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

"In any field of endeavor, 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."

History provides a very important foundation for the future. It has been rightly said that “History always repeats itself”. Hence the learning of the past can engender new learning as well as teach lessons. But this cannot always be applied in every scenario. History or the past definitely becomes a source of inspiration for us but we cannot completely depend on the past for future endeavors and achievements.

A bright and intelligent person does not need any prior influence to help him achieve accolades in his life. A constant hard work and determination to achieve success in their field of study is enough for people to reach their goals. There are innumerable examples of people who made a significant contribution in the fields of science, arts, literature and all these never had any past achievements to look at or draw inspiration from.

Had this been the case, ordinary people like Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Vasco Digamma could have never achieved anything substantial in their careers because they had never learned from the past achievements by any one in their respective fields. Gravity would have still been a term unknown and we would have still been living in the illusion that the world is flat. All these people were the first ones in their own genre to burgeon with inventions and creations that challenged the old dogmatic convictions.

One can agree with the fact that the presence of such achievements aggravates the morale of a person trying to make new endeavors and acts as a source of inspiration. One feels a strong drive to think out of the box learning from the simplicity of thought. But, their absence certainly does not hamper any person’s ability to reach to the pinnacle of success.

America was the first country to launch a rocket and send humans to the moon. America made innumerable efforts in the past but to their dismay, ended up in major failures. But, these past failures also helped them to learn and gain expertise in the field of astronomy. Hence, saying that only the past achievements can influence people will be completely wrong. People learn from their failures too. Thomas Alva Edison, the creator of electric bulb, is more renowned for the number of times he failed in his experiments. But, he bore it with patience, learned something new every time and finally came up with the Electric Bulbs.

History in every field has always helped us to know more and motivated us to think in a different manner. It would be wrong to completely depend on the past for a better future but we cannot completely neglect the past as it helps bolster us to work towards our goals.



Your essay relies too heavily on either assertions (claims unsupported by reasons or evidence, such as the first two sentences of the second paragraph) or on arguments supported only by examples. Examples are very useful for thinking through issues and illustrating arguments, but unless you are specifically asked to focus on examples, you need also, and especially, to advance reasons in support of your claims.

(Note, in this respect, the difference between the instruction "consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position" and an instruction in which you are specifically asked to address examples; e.g., "describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position." You should take the difference between these different types of instruction seriously when considering how to respond to a GRE prompt.)

It's particularly important not to limit the justification of your claims to a list of examples when the examples themselves are of questionable merit. It is certainly possible, for instance, to argue, in opposition to your claims, that Galileo was strongly influenced by Copernicus, Newton by Galileo, and Einstein by Newton, the latter having said, by the way (I quote from memory, and so inexactly), "If I have seen farther than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

Note also that you are in some respects arguing the wrong point. To be strongly influenced by past achievements, for instance, does not necessarily entail "completely depend[ing] on the past for future endeavors and achievements." And while it is true to say that "people learn from their failures too," that claim is not relevant to the task of assessing the original statement if its purpose is to refute the claim "that only the past achievements can influence people." The latter claim does not appear in the prompt. What you would need to say here, I think, is that in some cases, in some fields of endeavor, people are primarily influenced by their failures and not by past achievements (I suspect this might be true in the case of infants learning to walk!).

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Parul05_joshi

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