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Old saying; 'experience is the best teacher' -Review for CLEP


tg2009 1 / 2  
Aug 12, 2009   #1
Hello! I just discovered this wonderful website and I was wondering if anyone would kindly read my essay. All criticism is welcome! And Thank you in advance.

Topic: The old saying 'experience is the best teacher' suggests to some people that they would benefit more from learning on the job or in the world than from continuing their formal education in school or classroom.

Write an essay in which you discuss the relative values of experiential and academic learning. Support your view...

During the early human civilizations there were no institutions or schools. The elders of the tribe would teach the young ones through the art of storytelling. The knowledge of hunting, gathering, arts and customs and even their culture was passed through the generations via stories and songs. The young would watch the old and learn. This is true with some tribes that exist even today.

Modernization has brought with it, documentation and technology. The art of orally passing knowledge to the new generation seems old and extinct. The modern world depends on technology as much as human labor or skills. It is, therefore, important that the modern man has a keen knowledge of both. With technological advancements happening at the speed of light, it is difficult to keep track of the new gadgets and equipment that is being invented. But we must not forget that technology was invented to help us advance and not the other way around. While it is important to learn the working of a computer, it is not imperative to be constantly ruled by the upgrades of a computer.

Now you may ask, how does this relate to our everyday life? It does. The formal education or education that takes place in schools and classrooms is like the working of the computer. It is important to go to school and learn the basics. Of course, then we don't realize why we are being asked to remember the tables of 13 and 23 and such, when the calculator can be accessed even from your cell-phone. Or why we have to learn the long and winding lines of a poet, long dead and perhaps forgotten. But when it comes to the "real world", we may need the same tables to see if we can buy groceries from our daily allowance. Or win the heart of a lovely maiden using those very long and winding lines!

However, more importantly, we should go to school for our advance studies. You can be an accountant, for example, if you are very good at math and calculations. But in today's competitive market, would somebody hire you if you said that? The simple answer is No. The same is true for any other profession. It is important to learn the basics of any profession, be it Accounts, Architecture, Engineering or even Medicine, in the environment of a school or a college.

Having said this, however, I must add that education does not stop there. Learning is a continuous process. So even if you have the basic knowledge of the profession, you will learn the tricks of the trade, in the field. If you are a Doctor, for example, and you have read all the books on how to administer a flu shot, it will be of no use if you cannot do the actual deed. It is, therefore, important that you should practice and have experience in the field.

To get experience it is also important that we find a good mentor, or an Elder, in the field. These elders, as I shall now refer to them, have the experience and the knowledge that they can impart to the young, like us. And then after being the field for 25 or 30 years, we could be fortunate enough to have the title of an Elder conferred upon us.

Another aspect of learning on the field is the problems. Although we might have read about certain scenarios in books or learned about the problems and their solutions, how do we solve them when we are faced with one? Or, there may come a time when we are faced with a problem that has never been documented. This is when we need experience. For example, if you are an Architect and you come across a client who is convinced that her entire house should have finishes and fixtures that are bright pink! How would you try and convince her, politely that although it is her money that she is spending and she will live in it alone, occasionally she might have a male visitor or two, who could be her prospective husband. And the bright pink would be nothing more than a turn-off. The elders also guide through such situations. There are times when one has to only watch and learn. It may be called internship or apprentice ship. This is a good stepping stone as it provides the young mind enough time to grasp the workings of the profession.

To conclude this essay, I would like to say that although we learn the basics in the classroom, we need the experience that we can get from the field. The two go hand-in-hand. There are some people who may not have the opportunity to go to school, because of their financial situations. And they learn as much, or even more, in the field. But if you are given the opportunity, everyone should go to school in order to acquire the appropriate skills to pursue their profession.

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 12, 2009   #2
I notice that you don't state your thesis until the end of the essay. That's fine for certain kinds of persuasive essays (withholding the thesis can be a good strategy to get a fair hearing from readers who you know will dispute that thesis) but generally is not a good idea for standardized tests.

Which CLEP?
OP tg2009 1 / 2  
Aug 12, 2009   #3
This is for the English Composition with Essay Writing.

That was one of my concerns that maybe I should start with an introductory paragraph which elaborates on the topic a little. Do you think that would be a better idea, since this is a CLEP test? I'm asking because, this is my first CLEP test, and I'm not sure what they would expect/ like better.

Thank you for your comments.
OP tg2009 1 / 2  
Aug 13, 2009   #4
Is that it? Are there any more pointers? I would love to hear more comments.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 14, 2009   #5
What about it, forum members? Any comments on this essay?
hollyn91 3 / 5  
Aug 20, 2009   #6
this was a really well thought out essay, like mentioned above though you should stick to the organization of Thesis, Body, Conclusion because you are not a professional writer, it's easier for someone grading a paper as well to know where you are going if your thesis is quite clear.
sad_an6el 5 / 9  
Aug 20, 2009   #7
Modernization has brought with it, documentation and technology. Should there be a comma here?
schubzcrazee 1 / 3  
Aug 21, 2009   #8
via- use "with" instead
young ones - children
old and extinct- its not really old and extint, i dont think, rather, say "less formal way of learning" or "not as common"

new gadgets and equipment being invented- just say new gadgets and equipment. being invented is strange grammer. plus, "new" already tells you what you need to know

"Now you may ask, how does this relate to our everyday life? It does" Lousy statement. You are not answering the question. Dont even include this.

When talking about going to college to get a hired. say how the work place WONT hire you without a GED or highschool diploma, the pressure of the number of people wanting to go to school is rising, it is more expensive etc
JunYuan 2 / 6  
Aug 25, 2009   #9
Sad_Angel, that comma is unnecessary.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Aug 25, 2009   #10
During the early human civilizations there were no institutions or schools.

Um, a civilization is by definition a relatively advanced society that has developed at least some agricultural practices and begun to form permanent settlements as a result. As such, they tend to have certain political and religious institutions that govern these settlements. A civilization without any institutions at all is a contradiction in terms. The tribes you reference later on wouldn't in fact be considered either civilized or part of civilization, unless they were governed by some other, non-tribal culture. You may want to consider starting out your essay with something less clearly erroneous.
JunYuan 2 / 6  
Aug 26, 2009   #11
it is difficult to keep track of the new gadgets and equipment that is being invented.

Should be an "are" here because of the word "and".
____________________________________________________________ _______________________

The formal education or education that takes place in schools and classrooms is like the working of the computer.

I would suggest including commas to make it a parenthesis so as to avoid looking too messy.

The formal education, education that takes place in schools and classrooms, is like the working of the computer.
____________________________________________________________ _______________________

tables of 13 and 23 and such

I actually didn't know what you were talking about. Then eventually I figured out that you probably were refering to the "multiplication table" or "time table". I might still be wrong, but I think you know what I'm implying.

____________________________________________________________ _______________________

Or why we have to learn the long and winding lines of a poet, long dead and perhaps forgotten. But when it comes to the "real world", we may need the same tables to see if we can buy groceries from our daily allowance. Or win the heart of a lovely maiden using those very long and winding lines!

Starting a sentence with a conjunction like "or" often draws a little attention. Although it is widely acceptable to start a sentence with a conjunction, I think starting TWO sentences with "or" so close together might be a little uncalled-for.

____________________________________________________________ _______________________

However, more importantly, we should go to school for our advance studies.

Can I suggest removing the word "However"? It seems a little redundant and, infact, the clause that follows seems to support the previous sentence rather then contradict it.

____________________________________________________________ _______________________

It is important to learn the basics of any profession, be it Accounts, Architecture, Engineering or even Medicine, in the environment of a school or a college.

The study of accounts is known as accountancy. I would suggest that you change "Accounts" with the word "Accountancy". I'm not sure if you should be capitalizing all the initial letters of each field of study as they are established words. I don't think you should.


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