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In Any Field Of Endeavour, It Is Impossible To Make A Significant Contribution Without First Being Strongly Influenced By Past Achievements Within That Field - With A Free Essay Review



PROMPT: “In any field of endeavour, it is impossible to make a significant contribution without first being strongly influenced by past achievements within that field. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.”

I agree with the claim that it is impossible to make significant contributions without being first influenced by the past achievements within that field.

When we enter any new field we need to know the past. When we browse through the past achievements in that field, our mind will naturally be inclined to someone and that’s where we are influenced by that person. Take for example J.K.Rowling, the author of Harry Potter series. She was strongly influenced by C.S.Lewis, the author of Chronicles of Narnia. She was influenced by the way he wrote those fiction stories where everything is in a world of fantasy. Likewise many authors start to write being influenced by others. This type of influences lead them to make worthy contribution by making them to know what people like to read and more than that what they actually like to write.

In the field of technology we have grown to great heights now and are still growing. All this was possible by the new inventors in any field, who actually learnt what the past inventions in that field were and what the world needs. Consider the famous CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates. He learnt about the existing programs, mainframes and all the big computers. From that he was influenced by the fact that those existing systems were not user friendly. That led him to invent the most user friendly windows versions. In this case the influence of Charles Babbage’s Mainframes has actually made him think more; what are its drawbacks and that has led to excellence. So at times past influences will help to better them.

In the field of science from ancient days many scientists have proposed many theories. All those theories were influenced by the past theories. Consider the example, it was Coppernicus who first proposed that all the planets move around the sun. Then Kepler proposed that the planets move in elipses. Then Newton proposed the theory of gravity by which he told planets move in elliptical orbit due to gravity. So it’s clear that by the past experiences only they have made such scientific contributions.

As far as the examples considered above all the significant contributions in any field can be produced only by past experiences. Like any issue this also has a negative side, on being overly influenced by past there will not be any fresh new ideas coming up. Of course, someone stands at the starting point of any idea. As Charles Babbage found the computers, Edison stood first finding bulbs we need some precursors who think freshly to bring new ideas to the world. So the influence of the past is necessary to produce significant contribution but that doesn’t mean that new beginners cannot make significant contributions.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Your first argument is that we need to know the past, but you don't really explain why we need to know the past. Instead you describe, with the help of an example, what you think happens when "we browse through the past achievements." The conclusion of that description could be taken as an implicit argument about why writers cannot make a significant contribution without being influenced by the past, but that argument needs to be made explicit. E.g., something like: "Writers cannot make significant contributions without being influenced by past achievements because they can only learn what people like to read and write by reading the work of their precursors." Perhaps that is not the explicit argument you would actually want to make and it may not be true, but it is the _kind_ of statement that you need to make and defend. (Note also that it includes the word "because," a word which does not occur in your essay.)

The Bill Gates paragraph has the same kind of problem. You make an assertion rather than an argument, so that the argument is again implicit, and is defended only by an example. Your paragraph on science also has this problem. There is nothing wrong with giving readers examples to illustrate an argument; often examples are crucial if you want the argument to be clear. But don't let the example take the place of the argument.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: LakshmiRam
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