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    • Join Date: Apr 2011
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    #1

    Please have a critical look at my essay!

    Hi there,

    I have just begun the practice test for the SAT in order to spot my strengts and weaknesses. As far as I am concerned the written essay is corrected by a computer only, making the rating (12/12) not very reliable in my opinion. As of this it would be great if someone could have a look at my essay in order to help me improve my style of writting!

    The task was to answer the following question:

    Essay Prompt
    Nowadays nothing is private: our culture has become too confessional and self-expressive. People think that to hide one’s thoughts or feelings is to pretend not to have those thoughts or feelings. They assume that honesty requires one to express every inclination and impulse.
    Adapted from J. David Velleman, "The Genesis of Shame"

    Assignment

    Should people make more of an effort to keep some things private? 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.


    My answer:

    In his book "The Genesis of Shame" J. David Velleman claims that people tend to hide their most private thoughts and feelings in order to pretend not to have those thoughts of feelings. Moreover they assert that honesty can only be achieved with the expression of every inclination and impulse. In the following this thesis is examined and commented on.

    The assertion of J.David Velleman contains right arguments, yet it should be considered to be an extreme point of view. Nowadays people have a disposition to mistake honesty with openness. Consequently they are rather communicative concerning their private life. But does honesty really requires you to divulge even your most private feelings and thoughts? Honesty, in my opinion, basicly describes the characteristic not to lie. A business man who describes his inner thoughts during a meeting would not be considered as honest but as communicative. In many conversations your counterpart has no interest in listening to your private wishes and fears.
    Furthermore can information be use to commit crime. If people in important positions talked about their privacy it would be very simple to blackmail. All the same with normal people, if the wrong information, such as photographies on facebook or a review about your last weekend fell into the wrong hands, such as your potential employer, your application might not be successful. On the other hand a politician who admits that he once consumed drugs would be seen as honest, but rather reckless. In fact honesty is not a value or quality which can be measured. It is rather a characteristic of human being which does not attract attention. Nobody can prove that a person is honest, but on the contrary it is easy to prove that you are not.

    To draw a conclusion people, especially teenagers, should control their urge to account their private life to anyone who is willing to listen, just be it the internet or a friend. Rather they should pay attention about what they post on the internet or to whom they give private information. Everything you say, everything you write on the internet could be told against them, especially since information on the internet is not completely deletable.

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by cjackson; 09-Apr-2011 at 23:43.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
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      • English
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    #2

    Re: Please have a critical look at my essay!

    I am not an English teacher, but I would be happy to make some comments on your essay. It is a good essay, but try to avoid saying "you" so much, try to use third person instead or at least be consistent from sentence to sentence.
    Quote Originally Posted by cjackson View Post
    Hi there,

    I have just begun the practice test for the SAT in order to spot my strengts and weaknesses. As far as I am concerned the written essay is corrected by a computer only, making the rating (12/12) not very reliable in my opinion. As of this it would be great if someone could have a look at my essay in order to help me improve my style of writting!

    The task was to answer the following question:

    Essay Prompt
    Nowadays nothing is private: our culture has become too confessional and self-expressive. People think that to hide one’s thoughts or feelings is to pretend not to have those thoughts or feelings. They assume that honesty requires one to express every inclination and impulse.
    Adapted from J. David Velleman, "The Genesis of Shame"

    Assignment

    Should people make more of an effort to keep some things private? 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.


    My answer:

    In his book "The Genesis of Shame" J. David Velleman claims that people tend to hide their most private thoughts and feelings in order to pretend not to have those thoughts of feelings. Moreover they assert that honesty can only be achieved with the expression of every inclination and impulse. In the following this thesis is examined and commented on. {replace this passive voice with active voice}

    The assertion of J.David Velleman contains right {correct is better word here} arguments, yet it should be considered to be an extreme point of view. Nowadays[,] people have a disposition to[towards] mistake[mistaking] {or "a tendency to mistake"} honesty with openness. Consequently[,] they are rather communicative concerning their private life. But does honesty really requires you to divulge even your most private feelings and thoughts{requires one to divulge one's would be better}? Honesty, in my opinion, basicly[instead] describes the characteristic not to lie.{I know what you are saying here, but it seems awkward maybe "In my opinion, honesty means simply not lying"} A business man{one word} who describes his inner thoughts during a meeting would not be considered as honest but as communicative.[communicative but not honest.] In many conversations your counterpart has no interest in listening to your private wishes and fears.
    Furthermore[,] can information be use to commit crime. {is this a questions?} If people in important positions talked about their privacy{"secrets" or "confidential information"} it[they] would be very simple to blackmail. All the same[Similarly,] with normal[everyday] people, if the wrong information, such as photographies[photographs] on facebook{capitalize} or a review about your last weekend fell into the wrong hands, such as your potential employer, your application might not be successful. On the other hand[,] a politician who admits that he once consumed[took illegal] drugs would be seen as honest, but rather reckless. In fact[,] honesty is not a value or quality which can be measured. It is rather a characteristic of human being[s] which does not attract attention. Nobody can prove that a person is honest, but on the contrary[,] it is easy to prove that you[they] are not.

    To draw a conclusion[In conclusion,] people, especially teenagers, should control their urge to account [recount] their private life to anyone who is willing to listen, just be it the internet or a friend. Rather[,] they should pay attention{be careful would be better word choice} about what they post on the internet or to whom they give private information. Everything you say, everything you write on the internet could be told against them, especially since information on the internet is not completely deletable{awkward, say "can never be completely deleted"}.

    Thank you in advance!

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