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'manned spaceflight and education' - CLEP TEST ESSAY


PeterV 3 / 4  
May 15, 2009   #1
I have to take my English/Essay CLEP Exam in 18 days..I felt it made sense for me to focus on essay elements/structure first, then once someone gives me a go ahead I would begin writing within the 45 minute window. I am 45 yrs old, been out school along time, but will do what ever it takes ! Please someone comment on this partial piece I wrote using a prompt from my son..oopss my high school son who is helping me, also know as teach now :>)

here is the topic:

A student has been picked to fly aboard the next space shuttle mission. That student is you. Think about what it would be like to fly on a shuttle mission. Write to tell what happened on your trip into outer space.

We sometimes take things for granted, gravity should not be one of them, that is, unless you are aboard the space shuttle traveling at 18,000 miles an hour orbiting the earth! Once I entered NASA orientation my studies began in earnest, I had been chosen to fly aboard the next shuttle mission, for this education was to be truly interactive. I began by evaluating the student selection process, then learned mundane tasks aboard ship, but most importantly was how this trip changed my view of people and our planet.

Candidates for this flight where evaluated based upon essays written by high school students, addressed to the Director of NASA Flight Programs in Cape Canaveral Florida. My essay was chosen because it reflected a position held by children almost 50 years ago, that our future is guided by our past, and space will afford us the opportunity to once again unite for a common good. The decision to send a student into space was made by astronauts, educators and parents. Their goal was to promote education, manned spaceflight, and lastly to introduce students to science centric mentoring programs, and to evaluate its impact on space exploration.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
May 16, 2009   #2
Your son is also known as "teacher" to you now? That is cool! Cool for him, too.

We sometimes take things for granted, but gravity should not be one of them -- that is, unless you are aboard the space shuttle, traveling at 18,000 miles an hour in the Earth 's orbit!

The way you originally had this sentence (above), it was a "run-on" sentence, because you did not include a conjunction. So, I added a conjunction: the word "but." The conjunction fixed it.

If you want to get very good at this stuff, read Strunk and White's Elements of Style. It is a tiny book with big information.

Now, the same problem occurs here: Once I entered NASA orientation, my studies began in earnest, because I had been chosen to fly aboard the next shuttle mission. For This education was to be truly interactive.

Above, it was a run-on sentence until I added the word "because." "Because is not a conjunction, but it does prevent the sentence from being a run-on sentence. And THEN I put a period after the word "mission" in order to make the long sentence more manageable.

A run-on sentence is like a double-dribble in basketball...

That last sentence of the first paragraph is great.

You will really enjoy Stephen King's book called On Writing. I recommend it to everyone.

High school candidates for this flight were chosen based on essays that they wrote and addressed to...

Their goal was to promote education and manned spaceflight, and also to introduce students to science-focused mentoring programs. It will be interesting to evaluate the impact of this combination of education programs and the space exploration.

Seems irresponsible to do this just a few years after the Challenger tragedy! I wouldn't let my kid do it! :)

Let's see some more writing samples! Good luck! :)
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
May 17, 2009   #3
Write to tell what happened on your trip into outer space.

Your essay seems to focus more on what happened before your trip into outer space, and on how you would have been selected for the flight. That's sort of interesting, but it seems a bit off topic. Perhaps you could try writing another piece that deals more with what a trip to outer space itself would actually be like? Good luck.


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