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Memories are something everyone has! - SAT

kendra 4 / 2  
Feb 24, 2007   #1
HI, this is another essay I wrote to practice for the SAT. Below is the prompt and then the essay I wrote. Please feel free to give me any tips. More specifically I would like to know if it is too impersonal or if it doesn't give a broad view of the situation.

Assignment: Do memories hinder or help people in their effort to learn from the past and succeed in the present? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Memories are something everyone has. Whether they are painful or pleasant each person has a past. The difference is what is done with it. Many believe that the past is irrelevant and mustn't be brought into discussion, however memories can be powerful and life changing. One's past is part of that individual and must be embraced with respect.

Understanding what has past is a significant step towards comprehending the present. That is the very reason our society teaches history in its classrooms; once it is understood we can begin to grasp the complexity of modern society. The same is true with human lives. The past must be remembered with care because it shapes individual lives.

Furthermore, the past also holds the ability to teach. When people reject their past they are truly rejecting themselves the opportunity to learn and to grow. To evaluate a previous mistake is become empowered with antidotes against committing the same offense again.

In conclusion, memories hold strong influential power, and when used correctly that power can successfully enable an individual. They have the ability to teach and mold one's life. One's past must be treated with utmost care and worn with intense pride.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 24, 2007   #2

It's good to get input from someone who has just been through it, so thanks, aznpoo! I will give you my impressions as well.

I think you don't really address an important part of the prompt: "Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations." Your essay gives some broad assertions and general statements of alleged fact without any supporting evidence. This is what aznpoo means by "prove it!" Here are some ideas for examples you could use to "prove" your assertions:

Nazi Germany - (This is a classic example that is often used with regard to "learning from the past.") Using memories of what happened there in WWII can help Germans and people of other nations build better governments.

On a smaller scale, unfortunate events such as being arrested for drunk driving or being expelled for cheating on an exam, while they may invoke painful memories, can be used as life lessons that will prove extremely valuable.

Beware of overly simplistic statements such as "Memories are something everyone has." While true, it is such an obvious statement that it is rather elementary. Try something more to the point like, "Memories, and how they are dealt with, can have a significant impact on the path a person takes in life."

Look out for tricky spellings. Instead of "Understanding what has past" you want "Understanding what has passed." The noun is "the past"; the verb is "passed."

Best of luck with your studies!


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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