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Princeton Supplement, Short Answer: Past 2 Summers


answers: 11
Aug 19, 2010, 05:19am   #1
Hey, please read the following essay and tell me whether it is appropriate. Thanks.

Prompt: Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held, if not already detailed on the Common Application

The thrill of having finished my Ordinary Level examinations was quite evident in the first few weeks of the summer of 2009. I dedicated this time to a lot of rest and relaxation through one of my primary pastimes: reading. I read a lot of books, both fictional and non fictional, in the first month. I remember reading 'Wine for Dummies' and being fascinated by the culture behind the wine-making process. I found it quite remarkable how the practice was a delicate balance between science and art. In fact, reading the book has given me a resolve to find a way to scientifically control most of the variables of wine making to increase the process' efficiency whilst not compromising the product's quality. I hope that with a degree in chemical engineering, I will one day be able to achieve this. I also read 'The Six Suspects' by Vikas Swarup, a book that soon claimed first position in my recommended list. The author's ability to develop six distinct plots and ultimately intertwine them into a single story was especially captivating. I later enrolled in driving school leading to my receiving a driver's licence. Finally being able to drive my mother to various destinations was a high point of the summer.

The major event during the summer of 2010 was my attachment at the University of Nairobi's School of engineering. I was lucky enough to have an introductory course at the mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineering workshops. Here, I gained invaluable insight into the practical component of the mechanical and electrical engineering course. I particularly enjoyed the fabrication laboratory where I learned the basics of computer aided manufacture using computer numeric control machines. The wall hanging I designed and ultimately crafted still hangs in my bedroom as testament to the incredibly enjoyable and educative time I had there. Another experience of great significance was voting in Kenya's referendum of a proposed new constitution. It being my first voting experience, I was quite excited to finally exercise my power to determine the direction the country took. Contributing to the realization of reforms is a great feeling and I am glad that I was involved in making history.

The past two summers were as interesting and beneficial to my development as a person as they were varied in types of involvements. I believe I was able to gain some transferable skills whiles still being able to enjoy my time, hence achieving equilibrium.

Aug 19, 2010, 10:30am   #2
I think your essays definitely have the write direction in terms of what you want to get across.

The only major form of improvement that I can see is the use of "I". Personally speaking, there are too many "I"s and your sentences seem to get a little redundant. I am relatively new at critiquing other people's essays, so please correct me if you feel otherwise.
Aug 19, 2010, 02:54pm   #3
JbarP:
The only major form of improvement that I can see is the use of "I". Personally speaking, there are too many "I"s and your sentences seem to get a little redundant. I am relatively new at critiquing other people's essays, so please correct me if you feel otherwise.


I understand why you feel that way. The format i was going for was informational as opposed to narrative. Redundant? Really? Where exactly or is it in a holistic manner?
I remember reading 'Wine for Dummies' and being ....---- Don't use ' ' marks. Use3 italics for titles of books and films.

I later enrolled in driving school and successfully earned my license. leading to my receiving a driver's licence. Finally being able to...

The major event during the summer of 2010 was my attachment (how about "discovery of the") University of Nairobi's School of engineering.

... learned the basics of computer aided (manufacturing?) using computer numeric control machines.

The past two summers were as interesting and beneficial to my development as a person as they were varied in types of involvements.-----hmmmm... I think you can say something more meaningful here.

I believe I was able to gain some transferable skills whiles still being able to enjoying my time, hence achieving equilibrium.

Nice!!! You seem like a deep thinker....
Aug 21, 2010, 02:01am   #5
EF_Kevin:
(manufacturing?)

I think it is manufacture. It should be a nonu. think of CAD (computer aided design)

EF_Kevin:
(how about "discovery of the")

I don't think that will quite fit the bill! I will look for an alternative though.

EF_Kevin:
I think you can say something more meaningful here

Trying (unsuccessfully) to write an appropriate thesis statement. Will keep on think about it.

Thanks man!! you have been extremely helpful!
Aug 21, 2010, 07:20am   #6
I find that your use of "I"s detracts my attention from what you are trying to get across. You can see it in your first paragraph, to be honest. Almost all your sentences start with "I".

This might just be a personal taste but I really think that small changes are required to improve the whole flow of your essay. I'll give you an example. Here are two sentences that you have written:

" I remember reading 'Wine for Dummies' and being fascinated by the culture behind the wine-making process. I found it quite remarkable how the practice was a delicate balance between science and art."

This is how it would better suit my style (I would really like other people to comment on this because this may just be a matter of my taste and I don't want to affect your essay in a negative way, though you are competing with me for a spot at Princeton ;)):

" I remember reading 'Wine for Dummies' and being fascinated by the culture behind the wine-making process. Delicate balance between science and art was at the core of the practice. Indeed, a mesmerizing method."
Aug 21, 2010, 11:45pm   #7
JbarP:
" I remember reading 'Wine for Dummies' and being fascinated by the culture behind the wine-making process. Delicate balance between science and art was at the core of the practice. Indeed, a mesmerizing method."


That sound good actually. I'll see what I can do about the rest.

JbarP:
(I would really like other people to comment on this because this may just be a matter of my taste and I don't want to affect your essay in a negative way, though you are competing with me for a spot at Princeton ;)):


Lol! I'd imagine so. :) thanks for your input. :)
Kimathi:
It should be a nonu. think of CAD (computer aided design)

Well, design is a noun, so it is okay. Its verb form is the same as its noun form, so that makes it different from manufacture and manufacturing. However, if you have seen the term used this way, I believe you! I don't know about this field at all!

About 'discovery of the'... yeah, I think discovery is a bad word! I think it is almost a cliche even though it is only one word. But I think you should find an alternative to 'attachment'... what do you mean by attachment?

And about this: The past two summers were as interesting and beneficial to my development as a person as they were varied in types of involvements. ---- yeah, consider the main idea of this sentence. It is not an important main idea. It is informative. But you can revise it to include another action verb and a few imagery words.

A powerful essay is one that boldly presents one idea without unnecessary details and qualifiers. As you revise, really focus on the most powerful ideas. Ha ha, I hope this verbose rant is helpful.
Aug 24, 2010, 12:35am   #9
EF_Kevin:
Well, design is a noun, so it is okay. Its verb form is the same as its noun form, so that makes it different from manufacture and manufacturing.


In the same way manufacture is as much a verb as it is a noun:

Manufacture 1. noun, The process of manufacturing goods
2. verb, Process or make goods at a large scale using machinery.
(Source Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus Express Edn.)

So I think it is exactly the same. :) If the gerund was required, CAD would be Computer Aided Designing??? :)

EF_Kevin:
About 'discovery of the'... yeah, I think discovery is a bad word! I think it is almost a cliche even though it is only one word. But I think you should find an alternative to 'attachment'... what do you mean by attachment?

Attachment is a term used to mean a junior position at a firm, think internship, work experience. I think it originates from attaché (The junior member in an ambassadors suite). Would you think internship was more appropriate? Because I really wasn't enrolled as a student, but I was getting instruction in the workshops and laboratories. So summer school doesn't quite explain it.

This is what I have now:

The thrill of having finished my Ordinary Level examinations was quite evident in the first few weeks of the summer of 2009. This time was dedicated to a lot of rest and relaxation through one of my primary pastimes: reading. I read a lot of books, both fictional and non fictional, in the first month. I remember reading Wine for Dummies and being fascinated by the culture behind the wine-making process. It is quite remarkable how the practice is a delicate balance between science and art. In fact, reading the book has given me a resolve to find a way to scientifically control most of the variables of wine making to increase the process' efficiency whilst not compromising the product's quality. I hope that with a degree in chemical engineering, I will one day be able to achieve this. In addition to that, I also read The Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup, a book that soon claimed first position in my recommended list. The author's ability to develop six distinct plots and ultimately intertwine them into a single story was especially captivating. Later, I enrolled in driving school and successfully earned my license. Finally being able to drive my mother to various destinations was a high point of the summer.

The major event during the summer of 2010 was my internship at the University of Nairobi's School of Engineering. I was lucky enough to have an introductory course at the mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineering workshops. Here, I gained invaluable insight into the practical component of the mechanical and electrical engineering course. I particularly enjoyed the fabrication laboratory where I learned the basics of computer aided manufacture using computer numeric control machines. The wall hanging I designed and ultimately crafted still hangs in my bedroom as testament to the incredibly enjoyable and educative time I had there. Another experience of great significance was voting in Kenya's referendum on a proposed new constitution. It being my first voting experience, I was quite excited to finally exercise my power to determine the direction the country took. Contributing to the realization of reforms is a great feeling and I am glad that I was involved in making history.

The past two summers were as interesting and beneficial to my development as a person as they were varied in types of involvements. Learning to achieve equilibrium, I tried my best to balance the activities I did purely for entertainment, those I did to develop certain skills and indeed those that served both purposes.
The essay has a good flow of thought and it engages the reader to have a picture of how you spent summer. I think it will be wise if you could have each event to have its own paragraph unless you have a word limit. e.g the driving lessons you can expound how intresting it was and the experience you had
Kimathi:
In the same way manufacture is as much a verb as it is a noun:

You win!! Thanks for teaching me about that. I had no idea manufacture could be a noun.

viwagude:
Attachment is a term used to mean a junior position at a firm, think internship, work experience.

hahahahahah!! You are 2 for 2 now... Want a job as my tutor?

Learning to achieve equilibrium, I tried my best to balance the activities I did purely for entertainment, those I did to develop certain skills, and indeed those that served both purposes.

The essay is looking good!!
Aug 25, 2010, 11:20pm   #12
viwagude:
I think it will be wise if you could have each event to have its own paragraph unless you have a word limit. e.g the driving lessons you can expound how intresting it was and the experience you had


There is a character limit, and I am flirting dangerously close to it. =( In terms of essays in the application, this is a very subordinate one. In some cases it is not even required. I think a two paragraph write up is sufficient for a short essay, no???

By the way, are you Ugandan? Your share a surname with someone I know. :)

EF_Kevin:
Want a job as my tutor?

Haha, you have done so much for me thus far, I felt i had to give something back! =)

EF_Kevin:
those I did to develop certain skills, and indeed

I am not really the type who put a comma before and and the last term in a list. But I think it is appropriate here to set the flow of the sentence, thanks. :)

Thanks for your help guys!



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