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Old 16th October 2011, 12:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Hello guys, here's my compo. I hope that you people can give my useful suggestions as to how to improve on my compo. It will be good if you can provide me with:

1. Replacement of vocabulary words to more impressive ones
2. Corrections for my tenses
3. Corrections for my sentence structure (if any)
4. Ideas on how to make my plot more interesting
5. A score, out of 30.

Thanks!

Title: Write about an occasion when an attempt to help led to unexpected consequences for the helper.

I never knew that helping someone could cause so much trouble. Since young, my parents had been stressing the need to help others so much that I sometimes wonder if I was born to help. Of course, they had been setting good examples for me as well. Whenever there was a charity that requires large amount of money to help the disabled, or simply our neighbour who needed someone to look after his pet while he was overseas, my parents would be the first on the list offering to help. Their influences on me impacted me so much that I was sometimes called 'the nosy one' in school, for I had offered my help to every single event. This time round, as usual, I offered my help. Never did I knew that that would mean a big trouble for myself.

It was the first day of my summer vacation. I was feeling rather excited as I was on my way to meet my friends, planning to chill out at the beach. While walking to the nearest bus stop from my home, I noticed a boy, probably five years my junior, looking lost on the streets.

"Could he have lost his way?" I thought to myself, wondering if I could help.

After glancing at my watch, I realised I was quite early. I should be able to arrive on time even if I helped the little boy. With that, I walked towards him, approaching him with the confidence that I could help.

"Excuse me, I noticed that you look kind of lost. Can I be of help in any ways?" I approached him with a smile on my face.

"Oh, I... I need to deliver this to my friend. However, I have something else to see to," there was a tinge of uncertainty and fear in his speech. Nevertheless, I offered to help him to deliver the large parcel he was holding since the trip would not take long.

I took a bus to the place stated in the address he had given me. Within a few stops, I arrived. I went around asking for directions to the "Dark Alley House". After a few attempts, I reached my destination.

It was a large warehouse. As I walked further into the gloomy place, three men, smelling of cigarettes and beer, approached me.

"Are you here to deliver something?" one of them asked, in an intimidating tone.

"Yes, if I am not wrong, your friend was supposed to deliver this parcel package to you. However, he had something else to attend to," I answered him, stating the only truth that was known to me.

"My friend, huh?" he replied, leading to an outburst of laughter among the trio. "Alright, come on in. Follow us closely."

They led me deeper into the warehouse. I realised that the 'warehouse' was actually a gambling den. The whole area was crowded with people. Some were smoking, while the others were taking drugs. that observation led to to wonder what could the parcel package contain. As soon as I figured it out, it was too late to flee.

The police alarm sounded off. I could see everyone panicking, trying to escape through the back door. however, those were futile attempts. The police had cordoned that whole area. Policemen stationed at both the front door and the back door. No one could escape. Soon, everyone, including myself, was caught and taken to the police station for further interrogation.

I told the police everything that I knew. At that point of time, the only wish I wanted to come true was that the police could believe me. They seemed to be convinced by my plight. Similar to what I had expected, that parcel package was indeed drugs. I knew I was in hot soup. The boy whom I helped was nowhere to be found. There was no witness to help me. This was a hopeless situation. I was later arrested and put into the boys' home for 6 months.

Now, I was finally released from the boys' home. I could sense that my future is bleak. Surely not many would accept an ex-convict into the society. I regretted my actions. I had only myself to blame for landing myself in such a situation. I always thought that being helpful was good. However, this time round, it was just nosiness on my part.

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Last edited by Lady Sovereign; 16th October 2011 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Typing
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Old 16th October 2011, 01:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Hmm.. Not saying my way is right.. but this is what I would do...

"my parents have been stressing........." change to " Since young, My parents instill in me the importance of helping others". The " So much I sometimes wonder if i was born to help" <--- cancel

"Whenever there was a charity that.......blablabla..." change to "Charity event"

"My parents would be the first In the list <-- cancel "in the list"

"Their influence on me.....blabla...in school" <-- cancel the whole thing

"after glancing at my watch" <-- cancel

"with that, i walk towards him............" change to "I approached him with the intention to help"

"I approached him with a smile on my face" change to " I asked with a smile"

"to deliver the parcel he was holding"<---- cancel

"place stated in the" <---- cancel

"smelling of cigarette and beer" change to "stench"

"that observation let me to wonder" ---> " I wonder"

"As soon as I figure it out" <---- Cancel

"The only wish i wanted to come true was........ " --->" I wished the police would believe me"

"similar to what I have expected" <---- cancel

" for both helper n helpee" <--- cancel


very long I lazy to go through the whole thing in detail.. hahaha.. But a piece of advice, remove all those redundant sentences and phrases..
IMO Your essay is too long.. teachers need to mark alot of essays.. so they prefer marking short and straight to the point essays.. not long winded essays..
anyways what level are you at? Secondary??


Last edited by HateShot; 16th October 2011 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 16th October 2011, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

"Write about an occasion where an attempt to help led to unexpected consequences for the helper."

I might be wrong, but I think you're not supposed to write in a first person account for this question. The question mentioned "the helper", therefore I think it is meant to be written in a 3rd person point of view? Not really sure though, since I haven't been writing such essays for a loooong time.

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Old 16th October 2011, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by HateShot View Post
Hmm.. Not saying my way is right.. but this is what I would do...

"my parents have been stressing........." change to " Since young, My parents instill in me the importance of helping others". The " So much I sometimes wonder if i was born to help" <--- cancel

"Whenever there was a charity that.......blablabla..." change to "Charity event"

"My parents would be the first In the list <-- cancel "in the list"

"Their influence on me.....blabla...in school" <-- cancel the whole thing

"after glancing at my watch" <-- cancel

"with that, i walk towards him............" change to "I approached him with the intention to help"

"I approached him with a smile on my face" change to " I asked with a smile"

"to deliver the parcel he was holding"<---- cancel

"place stated in the" <---- cancel

"smelling of cigarette and beer" change to "stench"

"that observation let me to wonder" ---> " I wonder"

"As soon as I figure it out" <---- Cancel

"The only wish i wanted to come true was........ " --->" I wished the police would believe me"

"similar to what I have expected" <---- cancel

" for both helper n helpee" <--- cancel


very long I lazy to go through the whole thing in detail.. hahaha.. But a piece of advice, remove all those redundant sentences and phrases..
IMO Your essay is too long.. teachers need to mark alot of essays.. so they prefer marking short and straight to the point essays.. not long winded essays..
anyways what level are you at? Secondary??
Alright, thanks! Point noted. Yeah I've been trying to write as short as I could. This is the best I can go.

Yup, Secondary. Taking my O Level English in 8 days' time.

Originally Posted by xBleahs View Post
"Write about an occasion where an attempt to help led to unexpected consequences for the helper."

I might be wrong, but I think you're not supposed to write in a first person account for this question. The question mentioned "the helper", therefore I think it is meant to be written in a 3rd person point of view? Not really sure though, since I haven't been writing such essays for a loooong time.
Let's just allow other members to answer this.

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Old 16th October 2011, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

i rmb my teacher telling me that this kind of story should have a short time frame. your one is like 6 months. also, i think your ending is a bit :/ idk how to say, but it leaves the reader feelings weird. maybe you could just end of with yourself being in the police station, and the police was interrogating u and u just say smth like 'my mind was a whirlpool of emotions. i did not know whether to lie or to tell the truth.' and say u wish u never helped the boy or smth like that. just my opinion. .

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Old 16th October 2011, 05:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by blacktoast94 View Post
i rmb my teacher telling me that this kind of story should have a short time frame. your one is like 6 months. also, i think your ending is a bit :/ idk how to say, but it leaves the reader feelings weird. maybe you could just end of with yourself being in the police station, and the police was interrogating u and u just say smth like 'my mind was a whirlpool of emotions. i did not know whether to lie or to tell the truth.' and say u wish u never helped the boy or smth like that. just my opinion. .
Thanks.

I read a few model essays printed by my teacher. All have endings like that, leaving some suspense at the back. That's why I thought writing it this way can allow me to score.

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Old 16th October 2011, 09:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Bump bump!

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Old 16th October 2011, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

BUMP......

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Old 16th October 2011, 11:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Hi, I am an A level student about to take the exams later this November. I have made some changes to the essay. Just my interpretation on how to improve it. Hope it helps.

I never knew that helping someone could cause so much trouble. Since young, my parents had been emphasizing the need to help others so much that this value was deeply entrenched in me and I sometimes wonder if I was born to help. Whenever there was a charity event, or simply our neighbour who needed someone to look after his pet while he was overseas, my parents would never fail to offer their help. This impacted me so much that I was sometimes called 'the nosy one' in school, for I had offered my help to every single event. This time, as usual, I offered my help. Never did I know that that would mean a big trouble for myself.

It was the first day of my summer vacation. I was feeling rather excited as I was on my way to meet my friends, planning to chill out at the beach. While walking to the nearest bus stop from my home, I noticed a boy, probably five years my junior, looking lost on the streets.

"Could he have lost his way?" I thought to myself, wondering if I could help.

After glancing at my watch, I realised I was quite early. I would have some time to spare even if I helped the little boy. With that, I approached him with the confidence that I could help.

"Excuse me, I noticed that you look kind of lost. Can I be of help in any ways?" I approached him with a smile on my face.

"Oh, I... I need to deliver this to my friend. However, I have something else to see to," there was a tinge of uncertainty and fear in his speech. Nevertheless, I offered to help him to deliver the large parcel he was holding since the trip would not take long.

I took a bus to the place stated in the address he had given me. Within a few stops, I arrived. I went around asking for directions to the "Dark Alley House". After a few attempts, I reached my destination.

It was a large warehouse. As I walked further into the gloomy place, three men, smelling of cigarettes and beer, approached me.

"Are you here to deliver something?" one of them asked, in an intimidating tone.

"Yes, if I am not wrong, your friend was supposed to deliver this parcel package to you. However, he had something else to attend to," I answered him, stating the only truth that was known to me.

"My friend, huh?" he replied, leading to an outburst of laughter among the trio. "Alright, come on in. Follow us closely."

They led me deeper into the warehouse. I realised that the 'warehouse' was actually a gambling den. The whole area was crowded with people. Some were smoking, while the others were taking drugs. that observation led to to wonder what could the parcel package contain. As soon as I figured it out, it was too late to flee.

The police alarm sounded off. I could see everyone panicking, trying to escape through the back door. however, those were futile attempts. The police had cordoned that whole area. Policemen stationed at both the front door and the back door. No one could escape. Soon, everyone, including myself, was caught and taken to the police station for further interrogation.

I told the police everything that I knew. At that point of time, the only wish I wanted to come true was that the police could believe me. They seemed to be convinced by my plight. Similar to what I had expected, that parcel package was indeed drugs. I knew I was in hot soup. The boy whom I helped was nowhere to be found. There was no witness to help me. This was a hopeless situation. I was later arrested and put into the boys' home for 6 months.

Now, I am finally released from the boys' home. My future is bleak and tainted with a criminal record. Not many would be willing to accept an ex-convict into the society. I regretted my actions. I had only myself to blame for my current predicament. I always thought that being helpful was good. However, this time round, it was just nosiness on my part.

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Old 17th October 2011, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

You need to vary your sentence structure. Don't begin every sentence with the subject. Also, there's too many dialogues in there. It's an essay, not a conversation. That's what my teacher always reminds us about. Finally it's too long. Longer is better does not necessarily hold true. In the eyes of the examiners, an essay which is too long reflects bad organisation and planning. It was mentioned as such in the examiners' report and they always highlight about keeping to the word limit for narrative.

The ending is fine. You can leave it hanging, as long as you wrap up the essay with your thoughts on the overall situation.

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Old 18th October 2011, 02:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by v09876 View Post
Hi, I am an A level student about to take the exams later this November. I have made some changes to the essay. Just my interpretation on how to improve it. Hope it helps.

I never knew that helping someone could cause so much trouble. Since young, my parents had been emphasizing the need to help others so much that this value was deeply entrenched in me and I sometimes wonder if I was born to help. Whenever there was a charity event, or simply our neighbour who needed someone to look after his pet while he was overseas, my parents would never fail to offer their help. This impacted me so much that I was sometimes called 'the nosy one' in school, for I had offered my help to every single event. This time, as usual, I offered my help. Never did I know that that would mean a big trouble for myself.

It was the first day of my summer vacation. I was feeling rather excited as I was on my way to meet my friends, planning to chill out at the beach. While walking to the nearest bus stop from my home, I noticed a boy, probably five years my junior, looking lost on the streets.

"Could he have lost his way?" I thought to myself, wondering if I could help.

After glancing at my watch, I realised I was quite early. I would have some time to spare even if I helped the little boy. With that, I approached him with the confidence that I could help.

"Excuse me, I noticed that you look kind of lost. Can I be of help in any ways?" I approached him with a smile on my face.

"Oh, I... I need to deliver this to my friend. However, I have something else to see to," there was a tinge of uncertainty and fear in his speech. Nevertheless, I offered to help him to deliver the large parcel he was holding since the trip would not take long.

I took a bus to the place stated in the address he had given me. Within a few stops, I arrived. I went around asking for directions to the "Dark Alley House". After a few attempts, I reached my destination.

It was a large warehouse. As I walked further into the gloomy place, three men, smelling of cigarettes and beer, approached me.

"Are you here to deliver something?" one of them asked, in an intimidating tone.

"Yes, if I am not wrong, your friend was supposed to deliver this parcel package to you. However, he had something else to attend to," I answered him, stating the only truth that was known to me.

"My friend, huh?" he replied, leading to an outburst of laughter among the trio. "Alright, come on in. Follow us closely."

They led me deeper into the warehouse. I realised that the 'warehouse' was actually a gambling den. The whole area was crowded with people. Some were smoking, while the others were taking drugs. that observation led to to wonder what could the parcel package contain. As soon as I figured it out, it was too late to flee.

The police alarm sounded off. I could see everyone panicking, trying to escape through the back door. however, those were futile attempts. The police had cordoned that whole area. Policemen stationed at both the front door and the back door. No one could escape. Soon, everyone, including myself, was caught and taken to the police station for further interrogation.

I told the police everything that I knew. At that point of time, the only wish I wanted to come true was that the police could believe me. They seemed to be convinced by my plight. Similar to what I had expected, that parcel package was indeed drugs. I knew I was in hot soup. The boy whom I helped was nowhere to be found. There was no witness to help me. This was a hopeless situation. I was later arrested and put into the boys' home for 6 months.

Now, I am finally released from the boys' home. My future is bleak and tainted with a criminal record. Not many would be willing to accept an ex-convict into the society. I regretted my actions. I had only myself to blame for my current predicament. I always thought that being helpful was good. However, this time round, it was just nosiness on my part.
Thanks for correcting me! That sure was helpful.

However, I've something to ask. My teacher told us that there shouldn't be words like 'this', 'these' in the essay at all. Should change to 'that and 'those' instead. Is this true for every part of the essay?

And, for the flashback, do I still use past tense when I come back to the present?

Originally Posted by luckykid View Post
You need to vary your sentence structure. Don't begin every sentence with the subject. Also, there's too many dialogues in there. It's an essay, not a conversation. That's what my teacher always reminds us about. Finally it's too long. Longer is better does not necessarily hold true. In the eyes of the examiners, an essay which is too long reflects bad organisation and planning. It was mentioned as such in the examiners' report and they always highlight about keeping to the word limit for narrative.

The ending is fine. You can leave it hanging, as long as you wrap up the essay with your thoughts on the overall situation.
Alright, thanks!

Can you teach me the way to vary my sentence structure? Can't seem to be able to do that...

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Old 18th October 2011, 03:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by Lady Sovereign View Post
Hello guys, here's my compo. I hope that you people can give my useful suggestions as to how to improve on my compo. It will be good if you can provide me with:

1. Replacement of vocabulary words to more impressive ones
2. Corrections for my tenses
3. Corrections for my sentence structure (if any)
4. Ideas on how to make my plot more interesting
5. A score, out of 30.


Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that my passion for helping others could result in such disastrous consequences . Since young, my parents had always been emphasizing to me the importance of kindness and graciousness, especially towards those in need. As parents, they had been perfect role models for my siblings and I to emulate. Whenever there were community involvement projects looking for volunteers, or even simple things like neighbours looking for people to help take care of their pets while they were overseas, my parents were the one everyone approached. This was because they know that my parents can and would gladly help. Their influence on me shaped me into who I became eventually. Teachers described me as a good-natured student with a passion for helping. My peers had mixed opinions about me, ranging from 'a kind fellow' to 'goody two shoes' or even 'the nosy one'. I, like my parents, had a passion for helping others and I loved it.

I tried to modify your essay, but I kinda gave up after the introduction. It just didn't have the feeling of a good essay. (I felt that the introduction was too long anyway )

Overview of essay

The flow of the essay wasn't smooth and logical.

1. If you were going to meet your friends later, it doesn't seem quite possible that you will be able to take the time and effort to make a detour to help the person out. So perhaps you might want to modify the scenario/context a little

2. Why would the drug courier willingly hand over his goods so easily? Perhaps he was having second thoughts about the deal and was looking to escape? Either way you have to portray him as a little more anxious and worried/stressed.

3. You would do better if you included more personal feelings as the essay develop. For example: when you entered the 'dark alley house' you started to feel some apprehension. And these feelings started to develop into a screaming voice warning of danger. You desperately wanted to run away and forget about the whole incident, but you felt responsible and wanted to see things through.

Without personal feelings in the essay, it seems rather mechanical and lacklustre. Your essay is also really long. I would advise u to state less ( events ) and elaborate (personal feelings etc ) more.

The earlier commentators have already addressed most of the grammatical errors. Hope my analyse helps, peace.


Last edited by sweetlemon; 18th October 2011 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 18th October 2011, 09:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by sweetlemon View Post
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that my passion for helping others could result in such disastrous consequences . Since young, my parents had always been emphasizing to me the importance of kindness and graciousness, especially towards those in need. As parents, they had been perfect role models for my siblings and I to emulate. Whenever there were community involvement projects looking for volunteers, or even simple things like neighbours looking for people to help take care of their pets while they were overseas, my parents were the one everyone approached. This was because they know that my parents can and would gladly help. Their influence on me shaped me into who I became eventually. Teachers described me as a good-natured student with a passion for helping. My peers had mixed opinions about me, ranging from 'a kind fellow' to 'goody two shoes' or even 'the nosy one'. I, like my parents, had a passion for helping others and I loved it.

I tried to modify your essay, but I kinda gave up after the introduction. It just didn't have the feeling of a good essay. (I felt that the introduction was too long anyway )

Overview of essay

The flow of the essay wasn't smooth and logical.

1. If you were going to meet your friends later, it doesn't seem quite possible that you will be able to take the time and effort to make a detour to help the person out. So perhaps you might want to modify the scenario/context a little

2. Why would the drug courier willingly hand over his goods so easily? Perhaps he was having second thoughts about the deal and was looking to escape? Either way you have to portray him as a little more anxious and worried/stressed.

3. You would do better if you included more personal feelings as the essay develop. For example: when you entered the 'dark alley house' you started to feel some apprehension. And these feelings started to develop into a screaming voice warning of danger. You desperately wanted to run away and forget about the whole incident, but you felt responsible and wanted to see things through.

Without personal feelings in the essay, it seems rather mechanical and lacklustre. Your essay is also really long. I would advise u to state less ( events ) and elaborate (personal feelings etc ) more.

The earlier commentators have already addressed most of the grammatical errors. Hope my analyse helps, peace.
Any other ideas on improving?

Anyway thanks help greatly appreciated

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Old 18th October 2011, 09:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

http://www.english4dummies.com/gramm...structure.html

This should give you a lot of ideas on the various types of sentence structures there are.

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Old 18th October 2011, 09:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by luckykid View Post
http://www.english4dummies.com/gramm...structure.html

This should give you a lot of ideas on the various types of sentence structures there are.
Thanks.

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Old 18th October 2011, 09:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Somehow it feels very "boring" in a sense that this story/scenario, the one whereby you were actually helping to deliver drugs, has been retold so many times that how the story develops is easily know once the parcel was handed over to you. I find that a good compo should at least have a basic form of suspense, not just at the end, something that makes the reader wish to read on to find out what happens, instead of him figuring it all out before the story has finished.

My advice: perharps think of a better idea

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Old 19th October 2011, 02:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by DoraTheExplorer View Post
Somehow it feels very "boring" in a sense that this story/scenario, the one whereby you were actually helping to deliver drugs, has been retold so many times that how the story develops is easily know once the parcel was handed over to you. I find that a good compo should at least have a basic form of suspense, not just at the end, something that makes the reader wish to read on to find out what happens, instead of him figuring it all out before the story has finished.

My advice: perharps think of a better idea
Given the time limit, it's hard to think of ideas...

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Old 19th October 2011, 02:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

I did this essay for my O levels 2 years ago, how nostalgic!

Ok anyway on your 2nd paragraph, "I was feeling rather excited as I was on my way to meet my friends, planning to chill out at the beach."

"Chill out" is a slang so it shouldn't be used.

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Old 20th October 2011, 12:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: MY ENGLISH ESSAY

Originally Posted by redrose View Post
I did this essay for my O levels 2 years ago, how nostalgic!

Ok anyway on your 2nd paragraph, "I was feeling rather excited as I was on my way to meet my friends, planning to chill out at the beach."

"Chill out" is a slang so it shouldn't be used.
Point taken!

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Old 21st October 2011, 06:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I don't have the time to comment on the compo entirely but my opinion is that the plot should be more realistic, in the sense that the narrator shouldn't be convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Perhaps you can utilise the creative juices in your head to conjure some kick-ass ending, like the narrator fought hard for his innocence and managed to clear his name and stuff, and maybe grew up to be a CNB officer on the idea and belief that drugs are lethal, both literally and otherwise.

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