Biographical Essay Evaluation (Writeacher)

Write a 3-paragraph Biographical Essay. Discuss your experiences with summer: the things you enjoyed and the things you missed about school.

What I have written: "A strong sense of freedom is one of my favorite things about summer. It rids me of the stress and worry of assigned and uncompleted schoolwork, of poor grades and disappointing my teacher. It enables me to enjoy the outdoors without having to count the hours of exercise I must complete. Most of all, however, this sensation of freedom allows me to relax from the tension of everyday life and to have fun. Thus, it is a joy and a relief to experience such freedom, to wander aimlessly with very few cares in the world, if only for a short period of time.
The weather is another enjoyable aspect of summer. It is often warm enough to swim in the cool waters of a pool or a small pond or even a lake, all of which I’ve done during my many summer vacations. Furthermore, the climate makes the experience of hiking, another one of my favorite summer activities, even more marvelous. For example, while hiking trails in the winter may also be beautiful, hiking trails in the summer are the ones that exhibit the life of nature at its fullest.
Nevertheless, despite my love for summer freedom, there are some things I’ve missed about school during my time spent away. Interacting with my teacher and my school's staff, for instance, is one of them. They are all so friendly; it's almost difficult to think that I might not see any of them until the summer ends. I must admit, it is also difficult to imagine having a different teacher besides the one I have now. This is because, while we have both struggled with each other at times, I have never learned more—another reasoning of my missing school—than from my teacher, Mrs. Pfiefer."

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  1. Just turn it in. It's clear that wordiness and strangely structured sentences are your "style."

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    Writeacher
  2. What? No, I can't if this essay is as wordy and strangely structured as you say.

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  3. What else must I edit?

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  4. How should I revise my strangely structured sentences?

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  5. One example:

    It rids me of the stress and worry of assigned and uncompleted schoolwork, of poor grades and disappointing my teacher.

    Not only is this clumsy; there's also a non-parallel series in the sentence.
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/parallelism.htm

    Do you type your papers in Word? Do you have the grammar checker turned on? You'd catch things better if you do.

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    Writeacher
  6. Apparently, according to Word, my grammar is correct.

    Could you possibly show me exactly what I must revise? I cannot tell you how many times I tried to revise and edit this essay, but no matter what I do, you still insist that it is far too wordy and oddly structured. Also, could you revise the example above for me? No matter which angle I evaluate this sentence from, I don't know how to revise it to a format that isn't so clumsy and non-parallel.

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  7. If I revise/rewrite this, it becomes my paper, not yours. Then when you're given a writing assignment to be completed on the spot, you'll revert to your normal writing patterns.

    Did you read and understand what Bob Pursley wrote earlier today? Did you think about and do what he told you?

    Did you read and understand the links I sent you on wordiness and on parallelism?

    Just do your best and turn it in. Who knows? Maybe your teacher will like it.

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    Writeacher
  8. I must receive an excellent grade from this, though.

    I did think about what both you and Bob said but I don't know how to truly improve my writing from my obvious pattern of mistakes.

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  9. You might go back and read my comments, they point to your central issue with wordiness. The way to avoid 'wordy' sentences simplify them. Short sentences focus on the central thought. Try it sometime.

    Otherwise, you fall into making lots of compound sentences, wordy, full of poor structure, thoughts run amok, sentences changing topics in mid-length, making reading difficult, and frankly, difficult to follow.
    Shorter sentences will help you write. Shorter sentences will aid your readers.
    Shorter sentence will make your life rich.

    <It rids me of the stress and worry of assigned and uncompleted schoolwork, of poor grades and disappointing my teacher. >

    ,,,My freedom in Summer lessens stress. Freedom protects me from the pressure of the backlog of uncompleted school work. Freedom shields me from worry about disappointing grades and shoddy work..."

    Shorter sentences will help you write clearer, and without that awful choppy awkwardness that is so difficult to read.

    Go back and reread my earlier comments.

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    bobpursley
  10. How disappointing to open Jiskha this morning and find that you haven't tried to simplify your writing.

    Here's one sentence to get you started:

    Yours: "It rids me of the stress and worry of assigned and uncompleted schoolwork, of poor grades and disappointing my teacher."

    For ten weeks, I am free of homework, poor grades, and disappointment.

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    Writeacher

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