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Old 2015-05-29, 01:35   Link #1
SoloPanda
Not A Loli-con....
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Somewhere in the 11th dimension
Essays (writers and readers)

I enjoy reading and writing good essays. Though I must admit that I am much better at reading them than writing them. The purpose of this thread is for people to write and critique essays so that we can have fun and hopefully improve our writing skills at the same time. So grammar Nazis feel free to chop it up shred it and correct it to your hearts content. I'll probably only cry for one night but I'll learn from it. Of course feel free to disagree with any opinions in a persons essay but do so respectfully and in essay format.
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Old 2015-05-29, 01:36   Link #2
SoloPanda
Not A Loli-con....
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Somewhere in the 11th dimension
I'll start this off with something I just wrote to kill time

Quote:
Achieving Dreams

Are dreams achievable? How does a person get to the point that a dream becomes something more than an unreachable illusion that only others seem to live? I've heard so many say the words, “I could accomplish so much more but no one is giving me the opportunity.” The sentence in itself seems to be the root of many problems barring people from achieving their dreams. To think about accomplishing dreams first we must examine what a dream is and find out what can an individual do to arrive at this place that always seems just out of reach.

Firstly, what is a dream? A dream is the contemplation of a possibility in this case. An example of a contemplation would be, “It would be great to be a pilot.” This is where a dream ends. Merely contemplation and no action. The way to change this to something achievable is to first turn this dream, this contemplation into a goal. A goal is somewhat different from a dream in that it is the desired result of an action or effort. When one turns a dream into a goal it changes from an intangible contemplation to a desired result of set actions or the destination at the end of a mapped out path. This turns something only dreamed of into a real possibility. This would be step one in achieving a dream, turn the dream into a goal.

Now that we've completed the obvious and easy part, let's look at the manner in which one can reach this goal or destination in the future. When a goal is decided a person must find a series of actions or a path that will lead one to this end result. In many cases it would be college or a technical school of some sort, an action that will improve the skills necessary to reach the intended goal. For people wanting to become an aircraft mechanic, an avionics or maintenance school would be in order. Even those wishing to become self employed business owners need to improve skills relating to dealing with employees, customers, and finances. Mapping out the path to reaching the end destination of the dream or goal can be perilous as many lose their way. Rather than follow the path that one should be taking they decide to follow the path that they want to take. Unfortunately the easy or the convenient road rarely leads to the desired destination and is never as easy or convenient as we would like it to be. Whether it's getting a degree, learning skills required to manage people, or even gathering money to start a business the second step in accomplishing a dream is deciding what actions need to be taken to get there.

The dream has been changed into a goal and now the steps to reach that goal have been taken. Yet this doesn't mean that we have achieved the dream quite yet. Unfortunately, often the hardest part comes next. For those wanting to become a professional it would be finding an employer that will allow them to work in the desired field and for those wishing to be a business owner it would be finding customers that are willing to pay for the services they provide. This step would be making yourself employable and it is the step that many people fail at.

For this final step I have a story that relates to me personally. I was once an avionics technician and though I held all of the licenses and had years of experience and skills from my time in the military, I still had trouble finding employment in that field. I said many times that no one is giving me opportunities and I had all of the skills necessary to qualify for these jobs. I finally did find work in a company that was a little smaller than I liked and paid a little less than I wanted but I was personally close to giving up and trying a new career. At the end of a twelve hour shift one day I had just finished taking maintenance logs from my minions, I mean subordinates, my employer pulled me aside and told me something that made me think about myself for a long while. He said, “You know I had my doubts when hiring you but you've turned out to be an excellent employee and a good leader.” I was quite curious so I asked him to explain these doubts for future reference. He told me, “Well it isn't that you did anything wrong but the way you carry yourself and the manner in which you look at people sends some really bad signals.” I accepted this as something to think about but decided to get a second opinion on the matter. I asked many coworkers about this and many claimed that even though I'm a hard worker, the first impression of me gave off the lazy atmosphere of someone who really didn't want to be here and the look on my face felt very threatening at first glance, It didn't help that I'm also a physically large man with an athletic build. I was astounded. This is the face that my mother gave me and I'm quite proud of it, so it was quite shocking that so many agreed that it seemed threatening. More concerning as a person who prides himself in hard work and effort, I was absolutely shocked that I had the feel of a slacker lingering about me. At first I was quite angry and annoyed that all of these people had been prejudging me and these outward issues had most likely caused my struggle to find employment. Yet I considered myself and was I any different. Gaining information based on ones demeanor and their outward appearance is how we gain a first impression whether it be positive or negative. This lead me to seriously question many things about my own thinking in the quest to realize my own dream.

No one gave me an opportunity but did I really do everything I could to give them a reason to? Obviously no one has the obligation to give me a chance just because I fit the criteria. What can I do, outside of just being qualified, to make myself more employable. For the lazy feel I decided to sit or stand straighter and make definite eye contact when working or dealing with potential employers. To get rid of the threatening feeling I decided to smile more and speak a little softer when dealing with people. I tried this method out after fulfilling my contract with the original company and suddenly I was receiving contacts and job offers from multiple companies. All it took was me looking in a mirror and instead of expecting something from others, deciding the things I personally could do to move forward. I realized that this was merely another step in the path to achieving my goal and that I had stopped just short of the finish line and expected someone else to pull me across.

Of course the dream doesn't end just because you get there. It's like a rainbow just outside of reach and beyond the next hill. Once we reach the goal another path opens up and the next dream, the next destination reveals itself. This process repeats itself until the individual is satisfied. The key is moving forward and continuing on once one has decided on a path to the dream. Decide what you want to do, find the method required to get there, and do everything you can to make people want you to be there. Others may judge you and people may call you a fool, but the only one who can take responsibility for your actions is you and conversely the only person you can change and control is yourself. So the method to achieving your dreams lies only within yourself, that and a good bit of luck never hurt anyone I suppose.
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Old 2015-05-29, 11:14   Link #3
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloPanda View Post
I enjoy reading and writing good essays. Though I must admit that I am much better at reading them than writing them. The purpose of this thread is for people to write and critique essays so that we can have fun and hopefully improve our writing skills at the same time. So grammar Nazis feel free to chop it up shred it and correct it to your hearts content.
Okay. Here it goes:

Quote:
I stared in the mirror, and dared to dream once more


My boss pulled me aside one day, at the end of a 12-hour shift.

He said: "You know, I had my doubts when I hired you, but you've turned out to be an excellent employee, and a good leader."

Taken aback, I asked him why he doubted me.

"Well, it wasn't that you did anything wrong. It's the way you carry yourself. The way you look at people, it sends some really bad signals," he said.

I was an avionics technician at the time.

It had taken me a while to land the job after leaving the military, despite my years of experience and all the licenses I had to prove it.

The company was smaller than I would have liked, and paid a little less than what I hoped for. But I was desperate to start a new career, so I took it.

What my boss told me that day left a deep impression.

I asked for second opinions. I spoke to the guys at work about what he said. Many of them said I was a hard worker, but they also said I gave people the impression of being lazy. It looked to them like I didn't want to be there.

Some also said that I looked threatening, and it didn't help that I'm physically large and athletic.

I was astounded.

I was proud of how I looked, so it was shocking to learn that many felt that I had a threatening look on my face.

And as someone who takes pride in hard work and effort, I was absolutely shocked that others felt I was a slacker.

I was angry and annoyed at those who had prejudged me. And that was probably why I had struggled to find employment.

So I thought further about where I was, and I began to seriously question the way I thought about things, about the way I had sought to realize my dream.

I had thought that no one would give me an opportunity, even though I had all the relevant skills.

But I finally asked: Did I really do everything I could to give them a reason to?

Obviously, no one was obliged to give me a chance.

It was up to me to make myself more employable. And this goes beyond just being qualified.

I decided to correct my body language. I made myself sit or stand straighter.

I began to make eye contact with potential employers.

I tried to smile more, and to speak a little softer when talking to others.

I did all of this after fulfilling my contract with that small company. And suddenly, I noticed that I was getting contracts and job offers from multiple companies.

All it took was for me to take an honest look at myself in the mirror.

I accepted that I had stopped short of the finish line, and expected someone else to pull me across.

Instead of expecting something from others, I decided to do what I could to move forward. I realized this was merely another step toward achieving my goal.

But the dream doesn't end here. It's like a rainbow that's just out of reach, always lying beyond the next hill.

Once we reach a goal, another path opens up before us, and the next destination reveals itself.

And this will keep repeating itself until we're satisfied.

The trick is to keep moving forward once you've decided on the path to your dream.

Decide what you want to do, find the way to get there, and do everything you can to make people want you to be there.

Others may judge you. Some may call you a fool. But the only one responsible for your outcome is you.

The means to achieve your dreams lie within you and you alone.

Unless you take ownership of your choices, a dream will just remain a dream.

It may take a little bit of luck, but once you take the first step, you'll get there one day, sooner or later.
Comments:

Less is usually more, if not always so.

Short sentences are usually better than long ones.

Every essay is a story.

And the stories that hook are the ones that make it personal.

Stick to the concrete. Avoid the abstract. Help your readers visualise what you want to convey.

Always read your story aloud. If it doesn't sound like the way you'd speak in real life, write and write again.

=============

Post-script:

It took me an hour to copy-edit the essay.

That's usually all the time I would have to work on a 1,300-word story on a sub-editing shift. On a typical night, I edit about 11 or 12 stories averaging 500 words or so in length.

Don't feel bad about it. It's what I do for a living.

Or rather what I used to do. I'm still in the same profession, but in a different role.

I usually edit in British English, but I tried to stick with American English in this case, as it's clearly your language.

I also took a few creative liberties here and there, based on what I inferred from the context of your orignal essay.

Any errors, needless to say, are purely my own.
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Old 2015-05-29, 11:46   Link #4
SoloPanda
Not A Loli-con....
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Somewhere in the 11th dimension
@TinyRedLeaf

That was an excellent story telling format. It was engaging and brought out most of the relevant information in an interesting and much shorter manner. It gives me a lot to think about and various things I think I'll try in my next writing. Thanks

I personally felt that the original work was a bit long winded and preachy but wasn't quite sure how to change the delivery so this format really helps. It seems as if it is more of a narration. Do you know of a technical name for that type of self reflection story telling?
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Old 2015-05-29, 13:45   Link #5
Kafriel
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Athens (GMT+2)
Age: 26
@SoloPanda:Critique time!
Spoiler for "Corrected" parts in bold:


Not all of them are absolute corrections, but I would advise against repetition, mainly the use of "and", "that" and gerund. "That" can technically be used to substitute anything, which is why it should be used as little as possible. You may substitute gerund for infinitive forms. Identation is missing in all paragraphs, one of which I had to split in two due to its size. Other than that...good work, it was a fun read for an unemployed youth such as myself

P.S: Sorry about all the commas, I couldn't help myself.
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Old 2015-05-29, 14:47   Link #6
IceHism
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Okay. Here it goes:



Comments:

Less is usually more, if not always so.

Short sentences are usually better than long ones.

Every essay is a story.

And the stories that hook are the ones that make it personal.

Stick to the concrete. Avoid the abstract. Help your readers visualise what you want to convey.

Always read your story aloud. If it doesn't sound like the way you'd speak in real life, write and write again.

=============

Post-script:

It took me an hour to copy-edit the essay.

That's usually all the time I would have to work on a 1,300-word story on a sub-editing shift. On a typical night, I edit about 11 or 12 stories averaging 500 words or so in length.

Don't feel bad about it. It's what I do for a living.

Or rather what I used to do. I'm still in the same profession, but in a different role.

I usually edit in British English, but I tried to stick with American English in this case, as it's clearly your language.

I also took a few creative liberties here and there, based on what I inferred from the context of your orignal essay.

Any errors, needless to say, are purely my own.
If you were writing an academic essay, would you still write it in story format? doesn't really sound efficient
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Old 2015-05-29, 15:49   Link #7
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloPanda View Post
That was an excellent story telling format. Do you know of a technical name for that type of self reflection story telling?
It's news writing. If it isn't a story, it isn't news. Don't worry about technical names. Ernest Hemmingway and George Orwell wrote similarly. They were both journalists by training. They weren't bothered by what others chose to call their style of writing. They just wrote. They told it as it is, as briefly as possible, and as clearly as they could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceHism View Post
If you were writing an academic essay, would you still write it in story format? doesn't really sound efficient
You won't write an academic report this way, that's for sure.

Academic reports are such tedious, turgid things. I don't see how "efficiency" has anything to do with them. If academic writers were efficient, I wouldn't have fallen asleep so many times on the reams of journals I had to pore over as an undergraduate.

SoloPanda's essay was most certainly not a report. Neither was it a thesis. He was telling a story.

And if you want to tell a story, get to the point. Fast. Or you'd lose your reader by the third or fourth paragraph.
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Old 2015-05-30, 01:08   Link #8
SoloPanda
Not A Loli-con....
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Somewhere in the 11th dimension
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
@SoloPanda:Critique time!
Spoiler for "Corrected" parts in bold:


Not all of them are absolute corrections, but I would advise against repetition, mainly the use of "and", "that" and gerund. "That" can technically be used to substitute anything, which is why it should be used as little as possible. You may substitute gerund for infinitive forms. Identation is missing in all paragraphs, one of which I had to split in two due to its size. Other than that...good work, it was a fun read for an unemployed youth such as myself

P.S: Sorry about all the commas, I couldn't help myself.
Thank you for the critique. My grammar can be really bad sometimes and my use of commas is maddening to most people. I correct these problems as often as I can but even after taking classes and correcting myself repeatedly I have a tendency to get sloppy again after a time.

"Yet I considered myself and was I any different." Honestly this sentence didn't stand out to me until after I posted the essay and It really bothered me. However, I don't like making edits after I turn something after I turn it in so I left my shame for the world to see. I think I was trying to write something like, "Yet after reflecting upon myself and my own actions, I couldn't honestly say that I was truly any different from the people who judged me." Maybe something like that.

Much of my writing in general gets jumbled and may seem very disorganized. My method of writing is just me sitting down and putting my random thoughts on paper and then trying to organize them into something that others can read. This leaves me ending up with some pretty weird mistakes at times.

Thank you for the critique it was informative and fun to see some sentences from a different point of view.
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Last edited by SoloPanda; 2015-05-30 at 01:25.
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