SAT Essay

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. --G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Assignment: Are people held back by their adherence to the beliefs of the majority or doing things in the conventional way? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experiences or observations.



Having been an avid problem solver since my early year, I frequently enter math competitions hosted at my school. Usually achieving first place, I enjoy the challenge. My success isn’t exactly attributable to my IQ, but rather to my ability to find unconventional methods and apply them to the problems, helping me both in terms of time and efficiency. I firmly believe that success can be the direct result of defying conventions, as seen through the work of Louis Pasteur and my experiences in policy debate.

The Ancient Greeks were admired for their contribution to Western culture, science, and math, but many of the theories proposed were wrong. One of the most famous of these is Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous generation. It proposed the spontaneous creation of animals due to certain circumstances, such as frogs after the rain, and maggots from red meat. In 1865, Louis Pasteur went against the grain and questioned this widely accepted fundamental theory. Placing two pieces of red meat into open flasks, he covered both flasks with a long necked tube to let all the germs escape. Once both pieces of meat were sterilized, he broke off the tube of one of the flasks, leaving the other one closed. Within a few days, maggots had appeared on the red meat, but the second flask remanded unquestionably empty. It was Pasteur’s use of unconventional methods that earned him fame and success.

My debate career has become an experiment in and of itself. In policy debate, it is highly believed that one must go to debate camp over the summer in order to achieve any degree of success the following season. The summer between my novice and JV year, I decided to skip out on the two-grand trip to camp and try to do things my own way. To compensate for the “disadvantage” I was putting myself in, I spent time studying literature for the new topic, researching at my local library, and even visiting the community college to gain access to texts unavailable online. Entering the new season, I was constantly put down as “inexperienced” and “unprepared,” but I was not stopped. In fact, I capped off the year with a title no one else had, “state champion.”

Sometimes, a fresh perspective on things is all it takes to clear the air. If it weren’t for someone who realized that the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth, we may have never proceeded to achieve the level of success the human race has reached. Going against the grain does not guarantee success though, but it is our individuality that makes us who we are.

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asked by Sahil
  1. The Ancient Greeks were admired for their contribution to Western culture, science, and math, but many of the theories proposed were wrong. One of the most famous of these is Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous generation. It proposed the spontaneous creation of animals due to certain circumstances, such as frogs after the rain, and maggots from red meat. In 1865, Louis Pasteur went against the grain and questioned this widely accepted fundamental theory. Placing two pieces of red meat into open flasks, he covered both flasks with a long necked tube to let all the germs escape. Once both pieces of meat were sterilized, he broke off the tube of one of the flasks, leaving the other one closed. Within a few days, maggots had appeared on the red meat, but the second flask remanded unquestionably empty. It was Pasteur’s use of unconventional methods that earned him fame and success.
    My debate career has become an experiment in and of itself. In policy debate, it is highly believed that one must go to debate camp over the summer in order to achieve any degree of success the following season. The summer between my novice and JV year, I decided to skip out on the two-grand trip to camp and try to do things my own way. To compensate for the “disadvantage” I was putting myself in, I spent time studying literature for the new topic, researching at my local library, and even visiting the community college to gain access to texts unavailable online. Entering the new season, I was constantly put down as “inexperienced” and “unprepared,” but I was not stopped. In fact, I capped off the year with a title no one else had, “state champion.”
    Sometimes, a fresh perspective on things is all it takes to clear the air. If it weren’t for someone who realized that the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth, we may have never proceeded to achieve the level of success the human race has reached. Going against the grain does not guarantee success though, but it is our individuality that makes us who we are.

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    posted by Sahil
  2. For some reason, I can't post my entire essay. Let me try again.



    Having been an avid problem solver since my early year, I frequently enter math competitions hosted at my school. Usually achieving first place, I enjoy the challenge. My success isn’t exactly attributable to my IQ, but rather to my ability to find unconventional methods and apply them to the problems, helping me both in terms of time and efficiency. I firmly believe that success can be the direct result of defying conventions, as seen through the work of Louis Pasteur and my experiences in policy debate.
    The Ancient Greeks were admired for their contribution to Western culture, science, and math, but many of the theories proposed were wrong. One of the most famous of these is Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous generation. It proposed the spontaneous creation of animals due to certain circumstances, such as frogs after the rain, and maggots from red meat. In 1865, Louis Pasteur went against the grain and questioned this widely accepted fundamental theory. Placing two pieces of red meat into open flasks, he covered both flasks with a long necked tube to let all the germs escape. Once both pieces of meat were sterilized, he broke off the tube of one of the flasks, leaving the other one closed. Within a few days, maggots had appeared on the red meat, but the second flask remanded unquestionably empty. It was Pasteur’s use of unconventional methods that earned him fame and success.
    My debate career has become an experiment in and of itself. In policy debate, it is highly believed that one must go to debate camp over the summer in order to achieve any degree of success the following season. The summer between my novice and JV year, I decided to skip out on the two-grand trip to camp and try to do things my own way. To compensate for the “disadvantage” I was putting myself in, I spent time studying literature for the new topic, researching at my local library, and even visiting the community college to gain access to texts unavailable online. Entering the new season, I was constantly put down as “inexperienced” and “unprepared,” but I was not stopped. In fact, I capped off the year with a title no one else had, “state champion.”
    Sometimes, a fresh perspective on things is all it takes to clear the air. If it weren’t for someone who realized that the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth, we may have never proceeded to achieve the level of success the human race has reached. Going against the grain does not guarantee success though, but it is our individuality that makes us who we are.

    1. 👍 0
    2. 👎 0
    posted by Sahil
  3. The Ancient Greeks were admired for their contribution to Western culture, science, and math, but many of the theories proposed were wrong. One of the most famous of these is Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous generation. It proposed the spontaneous creation of animals due to certain circumstances, such as frogs after the rain, and maggots from red meat. In 1865, Louis Pasteur went against the grain and questioned this widely accepted fundamental theory. Placing two pieces of red meat into open flasks, he covered both flasks with a long necked tube to let all the germs escape. Once both pieces of meat were sterilized, he broke off the tube of one of the flasks, leaving the other one closed. Within a few days, maggots had appeared on the red meat, but the second flask remanded unquestionably empty. It was Pasteur’s use of unconventional methods that earned him fame and success.

    1. 👍 0
    2. 👎 0
    posted by Sahil
  4. My debate career has become an experiment in and of itself. In policy debate, it is highly believed that one must go to debate camp over the summer in order to achieve any degree of success the following season. The summer between my novice and JV year, I decided to skip out on the two-grand trip to camp and try to do things my own way. To compensate for the “disadvantage” I was putting myself in, I spent time studying literature for the new topic, researching at my local library, and even visiting the community college to gain access to texts unavailable online. Entering the new season, I was constantly put down as “inexperienced” and “unprepared,” but I was not stopped. In fact, I capped off the year with a title no one else had, “state champion.”

    1. 👍 0
    2. 👎 0
    posted by Sahil
  5. Sometimes, a fresh perspective on things is all it takes to clear the air. If it weren’t for someone who realized that the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth, we may have never proceeded to achieve the level of success the human race has reached. Going against the grain does not guarantee success though, but it is our individuality that makes us who we are.


    those are all of the paragraphs. sorry for being so messy! it just wouldn't let me post all of it at the same time.

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    posted by Sahil
  6. You need to work on transitions. This paper is very choppy. You jumped from yourself in math competitions to Pasteur to yourself in debate to the ancient Greeks to Pasteur again and back to your experiences in debate. It's hard to follow when it jumps so abruptly from one topic to another.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/transitions.htm

    http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/style/transitioncues.html

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  7. Good website for developing your vocabulary is wikiwordy

    Provides SAT words and lots of example sentences to help understand how they are used in context. Hope that helps!

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    posted by Sandy

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