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View Full Version : Can someone please evaluate this SAT essay?



timbruce54
10-23-2010, 05:36 PM
Would any kind person be willing to evaluate this SAT essay (Writing Skills section)? I'm curious about what score you think it might get, but I'm mostly looking for potential improvements that could lead to a better score.

Here is the prompt (the important parts, anyway):

"In her novel _Sense and Sensibility_, Jane Austen wrote, 'It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.' ... the point that Miss Dashwood makes is valid. No amount of time spent in another person's company can guarantee that the two of you will become friends.

What are your thoughts on the idea that neither time nor opportunity can determine intimacy? What causes two people to become friends? Compose an essay in which you express your views on this topic. Your essay may support, refute, or qualify the views expressed in the excerpt..."

And here is the essay (by the way, originally the paragraphs were indented, but I can't seem to figure out how to post it that way):

I agree that time and opportunity can determine intamacy. By intamacy, I assume that they mean a friendship. Time and opportunity determine intamacy because you cannot really have an intamate moment without the proper timing and setting.
On the contrary, intamacy can also be referring to a sexual relationship of which also needs a proper time and place. Without some sort of connection, this intamacy would not take place because there must be some kind of love or emotional attachment in order to share this connection.
In some cases, however, emotional attachment and love are not needed. Time is merely your own perception of how you handle and keep track of your days. You make your own opportunities. Opportunities that are given to you are based on the decisions you make in your everday life. For example, if you study hard in school, you will get good grades. And if you have good grades, you may be given the opportunity to be in the National Honor Society. Opportunity is all about the choices you make and the positions you put yourself in.
Time and opportunity can give you more of a reason to do something, but more or less it is just an excuse to not do something. How many times has someone told you they didn't do something because they didn't have time? Most likely, it's been more than once. People use time and opportunity to get themselves out of doing something. People need to make time and create their own opportunities if they want to experience intamacy.
So if someone were to ask me if I thought time and opportunity determined intamacy, I would say they could help, but not having intamacy in your life cannot be solely blamed on not enough time and too little opportunities. People need to make their own opportunity for intamacy.

Erin
10-25-2010, 06:14 PM
Would any kind person be willing to evaluate this SAT essay (Writing Skills section)? I'm curious about what score you think it might get, but I'm mostly looking for potential improvements that could lead to a better score.

Here is the prompt (the important parts, anyway):

"In her novel _Sense and Sensibility_, Jane Austen wrote, 'It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.' ... the point that Miss Dashwood makes is valid. No amount of time spent in another person's company can guarantee that the two of you will become friends.

What are your thoughts on the idea that neither time nor opportunity can determine intimacy? What causes two people to become friends? Compose an essay in which you express your views on this topic. Your essay may support, refute, or qualify the views expressed in the excerpt..."

And here is the essay (by the way, originally the paragraphs were indented, but I can't seem to figure out how to post it that way):

I agree that time and opportunity can determine intamacy. By intamacy, I assume that they mean a friendship. Time and opportunity determine intamacy because you cannot really have an intamate moment without the proper timing and setting.
On the contrary, intamacy can also be referring to a sexual relationship of which also needs a proper time and place. Without some sort of connection, this intamacy would not take place because there must be some kind of love or emotional attachment in order to share this connection.
In some cases, however, emotional attachment and love are not needed. Time is merely your own perception of how you handle and keep track of your days. You make your own opportunities. Opportunities that are given to you are based on the decisions you make in your everday life. For example, if you study hard in school, you will get good grades. And if you have good grades, you may be given the opportunity to be in the National Honor Society. Opportunity is all about the choices you make and the positions you put yourself in.
Time and opportunity can give you more of a reason to do something, but more or less it is just an excuse to not do something. How many times has someone told you they didn't do something because they didn't have time? Most likely, it's been more than once. People use time and opportunity to get themselves out of doing something. People need to make time and create their own opportunities if they want to experience intamacy.
So if someone were to ask me if I thought time and opportunity determined intamacy, I would say they could help, but not having intamacy in your life cannot be solely blamed on not enough time and too little opportunities. People need to make their own opportunity for intamacy.You've got some good writing here, but first, the prompt isn't really like an SAT prompt; it's close, but a bit different.

I think you have good ideas, but you go off-topic a bit (in my opinion); for example, you discuss your definition of time when this prompt really asks you about how people get to know one another.

You should also try to make your writing more precise by eliminating vague pronouns (e.g. "By intamacy, I assume that they mean a friendship."), vague wordings ("Opportunity is all about the choices you make and the positions you put yourself in."), etc.

Overall, your essay would be greatly improved if you chose two clear ideas to defend and explain, for example, humans can never truly know one another without spending a great deal of time together.

If you could let me know whether this feedback helps, I'd appreciate it. You'll notice that most of the people who post essays and receive feedback never come back to give feedback on the feedback. It's really important to know what helps people so that we can do better in the futre. :)

timbruce54
10-29-2010, 01:29 AM
Hi, Erin, thank you so much for your response. I think your comments that the essays goes off-topic and that it would be better to choose a more clear idea or ideas is very helpful.

Erin
10-29-2010, 03:59 PM
Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate it.

I forgot to mention--no, this forum software strips out extra spaces, so it's not really possible to indent.