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Old 18th October 2010, 10:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Check my essay please! :)

Hi,

O levels is already less than 1 week away already so I'm just really worried for my English compo as it has not always been good, I got 15/30 for prelim 2.

So here is my essay for checking on nov2007 English - heroes

Heroes have been around since the creation of man itself. A hero is someone who does something out of the ordinary - be it for good or for more nerfarious purposes. Gandhi, who liberated his country from British colonial rule at the start of the 20th century. In more recent times, Nelson Mandela, who attempted to eradicate racism against blacks and whom helped to establish an anti-apartheid regime in Africa. I believe it is people like these whom many of us can consider heroes, whose actions have helped shaped history and modern social issues alike.

However, one thought that always comes to my mind is whether the rest of us can be heroes too. I believe the question has been raised by great thinkers and philosophers alike: Can the ordinary be the extraordinary? Personally, I would very much like to think so.

My father prides himself on being a hardworking and humble man. We do not have neither great riches nor wealth, but my parents are always happy to give what they can to the poor, more needy amongst us. Through times thick and thin, my parents have always been there for both my elder sister and me, no matter how tired they may be back from work, or other more pressing issues at the back of their mind. Financially, they have given their children the best that they can afford and in this way, their unrelenting persistence in providing me with a sense of security throughout my childhood days, has built up a strong foundation for the rest of my life and imparted to me a sense of maturity that few of my affluent, pampered classmates can boast of.

Another group of people I would like to present as heroes are my teachers. Their passion for teaching has never been more evident in this final year of my secondary school, with the national 'O' level examinations looming in just about a week. I often spot them in classrooms or the specially designed 'study' rooms, often hunched over tables, eager to clarify doubts about the more difficult to grasp concepts of Science or the Mathematics. They often stay till the last students have left or until the main doors are finally shut in the late evening. During the weekends, the teachers struggle to clear their busy schedules to make way for open consultation with students and the day long holiday revision lessons are a testament to their determination in ensuring the academic excellence of every student seeking their help. In my eyes, they are the exemplars of true role models which all students should model after, self sacrifice for the betterment of others. I am heartened to know that my teachers are behind us every step of the way and that alone gives me the strength to excel in the examinations, that their hard work has paid off.

Perhaps then, I feel that heroes are closer to us than we imagine, for what differentiates heroes and the ordinary is the spirit and passion which they embody in everything that they do. As Gandhi once said, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' For heroes themselves are these incarnate, if we humans can put aside our petty quarrels and hankerings, to change and make a difference even in someone else's lives', then we are heroes in their eyes. This determination leads the ordinary to become extraordinary, a profound love and devotion to help other human beings.

Are you a hero?

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Old 18th October 2010, 10:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Check my essay please! :)

Hi zstar, I find your essay to be alright overall, with some mistakes here and there (sentence structure etc). Also, if i'm to attempt the question, I will elaborate on the fine line between being a hero and a villain and probably relate to more general examples instead of people around you because the examiner might fail to relate to them.

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Old 18th October 2010, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Check my essay please! :)

Wow. Tats good @.@ how can u get 15/30 with this standard..

Anw all those facts such as gandhi all these, u got them in ur knowledge? or u searched for it somewhr else?

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Old 18th October 2010, 10:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Check my essay please! :)

Originally Posted by Zstar10 View Post
1) Gandhi, who liberated his country from British colonial rule at the start of the 20th century.

2) In more recent times, Nelson Mandela, who attempted to eradicate racism against blacks and whom helped to establish an anti-apartheid regime in Africa.

3) I believe it is people like these whom many of us can consider heroes, whose actions have helped shaped history and modern social issues alike.

4) We do not have neither great riches nor wealth, but my parents are always happy to give what they can to the poor, more needy amongst us.

5) Financially, they have given their children the best that they can afford and in this way, their unrelenting persistence in providing me with a sense of security throughout my childhood days, has built up a strong foundation for the rest of my life and imparted to me a sense of maturity that few of my affluent, pampered classmates can boast of.
1) and 2) are not complete sentences.
3) 'shaped' should be in its infinitive form.
4) 'do not' is not required.
5) either remove the comma or change 'has built' into 'building'.

Should any of the mistakes I pointed out above are not incorrect, I apologize and kindly point it out for TS. I believe there are some more mistakes in your essay, but these are the more obvious ones.

Can someone confirm 2) with me as well? All I know is that in the form 'help something do (infinitive) something', the do (verb) should be in its infinitive form. I am not sure if it applies to your case, though.

Good luck in your paper, TS!


Last edited by kelecthor; 18th October 2010 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 19th October 2010, 12:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Check my essay please! :)

Originally Posted by kelecthor View Post
Can someone confirm 2) with me as well? All I know is that in the form 'help something do (infinitive) something', the do (verb) should be in its infinitive form. I am not sure if it applies to your case, though.
I'm not exactly sure either but to avoid confusion, one can simply put a "to" after helped so it'll be "helped to shape history...".


Some of the notable mistakes (add on to our brother above) are:

6) I believe it is people like these whom many of us can consider heroes, whose actions have helped shaped history and modern social issues alike.

I believe many of us will consider these people, whose actions have helped to shape history and modern social issues, as heroes.


7) We do not have neither great riches nor wealth, but my parents are always happy to give what they can to the poor, more needy amongst us.

Great riches and wealth refers to the same thing and i don't think more needy is correct since there is a word "needier".

8) Through times thick and thin, my parents have always been there for both my elder sister and me, no matter how tired they may be back from work, or other more pressing issues at the back of their mind.

This sentence seems wrong, it's quite hard to put in one sentence because the fatigue they feel when they come home from work and other more pressing issues have no exact link. I think it's because the fatigue isn't a pressing issue so you cannot use "other more" over here.

9) Point 5 from kelecthor's post will be definitely marked down as a long sentence error and i also don't see how the sense of maturity comes in.

10) I often spot them in classrooms or the specially designed 'study' rooms, often hunched over tables, eager to clarify doubts about the more difficult to grasp concepts of Science or the Mathematics.

Not exactly an error, but "harder" would be a better word in place of "more difficult".

11) I am heartened to know that my teachers are behind us every step of the way and that alone gives me the strength to excel in the examinations, that their hard work has paid off.

...every step of the way and that gives me the strength to excel in the examinations to prove that their hard work has paid off.


Hope this helps!~

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Old 20th October 2010, 12:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Check my essay please! :)

@TS,

One tip: if you're writing an expository essay, you can leave out all the references to "I": "I believe", "always comes to my mind", "Personally, I would very much like to think so", "I feel", "I would like to present".

Just directly state your point. Adding the qualification that a statement is just "your" "personal" "belief" does not help your essay in any way: it's needless filler, it weighs down the essay with more words, plus it makes you seem unsure and therefore less persuasive.

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"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." -- Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning.
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