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"The Attitude of Success!" - CBEST: successful person essay!


Jul 7, 2009   #1
A new CBEST essay! Please advice!

Topic 3: Organize a well-written essay about a person you know and has become very successful. This success has in some way changed him or her. Explain how he or she is now different.

The Attitude of Success!



People's attitudes often change on becoming successful. The prosperity makes them believe that they are no more the same person as before. As a result, their behavior towards those close to them is also changed. Surprising, how people change from having a good and positive attitude to an arrogant and disrespectful one. My friend Tim changed in this way after becoming very successful in marketing.

Working for poor and homeless people is a noble cause. When I met him, a long time ago, at San Francisco University, Tim worked as a volunteer in his weekends at a shelter downtown. Every Saturday morning, he collected food from his neighborhood and brought it to the protection center. Then, in the afternoon, he distributed the food to the homeless. A smile or an act of kindness can change for the moment the ugliness of life. Sometime he fed the handicapped and the sick. Tim loved to play with kids and teach them small card tricks or to provide help to others. I remember one story about a person that he helped. An old lady lost all her investments at the stock market and had a stroke. The shelter was the only place she could go to. She could not use the bathroom by herself and Tim would help her. Through her eyes, she always expressed her appreciation for Tim's help. His attitude impressed me and I had only the best words for him.

However, his success in marketing turned Tim's attitude. After graduating from the University, he started to work in a company selling cosmetics products. His consideration for clients helped him achieve higher and higher sales. This made him believe that no one could be better salesman than him. One day I met him in a mall where he was promoting a new perfume. His arrogance and sense of superiority shocked me. He acted as though he did not recognize me. I asked about his voluntary work for shelters, and his callous response surprised me. Not only had he stopped lending a hand to people, but he never donated a penny for them either. Instead, he spent money for useless thinks that, in his mind, made him unique. He was no more the person I knew; but was totally changed.

I now realize that you can never know people close to you completely! Anyway, I have kept only pleasant memories about Tim and treasure them. And, I have never stopped hopping that, by a miracle, he will again become the person I respected and admired!

'My friend Tim has changed his manner after a big success in marketing.'

I believe that you should use this sentence at the beginning of the second paragraph.

And you do not need to use ' for example ' at the beginning of the third sentence of your second paragraph.

'However, the big success in marketing 'turned' Tim's position in the opposite way'

I think you should say 'effected' instead of 'turned'
Jul 8, 2009   #4
You are on the right track. A couple of points:

1. You can delete most if not all of your first paragraph, which doesn't really say anything worth reading.

2. You give the reader a good sense of what an altruistic person Tim was. You don't do such a great job of explaining why or how he changed. That's because you don't supply specific details and anecdotes to show the new Tim the way you do when you are describing the old Tim. So, revise the second half of your essay to be more like the first half, adding in the same level of detail.
Jul 8, 2009   #5
I really like the specificity of this essay. It's very different than the usual "successful person" essay, which lauds the person in question. I do agree with Sean that, if you could perhaps remember exactly what Tim said or how he expressed his new attitude when you met in the mall, that would add more life to the second half of the essay.
Jul 8, 2009   #6
Hi SF_Sean,

First, thank you for your feedback. Second, I am a bit confuse. You wrote "You can delete most if not all of your first paragraph" but then "revise the second half of your essay to be more like the first half"

Please respond!
Jul 8, 2009   #7
Ah, I wondered if that would confuse you. What I meant was that you should delete the first paragraph, then revise what is currently your third paragraph to be more like what is currently your second paragraph.
Jul 8, 2009   #8
Thanks! I did changes in the first paragraph and I added a few details to the third. Also, I used Rajiv's notes. I look forward for a new opinion. Thanks in advance!
Jul 8, 2009   #9
The same criticism still apply. Your first paragraph, though stronger than before, can still go away. Your third paragraph has not changed much. You need specifics:

This made him believe that no one could touch him

How so?

His arrogance and superiority shocked me.

How did his promoting a brand of perfume show his arrogance and superiority.

Moreover, Tim played like he did not recognize me.

Explain in more detail.

His callous response surprised me. Not only had he stopped lending a hand to people, but he never donated a penny for them either.

What exactly did he say? Some believable dialogue would be nice here.

But, Tim spent money for useless thinks that made him unique, in his mind

Such as?
Jul 8, 2009   #10
I have to disagree with Sean about the third paragraph. While more details are always nice, it seems clear to this reader that his attitude of arrogance and superiority, as expressed in conversation with you (rather than as expressed by selling perfume) was what shocked you. Also, I think that we all know how people pretend not to recognize one another. Again, details would make it stronger as a piece of creative writing but the CBEST is looking for you to simply demonstrate competence in English. So, you really need to make sure your grammar is clean more than you need to worry about vivid writing. I'd avoid dialogue, as that opens the door for punctuation errors.

So, looking at that paragraph, I see:

One day I met him in a mall, where he was was promoting a new perfume.

But, Tim spent money for useless things that, in his mind, made him unique.
In many cases, People's attitudes [often] change [on] after they becom[ing] successful. The prosperity gained makes [them] some persons believe that they are no any more the same [person] as before. As a result, the[ir] behavior towards those close to them is [also] changed. Surprising, [how] people are change ing from [having] a good and positive attitude to an arrogant and disrespectful [one] position . My friend Tim changed [in this way] his manner after becoming very successful in marketing.
Jul 10, 2009   #12
Moreover, Tim played like he did not recognize me. I asked him about his voluntary work for shelters. His callous response surprised me. Not only had he stopped lending a hand to people, but he never donated a penny for them either.

Okay, I imagine the conversation going like this:

"How is your volunteer work with the shelters going?"

"I don't do it any more. I hate homeless people and will never donate a penny more to help them out."

This is pretty much what the essay implies happened at the moment, but it doesn't seem realistic, especially for someone who is pursing a marketing career and presumably knows how to avoid sounding like a completely heartless SOB in public. You really need to show rather than tell, for this to be truly effective.
Jul 10, 2009   #13
Thanks! Sean, I like your imaginary conversation, but I am not sure if a dialog part is a good fit into a CBEST essay. The essay has some changes, base on Rajiv comments (thank you!), and I would like to see next opinion!
Jul 10, 2009   #14
No, no . . . the conversation was meant to highlight the weakness of your description, not as suggested material for insertion. In any event, your most recent version of your essay is much stronger. You are more specific about his type of arrogance (he believed no one could be better at sales than him). Your rephrasing of some of the other sentences helps a lot, too. It is now more clear that your description of what he said is a summary of what you gleaned from the conversation, rather than an attempt to paraphrase it.


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