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UC Prompt #1: Thou art General!


MonsieurWise 2 / 21  
Nov 25, 2009   #1
My 2nd essay is kinda long, so I can only write 300 words for this one... Please help me make it better. Please criticize it as harshly as you could O__o.

Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

----------------------------------------General.---------------------- -------------
"Check," my grandfather shouted, moving his brutal queen into position, threatening my trembling king hiding behind a pawn in the corner. "Another defeat, my young man," he teased...

I was introduced to chess when I was 8. I was fascinated; chess had a mysterious charm that drew me to it like a magnet. Maybe it was the sophisticated elegant nature of chess? Maybe it was the freedom beneath many rules of chess? I could not explain. I just know I played it like a sport, passionately.

However, I soon realized that chess was more than that. It was a world in itself, a world where each individual would express their personality, their fears and their beliefs; one might be an aggressive impertinent "Roaring German" tactician, while other might be a careful reserved "French Defense" tactic lover. It was a world where I could train and harness my own personal qualities.

In chess, I am the general. Like all generals, I have to be responsible and discipline. Once got in, I am responsible for the fate of my pieces and the game, and to emerge victorious, controlling my emotions and rely on logic alone are critical. However, determination and patience make a triumphant general, as I always want to be the victor. "Think 'Win, win, and win at any cost,' then grind your opponent down," my grandfather taught me.

In life, I also yearn for success, and I will fight for it obstinately until the end. Chess have given me everything I needed for my goal. Responsibility, discipline, determinations...are now my supporters, and I will use them wisely. I am a general, after all!

..."How to get out of this," I asked myself. Suddenly, I noticed that he created a deadly weakness in the center, so I exposed it. "Check king AND queen, grandpa!" I shouted back. He was amazed, then grinned: "Never give up in anything, do you?" "As long as I live, never," I smiled.
kstevens 2 / 3  
Nov 25, 2009   #2
This is a very creative way to answer the prompt and the metaphors are great.

But I think you should try to clearly state your "dreams and aspirations"..

But very good.. Please critique mine :)
lyra88 4 / 19  
Nov 25, 2009   #3
I agree with kstevens. you should try to focus more on where you come from - world- and what your dreams/aspirations are.

i give you kudos on paragraph 4, its written very well!!
Mgaldamez 1 / 4  
Nov 25, 2009   #4
As a whole, you essay reads very well and flows together well. However, there are a couple awkward sentences/ambiguities I think need to be cleared up.

"Check," my grandfather shouted, moving his brutal queen into position, threatening my trembling king, hiding behind a pawn in the corner. "Another defeat, my young man," he teased...

Maybe it was the sophisticated elegant nature of chess. Maybe it was the freedom beneath many rules of chess.

Here, I changed your question marks to period because they read more as statements than as questions.

Farsight is another key element in chess.

I haven't changed anything in the following sentence because I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Try to clear up the ambiguity. It seems like you're missing a couple words.

Once got in , I am responsible for the fate of my pieces and the game..

Other than that, you've written a solid essay!
xloserr 1 / 1  
Nov 26, 2009   #5
When I read it, I didn't really get what your "dreams and aspirations" are. So you want to be a real general? I think you kind of need to be more straightforward but overall, it's a really good essay. Can you read mine too ^_^
OP MonsieurWise 2 / 21  
Nov 26, 2009   #6
Thanks a lot guys, that really help me find my weaknesses.
But still I can't find a way to fix it. Aye...can "never give up" be an "aspiration"...?
It is that bad that I made xloserr think I want to be a real military general T___T.
I just can't find anything...I just want to success, but I can't be specific (of course I cannot say I want lots of money, a calm life with my family and good food...). So I chose this way to show that I will success at any cost.

Help me!!! >.<
@xloserr: I will read your essays tomorrow and give some feedback indeed!!
twizzlestraw 12 / 95  
Nov 26, 2009   #7
I guess you should always try to be who you really are, however, "success at any cost" is not exactly an endearing quality..

Overall, I like the analogy. As far as previous commnets go, you don't necessarily have to talk about your "dreams and aspirations" since the prompt doesn't ask for that specifically. The main thing is that you are expressing who you really are. You kind of do this, but it really should go into more depth. To save word count I would take out generalities and make your examples specific to you. For instance:

"However, I soon realized that chess was more than that. It was a world in itself, a world where each individual would express their personality, their fears and their beliefs; one might be an aggressive impertinent "Roaring German" tactician, while other might be a careful reserved "French Defense" tactic lover. It was a world where I could train and harness my own personal qualities."

- Instead of talking about their beliefs and their fears - Talk about your fears. And go into detail about how chess helps you overcome them (or whatever it helps you with). For that matter, I would take out all the "one"s and put "I"s. The essay is not supposed to reflect mankind, it supposed to reflect you.

Other mistakes:
chess had a mysterious charm that drawsdrew me to it like a magnet.

one has to look at the big picture, at all times .

The world of chess shaped my personality days by days.
- do you mean day by day?

Hope that helped, would you mind looking at mine?
Thanks!
OP MonsieurWise 2 / 21  
Nov 26, 2009   #8
Thanks Straw. I don't know, I'm just scared that I'll go off-topic and they will trash it (how terrible!!). So I fixed it a little, making it more clear about my aspirations from chess...

This is the modified one, please help me...:
zhuangjieyi 1 / 4  
Nov 26, 2009   #9
"Check," my grandfather shouted, moving his brutal queen into position to threaten my trembling king hiding behind a pawn in the corner. "Another defeat, my young man," he teased...

I was introduced to chess when I was 8. I was fascinated; chess had a mysterious charm that draws me to it like a magnet. Maybe it was the sophisticated elegant nature of chess? Maybe it was the freedom beneath many rules of chess? I could not explain it . I just know I played it like a sport: passionately.

However, I soon realized that chess was more than that. It was a world in itself, a world where each individual would express their personality, their fears and their beliefs; one might be an aggressive impertinent "Roaring German" tactician , while other might be a careful reserved "French Defense" tactic lover. It was a world where I could train and harness my own personal qualities. (I absolutely love the different German and French, but I suggest using different words other than tactician, then tactic...)

In chess, I am the general. Like all generals, I have to be determined and patient. "Think 'Win, win, and win at any cost,' and grind your opponent's nerve down," my grandfather taught me. Farsighted is another key element in chess; one has to look at the big picture, at all time. But, most importantly, it is the responsibility and self-discipline that makes a good general. Once I'm in , I am responsible for the fate of my pieces (maybe something stronger...like the lives of my soldiers?) and the game, and to emerge victorious, controlling my emotions and relying on logic alone are critical. The world of chess shaped my personality days by days (It may just be me, but I've never heard "days by days"... .

..."How to get out of this," I asked myself. Suddenly, I noticed that he created a deadly weakness in the center, so I exposed it. "Check king and queen!" I shouted back. He was amazed, then grinned: "Never give up in anything, do you?" "As long as I live, never," I smiled. LOVE THE ENDING XD

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------
^Did that so that it's not like I wrote the essay...otherwise, with my name under it, it's like I did!
Nandra 2 / 12  
Nov 27, 2009   #10
"Check," my grandfather shouted, moving his brutal queen into position, threatening my trembling king hiding behind a pawn in the corner. "Another defeat, my young man," he teased...

I was introduced to chess when I was 8. I was fascinated; chess had a mysterious charm that drew me to it like a magnet. Maybe it was the sophisticated, elegant nature of chess? Maybe it was the freedom beneath the many rules of chess? I could not explain. I just know I played it like a sport, passionately. (You might want to get rid of the double "of chess" - for example, "the freedom beneath its many rules".)

However, I soon realized that chess was more than that. It was a world in itself, a world where each individual could express their personality, their fears and their beliefs; one might be an aggressive, impertinent "Roaring German" tactician, while other might be a careful reserved "French Defense" tactic lover. It was a world where I could train and harness my own personal qualities. I agree with Zhuan about "tactician" and "tactic".)

In chess, I am the general. Like all generals, I have to be responsible and disciplined . Once I'm in, I am responsible for the fate of my pieces and the game, and to emerge victorious, controlling my emotions and rely on logic alone are critical. (Either controlling->control, or rely->relying; if you go with the latter, I think "are" should be changed to "is".) However(not really a contradiction - moreover, above all, etc.) , determination and patience make a triumphant general, and I always want to be the victor. "Think 'Win, win, and win at any cost, then grind your opponent down," my grandfather taught me.

In life, I also yearn for success, and I will fight for it obstinately until the end. Chess have given me everything I needed for my goal. Responsibility, discipline, determinations are now my supporters, and I will use them wisely. I am a general, after all! Exclamation is a little off-putting - any other way to get that emphasis?)

..."How to get out of this," I asked myself. Suddenly, I noticed that he had created a deadly weakness in the center, so I exposed it. "Check king AND queen, grandpa!" I shouted back. He was amazed, then grinned: "Never give up in anything, do you?" "As long as I live, never," I smiled.

I think it's really good, but I'd be careful about staying true to the prompt, even if it's an annoying one - you mentioned "my goal," but didn't really elaborate.

On the other hand, you are quite literally saying how it affected your goals - it enabled you to reach them. It's a different approach, but I don't see why it shouldn't work. Maybe you should just make it a little clearer that you're taking that angle?


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