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I was about to climb into a battle tank; Essay on Child's play

FredParisFrance 61 / 7  
Apr 11, 2007   #1

could you please read my essay and give me some feedback?

Before repying, you should keep in mind that it is normal if it doesn't sound American because I am French and therefore English is not my mother tongue.

thank you in advance.

Experience essay - some feedback?

My task was to revise an anterior essay (previously posted on this page: Essay on Child's play). The process I have followed is bellow. Could you give me some feedback? Did I ameliorate my essay?

I made a fresh start with my first essay. I tried to read it as if it were somebody else's paper. Initially, I found the purpose was not consistent throughout my paper. I endeavored to choose a better purpose to improve the consistency from the introduction to the conclusion. Then, I stated an obvious thesis to give the readers an insight into the purpose of the paper and to guide them through their forthcoming reading. I used this thesis as an Ariadne's thread to write the paper in order to avoid wandering away. As a result, I erased the previous introduction and conclusion to start anew. When I wrote the introduction, I wanted to provide the reader with a succinct background to introduce the purpose and to establish a thesis. Finally, I depicted the parallel between the emotions I felt and the sensation of power experienced by officers during World War I. I struggled to preserve an academic language and to enliven the text to avert boredom. I strived to fill the text with emotions to arouse interest in the reader. On the other hand, I find it difficult to sprinkle the text with a few technical words to emphasize the topic but without overwhelming the reader. To unveil the emotions I felt a few years earlier, I sought to witness the scene as if I had been someone else. As far as unity is concerned, I attempted to keep as close as possible to the thread of my paper: the thesis. Consequently, I had to remove sentences that were useless for the "plot", and rewrite others. To be continually coherent throughout the paper, I narrowed the scope of the event I related and focused only on my emotions. Ultimately, I used short sentences to accelerate the reading in order to place the reader in an emotional situation more or less similar to the one I experienced. Next, I chose limited wider implications and future developments in the conclusion.

The latest revision:

Memory essay: From a position of power to the power of a position

The Marne is a famous French area because it was the scene of fierce battles during World War I. Those fights epitomize the expression of power in all its forms. A morning in March 1995, I was about to climb into a Leclerc battle tank located in the heart of this area. I was there to perform my first gunneries with this vehicle and thus to terminate a long preparation started a year earlier to become a testing operator for GIAT Industries. However, surprisingly enough, I was also on the brink of initiating my longest personal quest. That day, I encountered the most intense emotion I have never felt before. In the image of officers at the turn of the 20th century, I came across a formidable sentiment of absolute power over my acts.

We were in a barracks located at the heart of a triangle constituted by the villages named Mailly-Le-Camp, Mourmelon, and Suippes. What is surprising for a newcomer in this region is the landscape platitude. That apparent dullness was contrasting with my interior exhilaration. At eight o'clock, while the sun was rising, the officer accountable for the shooting range came in order to give us the codes required for the communications between the tank and the watchtower. A few minutes later, my boss transmitted the last recommendations and gave some encouragement before I penetrated into the Leclerc at the gunman position. The pilot, the chief, and I took our respective positions into the tank. The pilot started the turbine that produced a powerful sound, the same as a helicopter taking off. The diesel engine automatically switched on a few seconds later. It rumbled in the countryside, while drums rolled in my head, as for indicating the warning signs of an attack in the plaines. The chief initiated the electrical system of the turret. Orders were given. As an officer who marshals the troops, I collected my thoughts. Once the checklist was satisfactory, I took the turret controls. It boils down to raise an extraordinarily lethal weapon. I felt an overwhelming sense of power in the same way as a commandant who leads his troops. Then, the pilot took the tank up to about fifty kilometers per hour on the uneven path. I positioned my eyes on the sight and aimed at the moving target. I indicated the type of ammunition on the panel control. The automatic loader immediately selected the right round in the storage and loaded it in the cannon. Billions of electrons rushed through electronic equipment to execute my instructions. Then, I triggered the laser rangefinder, which provoked the activation of the target tracking system. I was unaware of the outside world. I was a commander on the threshold of launching an assault. I adjusted the stabilized sight. The target was not able to abscond from its fate. Numerous seconds had elapsed before I had the authorization from the chief to open the fire. He was still securing the last checks. Suddenly, "fire" he said. I applied a firm pressure on the ignition switch. The round was fired in the blink of an eye. Thousands of electrical and mechanical parts had just obeyed me to hit a 2000 meters distant target and smash it to smithereens. I was empowered to obliterate virtually all types of military vehicles or shelters. I was filled with puissance. The subsequent gunneries continued with the same process. Finally, the officer certified that all my gunneries were acceptable.

The feeling I experienced that day was a sensation of omnipotence. For the first time in my life, I have assumed a complete control over my life and my actions. Since that day, I have commenced to search ways of mastering my existence. Actually, I have been probing the use and abuse of power. It amounts to learn how to manage my professional and personal life. In addition, I have been gaining knowledge of exercising power over subordinates to better my management skills. What are the effects of the power given by a position of authority over someone? Does power ameliorate or corrupt human nature? Does the word "power" entail "absolute success"? Nevertheless, I can ascertain that in the case in point I am powerless to provide answers.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Apr 25, 2007   #2

You have done an excellent job of improving your essay! You succeeded in all the tasks you set yourself for making it better. :-) I have only a few small suggestions, mostly to do with grammar; your English is better than a lot of native English speakers (!) but occasionally, following the rules strictly can lead to a construction which a native English speaker would not use. Here are my suggestions:

The pilot, the chief, and I took our respective positions into the tank. - say "in the tank."

It rumbled in the countryside, while drums rolled in my head, as for indicating the warning signs of an attack in the plaines. - this has a somewhat awkward sound to it and it's not entirely clear what you mean about the planes (not "plaines"); were you saying that the drums rolled in your head as they would have if you had to worry that planes were about to attack? If so, you could say, "...the drums rolled in my head, beating a rhythm of warning, as if on alert for an attack from the air."

It boils down to raise an extraordinarily lethal weapon. - say "raising."

authorization from the chief to open the fire. - "open fire" is a term of art in the context of firing weapons. If you say "open the fire" it conjures an entirely different meaning, that of literally opening the doors of a furnace, perhaps, to expose a fire burning inside. You want "open fire" here.

Suddenly, "fire" he said. - "Suddenly" contrasts with the calmness of "he said." Better would be something like, "Suddenly, 'Fire!' he barked, and I flinched." There are probably a dozen better ways you could say that, but the idea is to match the "Suddenly" with what comes immediately after.

For the first time in my life, I have assumed a complete control over my life and my actions. - Because you are referring to a particular event in the past, you don't want to use the participle; say "I assumed."

It amounts to learn how to manage my professional and personal life. - say, "It amounts to learning how ..."

The only other suggestion I would make is to consider whether "puissance" really fits in this context. It is a word not often used in English (I had to look it up) and while you are correct that the definition certainly fits here, it does stand out as rather flowery language, in contrast to the technical words and "short sentences to accelerate the reading" (which are an excellent technique!) It's a judgment call, but I thought I'd bring it to your attention; as it's a word French origin, you are probably more familiar with it than most English-speaking readers would be.

You've done a really excellent job! Good work!


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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