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"War Against English" - Amherst Supplement, difficulty and achievement


Nightwing 2 / 4  
Dec 28, 2010   #1
The total words exceeded the word limit for Amherst. I ended up with more than 500 words. I cut out an entire paragraph but my essay (402 words) is still above word limit, which is 300 words. Any suggestion? Would you please look over my grammar? Thanks!

"Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted."

As a student whose native tongue is Korean, I am in constant warfare against the English language; everyday, I struggle to improve my reading and writing skill. Because of these weak skills and recommendations from my friends, I decided to take the AP Language and Composition course in hopes of improving. At first, I was hesitant about this class because I knew I wouldn't do well. I did not want to fail, but I signed up for the class anyway.

We had our first essay test the first week of school. In my overconfidence, I thought I had written my essay adequately, maybe a low C. I was angry with myself when I received my grade. I failed my very first test with a 68, followed by two more failed essays. I was really discouraged and even considered dropping the class for an easier one. I thought I had hit the wall of failure.

I told my friends who had already taken the class the previous year that I was giving up. They gave me stern looks and reprimanded me because those failed essays were not truly "failures" but an indication to work harder. My friends suggested that an hour of tutoring with my teacher would be the most effective way to improve my writing. I heeded their advice; I went to those tutorials and continued to practice timed essays. Surprisingly, I made my first passing score on my fourth essay test. The moment I saw the score, I almost jumped out of my seat to perform a jig. I had passed the giant hurdle! Near the end of the third quarter, my eyes almost bulged out of their sockets in shock when I saw an 80 on my research essay. For the first time in my junior year, I was very proud of my accomplishment. It showed me that I was progressing as a writer and eased some of the nagging doubts about myself. At the end of the final quarter, I achieved my goal of making a 90 on my essay; once again, I was proud of myself for accomplishing this goal.

Yes, I did "fail" my first three essays, but this "failure" led me to work harder than I had before. This hard work has benefited my future as a better writer and inspired me to work harder to achieve my goal. My failure turned into an evident achievement.
turntablespp 6 / 41  
Dec 28, 2010   #2
hmm, i feel this essay is cliche. Everyone fails, but what they individually make out of it is what makes them different from everyone. You have failed, but what specifically did you achieve. Just saying you achieved something is different that actually achieving...

I honestly did not understand what clearly was your achievement. I think if you focus on giving details then this essay will shine.

Sorry to be harsh, but I can see this essay go far ONLY if you be MORE SPECIFIC.

can you read my cornell essay?
prepies04 5 / 12  
Dec 28, 2010   #3
agree with turntable here, your essay is a little cliche.

especially for amherst, which really focuses on essays, this falls far too short.

Maybe it's the prompt. Why don't you look into other prompts? this "overcoming difficulty" theme is bound to be cliche.

Hope this helped.
eLVes_gLoRia 1 / 2  
Dec 28, 2010   #4
The idea is great, but it is kind of wordy here.
You need to be consice.
And you don't need too many words to tell others that you are successful or you acheive accomplishments.
All you need to do is to tell the AO that you true feelings in your heart.
What they want to know is YOU.
aiswim 4 / 28  
Dec 29, 2010   #5
I agree that it's a bit cliche.
I would just choose a completely different topic.
Try to think of more of a learning experience-- an achievement that changed really changed something about who you are today.

Best of luck.


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