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Mind helping me out? College Essay

s0m31john
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10/25/2008 7:49:37 PM
Posted: 8 years ago
I'm going to be submitting my Application to the University of Florida on Monday and I would like someone to proofread it. It's a rough draft now, I'm going to go over it more tomorrow.

Supposed to be between 400 and 500 words
Here's the prompt:

Describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the UF campus community. You may want to reflect on your family, your school or community activities, or your involvement in areas outside of school.

You can read the essay here:
https://docs.google.com...
Dnick94
Posts: 273
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10/25/2008 8:06:22 PM
Posted: 8 years ago
Here's your essay. I changed some grammar mistakes. Sorry that I couldn't make a better contribution.

Thinking back I am glad I did not have the cookie cutter, Mr. And Mrs. Jones, generic childhood. Discourage is easy to come by, there's always that want for missed time, things you did not have, but it can be used as an advantage. I do not get discouraged even having faced hardships that most kids should not have to, instead I see them as life experience giving and shaping the person I am today.

Homesickness is a fear that plagues new college freshman, but it is hard to be homesick if you have never become attached to a home. In suburbia one grows up in the same neighborhood and attends the same schools, so it's easy to see why a suburbanite would become homesick. With their lifestyle come other disadvantages like being stuck in the ways of your hometown rather than cultured in the customs of many. Me, I am neither a Yankee or a Rebel, a country boy or a city folk, but the best of both worlds. Living in Virginia I became accustom to the Mayberry lifestyle, while my time in Los Angeles, California taught me the hustle and bustle of city life. The plains of Texas and its peoples' cowboy mentality were a far cry from the peach pickers of upstate South Carolina. Then somehow I found myself in Florida where hopefully yet again I can grow as a person and as a Floridian, all the while sharing the culture of other places with the UF community.

When telling people all the places I've lived, they first thing they ask is if I'm a military brat, and I wish it were that simple. Born in Florida to parents who were never married was bad enough, and then my mother became involved with the wrong kind of people, which led to drug abuse. My grandmother, caring about her daughter's health came down from Virginia and took me, my sister, and mother to live with her and my aunt. The reasoning being if my mother was away from the bad influences she'd quite the drugs. Things didn't quite go as planned and she got involved with the same stuff in Virginia. We ended up hopping from relative to relative for that same reason, each time with the same thing happening. Not only did this create a stressful home life, but I was changing school often. Put in this kind of situation many kids would turn to the streets, maybe find acceptance in a gang. I see the excuse of a bad home life used all the time and I never buy into it. Jumping from school to school coupled with a drug abusing mother did not affect my performance at school, and I believe it benefited me in the long run. School was important to me because it was the only thing I had control over, and I plan to carry that same mentality with me to the UF campus.

The accumulation of my entire life, not some small event, will affect by college experience, and bring much to the UF campus. This is my hope, and what is written above is my motivation.
"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."
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Ragnar_Rahl
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10/25/2008 8:07:06 PM
Posted: 8 years ago
"Discourage is easy to come by, there's always that want for missed time, things you did not have, but it can be used as an advantage. "

Discouragement

"The reasoning being if my mother was away from the bad influences she'd quite the drugs. "
Quit the drugs.

Ooh, a sob story, that'll give ya better luck than my essay, even though mine was much longer :D
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
s0m31john
Posts: 1,879
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10/25/2008 8:19:39 PM
Posted: 8 years ago
Thanks for the help. Going over it with a fresh mind tomorrow will probably help too.

I would make it longer but as it is not it's 525 words. The application says 400 - 500 so I don't want to push it.
Sweatingjojo
Posts: 83
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10/25/2008 8:55:33 PM
Posted: 8 years ago
I would try to shorten this The reasoning being if my mother was away from the bad influences she'd quite the drugs. Things didn't quite go as planned and she got involved with the same stuff in Virginia. We ended up hopping from relative to relative for that same reason, each time with the same thing happening.

To something like this "The idea was that if my mother was in a different environment, she would [contractions are bad for this kind of thing] recover from the abuse. Unfortunately, that idea did not work in Virginia, and it was tried with a variety of relatives in a variety of states, all sharing the end result of her returning to drugs.

Meh, I reduced it by 4 words. But I guess they all count, right?
Sweatingjojo
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10/25/2008 8:57:46 PM
Posted: 8 years ago
Also, "Put in this kind of situation many kids would turn to the streets, maybe find acceptance in a gang. I see the excuse of a bad home life used all the time and I never buy into it. " Are contradictory statements.

You're saying,

" I think x could happen to other people that y, however when I hear x happened to other people that y, I think its baloney."
Sweatingjojo
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10/26/2008 8:33:43 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
At 10/26/2008 8:33:00 AM, LR4N6FTW4EVA wrote:
It's a little short. I mean, aren't they looking for the traditional three control essay? Or is UF weird like that?

400-500 words...
s0m31john
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10/26/2008 8:34:46 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
At 10/26/2008 8:33:00 AM, LR4N6FTW4EVA wrote:
It's a little short. I mean, aren't they looking for the traditional three control essay? Or is UF weird like that?

The application site says in bold letters 400 - 500 words.

What I've written is 525 words.
Rezzealaux
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10/26/2008 9:31:03 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
What is 3-5?
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PoeJoe
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10/26/2008 9:46:43 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
At 10/26/2008 9:31:03 AM, Rezzealaux wrote:
What is 3-5?

I think he means the standard 3-5 paragraph formula.

INCORRECT: "Discouragement is easy to come by, there's always that want for missed time, things you did not have, but it can be used as an advantage. "

"Discouragement is easy to come by, there's..."
You have to either insert a conjunction between "by" and "there's" or insert a period/semicolon. Otherwise, your sentence is a run-on.

"there's"
Don't use contractions in formal essays.

"that want"
Misuse of the pronoun "that". "That" doesn't refer to anything. Remove it or replace it with the word "a".

"things you did not have"
Props for placing the modifier in the correct place, but never use the word "things" in a formal essay. Actually, the modifier isn't needed; it's redundant.

"but it can be used as an advantage"
"It" is ambiguous. Misuse of a pronoun.

CORRECT: "Discouragement is easy to come by, because there will always exist a desire for lost time; at the same time though, lost time can be used as an advantage. "
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/26/2008 9:58:42 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
At 10/26/2008 8:36:54 AM, s0m31john wrote:
Also, all my teacher have told me not to get stuck writing in that standard 3-5 style.

They told me that too...

then I wind up in English 205, and although they don't want 3-5 paragraphs, they want everything else implicit to that style :D
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Kleptin
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10/28/2008 6:10:11 AM
Posted: 8 years ago
I've corrected a lot of College essays for my peers and some students I was in charge of before. Let me go over some things other people missed.

General note: Avoid contractions.

1. I would rephrase the following thusly:
generic "cookie-cutter-Mr.-And-Mrs.-Jones" childhood.

2. I have never found the word "discourage" used as a noun, doublecheck that.

3. In addition, this phrase lacks parallelism:

Discourage is easy to come by, there's always that want for missed time, things you did not have, but it can be used as an advantage.

The final phrase refers to "the want" of two other things. That is why it is singular. This distinction is unclear to the reader though, so I would reword it like this:

There is always that want for missed time, lost opportunities, and things well out of your reach, but *that want* can be used as an advantage

4. I do not get discouraged even having faced hardships that most kids should not have to, instead I see them as life experience giving and shaping the person I am today.

Replace the comma with a period, capitalize the "I" in "instead", and place a comma immediately following.

"...have to. Instead, I see"

5. Your section about Homesickness introduces the bulk of your essay, about not having ties. There is no segue from the previous paragraph to this one. It is an abrupt change.

6. Homesickness is a fear that plagues new college freshman, but it is hard to be homesick if you have never become attached to a home.

College freshman should be pluralized, and to say they are new is redundant.

7. With their lifestyle come other disadvantages like being stuck in the ways of your hometown rather than cultured in the customs of many.

Lifestyle should be pluralized, since "their" is referring to "suburbanites" and you are referring to many. In addition, "ways of your" should be "ways of their", to be consistent to the audience.

8. Me, I am neither a Yankee or a Rebel, a country boy or a city folk, but the best of both worlds.

Small grammatical errors. "Folk" refers more to a group. Keep parallel, use the singular form. "I am neither a adjective noun nor an adjective noun", keep it parallel.

"Me? I am neither a Yankee soldier NOR a Rebel soldier, a country boy NOR a city boy, but HAVE the best of both worlds"

9. Living in Virginia I became accustom to the Mayberry lifestyle

Use the past tense of accustom to match the past tense of "living"

10. "The plains of Texas and its peoples' cowboy mentality were a far cry from the peach pickers of upstate South Carolina.

You are comparing mentalities to people when you should be comparing mentalities to mentalities. Should be "were a far cry from those of the peach pickers of upstate South Carolina"

10. "Then somehow I found myself in Florida where hopefully yet again I can grow as a person and as a Floridian, all the while sharing the culture of other places with the UF community."

You need commas in that first line. It's up to you where to break it down.

11. Born in Florida to parents who were never married was bad enough, and then my mother became involved with the wrong kind of people, which led to drug abuse.

"blahblah was bad enough" should always be followed by "blahblah was even worse".

12. "My grandmother, caring about her daughter's health came down from Virginia and took me, my sister, and mother to live with her and my aunt. "

My grandmother, caring about her daughter's health **Comma**, came down from Virginia *TO* take my mother, my sister, and *I*, to live with her and my aunt.

13. The reasoning being if my mother was away from the bad influences she'd quite the drugs.

Quit is misspelled, do not start a paragraph with "the reasoning being". Also, when using "the reasoning being", include "that". "The reasoning being that"

14. Not only did this create a stressful home life, but I was changing school often.

School should be pluralized because you are changing from one school to another. "Changing schools".

15. "The accumulation of my entire life, not some small event, will affect by college experience, and bring much to the UF campus. This is my hope, and what is written above is my motivation."

I would say that aspects of your life are accumulated, not your entire life itself.

"The accumulation of these aspects of my life, and not just one particular aspect, will affect *MY* college..."

Good luck :)
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