to do, we must to do it with love."

I like the emphasis, but I don't think "LOVE" needs to be in all caps. It seems a little, I don't know, abrupt? Also, you could combine those two sentences, because they basically say the same thing.

Overall, your essay is fairly well written and has a lot of potential. I think you could be a little more specific about your "conclusion", since just "love" is rather vague and reminiscent of the Beatles- all you need is love, love, love is all you need... don't get me started. How will love help- are you talking about philanthropy? Fighting corruption in the government? Encouraging entrepreneurship? There is definitely room for more detail.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Dec 10, 2009   #3
1. Sentence 1: Are you looking in the hands of your friends, or is the flag waving in their hands also? This is syntactic ambiguity.
2. Sentence 1: It's not readily apparent what "in front of" is modifying.
3. Sentence 1: "many other delegates" would cause a person to think some previous mention of a delegate or delegates has been made, which is not the case; therefore, "other" is unnecessary and confusing.

4. Sentence 2: "complete families" misuses the word "complete" definitionally, also lending your work another source of currency for ambiguity, in this case lexical ambiguity.

5. Sentence 2: Children are cleaning cars in traffic lights? This is blatantly incorrect.

So you have a smooth 2.5 errors per sentence and I don't think that's even a fair estimate of the greatest portion.
OP hern255 13 / 48  
Dec 11, 2009   #4
Thank you so much!
Very helpful!. I will revise the whole essay and consider your advices!

Have a nice day! :)
trosky2000 3 / 7  
Dec 11, 2009   #5
I think this is a well written essay. Im not a native english speaker myself but i did find your essay engaging and vivid.


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