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"Yes, Your Honor" - College Essay for Common Application


iyagabre91 1 / 3  
Aug 4, 2008   #1
Can you please read my college essay and tell me what you think?

Here it is:

"Objection Your Honor! The defense council is leading my client"
"I'm going to overrule that objection."
"Thank You Your Honor"
As I sat in front of a real judge, in a live courtroom at Queens Criminal Court, sweat
poured down the side of my face. I hoped that my witness was able to continue as she faced a barrage of the defense attorney's questions. Having my last objection overruled accelerated my anxiety to an extent where I was almost certain that I was going to lose my case.

"Does the prosecution have a closing argument?" the judge asked.
"Yes, Your Honor". I answered.
As I stood in front of the podium with my papers, the palms of my hands perspired and trembled with excessive fear, aware that these very last words was my only and final chance to get the verdict and win the competition.

"After reviewing the evidence, I found the defendant to be guilty and sustaining all charges", said the judge, concluding the trial. Overwhelmed with excitement and bliss, I shook my opponent's hand-proud of myself because of the victory, but more importantly, because I realized that I had a voice-a voice that was heard by a judge and accepted because of its strength and persuasiveness.

Until I joined the Long Island City High school Mock Trial team, I never could have imagined myself in a courtroom unless I was an average person watching in the back. I joined the team during my junior year of high school. After three months of practice, each team competes against another school's team. As a member of this group, I became more than just an observer in a courtroom; I was one of three prosecution attorneys.

Every Tuesday during mid- November through March, the team met at a law firm in lower Manhattan. We spent approximately three to four hours editing our work. Those days were the most chaotic days of the year. When I arrived home later than usual, my parents grew worried and concerned. Initially, they supported and gave me the opportunity to join the team, despite secretly hoping that I would quit. They were afraid that it would interfere with my academics and of what people thought when they heard that my grades abated. My parents kept reminding me to maintain my high GPA and to devote more time to my school work. Frankly, I never allowed anything to hinder my academic success, the constituent that determine whether I graduate from high school or not. However, I constantly found myself defending my interest in the team as well as the experience that I gained. Most of the people that I know developed a negative image of the team, and I find it difficult, if not, impossible to rectify.

Each time I performed, whether it was in court or in my classroom, a feeling of authority saturated my mind. Teachers, principles, and students awaited the verdict as they watched me during the trial. Although the defense councils deprecated my opinions, my confidence level was stationed, helping me play the game by its rules.

Plainly, I became so attached to the case and the team itself-as though we were a family. I lived the role of the lawyer in and out of the courtroom: at home, at the dinner table, in the mirror, and in my sleep.

This experience has helped me become a more open-minded individual. I express my opinions without reservation and am open to any new ideas and viewpoints. I learned to accept what others think of me. However, I do not intend to desist what I find pleasure in doing because of its misconceptions. Although I did not necessarily win the championship that year, I won what has a greater meaning. I won knowledge, knowledge of how an actual trial processes, courtroom etiquette, and most importantly, a loud, persuasive, confident, and assertive voice that states its opinion when necessary. With one year remaining in high school, I seek to convince my friends and family of the way the experience has impacted my life.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Aug 5, 2008   #2
Good work! Just a few errors. Your flow is good and your opening is very catchy.
OP iyagabre91 1 / 3  
Aug 5, 2008   #3
Thank You Gloria...I had so many people read this essay, including my college adviser, and he was not too happy about it...do you think there is anything that i can add or remove to perfect it? Despite what these people think, i am still going to use this topic and essay.

IYA
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Aug 6, 2008   #4
What did they say was wrong with it? Since I'm not sure what the prompt or guidelines are, I'm not really sure what else you could do with the piece.

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
OP iyagabre91 1 / 3  
Aug 6, 2008   #5
the prompt is:
In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer).
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Aug 6, 2008   #6
What was unsatisfactory with it?
OP iyagabre91 1 / 3  
Aug 12, 2008   #7
Hey
Im sorry. I haven't had a chance to open my computer to reply back.
Regarding the essay, they said that I need to show, not tell, what Iwant to write.
In other words, I need the reader to read between the lines. Do you have a way that I can do that in my essay?

Thank You
Iya Gabre
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Aug 12, 2008   #8
OK, so you've been writing in a passive voice. For instance:

"Until I joined the Long Island City High school mock trial team, I never could have imagined myself in a courtroom unless I was an average person watching in the back. I joined the team during my junior year of high school. After three months of practice, each team competes against another school's team. As a member of this group, I became more than just an observer in a courtroom; I was one of three prosecution attorneys."

This is a very passive paragraph. You can research more on the passive voice by doing an internet search using the keywords "passive voice" and "writing". For right now, it's like watching a very polite, proper movie. The actors don't want to step on anyone's toes, they are unsure of themselves, and they are all spectators, not players. To change this paragraph into the active voice, you would rework it as follows:

"Until I joined the Long Island City High school mock trial team, I never imagined myself in a courtroom unless I was an average person watching in the back. I joined the team during my junior year of high school. After three months of practice, each team competed against another school's team. As a member of this group, I was more than just an observer in a courtroom; I was one of three prosecution attorneys."

There's not a huge change; technically I only made two seperate modifications. But notice the tone? We can now tell that you are active in your story. Don't "want" to tell me, TELL me! Passive paragraphs are weak and flimsy; active passages are strong and impactful. It is very easy to slip into a passive tone; when we are not sure of ourselves or unsure of how the story we are telling will be taken, or when we are not confident of our abilities. Everybody does it, way more than you probably think. We just have to make sure that we don't do it in academics, because, as you can see, the instructors will pull much more from you.

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com


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