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English Comp. CLEP - "Discontent is vital to growth and development"


SairaTasartir 5 / 37  
Apr 22, 2009   #1
I wrote this essay to practice for my upcoming English Comp CLEP. The essay question had to do with the phrase "Nobody ever made any progress by being contented or satisfied. Discontent is vital to growth and development whether we are talking about one person or a whole nation."-- basically I had to state whether I agreed with that or not... etc. Any feedback on what I should pay attention to during the actual test is greatly appreciated! This is the essay:

Although discontent is oftentimes considered to be synonymous with strife, it is in reality a harbinger of progress. Without discontent, no one would seek a better way to complete their tasks, and human invention would come to a stand-still. Men like Leonardo Da Vinci would cease to exist, and revolutions such as America's civil rights movement would never occur. Men would simply accept oppression unquestioningly and contentedly. Even in my own experience, this has proven true.

Leonardo Da Vinci has been dubbed a true "Renaissance man". Throughout his life, he wrote journals and books, created invention after invention, and studied everything from anatomy to astronomy. He was never satisfied with his current knowledge, however vast, but was always investigating some new idea. Leonardo dealt with the discontent he felt over man's inability to fly by concocting all sorts of flying apparatus, thus paving the way for inventors after him to create the hang-glider and the airplane.

When a little old black lady showed her discontent with discrimination by keeping her seat in a public bus, she sparked a movement of discontented African Americans towards one goal: equal rights. Through their collected dissatisfaction, and with the strong clear voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. resounding in Washington D.C., America took a step forward in the direction of equality. Once again, discontent instigated progress.

As an author and painter, even I am subject to feelings of discontent. Pride in my finished works rarely lasts for long, and often I need to force myself to stop painting over mistakes or endlessly trying to improve my "finished" drafts. It is precisely that discontent I feel that goads me on to improving my abilities. If I were content with my current skill, I would never improve. Therefore, I owe a lot to my discontent.

"Nobody ever made any progress by being contented or satisfied. Discontent is vital to growth and development whether we are talking about one person or a whole nation." This is a statement that is amazingly true, and as long as we continue to react to discontent in a constructive manner, the world as a whole will continue to progress and to be shaped by us.

silverystars 14 / 105  
Apr 22, 2009   #2
Hello,

You have a good start!

I would strengthen your introduction by placing your first sentence, which is a strong thesis statement, at the end of the paragraph: "Although discontent is oftentimes considered to be synonymous with strife, it is, in reality, a harbinger of progress." I would also strengthen the last paragraph by, in your own words, paraphrasing the essay question, rather than paste the entire quote verbatim.

Other suggestions:

Without discontent, no one would have reason to seek a better way to complete their tasks, and human invention would come to a standstill .

Leonardo dealt with the discontent he felt over man's inability to fly by concocting all sorts of flying apparatuses , thus paving the way for inventors after him to create the hang-glider and the airplane.

This is a statement that is amazingly true. A s long as...

Hope this helps! :)
michaelfrye1970 9 / 21  
Apr 22, 2009   #3
Maybe add some intro sentences to your paragraphs in order to tie them together.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 22, 2009   #4
You have a very strong essay here. Great job. One small grammatical point, though: "Through their collective dissatisfaction." The distinction is small but important.
OP SairaTasartir 5 / 37  
Apr 22, 2009   #5
SilveryStars--Good call. That will help!

michaelfrye1970-- Ah! Excellent! That will definitely help me on the test.

EF_Sean-- Thanks! I didn't see that!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Apr 23, 2009   #6
Don't miss this helpful new post from Sean about basic introductory structures in essays, which will be great to review.

Men like Leonardo Da Vinci would never have existed , and victories such as the American Revolution and Civil Rights Movement would never occur.

(Just an idea, above)

Great job; this is the second essay about complacency that I have seen today. You and I both helped to correct that other one...
OP SairaTasartir 5 / 37  
Apr 23, 2009   #7
Thanks for your help!
LOL... seems to be a popular topic! (either that, or we are both studying from the same book!)


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