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SAT - Failure is the beginning of education

cathchen 4 / 16  
Mar 5, 2011   #1
The novelist John Hersey wrote, 'Learning starts with failure; the first failure is the beginning of education."


What are your thoughts on the idea that failure is necessary for education to take place?
Compose an essay in which you express your views on this topic. Your essay may support, refute, or qualify the views expressed in the excerpt. What you write, however, must be relevant to the topic under discussion. Additionally, you must support your viewpoint, indicating your reasoning and providing examples based on your studies and/or experience.

SAT Challenge

Essay 2

"To err is human" is a very simple statement with far reaching implications. Indeed not succumbing to human imperfection is unrealistic, if not altogether impossible. Naturally, we humans are liable to make mistakes - be it professional, personal, emotional ones, or even some faux pas. As a result, when we seek knowledge or aspire to carry out a task or plan, we are bound to fail. Failure, however, is not the end of the world, and as such nor should it be the end of our journey

Failure, in fact, is the beginning of education. When we fail, we can learn not to repeat it, to analyze the failure and to anticipate. When we anticipate, we make necessary changes and better plans, and when we have better plans, we are bound to do things in a much better way. Failure is a life-long teacher that educates us about new ideas and ways of life. Without failure, we can't have a thorough education of what is right or wrong.

Nature also works in unpredictable way. In hindsight, at times, we make some decisions based on available information. Hence, change of situation deprives the current decision of its validity. Ergo, it becomes a mistake. A mistake at present, however, can turn out to be something good with changing situation. Nature explains, we are just bound to make mistakes and fail.

In my own experience, I have made a fair share of those mistakes. Close friends were upset with me and I was even more upset with myself. The thought of punishing myself was inevitable. But to err is human, we make mistakes, sometimes even because we are sleepy or negligent. In short, faulty perception or unpredictable future may cause failures. The failures I had in relationship, in my plans, in life have become a very great teacher for me that lay a good basis for what I should and should not do in my life.

Thomas Alfa Edison, is an epitome of a persistent man who never gave up despite his failures. He had to experience multiple failures before reaching the level of success of which he is known for today. He had failed 9,998 times before he succeeded in inventing the light bulb. Instead of letting himself beclouded by pessimism, he was resilient in learning from the failures.

The right to fail, Friedrich Nietzsche once said "What doesn't kill you will only make you strong". Indeed, failures make us stronger and educate us to be better. It's our prerogative right to make mistakes, therefore we shouldn't be afraid to fail. Failure, if anything, means that we now have an opportunity to learn. Thus, I agree that failure is necessary for education to take place. Even babies have to fall in their first steps so they can walk.

By Catherine

There is one confusion I have when I write SAT essay, it is about Point of Views. Which is better in this kind of essay? To use "we" like the one used in this essay (first person plural) or to use "one" (third person singular)? Thanks in advance.

sabrinayaa 12 / 22  
Mar 5, 2011   #2
Hi Caherine

I think it's better to use third person singular in your essay, particularly do not use "You" in

your essay.
OP cathchen 4 / 16  
Mar 5, 2011   #3
Thanks, Sabrina. But sometimes I feel confused, there are parts when i feel I am involved in my opinion, hence I use "we" and some parts where I want to point out about another person. But I agree with you, it sounds more formal and professional using third person. But, can we mix them in an essay?
kgw 2 / 2  
Mar 6, 2011   #4
Minor qualm, this sentence is a little foggy -- maybe change it up a little.

The right to fail, Friedrich Nietzsche once said "What doesn't kill you will only make you strong".

Could be:

Friedrich Nietzsche's explanation for failure was that, "What doesn't kill you will only make you strong."

Punctuation inside quotation. Otherwise, great essay! :]
OP cathchen 4 / 16  
Mar 7, 2011   #5
Thanks a lot, kgw
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Mar 10, 2011   #6
The right to fail, Friedrich Nietzsche once said "What doesn't kill you will only make you strong".---This part is confusing. It is not about having a "right" to fail.

But you have a great introduction... I think you should introduce this idea of the "right" to fail near the beginning of the essay so that it will not be confusing at the end. Let it be a theme for the essay.


I like the ending!
OP cathchen 4 / 16  
Mar 13, 2011   #7
Thanks a lot, Kevin, Yea, I agree with you, I think it is like a new idea in a conclusion. :)

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