Practice GAMSAT essay critique and general discussion

Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
Hi everyone,

I'm starting this thread to let people post their essays in preparation for the GAMSAT. If you have an essay to critique, post it here. Please ensure that you at least link to the essay if you are critiquing it (use "reply with quote" and delete the bulk of the essay - the second post is the format

Here's one I got the other day, from krypton:

An artist should not be influenced by the public’s judgement of his or her work.

Art is the means in which an artist is able to articulate their inner feelings without inhibition and therefore it is vital to not allow their beliefs to be changed by those who critique them. Creating art is an occupation for some whereas it is a hobby for others; however it still serves the same purpose of portraying intrinsic emotions that words simply could not suffice. In today’s society, there are a great number of critics whose sole purpose is to find faults in the work of artists and to publicise this fault to the community, nonetheless it is up to the artist to use the criticism to strengthen their own belief which allows them to inspire that belief in others.

Most of the great artwork is not superficial, they have a complicated meaning behind what the artist is truly trying to convey. Every detail serves a purpose, when analysed it provides an insight into the artist’s mind and expresses their view on life depending on the imagery, textures and colours used. For example, Kermit Oliver, a painter who is famous for designer scarves made for Hermes always painted animals, suggesting something towards God’s creations and his view on religion. His artwork is unique, no other American artist painted the interaction of animals and humans in the way he did, which made him stand out against the rest. Although fair few criticised his work, there are those who also marvelled at the details and the abstract qualities his painting possessed which enticed them to have him design scarves for Hermes, which are now sold for $7000-$9000. The fame and fortune were no interest for him, simply in his own words, “Give me a room with a good northern light, my books, my art supplies and a bed and stick some food under the door and I’m the happiest man in the world”. He did not rely on his art to provide the sole income for his family, therefore he was free to truly express himself and allow him to paint from the inspirations he draws from his memory. By being unique, he was able to inspire others to strive for individuality and not surrender to conformity.

Through art, many individuals have gained the inspiration they have needed to achieve great feats and to further progress mankind. Artists such as Eminem have been subjected to an enormous amount of criticism throughout his career, yet he continues to draw inspiration from the events that has taken place in his life and translated that into music, many of which have become platinum hits worldwide. In order to rise above the hate and continue doing what he loves he goes by the saying, “You’ve got enemies? Good, that means you have stood up for something in your life”. Moral of the quote suggests that you should gain strength from those who critique you and not allow them to devour all the creativity within oneself. Essentially this quote perfectly captures an artist’s true intention, not only to express their views but to inspire others to live their life to the fullest potential.

However not all criticism can be brushed away, especially if an artist relies on their work as their sole means of income. In this circumstance, the artist would have to take into consideration the possible improvements that can be made to address the issues that the critics have put forth while at the same time not losing the originality and identity of the artist. Such instances are often encountered in the music industry, for example Justin Bieber released his first song of his album only to receive a large amount of negative feedback and was considered a joke throughout the world. However he did not allow that to dissuade him from having a career as a musician, he seeked the advice of more experienced and established musicians and made the genre of music that was particular to a certain target audience. Through this ploy, he was able to gain success and eventually now he’s quite wealthy and famous even if there are those who still criticise him. It is clear how in some circumstances the judgement passed out by others need to be accepted and integrated into one’s own work in order to achieve public approval, which is vital in most Artistic industry in order to form a fan base. Nevertheless it is also vitally important that no considerable change takes place that distorts the uniqueness of an artist; the balance between the two is needed to optimise their career.

Creating art is a difficult as there are always those who disagree with what the artist is trying to portray. The true challenge an artist faces is not changing their own beliefs to please the critics but to use all the knowledge that they possess to inspire their own belief in the mind of the critic, in order to allow the critic to see from the artist’s point of view. The only way this could be achieved is to accept criticism and use it to strengthen one’s own belief, which will allow a greater clarity when trying to distil this belief in others.
 

Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
An artist should not be influenced by the public’s judgement of his or her work.

Art is the means in which an artist is able to articulate their inner feelings ...

Feedback for krypton:

As far as I can tell, this is an argumentative essay (as opposed to the reflective type of essay, outlined in my guide) and it follows a good general structure of introduction, several paragraphs in the body (two for/one against points, which is a good way to balance an essay) and a conclusion.

The introduction in this essay does follow the structure. However, I feel that it rushes into the subject matter rather quickly without giving the reader any contextual background, which I think could be improved because it helps to engage the reader. Your three starting sentences are all statements without evidence which often can make your opinion sound very biased. Try not to make sweeping generalisations without concrete evidence.

Art is the means in which an artist is able to articulate their inner feelings without inhibition and therefore it is vital to not allow their beliefs to be changed by those who critique them. Creating art is an occupation for some whereas it is a hobby for others; however it still serves the same purpose of portraying intrinsic emotions that words simply could not suffice. In today’s society, there are a great number of critics whose sole purpose is to find faults in the work of artists and to publicise this fault to the community, nonetheless it is up to the artist to use the criticism to strengthen their own belief which allows them to inspire that belief in others.

How I might have tackled the above points might have been to elaborate a little bit:

Art can be thought of as the means in which an artist is able to articulate their inner feelings without inhibition. It is therefore vital for them to express unique and independent beliefs, because they may detract from the emotional value of the artwork. (Same meaning, but instead of saying art "is", saying art "can be thought of as" is a way where you do not remove all other definitions of art, for example. In addition, I have broken the sentence up into two parts for readability, and added an elaboration.)

Creating art is an occupation for some and a hobby for others. However, whether as a profession or a hobby, art serves the purpose of portraying intrinsic emotions where other means, such as words, may not have such a significant impact. (Reworded in my own style, which I prefer because it does not seem as biased and direct. I would also place this ahead of the first sentence just because of the context it creates.)

In today's society, there are many who critique artwork and publicise their opinion, whether positive or negative. It is the artist's role to use this criticism to strengthen their own belief, and thus to inspire that belief in others.


(Not all critics have the sole purpose which is why I have removed that sweeping statement; I have also made it somewhat more concise.)

So this makes the first paragraph read somewhat differently - to help to engage the reader more and alienate fewer readers with generalisations (however, possibly at the expense of making it a tad harder to find the main topic statement, though in my opinion, not too much):

Creating art is an occupation for some and a hobby for others. However, whether as a profession or a hobby, art serves the purpose of portraying intrinsic emotions where other means, such as words, may not have such a significant impact. Art can be thought of as the means in which an artist is able to articulate their inner feelings without inhibition. It is therefore vital for them to express unique and independent beliefs, because they may detract from the emotional value of the artwork. In today's society, there are many who critique artwork and publicise their opinion, whether positive or negative. It is the artist's role to use this criticism to strengthen their own belief, and thus to inspire that belief in others.

More later. Feel free to add your own essay or critique :)
 

krypton

Member
[MENTION=574]Mana[/MENTION] Thanks a lot for your time and feedback :)

Also regarding the feedback, yup I definitely get what you mean for my introduction. I never actually considered that it might be too one sided, I think it was just clumsy with the use of wording. So in the introduction, would you say that you can suggest what your view point is? So basically sum up the second and third paragraph in a line that gives the reader an idea of what might be discussed a bit later? I think I tried doing that but it didn't come out very effectively.

Just as a side note, did you think my examples and the way I expressed my argument in the body of the essay was satisfactory?
 

House

Member
GAMSAT essay critique

Hey,

I've read through a number of threads and tips on how you should approach GAMSAT essays. They were all really helpful so thanks guys. One more question though, what is the approximate word count for each essay you should aim for? (providing it is not useless junk)

I hope my essay does justice for the quote:
"If there is technology advances without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery."

Technology is an omnipresent element in this modern age. Once alien and frowned upon, it has ventures its way into our hearts, tattooing itself into souls and attesting for changes to our id, ego and superego. Once trusted and beloved for its processing wonders, ease and entertainment, it is now labelled as a meretricious hazard responsible for ruining our lives: physically, mentally and socially. I have seen many who has fallen victim to the seeming pervasive tentacles of technology, however, I believe it our responsibility to adapt and ricochet off its malevolence.

You are what you eat. Spoken from the mouth of personal trainers from the Biggest Loser, it is one of those bastard clichés that – despite my hate to admit – actually applies to society. Really. Did Fb point a gun to a poor soul’s head, forcing him to slate slanderous slangs on your wall? And does Youtube mirth in making one hate her by playing super skinny catwalk models? Midday TV segments on The View or The Doctor seem to writhe in painting a hot, bloody portrait of modern technology, catchphrase: Depression, Social Anxiety, Body Image. How can one cure oneself when the viewers – single mothers or the unemployed – are plagued in the first place?

It is with high elation that I attest my undying love for technology: Wi-Fi, phones, Youtube and all. They are like my buddies whom I can consult anywhere, anytime on whatever issue swimming in my head. Best part, I can scream at them or simply throw them at my digression without making a populated room really awkward. Simply marvellous.

Technology can either be a Michelle Bridges, or Mr. Kentucky. Depends on how you look at it. One part of Michelle’s diet is watching your fat and sugar intake of Fb and Otaku time, but the other is jogging and doing your crunches with healthy socialisation and hobbies. Michelle is not here to hold your hand the whole way, you know? Every so often, I like to visit the bathroom and sing “Man in the Mirror” – Jackson 5. In fact, I’m going to do that right now because I’ve been sitting for way to long.

Please comment. I would like to see your view on this issue as well :lol: thanks

House
 

Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
@House : I have merged your thread with this one for ease of reference.

@krypton :

Sorry it's been a while, I've been away all weekend.

Lets go through some of the examples and ways you expressed things in the essay and how I think you could have improved:

Most of the great artwork is not superficial, they have a complicated meaning behind what the artist is truly trying to convey. Every detail serves a purpose, when analysed it provides an insight into the artist’s mind and expresses their view on life depending on the imagery, textures and colours used. For example, Kermit Oliver, a painter who is famous for designer scarves made for Hermes always painted animals, suggesting something towards God’s creations and his view on religion. His artwork is unique, no other American artist painted the interaction of animals and humans in the way he did, which made him stand out against the rest. Although fair few criticised his work, there are those who also marvelled at the details and the abstract qualities his painting possessed which enticed them to have him design scarves for Hermes, which are now sold for $7000-$9000. The fame and fortune were no interest for him, simply in his own words, “Give me a room with a good northern light, my books, my art supplies and a bed and stick some food under the door and I’m the happiest man in the world”. He did not rely on his art to provide the sole income for his family, therefore he was free to truly express himself and allow him to paint from the inspirations he draws from his memory. By being unique, he was able to inspire others to strive for individuality and not surrender to conformity.


-> What I find difficult about this paragraph is trying to figure out the point of it. While I can see you are following Point Fact Explain, the key in any "Point" must be that it is easy to get said point.

Most of the great artwork is not superficial, they have a complicated meaning behind what the artist is truly trying to convey. Every detail serves a purpose, when analysed it provides an insight into the artist’s mind and expresses their view on life depending on the imagery, textures and colours used.

As far as I can tell, this is the point: "The meaning behind the expression of artwork is complex." I had to read that a few times to get that out of the sentence, and you can count on readability being a big part of your mark. Lets try that again, shall we?

Artwork is often intricate and complex. (again I've tried to remove big generalisations like "most artwork is not superficial").
These intricacies and complexities correspond to the meaning the artist is trying to convey, providing an insight into the artist's mind and views on life. Various textures, colours and images can be used to express the artist's emotions.

Doesn't that seem just a little bit more readable, and doesn't it make your point more obvious?

Your examples and following discussion are solid, and I can't fault you so much there.

Subsequent paragraphs could be improved in the same way - I find it difficult to figure out the point you are making, especially in the next paragraph where, as far as I can identify the topic sentence is hard to read (albeit easier than in the first).

Through art, many individuals have gained the inspiration they have needed to achieve great feats and to further progress mankind. Artists such as Eminem have been subjected to an enormous amount of criticism throughout his career, yet he continues to draw inspiration from the events that has taken place in his life and translated that into music, many of which have become platinum hits worldwide. In order to rise above the hate and continue doing what he loves he goes by the saying, “You’ve got enemies? Good, that means you have stood up for something in your life”. Moral of the quote suggests that you should gain strength from those who critique you and not allow them to devour all the creativity within oneself. Essentially this quote perfectly captures an artist’s true intention, not only to express their views but to inspire others to live their life to the fullest potential.



The conclusion:

Creating art is difficult as there are always those who disagree with what the artist is trying to portray. The true challenge an artist faces is not changing their own beliefs to please the critics but to use all the knowledge that they possess to inspire their own belief in the mind of the critic, in order to allow the critic to see from the artist’s point of view. The only way this could be achieved is to accept criticism and use it to strengthen one’s own belief, which will allow a greater clarity when trying to distil this belief in others.

A solid conclusion, apart from the first sentence, which I feel completely undermines the topic, which is that An artist should not be influenced by the public’s judgement of his or her work.

So creating artwork is not difficult because of those who disagree with what the artist is trying to portray - as far as I can tell your essay is saying that dealing with criticism can be difficult as an artist. The statement is not wrong - there will always be those who disagree with the artist's portrayal, but "disagreeing with a work of art" is not so much the issue as opposition to the meaning conveyed behind the art. This then follows much better with the rest of your conclusion:

Artists face the challenge of dealing with criticism of their art and opposition to their ideas. The aim of such an artist should not to be to change their beliefs to be similar to the critics, but to inspire the critic to see the artist's perspective. This could be achieved by using such criticism to strengthen the artist's own belief, and thus allow future audiences to understand the artist's expression with better clarity.


Thanks again for the essay, Krypton! I'd give it a solid 7/10 for structure and content, just losing a few points for readability and generalisations (and every so often a grammatical error, which certainly is assessable).
 
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Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
Hey,

I've read through a number of threads and tips on how you should approach GAMSAT essays. They were all really helpful so thanks guys. One more question though, what is the approximate word count for each essay you should aim for? (providing it is not useless junk)

This depends on how well you can write. I would suggest maybe 800-1000 words if you feel confident, and 600-700 words if you are less so.

I hope my essay does justice for the quote:
"If there is technology advances without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery."

Technology is an omnipresent element in this modern age. Once alien and frowned upon, it has ventured its way into our hearts, tattooing itself into souls and attesting for changes to our id, ego and superego. Once trusted and beloved for its processing wonders, ease and entertainment, it is now labelled as a meretricious hazard responsible for ruining our lives: physically, mentally and socially. I have seen many who has fallen victim to the seeming pervasive tentacles of technology, however, I believe it our responsibility to adapt and ricochet off its malevolence.

You are what you eat. Spoken from the mouth of personal trainers from the Biggest Loser, it is one of those bastard clichés that – despite my hate to admit – actually applies to society. Really. Did Fb point a gun to a poor soul’s head, forcing him to slate slanderous slangs on your wall? And does Youtube mirth in making one hate her by playing super skinny catwalk models? Midday TV segments on The View or The Doctor seem to writhe in painting a hot, bloody portrait of modern technology, catchphrase: Depression, Social Anxiety, Body Image. How can one cure oneself when the viewers – single mothers or the unemployed – are plagued in the first place?

It is with high elation that I attest my undying love for technology: Wi-Fi, phones, Youtube and all. They are like my buddies whom I can consult anywhere, anytime on whatever issue swimming in my head. Best part, I can scream at them or simply throw them at my digression without making a populated room really awkward. Simply marvellous.

Technology can either be a Michelle Bridges, or Mr. Kentucky. Depends on how you look at it. One part of Michelle’s diet is watching your fat and sugar intake of Fb and Otaku time, but the other is jogging and doing your crunches with healthy socialisation and hobbies. Michelle is not here to hold your hand the whole way, you know? Every so often, I like to visit the bathroom and sing “Man in the Mirror” – Jackson 5. In fact, I’m going to do that right now because I’ve been sitting for way to long.

Please comment. I would like to see your view on this issue as well :lol: thanks

House

My first thoughts on this essay are that you have a good vocabulary and this you can use to your advantage. However, be wary of being bombastic - your essay, especially the introduction, does come across a little bit like this - if you were to mention the pervasive tentacles of technology you'd get some very odd looks from some people. It is quite flippant in that sense, which can certainly work against you.

That isn't the biggest issue I had with this essay though. The biggest issue I have with it is that I can't figure out what the point of the essay is. What is the point you are trying to make here? Lets try to dissect it a little:

Technology is an omnipresent element in this modern age. Once alien and frowned upon, it has ventured its way into our hearts, tattooing itself into souls and attesting for changes to our id, ego and superego. Once trusted and beloved for its processing wonders, ease and entertainment, it is now labelled as a meretricious hazard responsible for ruining our lives: physically, mentally and socially. I have seen many who has fallen victim to the seeming pervasive tentacles of technology, however, I believe it our responsibility to adapt and ricochet off its malevolence.

As far as I can tell this is saying that technology is everywhere and everyone uses it in all aspects of our lives, and then that such pervasive use of it has a negative impact.

You are what you eat. Spoken from the mouth of personal trainers from the Biggest Loser, it is one of those bastard clichés that – despite my hate to admit – actually applies to society. Really. Did Fb point a gun to a poor soul’s head, forcing him to slate slanderous slangs on your wall? And does Youtube mirth in making one hate her by playing super skinny catwalk models? Midday TV segments on The View or The Doctor seem to writhe in painting a hot, bloody portrait of modern technology, catchphrase: Depression, Social Anxiety, Body Image. How can one cure oneself when the viewers – single mothers or the unemployed – are plagued in the first place?


What? From talking about technology and it's so called malevolence you've suddenly jumped to a new topic - it's completely disjointed from the introduction with no obvious link. While I realise there is a subtle one you are trying to get at here (as far as I can read, it's that it's not technology being pervasive that is the evil but people using it that are) it's difficult for the reader to make this link, and it's certainly difficult for the reader to dissect your examples when you haven't done so.

It is with high elation that I attest my undying love for technology: Wi-Fi, phones, Youtube and all. They are like my buddies whom I can consult anywhere, anytime on whatever issue swimming in my head. Best part, I can scream at them or simply throw them at my digression without making a populated room really awkward. Simply marvellous.


Again you jump, assuming the reader will make the link themselves. The point of this paragraph as far as I can see are that technology is a good thing because it is so convenient. Sure, but you've now made three different points in three paragraphs. The fourth seems to say in an incredibly roundabout way that balance is key and that the responsibility lies with the user of technology (hopefully tying the three paragraphs together) - but this is again incredibly difficult to follow. In addition, you've changed from the seemingly formal tone of the introduction to a completely colloquial one by this point.


This essay needs work. A lot of work, in fact, because it's very inaccessible to the reader. 10/10 for vocabulary... but 4/10 for structure, readability, and content. I think you need to reconsider your approach to writing essays here - make sure that in each paragraph your topic sentence is clear, that there is a logical link between paragraphs, and that you keep the tone of your language consistent.

Thanks for the essay House!
 
You are what you eat. Spoken from the mouth of personal trainers from the Biggest Loser, it is one of those bastard clichés that – despite my hate to admit – actually applies to society. Really. Did Fb point a gun to a poor soul’s head, forcing him to slate slanderous slangs on your wall? And does Youtube mirth in making one hate her by playing super skinny catwalk models? Midday TV segments on The View or The Doctor seem to writhe in painting a hot, bloody portrait of modern technology, catchphrase: Depression, Social Anxiety, Body Image. How can one cure oneself when the viewers – single mothers or the unemployed – are plagued in the first place?

Hi read by someone that has taken the gamsat and scored really well on the essay section that putting in rhetorical questions and talking quite philosophically and hypothetically brings down your score ALOT.
 
Always did awful in english

Hi I am applying for the GAMSAT in march - sitting the test in Wellington NZ. Need some critiquing for my essay. took about 40min to write.
Comment: You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.

To laugh at yourself is to view yourself with the eyes you judge others with.
The first day I really laughed at myself was when if front of a few people I walked into a pole while my mind was preoccupied. It was funny then just as it is still funny when I think of it now. Yeah it was slightly embarrassing and I’m pretty sure I blushed like mad but despite this I could see the humour in it and I know if it was someone else I would have laughed too, not out of spite but because I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I wasn’t the only person laughing at my little miss step the girl walking by at that moment laughed and we shared a smile.
I think that growing up means that you stop caring so much what people think of you and how that judge you, it is what you think of yourself that is important and shows maturity. It is easy to be bias and have unrealistic views towards yourself, it is much easier to laugh at someone else and their mistakes and be critical of their judgements but it is hard to take away the preconceived idea we have of ourselves and view our actions with the same prejudice. When you are younger and do something really embarrassing it is devastating and you can’t get past a wall in your mind that allows you to view it without it being tainted with emotions like embarrassment and maybe hurt. It is when you are able to accept the feelings the faux pas has conceived and still find the humour in it that shows a level of maturity.
Others may take the view that laughing at them self is not a prerequisite in growing up, that it is just a social skill that helps avoid embarrassment and is a lesson taught by their mothers. After all do the people that witness your embarrassing moment really know if you are genuinely laughing at yourself or just faking it? Maybe there are more important things in life that signify growing up like holding a steady job, managing finances, getting married and having children.
In my opinion all the aspects of growing up I mentioned before come down to a core of sound judgement and thinking processes. Getting married does not mean your mature, people get married every day believing that they are going to be together forever and I don’t know if that is true or not but 40% of the time that is unrealistic expectation they have of themselves and their situation. Would they have gotten married if they had viewed their relationship through the eyes of someone else or through the eyes they judge others with, I don’t know? But I do believe that being able to see yourself through the eyes you look at others is maturity, you are much better able to make better decisions and choices with your life. So the day you grow up is the day you first laugh at yourself.

Any advice on how im doing would be awesome. Thanks
 

Sam

¿umm?
Hi read by someone that has taken the gamsat and scored really well on the essay section that putting in rhetorical questions and talking quite philosophically and hypothetically brings down your score ALOT.

Yeah, hypothetical questions are really looked down upon, they're just far too easy. It's a really obvious stand out to an essay marker to remove some simple marks.
 

Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
Hi I am applying for the GAMSAT in march - sitting the test in Wellington NZ. Need some critiquing for my essay. took about 40min to write.
Comment: You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.

To laugh at yourself is to view yourself with the eyes you judge others with.
The first day I really laughed at myself was when if front of a few people I walked into a pole while my mind was preoccupied. It was funny then just as it is still funny when I think of it now. Yeah it was slightly embarrassing and I’m pretty sure I blushed like mad but despite this I could see the humour in it and I know if it was someone else I would have laughed too, not out of spite but because I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I wasn’t the only person laughing at my little miss step the girl walking by at that moment laughed and we shared a smile.
I think that growing up means that you stop caring so much what people think of you and how that judge you, it is what you think of yourself that is important and shows maturity. It is easy to be bias and have unrealistic views towards yourself, it is much easier to laugh at someone else and their mistakes and be critical of their judgements but it is hard to take away the preconceived idea we have of ourselves and view our actions with the same prejudice. When you are younger and do something really embarrassing it is devastating and you can’t get past a wall in your mind that allows you to view it without it being tainted with emotions like embarrassment and maybe hurt. It is when you are able to accept the feelings the faux pas has conceived and still find the humour in it that shows a level of maturity.
Others may take the view that laughing at them self is not a prerequisite in growing up, that it is just a social skill that helps avoid embarrassment and is a lesson taught by their mothers. After all do the people that witness your embarrassing moment really know if you are genuinely laughing at yourself or just faking it? Maybe there are more important things in life that signify growing up like holding a steady job, managing finances, getting married and having children.
In my opinion all the aspects of growing up I mentioned before come down to a core of sound judgement and thinking processes. Getting married does not mean your mature, people get married every day believing that they are going to be together forever and I don’t know if that is true or not but 40% of the time that is unrealistic expectation they have of themselves and their situation. Would they have gotten married if they had viewed their relationship through the eyes of someone else or through the eyes they judge others with, I don’t know? But I do believe that being able to see yourself through the eyes you look at others is maturity, you are much better able to make better decisions and choices with your life. So the day you grow up is the day you first laugh at yourself.

Any advice on how im doing would be awesome. Thanks

I assume that you are writing this as the second essay, the reflective essay. As it is, the first thing I notice about your writing style is that you write sentences that are more like a stream of consciousness rather than coherent sentences. It is appropriate to write more colloquially for the reflective essay, but not so much where it becomes hard to read. Good punctuation would also be ideal.

The first day I really laughed at myself was when if front of a few people I walked into a pole while my mind was preoccupied. It was funny then just as it is still funny when I think of it now. Yeah it was slightly embarrassing and I’m pretty sure I blushed like mad but despite this I could see the humour in it and I know if it was someone else I would have laughed too, not out of spite but because I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I wasn’t the only person laughing at my little miss step the girl walking by at that moment laughed and we shared a smile.


Let's start by fixing the grammar up at the very least:
The first day I really laughed at myself was when, in front of a few people, I walked into a pole while my mind was preoccupied.

Now do you think it could be possible to make this sentence read better? I feel that you just thought of something and vomited it out onto the paper as you were thinking.

The first day I laughed at myself was the day I walked into a pole, in front of a few people, while my mind was occupied.


Even that reads like you are trying to say too much, so I'm going to just cut out the last bit, given how irrelevant it is. Similar edits to the rest of the paragraph yield this:

The first day I laughed at myself was the day I walked into a pole.

It was funny then, just as it is still funny when I think of it. Although it was slightly embarrassing and I blushed like mad, I saw the humour in it. I know if it was someone else I would have laughed too, not out of spite but because I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I wasn’t the only person laughing at my little misstep - the girl walking by at that moment laughed too and we shared a smile.


I've removed all the repetition, fixed the grammar and sentence structure where I could, and left the rest as unchanged as possible. Even this reads somewhat better, in my opinion, in a much more succinct and readable way.

As far as the rest of the essay goes, the same things could be fixed - making your sentences readable, breaking them up, fixing punctuation and grammar, and removing all the repetition. Perhaps you'd like to do a quick revision of that essay to fix all those things up as it becomes easier to critique once it becomes more readable. This is key to any essay if you want the marker to focus on the message you are trying to express rather than your grasp (or lack thereof) of the language itself.
 

krypton

Member
[MENTION=574]Mana[/MENTION] Thanks a lot for you feedback, I really appreciate the time and effort you put in. Reading through the essay again, I get what you are saying. Hopefully I can incorporate some of your suggestions in the practice essays I do from now on :).
 

Dr Worm

Regular Member
Hi everyone,

An artist should not be influenced by the public’s judgement of his or her work.

Art is the means in which an artist is able to articulate their inner feelings without inhibition and therefore it is vital to not allow their beliefs to be changed by those who critique them.
Creating art is a difficult as there are always those who disagree with what the artist is trying to portray. The true challenge an artist faces is not changing their own beliefs to please the critics but to use all the knowledge that they possess to inspire their own belief in the mind of the critic, in order to allow the critic to see from the artist’s point of view. The only way this could be achieved is to accept criticism and use it to strengthen one’s own belief, which will allow a greater clarity when trying to distil this belief in others.

[MENTION=17615]krypton[/MENTION]: I felt you had the ideas right. Your introduction was not so good, it didn't have a thesis statment - it didn't outline the argument you would take. I felt you could have made a stronger argument and, indeed, you did. It would be good to see a strong statement early on. Be aware that the people marking your essay will be older than you, Justin Beiber is a good example only if you aren't pulling any punches in your argument, and if you define "artist". He sought, btw, not "seeked"; in addition you make some mistakes with your punctuation. If you find commas tricky, it's ok to avoid them and stick to short sentences. I am unsure - ultimatly if you argued the artists should accept criticism or ignore it. I may, however, be daft. I feel like you had a good though process, but needed to articulate your argument better. I did only read it briefly, I assume the examiners do likewise.

I do see that you've taken a "see both sides" position, and you make a good argument for your case. You need to be clearer about what case you are making.
 

krypton

Member
Hey thanks a lot for your feedback Dr Worm. Introduction is defintely one of my weak points. I try to summarise what I'm going to be addressing in the rest of my essay but I understand that I fail to make it clear where my view point lies. I'll be sure to work on that when I practice more essays. Hopefully I can put up another essay soon with the improvements suggested.

Just a quick question about the introduction, would you also inlcude a statement about your counter-argument or would this make the introduction too confusing? At the moment I've been trying to highlight the counter argument aswell and that might be a reason why my introduction seem as if I'm unsure on which side I'm on.

Thanks again :)
 

krypton

Member
I've tried to implement some of the improvements suggested. If I'm unsuccessful, I'll keep at it ^_^. Hopefully I still have a bit of time to correct it before GAMSAT day. This essay is part of Section B, I feel I should have used more personal examples to make it seem more discursive...atm it has a rather argumentative feel about it...

One question about discursive essays, would you consider both sides like a argumentative or would you just keep addressing the theme and make it flow like it's from a personal experience (so the essay is more one sided but focuses more on the theme).

“He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice”- Albert Einstein

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes”- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

“Read every day, something no one else is reading. Think every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be continually part of unanimity”-Christopher Morley

“We are half ruined by conformity, but we should be wholly ruined without it” – Charles Dudley Warner

The ability to lead a life without surrendering to conformity is what makes each individual unique. Individuality presents a more fruitful life where it may be filled with more risks but also a greater potential for reward. According to Einstein, “He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice”. The moral of the quote suggests that humans were given the privilege of having a more sophisticated organ that should be put to greater use furthering the progress of humankind.

There is usually a great emphasis in certain ethnic groups to fulfil the desires of parents and to carry on the tradition that has been long held throughout generations. For example, within the Asian community, there is a very strong desire to have their sons and daughters to occupy certain professions (namely doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers). However by doing so, they are potentially denying the opportunity of their children to pursue their innate desires that is more likely to bring them greater joy in life. For some enjoying a career is pivotal to excel because their motivation comes from passion that’s deep within. Therefore to drive those into a profession that is more undesirable will disable them to work to their fullest potential. Some may have tried to break free from the shackles that conformity binds those within the community; however they feel the repercussion would be unbearable because their actions would be frowned upon.

Pursuing dreams is one of the factors that allow humankind to progress. Especially inventors, require the freedom to formulate ideas without the objections of those who tend to “follow the crowd”. For example, Ferdinand Verbiest was the first ever person to create a steam powered engine. Even though his creation was unable to be recreated to a larger scale, it provided the impetus for other inventors to flirt with idea of having motor powered vehicles. Therefore simply an idea that seemed impractical and unrealistic at first has now led to an invention that is used worldwide, an invention that has added to the way in which humans have adapted to the resources given by planet Earth.

Nonetheless there have been occasions where conformity and unanimity has been beneficial to society. For example, even though the majority of the South African government implemented the idea of the Apartheid regime, this did not deter Nelson Mandela from fighting for the rights of the black South Africans. However, individual men and women were largely ignored by the highly oppressive government therefore Mandela required the combined efforts of his followers and the ANC and were able to attract worldwide attention. By doing so, Mandela once released from prison, was able to negotiate with F.W. Klerk about the equalities that is necessary if South Africa were to be known as the Rainbow Nation. Conformity in this instance was the cornerstone of success; the gathering of all those who wished quality among all South Africans were able to stand united against the oppressive forces of the government and were able to have their voices heard.

As a result, going back to Einstein’s quote shows us that this is not entirely true. For some, straying away from conformity is important with regards to having a more fulfilling life, a life that is more unique and is suited to his own capabilities. However progress of humankind does not always have to come at the expense of conformity, as potential benefits are seen from both sides. Therefore it is important to realise the balance needed to optimally achieve progress, this idea is best illustrated by Charles Dudley Warner’s quote “We are half ruined by conformity, but we should be wholly ruined without it”.
 
Hi there, This is my first attempt at an essay style question and was just wondering if this was the kind of essay that I am expected to write and what you all think? I am open to any feedback and would be very grateful for any advice on how to improve. My essay is based on the 2 quotes, "If there is technology advances without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery." and "The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village". Many Thanks.Technology has advanced dramatically in the last 20 yearswith the days of sending postcards and developing pictures long past.
With developments in social networking, more and more peopleare signing up to new sites daily. As in the words of Michael Harrington ‘Socialmisery’ becomes unavoidable as it becomes almost pointless to pick up the phoneand have a conversation with them when their Facebook or twitter accounts areupdated almost hourly! For those people who do not have access to technology orsocial networking for example the elderly (although less so nowadays) theybegin to feel isolated and even separated form society.
Social Networking has played a major role in technological advancesand whilst it can be beneficial, to some it can have a detrimental effect ontheir lives. Social networking can open the door to cyber-bullying and evenworse in the case of Hannah Smith earlier this year, Suicide.
Whilst it is easy to find fault in technological advances,some if not most have been beneficial to society and to the economy. MarshallMcLuhan states that the world can now be seen as a ‘Global Village’ due to advancesin technology with respect to communication. Communicating with people from allparts of the world has become much easier over the past few years with thedevelopment of Video and conference calling available for free on websites suchas Skype. This technology has allowed families and friends to keep in touchwith each other and have a ‘face -to-face’ conversation whilst being miles awayfrom each other. With regard to businesses it has saved some companies largeamounts of money and reduced their carbon footprints as travelling to a meetingplace is no longer necessary. In thesecases, technology advancements shave most definitely been beneficial.
As with everything, moderation is key. It may be all goodand well to upload your holiday snaps on Facebook, but the personal touch ofputting pen to paper and sending a postcard to a loved one can surely nevergrow old.
MmMMMMMMmmMManfag""""""
 

Tig88

Lurker
Hi Mana,

Thank you so much, this is wonderful! I'm an English Lit graduate and I thought this section was going to be a breeze....I had a big shock when I started doing the practice essays a few days ago. Here's one that I'd be so so grateful to have feedback on. ( I was going to 'censor' out some of the title with the black strips--but I thought it might not go down very well...and I couldn't work out how to do it on the computer.)

It's Section A--Quotation I used is: 'Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.'

'Censorship: A mark of an Authoritarian Regime or a Necessary Boundary to Help People Realise When it's Time to Stop'

Whether or not censorship is necessary for society, and whether or not it delineates an overbearing and even authoritarian form of control, are matters of much debate. Once a certain level of censorship on art, literature or in the media are implemented, is it an inevitably slippery slope towards more government control over what we see, read or say?

Some believe it is necessary to establish limitations on how much people can express themselves. Those who suffer from depraved and illegal fantasies about children, for example, certainly should not have their desires available to download from internet sites or to borrow from a library bookshelf. The same line of argument suggests that what is acceptable for us to witness or learn about via the media, online or in literature defines what is acceptable in our society to look at. To have an 'anything goes' freedom of thought and speech then, would allow the unthinkable to become thinkable, and the unspeakable to be spoken.

This however is a slippery slope in itself. We need only to turn to events in stricter societies around the world to see how quickly censorship can escalate into discrimination and then, worse still, into violent punishment. The Taliban rule in Afghanistan saw the destruction of countless precious pieces of art and ancient literature. Their powerful censorship had tragic consequences and it was only made possible via an even more powerful threat and reality of violence if the censorship laws were challenged. It was ultimately the (relatively) uncensored realm of social media that gave rise to the most powerful political movement since the French Revolution--the Arab Spring was facilitated by the hope and freedom that connected millions of people and let them know they spoke with one voice.

The internet does however have its dark side. With the prevalence of connectivity to the web, there is now access to anything anyone could possibly imagine. After diving deep into the furthest corner of the mind, even the most abstract thought can be found online. Perhaps this means that David Cameron is right to start constructing limitations around our online freedom. It is hard to ignore the question however that if people who really want to look at child pornography want their desires fulfilled, they're going to be the first to 'opt-in' to Cameron's porn option, and find the unsavoury material anyway. People will always seek out illicit and bizarre subject matter, regardless of censorship. If we live in a censored society, it actually prevents us from learning moral responsibility. Without the freedom to choose, this lesson can never be taught.

Therefore, it is not censorship that is necessary, it is better guidance that is needed. Censorship does not reflect a 'society's lack of confidence in itself', rather it reveals a society that has forgotten how to teach people about respect, kindness and dignity. For all the young people who are realising their sexuality via the unrealistic and sometimes abusive window of pornography, there does need to be a message that this is not normal or respectful to women and men, but there does not need to be a blindfold shielding their curiosity. To silence human expression is the mark of an authoritarian regime, to criticise it in the open is the mark of a civil society.


Thanks very much!
 

ElenaVZ

Member
Hi guys, pls have a look and let me know what you think :)) I'm taking this year's UK gamsat in Melbourne. 8 days to go... Got a bit stage fright at the moment, especially for writing essays... Anyhow, if anyone have a chance, pls let me know what you think of my writing. THX very much!!

TASK B : It is not worthwhile to go around the world to count the cats in Zanzibar

Let’s travel---Slowly

Travelling seems to be an ideal way for us to escape from our over-scheduled modern lifestyle. Quite often, we spent hours researching and planning for our holidays, jumping on a plan with great expectations for our runaway trip. Once we’ve landed, we grit our teeth and spend a further hour at these so called ‘tourists attractions’, hiding behind our thick camera glass, we interact with foreign lands through camera lenses, in the rush of frame and document every important moment.

For the rest of our holidays, we then, as the tourists, move about in crowds from one must-see to another, typically looking but not always seeing, constantly photographing instead of thinking. And yet we delightedly finish this short get away trip, coming back to our hasty life, with a delusion of feeling fresh and reboot. Ironically, when we were asked to describe the most memorable experience from our journey, here’s how we replied: ‘We’ve counted the cats in Zanzibar’.

Indeed, most of the time, we live an entirely circumscribed existence being slave to a dead routine. We run after time, hurry from various As to Bs. Sometimes, we forget how to slow down, to explore ourselves, to enjoy life. As we travelling fast, not only we’ve missed the scenery along the way, we’ve also lost the sense of the purpose of our journey. There’s an Arab saying that a person’s soul can only travel as fast as a camel can trot. No doubt, with today’s air travel, we flight across the continents with exceedingly fast speed, and yet we’ve lost our souls far behind us.

Let’s slow our pace down! Jet planes are for getting places not seeing places. Let’s take time to look at the sky, the edge of a forest, to absorb the beauty and inspiration of a mountain or cathedral. When we slow down, we will learn the way to live. Only then, our vision will be enlarged, our mind will be opened. Only then, we will be fully committed, body and soul, to every details throughout our journey. Only then, can we watch with passion the scene of the sun setting over the banks of a river.

Undeniably, travel slowly can expand our appreciation of things, educate our tastes, and introduce us to novelties. It is this curiosity which has been urging bold and imaginative men to undertake extensive travels over land and sea and discover different peoples and nations. Hence, Columbus underwent horrendous privation to discover the New World. Vasco-de-Gama found a sea route from Europe to India. Marco Polo achieved first hand experience of the splendour of Imperial China.

Someone once said: ‘We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves’. No doubt, we travel so that we can live each day to its fullest. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than what we read from the books. And we travel, in essence, to slow time down and get take in, and fall in love once more.

THANKS!! :)))
 

Havox

Sword and Martini Guy!
Emeritus Staff
Your use of commas is pretty poor but the discussion is interesting.
 
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ElenaVZ

Member
Hi Havox, thx for your comment. Hmm, do you reckon that i've been using too much commas in the paragraph or? Sometimes, i tried to use commas to pause and to enphasis some of my ideas.
 

Havox

Sword and Martini Guy!
Emeritus Staff
Had a second reading and you really need to watch your use of syntax and correct use of grammar/word tense and whatnot as a whole. It really winds up disrupting the flow of what is really quite a well written prose piece. An example is this "with a delusion of feeling fresh and reboot" and while I understand what you're saying, the phrase itself doesn't make sense. The easiest way of checking your own writing is to read it aloud to yourself, read every word and actually pause when you've used a comma and stop with the full stops. That way you'll know when you've incorrectly broken up a sentence. "Undeniably, travel slowly can expand our appreciation of things, educate our tastes, and introduce us to novelties." This is a perfect example. Your first section of that sentence should be phrased "Undeniably, slow travel can..." while later on I note that a comma should never be used before the word "and". In this sentence "For the rest of our holidays, we then, as the tourists, move about in crowds..." it should have been written "For the rest of our holidays we then, as tourists, move about..." Again, I apologise if I'm being blunt here but the use of grammar in most of this piece is a bit questionable.
While isolated errors may be overlooked by a critical marker, if I can spot an incorrect use of syntax or a phrase expressed poorly every second sentence then it really doesn't look good regardless of content.

~Hav.
 
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