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View Full Version : Need some feedback on this essay, ASAP :D



Astrosimi
01-19-2010, 08:55 PM
So I'm writing an essay about my goals and aspirations. The main prize is a scholarship to any Florida university. So, I want this to be my shining moment. Therefore, I want you more experienced gentlemen (Ladies?) to criticize. Have no mercy at all. I need this to be perfect.


It is said that the advancement of the of the human race depends on the amount of knowledge we poses. It is also said that space is the final frontier. And so, two years ago, I decided on a scientific career in the stars; Astronomy, the study of the infinite universe.
I aspire to reach a stable, paying career in astronomy for many reasons, and those reasons are mainly rooted deeply in my childhood. Since my youth I’ve always been fascinated by what’s beyond our planet. I’ve asked myself questions such as, “Are we alone?”, or, “What else could be out there?”. I watched the Discovery Channel in my youth, and I still do. In recent Christmases, I’ve received series of books and movies relating to the aforementioned field of science. And subsequently, my interest in astronomy was solidified after reading famed astronomer Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”, a complete chronicle of the current knowledge we posses of space and it’s workings.
Reaching my goal will not be easy, but I have a plan prepared. I will enroll in the International Baccalaureate program at a local high school. The IB program at a local high school. The IB program has a 50% chance of earning a student a scholarship, with that chance rising as the student shows more promise and potential. Working hard enough, I will hopefully receive a scholarship to Cornell University, which has one of the best, if not THE best, astronomy programs in the country. There, I will strive to attain degrees in astronomy and astrophysics, preparing me with the qualifications needed to commence a career in the field. An ambitious plan, indeed, but nothing is impossible once you set your mind to it.
But in the end, one thing is certain; a scientist never works for the money. Sure, it is a nice, added benefit, but the pursuit of answers is driven by the mission to increase all of mankind’s knowledge of the world around them. As an astronomer, my never ending mission would be to share my knowledge with the world. All scientists share a silent oath of ethics; They should always make their discoveries and research public, and they should never falsify or alter information. By sharing whatever scientific information I may know or discover, I hope to expand humanity’s knowledge, and facilitate exploration, of the vast universe.
My goals are ambitious, and my mission to succeed is not an easy one. If and when I do succeed, even then, I may not make any significant discoveries; I sure hope I do, but either way, and in the end, it’s all just about being part of the universal effort to chart the final frontier.

Leather-Monkey
01-19-2010, 09:13 PM
Pretty good! Great use of grammar and punctuation! Can't think of anything to add really... make it longer perhaps?

Astrosimi
01-19-2010, 09:18 PM
Pretty good! Great use of grammar and punctuation! Can't think of anything to add really... make it longer perhaps?

Well, it's 450 words; the max is 500, but I guess I could fit something in there. Can't think of anything now, but I'll probably think of something. Thanks for the feedback!

Syroc
01-19-2010, 09:21 PM
it’s workings.
That should be "its workings"


I will enroll in the International Baccalaureate program at a local high school. The IB program at a local high school.
Redundant?


All scientists share a silent oath of ethics; they should always


If and when I do succeed, even then, I may not make any significant discoveries; I sure hope I do, but either way, and in the end, it’s all just about being part of the universal effort to chart the final frontier.
Consider revising.

/polishes grammar nazi badge


As for the content I think you captured well what everybody is going to write. In other words there is no unique selling point. I don't whether you need or even have one, but if you do I would add it.
But yes, overall it's well written.

dawesbr
01-21-2010, 01:37 AM
Syroc, your grammar nazi badge is rusty!


It is said that the advancement of the of the human race depends on the amount of knowledge we posess.


It is also said that space is the final frontier. And so, two years ago, I decided on a scientific career in the stars; Astronomy, the study of the infinite universe.

Not sure on the use of pop references here in a serious letter, though I'm not the one to judge. Also, it's unwise to start a sentence with "And", it often looks tacky.


I aspire to reach a stable, paying career in astronomy for many reasons, and those reasons are mainly rooted deeply in my childhood.

A bit clunky. "mainly rooted deeply" specifically sounds a bit off. Try reading this sentence out loud. Maybe "and the majority of these reasons are deeply linked to my childhood..."?


Since my youth I have always been fascinated by what’s beyond our planet. I have asked myself questions such as, “Are we alone?”, or, “What else could be out there?”. I have watched the Discovery Channel in my youth, and I still do.

My self-imposed 60 seconds rule applies here - Repetition, deviation, hesitation. Here, it's repetition - perhaps, "Since my youth...I watched the Discovery Channel since I was an infant"? Also note that formal letters should not really use abbreviations (hence I've changed I've to I have), that's slightly more colloquial. Also, I don't think that comma I've highlighted should be there, the ? in the quotation sorts it out.


In recent Christmases, I’ve received series of books and movies relating to the aforementioned field of science. And subsequently, my interest in astronomy was solidified after reading famed astronomer Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”, a complete chronicle of the current knowledge we posses of space and it’s workings.

I've->I have. No ands after a full stop. Should be and, subsequently. Not "and subsequently". You get the idea



Reaching my goal will not be easy, but I have a plan prepared. I will enroll in the International Baccalaureate program at a local high school. The IB program at a local high school. The IB program has a 50% chance of earning a student a scholarship, with that chance rising as the student shows more promise and potential.

Remember the Repitition Deviation Hesitation rule I mentioned earlier? Repetition here. IB program is said 3 times, and one of the sentences, while not even technically a sentence, is unneeded.


Working hard enough, I will hopefully receive a scholarship to Cornell University, which has one of the best, if not THE best, astronomy programs in the country.

I'm not sure on the technical letter-rules-of-etiquette, but in my opinion emphasis through anything like capitals, bold text, etc. looks tacky. Perhaps "Which has arguably the best astronomy program in the country."


There, I will strive to attain degrees in astronomy and astrophysics, preparing me with the qualifications needed to commence a career in the field. An ambitious plan, indeed, but nothing is impossible once you set your mind to it.

Too presumptive - make it clear this is your plan you are talking about. "If I achieve this goal, as I hope to, I will strive..." Also, I would consider making it "An ambitious plan indeed, but I believe that nothing is impossible..."



But in the end, one thing is certain - a scientist never works for the money. Sure, it is a nice, added benefit, but the pursuit of answers is driven by the mission to increase all of mankind’s knowledge of the world around them.

Note the dash. Also, remove the But from the start, it's the same as I say with And. Consider using However,... . I think there's also a conflicting conjugation with "mankind's" and "them". Mankind is singular, them is plural. "Mankind's knowledge of the world around us." would be better.


As an astronomer, my never ending mission would be to share my knowledge with the world. All scientists share a silent oath of ethics; They should always make their discoveries and research public, and they should never falsify or alter information.

You're off the hook here.


By sharing whatever scientific information I may know or discover, I hope to expand humanity’s knowledge, and facilitate exploration, of the vast universe.

Remove the last comma. Perhaps change "the vast" to "our vast".


My goals are ambitious, and my mission to succeed is not an easy one. If and when [/pink]I do succeed, even then[color=pink], I may not make any significant discoveries; I sure hope I do, but either way, and in the end, it’s all just about being part of the universal effort to chart the final frontier.

If and when sounds off. "If I do succeed, as I hope I will, even then...". Note the highlighted comma. "but either way, and in the end" is very clunky. "I sure hope I do, and either way, in the end, it is really all about.."

Note the removal of "just". "Just" makes the universal effort sound dumbed-down. Also, in a letter about astronomy I'd recommend using "global effort" instead of "universal", as that has other implications.






There you go, blow by blow. Oh, also, for the love of God add proper paragraphs! Put a line between each paragraph, and indent them.

Astrosimi
01-21-2010, 01:59 AM
Wow, guys :eek: I am currently correcting those as we speak. Those are huge.

For some reason the formatting didn't carry over when I copy-pasted, but I can assure you I Enter/Tab'd my paragraphs ;)

EDIT: Finished revision. It brought me to 447 words- 3 short from the max. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "You're off the hook." in your post. As in, off topic?

If you guys want me to post the current version, tell me so and I will.

dawesbr
01-21-2010, 09:46 PM
I said You're off the hook because it was the one sentence there wasn't an error on ;) Not sure if it's just "an English expression" but it means...you get off scot free? Or is that English...um...no ramifications.

Ragfell
01-27-2010, 03:43 AM
Post the current version.

In a way, i'm almost sad..the final frontier, as we currently know it, is very empty. It makes me wonder...

What if Theodore Roosevelt were our president now? I think he would've simply DROWNED NASA in funding so we could learn all there is to know about this final frontier.

Or he wouldve had us taking over the world. Either way, America wins.