application essay, plz help Writeacher, SarJMcgin
posted by economyst on .
Below is a draft of my daughter's college scholarship application essay. I would appreciate if a few of the Jiskha gang could review and critique.
Many thanks in advance.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is one of those questions every child hears. For some, this is a very difficult question. However, for me, I have always wanted to teach. My parents tell me that when I was little, I wanted to teach whatever grade level I happened to be in that year; when I was in first grade, I wanted to teach first grade. In the second grade, I changed my mind and wanted to become a second grade teacher.
When I was 14, I was so excited when the master at my Taekwondo dojang asked me to become an instructor. Of course I jumped at the chance. As an instructor I teach Taekwondo to people from age four and up. After seeing someone that I have taught succeed, I am overcome with an overwhelming feeling of euphoria. It is an amazing feeling to know that I have passed my knowledge onto other individuals. My Taekwondo dojang also runs an after school day-care program. As an after school program, obviously, homework comes into the picture, even though the children hate this aspect of the program. Part of my job is to help the children with their homework. This year, there was a student who could not understand fractions. I worked on those darn fractions with her over and over again. Finally, she got them. All of our hard work had paid off. I doubt she will ever forget how to compute fractions.
Some may ask how am I going to continue my love of teaching. The answer is simple. In my senior year I am enrolled in the peer helping program. This program sends high school students twice a week to assist teachers at local elementary schools. There, I will be paired with a child who is having difficulty grasping a certain topic. I am very excited and know that it will be a wonderful experience. As I grow older I hope to continue to teach, whether it is in the dojang or in the classroom. Wherever my journey takes me, I know that teaching will be an important part of my life.
Honestly, I have read hundreds of these and rated for scholarship or other awards probably a quarter of those. This just doesn't sound as if a HS student wrote it. It is highly polished, and speaks from an "adult" perspective. But more importantly, it is very high on the sappiness index, the raters of these essays read stacks of them, and the sappy ones really get moved to the sappy pile quickly.
How it rates depends on what the scholarship criteria is. You have leaned it very heavily towards education, which frankly, few HS students are that firm on any vocation.
The mechanics: This needs to be divided into more paragraphs, as it is, some change topics. Reread and make it less sappy, at least to the point the words don't stick together. To bring the writers perspective into reality, some acknowledgment of alternative paths might be helpful (unless the scholarship is in education).
Overall rating: Break up paragraphs. Cut the sap. As is, very good. It could be better. Review the scholarship or essay criteria.
Here are some grammar points to consider:
second grade teacher = hyphenated = second-grade teacher
after school program = after-school program (twice)
peer helping program. = peer-helping program
Speaking personally, teaching is certainly a worthy aim. It IS rewarding, especially you spot the student's weakness and strengthen that. Nothing creates success like success!
A college-bound essay usually is a five-paragraph essay. A single paragraph will not be what the examiners are looking for.
You will get some good ideas here: