Sample by Gabriella 

Beyond Vietnam-A Time to Break Silence

In response to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr, a civil rights leader who fought nonviolently for the rights of black people, wrote a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam-A Time to Break Silence” arguing that this course of action was unreasonable and unjust. He uses factual evidence in his speech to augment his credibility, appeals to the emotions of his listeners by making direct references to family members and by using extreme adjectives, and he utilizes personal experiences to establish a reputation for himself and make him a trustworthy source. When combined, these techniques make for a well thought out persuasive argument.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s usage of logos solidifies his argument by substantiating his claims. To highlight a hypocritical quality of our nation, the author points out that citizens witness “negro and white boys...kill and die together,” while their nation is “unable to seat them together in the same schools.” This tragic irony of having to tolerate multi-racial men dying together, but not allowing them to live in peaceful coexistence stimulates a realization in the minds of readers and listeners of a fact that is clear to see, but is overlooked. This spark of comprehension connects the audience with Mr. King Jr. and makes the audience feel a certain degree of reverence and trust toward him.

By using extreme adjectives in his speech, such as “devastating,” “extraordinary,” “crippled,” and “trembling,” Martin Luther King Jr. captures the attention of his audience, causing them to truly understand how dire the situation is, leading to an emotional connection between the speaker and his listeners. Furthermore, the writer uses repetition when saying that he will not stand down and watch a disaster in his nation unfold further “for the sake of these boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence.” The author clearly wants to get the point across that he is looking out for his nation and its people and that he has positive intentions. Lastly, Mr. King Jr. uses direct references to the families of his listeners in order to appeal to their emotions. He says that the war was “sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and die.” Referencing to sons, brothers and husbands reminds people of their relatives who are fighting in the Vietnam War and the danger that our nation has put these soldiers in, making them sympathize with the speaker.

To strengthen his argument even further, Martin Luther King Jr. uses personal experiences to ensure the audience that he is a trustworthy and reliable source. Throughout his speech, Mr. King Jr. builds a reputation for himself by stating that his deep “level of awareness… grows out of my [his] experience in the ghettos of the north.” Knowing that this man has lived in the ghettos shows us that he has first hand experiences with inequality and racial discrimination and is therefore able to connect with people of his race on a more personal level. Martin Luther King Jr.’s use of ethos aided his persuading listeners to support and agree with him.

To recapitulate, Martin Luther king Jr. used several effective persuasive techniques to manipulate his audience into agreeing with him and supporting him in his fight for equality. When discussing racial discrimination against blacks, he uses several methods including logos, pathos and ethos to express his strong disagreement with the nation’s meddling in the Vietnam War. These methods helped the audience sense the importance of the topic being discussed as well as to sympathize with Martin Luther King Jr., making them “lean” toward his side of the argument.

Sample byMaryna - SAT Essay

Christopher Hitchens writes “The Lovely Stones” in an attempt to persuade the audience that the original sculptures from the Parthenon should be returned to Greece.

Throughout the passage Hitchens depicts his bitterness about the sculptures’ relocation through scornful language, which he hopes would incite the same feelings in the reader. He also creates an analogy to the Mona Lisa, a more well known and more relatable work of art, so the reader would understand why it is so important that the original Parthenon sculptures must be returned to Greece. Additionally, Hitchens provides a contrast between the unjust treatment of half of the Parthenon sculptures by the English and the proper treatment of the other half by the Greeks. By using the scornful language, the analogy, and the contrast in his writing, Hitchens creates an effective argument that appeals to the readers’ emotions and persuades them that the Parthenon sculptures should in fact be returned to Greece.

Hitchens begins the passage with the following quote about the Parthenon from classicist A. W. Lawrence: “the one building in the world which may be assessed to be absolutely right.” He includes this as part of the first sentence to create an impression in the reader about the grandeur of the Parthenon. Throughout the rest of the passage Hitchens refers to the Parthenon as special and in a world of its own in its gloriousness, so when he finally introduces the story about its horrendous treatment through the ages he incites sympathy and pity in the reader. He says that the Parthenon is absolutely right, yet it’s “not that the beauty and symmetry of the Parthenon have not been abused and perverted and mutilated.” In this one sentence Hitchens creates such a contrast by using the words “beauty” and “symmetry” and then “abused”, “perverted”, and “mutilated” that it’s almost like a slap in the face for the reader. Later in the passage the author reminds the reader that the Parthenon is “the most lavish and beautiful sculptural treasury in human history”, and in this phrase he once again exaggeratedly praises the building. In addition, Hitchens creates the impression that the Parthenon was wronged by people like the British, which once again amplifies the reader’s feelings of pity and bitterness. He writes that even though the damage the building has suffered from the ages, past empires and occupations “cannot all be put right”, one “desecration” and “dilapidation” can be partially undone. This use of vocabulary and accusative language creates a clear message depicting just how much the author is against the altering of the Parthenon; however, by continuing to use this language over and over again Hitchens also engraves his opinion in the mind of the reader.

In the fourth paragraph of the passage Hitchens alludes to the Mona Lisa, which is a more relatable work that is taken for granted in the fact that it is in one piece. He asks the reader that had the Mona Lisa been sawed in two a long time ago and the separated halves had been in different museums “would there not be a general wish to see what they might look like if re-united?” He doesn’t state that many would desire to see the two pieces of the Mona Lisa as one; instead, he asks the reader and makes him stop to think, which in turn furthers his argument. To prove that his analogy is not outrageous, Hitchens describes how grotesque the fact that the body of Iris and the front part of the torso of Poseidon are in London and Iris’s head and the back portion of Poseidon’s torso are in Athens is. He even says the words “and so on” after this description of the crude amputation, implying that these are not the only freakish results of the mutilation of the Parthenon. With this description and allusion Hitchens shows the reader just how extensive the offenses committed to the Parthenon are; hence, he deepens the roots of his claim in the reader’s mind.

Hitchens provides a very obvious contrast between the wicked treatment of one half of the Parthenon by the British and the rightful treatment of the other half by the Greeks. He mentions how the Greeks saved the remaining sculptures and statues and are preserving their beauty in a museum away from the dangerous effects of the elements. He even proceeds to say that the “British may continue in their constipated fashion to cling to what they have so crudely amputated”, but the Acropolis Museum in Greece “has hit on the happy idea” of exhibiting the aforementioned remains with the well-made casts of the sculptures in London. He uses these phrases in an attempt to emphasize once again that the British have greatly insulted the Parthenon by mutilating it, and that the two parts must be put together again. He revisits his claim about people wanting to see two parts of an artwork reunited by saying that the cast incites a “natural thirst” to see the re-assembly of the Parthenon. He finishes the article by once more appealing to the emotions of the reader and saying that one day people will agree to do the “right thing by the world’s most ‘right’ structure”. The word “right” incites a feeling of justice for the Parthenon in the reader that, as the last phrase of the passage, really brings home the message that says the following: the mutilation of the Parthenon cannot be tolerated, and this injustice must be undone.

Through chastising language, the use of an analogy, and the incorporation of a contrast between the crime being committed and what should be done instead, the author is persuading the reader that the original Parthenon sculptures must be returned to Greece.

Written by Jonathan 

4-year-old student

Sample by Julia - SAT essay

The author of the passage utilizes a wide variety of rhetorical techniques to build his argument that student athletes deserve fair compensation in college sports. The writer augments his position with factual evidence from the University of Texas and from USA Today; simultaneously, the author maintains an unequivocal tone, and stimulates the readers through inclusive language . The author’s appropriate use of evidence, inclusive language, and straightforward tone efficaciously establishes a persuasive argument. 

To introduce credibility to the claim, the author conspicuously incorporates evidence from acclaimed sources and institutions. According to the University of Texas their football team “netted a profit of $77.9 million in 2011-2012.” By assimilating evidence, the author forces the readers to comprehend why colleges do not pay the student athletes that are primarily responsible for the existence of the football team, itself. Furthermore, not only did the net profit of teams increase, but also the salary of the coaches dramatically increased. In fact, coach salaries “jumped more than 70 percent since 2006, to $1.64 million”; surprisingly, as claimed by USA Today, the head coach of Alabama, Nick Saban, “makes $7.3 million a year.” The author strengthens his position by portraying the considerable amount of money produced by the college sports industry; therefore, the readers are compelled to consider why the hard work of the athletes involved is not rewarded through a reasonable salary. Thus, the author’s use of evidence is very persuasive since the reader acknowledges the knowledge of the author and the author’s logical approach towards the explanation of his claim. 

To better illustrate his argument and persuade the audience, the author assimilates inclusive language into the passage. The author fervidly exclaims that “we should” not “take the money out of college sports,” but instead advocate the idea of paying student athletes. “We should” not be ignorant about the injustice towards college athletes, but “we should” assist in the union for change. Readers feel compelled, almost forced, to cooperate with the author towards his primary goal--having colleges pay student athletes for their hard work. Inclusive language artlessly draws attention to the accountability that readers possess regarding the unfair treatment of student athletes in the economic perspective. Hence, through inclusive language, the author is able to persuade by including the reader, and by creating a sense of responsibility. 

The author unquestionably preserves an unequivocal tone to frankly elucidate his goals and overall claim to the reader. Through the utilization of evidence, the author is able to convey the wealth and opulence produced by the college sports industry; subsequently, the author states that compared to the immense amount of money cultivated and the unreasonable salaries of coaches “players take home no money. None.” The blunt tone of the author easily portrays his perspective and artlessly captures the attention of the readers through the dramatic impact of a straightforward tone. Furthermore, the author takes no time to explain that student athletes are simply being “defrauded and taken advantage of.” Thus, the forthright tone of the author avoids confusion and briskly depicts the message clearly and succinctly to the readers. 

Thus, the author adopts a variety of techniques such as evidence, inclusive language, and a frank tone to effectively develop his argument and persuade the readers to advocate a change in college sports regarding the pay of student athletes. Evidence immensely accounts for the reader’s recognition of the authors qualification and knowledge concerning the profits of colleges as a benefit provided by sports. Furthermore, inclusive language delineates the author’s liability on the readers to assist in a union against the tradition of not paying student athletes. Finally, the author’s maintenance of a forthright tone efficaciously portrays his claim and goal without creating any confusion.

5th grade
ESSAY Topic: wrong choice

It was just me, a blank page, a keyboard, and sixty minutes to write a two- page essay for my tutor. How would I finish in such a short time? I didn’t know.
Hundreds of decent ideas were racing through my mind like sparks in a circuit, yet I couldn’t transfer even one onto paper. It seemed like a seed of doubt and
confusion had been planted in my mind, and there was nothing I could do to stop it from sprouting.  

The fact that my school ended at around 5’o clock, and that I had been too occupied to start it before didn’t contribute to my thinking. Part of me just wanted to come to tutor without any completed homework and get kicked out, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it ever again. However, the other half of me wanted to quickly finish this essay, to avoid the onslaught of my mum’s harsh scolding. Unfortunately for me, my conscience and mind forced me to follow the second half of my body and write the essay, which meant that I had a lot of work ahead of time.

I looked at the clock and recognized that I had just wasted twenty minutes simply deciding whether to write the essay or not. I was clenching my hair, grasping my forehead, and breathing heavily. Everyone made writing an essay seem so simple and effortless. My English teacher had said that it was just a combination of sentences written from end to end. Now I know that there’s much more depth to it. Realizing that if I continue to stall like this I would completely diminish my already-so- little time, so I gulped down a glass of water and began typing. Luckily for me, the brainstorming payed off, and I had finally pinpointed the subject of my soon-to- be two-page essay.  

As soon as I wrote the first sentence, a cluster of ideas suddenly appeared in my had like a pop quiz in science. I now realized that writing essays is just a matter of writing that first sentence and letting your mind come up with the rest.  I also found out that the only thing stopping me from writing the essay was a pang of fear and a plethora of stress and self-doubt. With that in mind, I hastily completed and checked my essay in a little over thirty minutes. The seemingly impossible had been done. I let out a huge sigh of relief and a small hurrah, but I didn’t let it go to my head. I realized that I had just gotten lucky this time, and next time my luck probably would have run out, but I made sure to remind myself to start earlier next time and not make the wrong choice by starting at the last minute.


Sample by Jasmina, 5th grade 

Topic: What would you do if you turned into an animal?

I quickly woke from by beauty nap and decided to go outside into our five giant acres of land my family and I call a backyard, the location of the average cottage is in the north of the windy Alaska in an isolated area with only four faraway neighbors. However, as my sight finally fully recovered from sleep, I swiftly noticed that everything appeared black and white, like a person noticing an elephant on top of his stomach, when it should've been green clovers of petite grass with a sprinkle of morning dew, the brilliant blue sky with its puffy marshmallows called clouds, and our pristine bower with its natural color of brown and tan logs in a jaw dropping pattern. Then, as time passed, I realized that I became an outstanding grey wolf with white silvery highlights. My scream was a hybrid of confusion, shock, and terror, when I got the idea of being in the warm body of a gorgeous wolf. Gradually, I became more used to it throughout the morning, so I decided to go to the village stores five acres in front of me to see the awesome reaction of the boring villagers. Additionally,as five hours passed, my great idea was to roam around the village and show the majestic life of an innocent wolf, and that wolves shouldn't be hunted down to its extinction and be sold as accessories and coats.

Having my wonderful plan figured out, the quiet paws of the wolf’s body carried me without a problem to the predictable citizens of the remote area of the Alaskan people. I began my adventure by carefully strolling into the bustling outside stores selling all my favorite foods. Therefore, once people recognized me and started screaming out the shrieking noises such as, “Aaahhhh” and “WOLF”, I showed them how wolves can be harmless by piercing a tiny hole in the piece of paper money with my needle like teeth and placing them on the counter selling little dog treats, since I was a dog related animal, and carefully whining and making puppy dog eyes while the shocked cashier terrifyingly dangled the big puffy seemingly brown treat five miserable inches in the air when I flipped in the air while snatching the juicy treat from his gnarled and dry skinned hands. For being such a loyal and well behaved dog, I received two extra wonderful smelling dog treats that I ate in one big easy gulp. The whole group of the people who didn't run away screaming and flailing their flimsy arms, stayed in their places with hunched backs, on end hairs, a wide open butterfly net with a shocked expression, and products and goods smashed and toppled to the dirty floor while the citizens were petrified with stone of shock and awe.

However, when I found a piece of blank paper and I magically found a pen filled with the best black ink in the world, I began scribbling random letters on the blank pristine piece of paper to see if the letters engraved on the side of the beautiful pen meant what it they stated. Therefore, when I figured out they did, I quickly wrote the words, “I'm Jasmina the daughter of Jack and Mary”. Thus, everyone gasped and started adoring me by elegantly stroking the large tufts of the white and silvery fur at the top of the start of my tiny nose, and my furry neck kept on being grabbed at like a human grabbing onto a piece of ripping thread over a sea of lava; however, it was an overwhelming feeling of happiness and clarification. However, after a few more fun hours I decided to continue my adventure to save wolf kind. Howling my farewells, I snatched some meaty foods, such as chicken and beef, and gobbled it up like a starving lion having a killed zebra presented to it. Then, I traveled miles and miles to the nearest city and brainstormed how to keep the people from killing or shooting me because they think I'm a wild animal of some sort, so my great idea was to pretend to suffer from an injured leg and limp all through town until someone other than a veterinarian would take me into care for a little while. “Limping” all through the city, I howled were there were few people.

Finally, an amicable girl had run towards me and started doing everything a two year old would do to a dog, when she asked her mother if she could keep me, but the screams started again. This time they where louder and more terrifying, but they muted gradually as more and more people noticed my “broken” leg. The mother and everyone believed that they should stop screaming since they would attract other wolves, but as usual a pen and paper appeared next to me, so my atrocious wolf handwriting was read by many, and the world of humans suddenly trembled and a green flash of light almost took over everybody’s pupils. However, somehow I knew that this flash of light was a wave of understanding, for my whole body and my black eyes turned green unlike the yorkie standing besides me, also they all said “OOOOOOHHHHHHH” after the light retreated to inside my brain. Then, I ran off to my home village because I had no idea what to do and I remembered my parents were coming back from vacation that peculiar day.When I returned, I learned a valuable lesson myself. First, always listen to your parents,for my parents were worried sick when I didn't return for the past three hours. Second, I learned that all animals can be saved from extinction if we all just didn't litter, for the city people read my letter to mankind on live television.

Sample by Emily

The Online Brain

In the passage “The Online Brain” Krista O’Connell discusses the effect the Internet has on the human brain. The author introduces the possibility of there being an effect on the brain by demonstrating how much time people spent using the Internet; furthermore, the author tells of experiments on Internet users. The author develops this idea throughout the article by posing and answering different questions. O’Connell concludes the article by questioning the importance of the answers to all these questions.

Krista O’Connell commences the article by providing the reader with background information. O’Connell explains the increase in time spent using the Internet in the last couple of years. The text states, “In 2005, the average person spent about six hours a week online. By 2010, that number had doubled,” implying that all this time spent on the Internet can possibly affect people’s brains. The author continues to introduce her claim by telling of an experiment on Internet users. The text indicates,” To investigate the idea that being online regularly can affect brain function, three scientists scanned the brains of two groups of people while they researched topics online,” conveying that this is a topic that scientists are interested in. O’Connell begins the article by introducing the reader to the topic.

The author develops the idea that the Internet is changing people’s brains by using questions to introduce and explain many aspects of this topic. O’Connell uses subheadings to pose questions and proceeds to provide their answers in the text. The text states, “How Does a Regular Internet User Think and Behave?” giving the reader a chance to think about the question on their own before reading the answer. O’Connell then answers the question. She indicates, “To take in and do as much as possible, many of today’s users have become extreme multitaskers,” delineating that Internet users behave differently from non-users. O’Connell develops her idea by using subheadings and explanations.

Krista O’Connell concludes the article by questioning the relevance of her answers to these questions. O’Connell humorously argues that the answers won’t really make a difference to users.  The text states, “However, the Internet is affecting us, It is too late to turn back now,” indicating that the effects of the Internet are out of users’ control. O’Connell does, however, state that there are small changes users can make to lessen the effects of the Internet. The text indicates, “Perhaps all we can do is hope for the best and make an effort to unplug every so often…” conveying that users can control the amount of time they spend online. The author concludes the article by discussing what the user does and doesn’t control regarding the Internet’s ability to affect him or her.

Krista O’Connell uses various techniques to introduce, develop, and conclude her claim. From “The Online Brain” readers can learn that the only way they can control the Internet’s effects is by spending less time online.

Sample byAzamat, 6th grade

I was indolently slumped in the soft cushions of the chair as my body absorbed all the suns warming rays like a sponge absorbing fluids. The cruise ship, tearing thru the gentle waves at mach 10 speeds, occasionally sent a splash of water heading right towards me.
The miniscule splash pervaded a cool and refreshing chill throughout my body and I anticipated that this day was only going to get better. However, I soon learned that good things didn’t last forever and the day took a turn in the completely wrong direction. A seemingly fellow ship suddenly loomed out of the horizon and appeared to be traveling directly towards us. At first glance, the ship was perceived as just another fellow ship casually strolling by, but their true intentions were revealed when they got up close to us.  

Without warning, the now recognizable pirates threw their barbed spears into the base of our vehicle. They then slowly pulled our ship closer to them and deployed ladders, which connected the two ships. Finally, the menaces stormed our cruise ship like American troops during D-day and committed unspeakable crimes. They started by ordering everyone to surrender and executing anyone who failed to obey. Next, they made everyone one left alive board the pirate ship and stay in a tightly cramped, dank area. The sunny and bright day passed and now the dark and dreaded night had rolled in. However, one of the pirates came up to me and gave me a funky looking pill. He informed me on how the pill would transform me into a fish and that I should take it before I go to sleep this night. I did as the man had instructed and when the day had set in plans appeared as though they had changed. The pirates now were leading people onto a board, in which they pushed them into the sea and left them to drown. When it was my turn, instead of waiting to be shoved off, I ran and dived into the vast blue sea myself. Instantly, I transformed into a flimsy and miniscule fish that would probably be gobbled up by a predator before long. However, I accepted my form, as this would surely be better than a panicked human desperately trying to swim for his life.  

Now, I had been studying fish for a significant period before this unusual event and had a basic run down of how things operated down here. I explored the abyss for a while until I encountered a school of fish just like me. I joined them and followed them around everywhere. I felt safer within the school and since it was migration season, I got to experience the thrill or terror of migrating as a fish. I stayed with them for a while and saw many attractions that a tourist would die to see. The ocean offered a variety of wonders including 30-feet- long kelp plants, vibrantly colored plants, and colossal creatures. It had appeared as though the world was trying to make up for the pirate incident, but again, my beautiful experience was rudely and abruptly interrupted.  

A strange shadow suddenly engulfed the area in which my school was swimming in and it looked like it was following us. I turned my head vertically to see what was the cause of this phenomenon and what I saw filled my mind with excitement and fear. Above us, hovered a pack of 3 giant black and white killer whales that had hungry looks on their faces and at that moment I knew what would proceed. Immediately the three mammals descended onto us like a kamikaze plane and picked our school apart by the hundreds.  Within a few seconds, only a remnant of our band remained and I felt both indignant and lucky to be alive. I asked the world what I did to deserve this cruelty from it and why I was chosen to be one of the sole survivors. As expected I got no response and with that I sadly swam off.  

While on my lonely and gloomy trek, I encountered a gigantic ship with a quaint white skull on the sail. I swore to myself that I had remembered the symbol from somewhere but I couldn’t put the pieces together. Finally, just as I was about to forget about the whole thing all together, the answer popped up in my head like popcorn abruptly popping out from tiny kernels. I recognized the sails of the ship as the ones of the pirates that raided my cruise ship and ruined the perfect day. Anger immediately poured into my heart like water down a sink and I felt extreme rage. I wanted to do anything I could to hinder their progress, but knowing I was a miniscule fish I gave up. I simply wished that the pirates would meet trouble along their path and prepared to swim away. However, I suddenly felt a massive change in my body, and saw that I was morphing into a different sea creature. Now I was a giant octopus instead of a small and flimsy fish and I knew exactly what to do. I quickly swam over to the pirate ship, which was no match for my incredible speed, and destroyed it, leaving its crew to the same fate that they tried to inflict upon me.

Sample by Gabriella - SAT Essay

Living in the 21st century, Elizabeth Roberts-Pederson is still affected by the traumatic results of WWI. At the time that this article was written, 100 years had gone by since the war, so Pederson, a lecturer in history at the university of Western Sydney in Australia, wrote “From Shell Shock to PTSD: Proof of War’s Traumatic History” to convince her audience that people have been long-affected by WWI, both physically and emotionally. To achieve this goal, Pederson uses a factual information to refute opposing arguments, as well as allusions that show cinematic proof of her point.

First and foremost, Pederson dominates her work with facts from a variety of sources. In doing this, she sparks a sense of trust in her audience, causing them to consider her a more credible source because she has clearly done research on WWI and its effects, and is a knowledgeable scholar in the field of history, as suggested by her profession. After stating to her audience general information about the life-changing effects of WWI that still exist today, Pederson continues to refute the argument that “many patients had some ‘predisposing’ weakness-independent of their combat experiences.” She acknowledges that the idea of predisposed illnesses came from a group of anti-war activists known as Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), but the truth was that the war caused several soldiers, PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. When discussing this mental illness, among others, Pederson cites the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) as her source of information. Since the audience sees that Pederson obtained her information from official sources, they are inclined to believe what she is saying and agree with her that WWI’s effects are still relevant in today’s society.

In addition to referencing credible sources of information, such as medical journals, Pederson also includes scenes from the movie “American Sniper” to support her claim. The author added this touch to her writing in order to bring perspective to her point, and show her audience that not only are people who lived during or fought in the war affected by these brutal battles, but people of today’s society also still acknowledge the horrifying impacts of WWI. By mentioning a modern, well-known movie, and describing specific people such as Chris Kyle who “was shot dead by Eddie Ray Mouth [another veteran] in 2013,” Pederson brings her writing to life and gives her readers something to relate to in her argument, making them more likely to support her.

To recapitulate, Elizabeth Pederson effectively put together a well-thought out argument about the lingering effects of WWI. She cleverly implemented factual evidence to prove the opposing side of her argument wrong, and used allusions to reference a movie in which a character demonstrated her point more clearly. The combination of these rhetorical devices successfully established Pederson’s point, as well as her credibility in the field of history, resulting in the anticipated support from readers that Pederson was aiming to receive. 

Sample By Eva - 4th grade


Margaret Hanes from Old Oak Valley walked with a lachrymose facial expression. Her heart beat a thousand miles a minute. Her provocative crystal eyes chased the night stars as she hurried to her broken blue bike and pedaled faster than a speeding bullet, but her bike traveled quite slowly. The piercing red blood leaked from the edge of her lower lip that looked so drained of life that it turned a pastel peach color. She bit her quivering lip with her yellow teeth and kept pedaling until she arrived at the house in Valley Springs. The forbidden house was completely covered in moss on one side and had mold on the other. The old bricks were almost as colorless as her face. I creeped into the house and up the creaky gray stairs when something faced me in the darkness—eyes.

Crystal eyes.

Sample by Gabriella 

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

In response to the unreasonable claim that the protests in Birmingham were supposedly "unwisely and untimely," Martin Luther King Jr. writes a speech stating his side of the argument and justifying his actions. In persuading his audience that his actions were appropriate, the author utilizes a wide variety of persuasive techniques, including specific connotations that establish a desired tone in his piece and inclusive language to show that he is speaking directly to those who accused him of being guilty for his peaceful protests.

From the beginning of his argument, Martin Luther King Jr. surprised his audience with his spontaneous and unpredictable approach to expressing his disagreement with the group of people who led to his imprisonment by being kind to them and addressing them in a calm manner. By saying that he feels these men are "of genuine good will" and that their "criticisms are sincerely set forth," he establishes a sophisticated and respectful relationship with the opposing party. He also clearly conveys the idea that he wants to answer their statement in "patient and reasonable terms," therefore making the audience feel more comfortable listening to and trusting Martin Luther King Jr. because they do not feel intimidated or threatened by him.

In addition to providing a calm and respectful tone for the readers, Martin Luther King Jr. uses inclusive language as another way to make the audience feel more comfortable listening and responding to his argument in a sophisticated way. The author shows us that he is speaking directly to a certain group of people by immediately informing us that he "came across your (their) statement" and that he wants "to try to answer your (their) statement" in a reasonable way. Since the author directly addresses a specific crowd,  those members will listen more attentively because they will feel almost as if they are engaging in a conversation with the author.

All in all, Martin Luther King Jr. successfully justified his actions in his response to the claim that the peaceful protests in Birmingham were "unwise and untimely." He composed an extremely well thought out argument with seemingly innocent, but truly manipulative persuasive techniques intertwined throughout the piece. By using a mix of positive and neutral connotations in his words to establish a desired tone, as well as inclusive language to make for a conversation-like experience, Martin Luther King Jr. effectively gets his point across and is able to convince the audience to support him.

Sample by Eva, 3rd Grade

Is the Benevolent/Good Person/Team Always Victorious/Successful?

Benevolent Cinderella, who was respectful of others, was victorious when getting married to a prince, ultimately becoming a princess. Cinderella worked diligently in order to complete her chores and tasks assigned by her evil stepfamily. Cinderella willingly participated in activities and missions such as dancing with her future husband, the prince at the ball; additionally, Cinderella was supportive of her fairy godmother, for she was punctual of her orders by leaving the ball at exactly twelve o’ clock, just as she was told. Cinderella, who is now a princess, takes care of and nurtures mice, birds, rats, and farm animals. By being respectful of her surroundings, benevolent Cinderella won over the prince and forgave her stepfamily for being so cruel.  

President Theodore Roosevelt was a kind character as well; therefore, succeeding in two ways: inspiring the teddy bear invention and being elected as the president of the U. S. Theodore Roosevelt was kind by not killing a bear, but instead leaving it alone and feasibly nurturing it for a moment. This achievement gave him success by helping him success by helping him get put in office for president and created an inspiration for a novelty: the teddy bear! By putting the president’s nickname and the prodigious animal he faced together, creators made the now popular teddy bear. Thanks to his kindness, Roosevelt became famous. 

The benevolent person is always victorious, such as Cinderella marrying the prince and President Theodore Roosevelt becoming famous, both because of their benevolence.

Sample by Sasha

Veracity is a concept sponsored by many religious works, including the Bible, Quran and Torah; however, at times the average man fails to be the benefactor of truth. Candor's value has certainly decreased over the years. Individuals are not interested in verity either because of the fear that speaking sincerely will hurt someone's feelings, or worse ­ to provide "lip service", proclaiming a false opinion with sweet­talk to buttress their position. Chicanery, the result of shirking one's innate probity, has detrimental consequences. For instance, intimate relationships fall prey to deceit and are in turn destroyed. In a grander schematic, business connections are also susceptible to duplicity and can, too, vanquish. All deleterious upshots can be easily avoided if one chooses the path of truth. 

Truth and trust come hand in hand; thus, it is logical that when one succumbs to deceit, credence is lost. Deception creates distance in any relationship, romantic or platonic. For a healthy partnership, mutual trust is the building block. Certainly, there are circumstances that place this concept under doubt: Something simple, as for instance, whether or not your friend looks attractive in a certain outfit, or more complex such as confessing to infidelity. In likely scenarios, white lies may seem harmless and an easy escape, but they actually serve to further agitate the already negative situation. While reality may be difficult to face, one can bring about this confrontation with a more sanguine outlook by avoiding brutal bluntness and instead implementing compassion and tenderness. There are many methods in which to convey honesty, and the variance of the chosen way does not matter as long as the truth comes to light.  

In the pursuit of economic prosperity, a priority for many in the contemporary age, virtue is vital. When establishing a business, honest practices inspire respect for a mission. Candidness also builds foundations of trust with colleagues, competitors, personnel and consumers. Confidence is consequently secured in a proprietor and can be delineated by creditors and investors funding company development. However, duplicity can erode this bedrock. Lying about acquired assets, state of a firm and future endeavors is not only borderline fraud, but slander, too. Once a lie is uttered, and then found out, it is practically impossible to bounce back: This situation entails a searing brand, "deceiver". Business conducted with an individual of this caliber thereafter will be sparse because second chances are scarcely issued in affairs of profit. Honesty is thus the most felicitous path to tread in provinces of enterprise. 

Verity is the art of being truthful, one everyone should seek to master for it reaps sagacity and reverence. For instance, being genuine in personal relationships substantiates a potent moral character and strengthens bonds. Additionally, in a professional field, integrity leads to auspicious circumstances. Deception, on the other hand, does not present any of these benefits. In fact, telling a lie once makes all the future truths questionable; ergo, treachery is the slaughter of affection, respect and prosperity. Mendacious activity is akin to self­inflicted calumny and the only preventative measure is honesty.

Sample by Sabrina

Topic: Essay about FDR speech

After the malicious attack at Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation on December 8th, 1941, with a compelling speech that united the country, With this speech FDR proclaimed war on Japan . He used extreme emotions to sway the American people from a state of confusion and indignation . As a result, the citizens felt united and began to openly accept the actions of retaliation.The use of negative connotations with his words, repetition, and a confident tone allowed Franklin Delano Roosevelt to build a strong argument that persuaded the nation to believe America would not be pushed down.

The use of repetition allowed FDR to reinforce his argument and ensure that what he had stated would impact the audience directly. Throughout the speech, the word "deliberately" was mentioned multiple times.  The insensitivity of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was greatly emphasized by FDR's use of repetition. As mentioned in the statement "The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked," the word deliberately allow the audience to comprehend that the attack was planned ahead of time and occurred for a specific reason .

Additionally, FDR stated that "Last night,Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong . Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam." As a result , the repetition of "Last night" allowed to further elevate the wrong doings of Japan. The use of repetition allowed the speech addressed by FDR to convey a persuasive message to the audience. Additionally, FDR conveyed his argument to the nation by using words with negative connotations. He carefully chose his words in order for the connotation t suit his purpose. The use of negative connotations let the audience get emotionally startled.

Throughout his speech , FDR spoke about "treachery" when he promised this cruel attack would never endanger USA again, and mentioned "grave danger" when he explained the country was still in danger. Such diction not only directly affected the emotions of the audience, but also allowed FDR to persuade the nation that the United States had the power to defend themselves. Furthermore, FDR maintained a confident tone throughout the speech, convincing the nation to feel strong and poised. He assured that " the American people in their righteous might will through absolute victory." Roosevelt's ardent tone empowered and uplifted the citizens of the USA. Roosevelt guaranteed the audience of his "confidence in our armed forces" which led to "inevitable triumph". FDR perpetuated a confident tone which persuaded the US citizens to believe they were not a weak nation.

​​​​Sample by Evan

Question:​Do we need people to understand ourselves?

Often, we’ve been told to trust in the opinions of others ­ after all, only those who surround us know us better, right? Actually, quite the contrary. We currently live in a world in
which everyone attempts to outstand the other. Most people of today place their own selves as the first priority, meaning that your concern and actions could potentially mean nothing. Clearly, only we, ourselves, can harness and blossom on our own. We should trust only ourselves and our opinions when making significant personal decisions instead of relying on others’ opinions as we know our very own selves ­both what we are capable of and what our niche might consist of the best. In this case, trust comes into major play, as it is the trust in our neighbors that, ultimately, deceits us and potentially leads us to our downfall. Despite the dangers behind trust, if one must make a decision based on secondary judgement, one must consider the credibility of the opinions offered. History and a variety morales of humanity have shown the results of those who do not consider their so called “supporters” a second more.

The credibility that we set for ourselves must become a living rubric among us. Past experiences in history and in our own lives have certainly showed that those we treasured have been capable of utterly betraying us. That is why it is immensely important to verify the real “caregivers” in our lives­ - that is those, who we feel could guide us in our quest through life­changing decisions. For many, it is the parents that are the light at the end of the tunnel and allow for the individual to untie his ropes of bondage. Many historical examples, such as that of Ben Carson­ - worldwide renowned neurosurgeon and activist -­ show us that it took some individuals’ lifelong journeys to ascertain the people they should have always been allowing to guide them. Ben Carson lived a difficult childhood that led him to believe his parents and family were his enemies; yet, after experiencing life for what it essentially stood for, he began to realize that letting in those who would sacrifice anything for him should have been his top priority.  

Let us take a classic example. Shakespeare, for sure, has shown us much about deceit and the trust we place in others, even in our loved ones; however, nowhere can it be seen as blatantly as in Macbeth. Without any moral judgement or proper belief in oneself, one could easily fall drastically for unchecked ambition and greed. While not only failing to trust in himself, Macbeth considered both the protagonist and antagonist of the play, at times -­ lost his sanity in cohering to the opinion of his wife, who urged him to commit notorious deeds. Eventually, as we all may well know, Macbeth ends up losing his very sanity, let alone his reputation, and completely loses his own self. The opinions of others can hurt us in a number of ways ­ simply either by bringing down our very own esteem and confidence -­ to going beyond the limits, as in Macbeth, and playing a role in our ultimate collapse.  

Various historical and past backgrounds have demonstrated the fact that we should certainly think twice before asking the opinion of others. Most individuals might have been told that others might see them better than they would themselves -­ however, it unquestionably does not mean they are willing to guide us in the right direction. The way others may think may not at all be a way of helping us understand ourselves, but also a path to failure. Though it is prospering time for novel opportunities and diverse life alternatives, there are still those same major decisions that pounce on us -­ perhaps on a daily basis -­ that can ultimately lead us to failure if we place the decisions­making into the hands of others.

Sample by Sandy 

 "What gives us more pleasure and satisfaction: the pursuit of our desires or the attainment of them?"

Within a lifetime, each unique individual will strongly desire something if not a special someone; however, some people fail to notice the happiness they gain in the process of attaining their goals is much greater than the joy they receive after obtaining their desires. Sincerely chasing after one’s desires will bring more delight than simply achieving them. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde describes the tragedy of the clever Dr. Jekyll’s curious attempt to separate his pure and evil sides, eventually resulting in his pitiful suicide. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley delineates the seemingly-endless journey of the atrocious monster’s retaliation on Frankenstein’s last-minute destruction of the monster’s most desired female partner, who would have been an abhorrent monster as well.    

In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the intelligent Dr. Jekyll diligently worked on creating a purely malicious version of himself, but after successfully achieving his initial goal, he realized his accomplishment may instead be a serious failure. Dr. Jekyll originally intended to experiment with separating the positive and negative parts of his two-sided personality. When the results of his peculiar potion proved to be successful, Dr. Jekyll gladly rejoiced over his ability to become two distinct people. Although the wise Dr. Jekyll truly felt pleased towards the outcome of his experiment, his jollity soon slowly faded as the constant use of the potion demonstrated worrisome effects. Dr. Jekyll absolutely did not expect the elixir he specially created to have detrimental side effects, which essentially impeded him from transforming back into his original self. Nevertheless, the stupefying consequences of utilizing such a dangerous potion to alternate between one’s two opposite forms definitely left Dr. Jekyll in a complicated predicament. Working assiduously to achieve one’s goals will indeed bring more happiness than actually acquiring a person’s wants.        

The detestable monster in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley received immense pleasure in seeking revenge on Frankenstein for cruelly destroying his long-awaited female companion right before she was brought to life. After extended periods of assiduous work, Frankenstein managed to create a female version of the loathsome monster to keep the lonely being company. Despite having accepted the hideous monster’s request, the indecisive Frankenstein decided to raze the female monster after considering the possible consequences of animating her. The odious monster strongly begrudged Frankenstein for going back on his word and immediately vowed to take revenge on him. By continuously harming the people who Frankenstein deeply cherished, the despicable monster managed to feel great satisfaction. As a result, Frankenstein was eventually tormented to death, leaving the pitiful monster with no one to direct his aversion towards. The lonesome monster finally realized he did not sincerely wish for Frankenstein’s death, but rather simply found enjoyment in punishing him for his cruelty. In the beginning, one may naively believe true happiness is in attaining one’s goals, but in actuality, contentment is found along the journey towards reaching one’s objective.

As ordinary individuals chase after their numerous desires, they tend to unintentionally disregard the pleasurable process of doing so, which ultimately leads them to mistakenly believe the attainment of their desires is the embodiment of true happiness. The respectable Dr. Jekyll and the reprehensible monster both gained satisfaction as they strived to attain their goals; at the same time, they also clearly realized attaining their desires may not necessarily leave them with as much joy as they previously thought. In the very end, actively pursuing one’s utmost desires is bound to lead to a much greater amount of pleasure than merely achieving one’s goals.  


Sample by Sandy

"Do we value only what we struggle for?"

As mundane people inevitably grow older with time, they unconsciously take advantage of the comforts provided to them and only truly learn to treasure their accomplishments after undergoing an arduous journey. Most ordinary humans conventionally begin life with their required necessities already prepared for their arrival at birth, but once they gradually learn about the tempting benefits they could achieve as they continue to grow, even the most innocent humans may suddenly find themselves attracted to the myriad possibilities. Up until the late 1700s, the thirteen colonies, which would eventually become known as part of the United States, were ruled entirely by the powerful Great Britain; however, the revolutionary leader, George Washington, abetted the helpless citizens by wisely leading the restrained colonists to ultimate victory. The vengeful Heathcliff of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights pitifully began his life as a lonely orphan until the affluent Mr. Earnshaw benevolently takes him into his household; however, Heathcliff selfishly repays the kind man’s act of kindness by taking revenge on his descendants: Hindley, Hareton, Catherine, and Catherine’s princess of a daughter.

For over a hundred years, the mighty Great Britain completely controlled the thirteen colonies in North America and directly contributed to the colonists’ displeasure. The unreasonable British government repeatedly placed taxes on imported goods and unjustly demanded colonists to provide housing for the essentially-useless British soldiers. Consequently, these outrageous requests basically forced the upset citizens to become subversive and clearly display their discontent through cleverly perspicaciously boycotting certain goods. Eventually, the harsh British rule led a group of infuriated citizens to surreptitiously throw the British tea into the harbor in the event known as the Boston Tea Party. Constant mistreatment by the powerful British surely added to the already-present emotions of dissatisfaction, which gradually directed the people into the right direction of rebelling. Since Great Britain absolutely has not had to endure such unfair treatment, the British government did not have the ability to honestly understand the gravity of the situation as well as the colonists’ sincere feelings. The great amount of jollity, which comes with true freedom, will indeed have an immense meaning only for those who have previously helped to make such a success possible, for those who do not treat freedom preciously will not be able to comprehend its importance.          

In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, the once-orphaned Heathcliff clearly shows his extreme ungratefulness through his various attempts to retaliate against those who have continuously wronged him. Hindley Earnshaw, the only son of the master of Wuthering Heights, possessed a strong aversion for the young Heathcliff who unexpectedly joined their already-complete family of four. As a result, Hindley consistently utilized despicable methods to express his extreme rancor towards Heathcliff especially after the death of his father, who dearly doted on Heathcliff. Cruel Hindley definitely deserved to be punished for his incomprehensible bias against the poor Heathcliff, for he unfairly treated Heathcliff with unfathomable disrespect; however, beautiful Catherine’s betrayal was the actual deciding factor in Heathcliff’s decision to get revenge on the Earnshaws and Lintons. Throughout the entire story, bitter Heathcliff absolutely neglected how the compassionate Mr. Earnshaw was the one who ultimately saved him from adversity. Rather than mainly focusing on exacting revenge on those who deeply harmed him, jaundiced Heathcliff should have seriously considered how the Earnshaw family changed his fate entirely. Vindictive Heathcliff failed to realize how fortunate he already was compared to other unfortunate children and persistently chased after a goal of wealth and revenge. In the end, even the luckiest people might not easily notice their blessedness until they truly experience the different levels of difficulties they must successfully overcome in order to achieve their final goal.                  

Current possessions may simply be nonchalantly placed aside since people generally tend to focus on the more challenging goals and accomplishments. Carelessly neglecting the vital past in the way Heathcliff did and rudely abusing the British power to Great Britain’s favor both strongly demonstrate the way in which people are unable to really understand the significance of particular achievements unless they have had to overcome numerous obstacles to accomplish their long-wanted goal. Since regular people typically live their lives without actual appreciation for the decent conditions they are given, only the knotty roads of the seemingly-distant future will teach individuals to genuinely value their attainments.           

Sample by Elizabeth, 4th Grade

“The Boys’ Life of Mark Twain” and “The Torch is Passed (Stolen)”

I,  Mark Twain,  went swimming one lovely day,  and when I returned to the dead tree limb where I had left my clothing, I witnessed, with my own pair of eyes,  a young boy reaching for my boots, with a pair of similar ones in his hand.   However, instead of reprimanding him for attempting to steal, I spoke with him as a friend.  It turned out that he only wanted to switch my boots for his because he admired by writhing, and he thought that if he had my shoes, he would create stories like mine.

I was, indeed, very pleased to hear this from someone I had never met before, for as a boy, I did not have the slightest idea that I would become such a great author.  Suddenly, thoughts and memories of my boyhood ran across my mind. If only I had known my destiny, my boyhood would have been different.  However, I didn’t have a clue back when I was a small boy. I was “the leader of my unhallowed band,”and we “ran like turkeys,” we “swam like ducks,” and we “handled a boat as if born in one.” Speaking of boats, we “borrowed boats with or without the owner’s consent – it did not matter.” As for food, “no orchard or melon patch was entirely safe from us’….and it was all because I didn’t recognize the talent right before me.

However, this boy, whose name I had learned was Will, was also stealing, but for a different reason.  He may or may not have seen his own destiny, but he wanted to write stories. In fact, this boy wanted to write so much that he spent his money to diligently make his boots like mine. I could tell that he “baked the boots in the sun, fading their color,” and he “frayed the laces with hunting knife.” He was so assiduous with the job that I perhaps would not have been able to tell my own boots from his! I wanted to speak a little longer with this Will, to find out more about him, but when I looked up from my thoughts, both he and my boots had vanished.

I sighed loudly, although I know that Will couldn’t hear me or see me; he was probably at home by then, congratulating himself for thinking up such a plan. Anyway, my boots had been stolen, but I wasn’t really going to miss them, so I let it go. Not many people had that strong of a desire to write stories. If in this boy’s eyes, I was the king of books, I was grateful for such an opinion. Perhaps, if he went as low as stealing just to write books, he would ultimately become just who he wished to be.

 Sample by Sasha, 7th Grade

The internet, which was once considered an element of science fiction, is now rising in power over the people of this society and rewiring their brains. The internet is a spider, keeping our society, its prey, hypnotized and under its control. It provides the population with advantages such as ability to multi-task efficiently. However, this proficiency does not allow internet users to focus properly. The internet is a powerful tool in today’s world that is altering the way users think.

The internet is a vast plantation of information that feeds its users at incredible speeds. In order to digest all of the statistics presented on the screen in front of them, “many of today’s users have become extreme multi-taskers”(O’Connell 21). Some view the ability of internet users to swiftly shift their attention from one thing to another as a great advantage for those engaged in creative pursuits. Writers, for example, can use this competence to think about many diverse topics in a short period of time; thus, allowing them to gather up a copious amount of information for a new book, perhaps. The Internet has modified users’ brains and bestowed them with advantages that help excel in certain hobbies. User become mindless drones that interact with multiple programs at once, checking their social-networking sites while listening to songs on Youtube; thus, multi-tasking has become an extreme skill that frequent internet users gain subconsciously.

However, although multi-tasking proves to be a beneficial skill that internet users achieve, the downside of being able to do so many different things at once is that it makes it difficult to devote your full attention to any one task. “Even some highly-educated adults say they now lack the concentration needed to read a book, or even a lengthy article.”(O’Connell 21). The Internet is slowly affecting users’ brains and the ability to accomplish effortless tasks; In addition, scientists have developed studies that show how use of the internet will have an effect on everyone. Non internet users who have been asked to spend time online for an hour each day have produced statistics that delineate how after spending time in this black hole of information, scans of their brains match the ones of regular internet users exactly. “This time, the results for both groups were practically identical. Based on this study, then, the answer to the question of whether Internet use is affecting our brains is a definite ‘yes’.”(O’Connell 21).

The internet has provided users with efficient skills that allow them to multi-task and gather up a multitude of information in a small time period. However, this ability to multi-task comes with a price; multi-tasking rids users of the capability to fully focus on any one task. Despite the benefits and drawbacks, the internet is a plague spreading quickly from person to person and reversing its creation is not an option. Nevertheless, users have not been stripped of the ability to unplug electronics every so often and enjoy the weather; thus, although it’s too late to extinguish the Internet from today’s world, turning it off and not using it for a while is something everyone is capable of.

Sample by Michelle, 7th grade 

As cliché as this may sound, we, as natural human beings, all essentially face unexpected complexities in our ordinary lives, and if, by any chance, there is a doozy-of-a-problem that we can’t completely overcome, we must call that problem a mistake. The majority of modern philosophies unwittingly suggest that even a mere mistake will cause your whole life to discordantly evolve into a maelstrom; however, that unproven statement is not veracious enough, if someone were to thoughtfully consider the lack of successful people who didn’t have to, even faintly, account for some missed hurdles. Walt Disney, the beloved hero of our childhoods, had been naively fired from quite a couple of jobs before he bravely started the multi-million-dollar franchise, and, even so, had a few more failed concepts before Snow White was enthusiastically released.  Another victorious individual, by the name of Alexander Fleming, is reputably known for his abundance of mistakes; in fact, Fleming’s most glorious creation, Penicillin, started out as another one of his accidents.

Today, we respectfully honor Walt Disney for his renowned children’s television shows, movies, and toys, but when he was just assiduously beginning his mediocre career, his creative ideas were considered atrocious by many. Walt Disney always had a naturally given knack for creativity, so when it came down to getting a job, what better way to clearly express himself than to industriously work for a newspaper? Well, in 1919, Disney’s “fantastic” job as editor for The Kansas City Star newspaper unfortunately took a nosedive; he was swiftly fired because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Rather than pettily moping around, Disney took all of his depression and excess anger and magically transformed it into potentially successful cartoons, making sure they didn’t lack any imagination. After being fired, Disney’s life auspiciously embodied smooth sailing; that is, until Disney quickly conjured up Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While Oswald had been extremely famous at the start, Walt Disney mistakenly showed leniency when acquiring an ever-so-important copyright; Disney foolhardily decided to give the copyrights to Universal Studios, and thus, he lost Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. To this day, Walt Disney is eminent for his strict hand in copyrights since the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit fiasco. Before his hit, Snow White, most of Disney’s attempted career motives entitled bankruptcy, failed studios, and a botched concept called “Laugh-O-Grams”. Despite all of Walt Disney’s disastrous business occurrences, he persevered and single-handedly rendered everyone speechless due to the success that came along with his mistakes.

Just like most other scientists, Alexander Fleming had been constantly conducting experiments, only to regrettably notice that there were no results, but one day, after all of his “unproductive” mistakes, he astoundingly discovered Penicillin. Regardless that the discovery was undoubtedly wonderful, the outstanding innovation was originally destined to be another mistake; before gratefully embarking on a well- deserved vacation, Fleming hastily placed all of his “unfortunate” petri dishes on top of a thick layer of Lysol, which was supposed to kill the bacteria. To Fleming’s utter surprise, one of the petri dishes had not been, luckily, touched by the Lysol, and a strange mold was explicitly taking form before his very eyes! Having been able to well determine the compound that the mold possessed in order to speedily obliterate the bacteria, Fleming named the active ingredient Penicillin. Alexander Fleming went on to graciously win a plethora of prestigious awards, including the world-renown Nobel Prize, which goes to show that so-called “unlucky” mistakes are just the Universe’s way of implicitly noting that a person can never truly predict when their next success will hit!

 Although dire mistakes can be extremely unpleasant, some middle-eastern cultures inflexibly believe that these unpleasant mistakes are simply good luck or blessings from God that signal a large flow of money. I bet that Walt Disney and Alexander Fleming certainly weren’t thinking about some cultural superstitions when they had to miserably face their mistakes, but just as culture proposes, great fortune came their way shortly after. Unfortunate slip-ups can be easily compared to the ingenious theory of  Schrödinger's Cat: they are both helpful and horrible at the same time, but there is no way to completely be sure until the box opens, or at least until the situation unfolds. 

Sample by Sonia, 6th Grade

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson uses the element of foreshadowing to emphasize the major theme of being two people at once in his cryptic novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  When Lanyon calls Dr. Jekyll’s work insane, Stevenson is foreshadowing Dr. Jekyll’s use of potions to change into Mr. Hyde, which relates to the theme of being two people at once. Furthermore, when Dr. Jekyll is pretending to be oblivious to the location of Mr. Hyde is, the theme of being two people at once is clearly proven. Both examples of foreshadowing are similar because they connect to the theme of Dr. Jekyll trying to turn into Mr. Hyde.  

Lanyon calls Dr. Jekyll’s work “silly and balderish,” which foreshadows the fact that Dr. Jekyll was actually fooling around with potions to turn into Mr. Hyde. In the chapter “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case” Jekyll indicates that the potions are making him weak and sick. The potions were like a drug to him, making Jekyll feel lethargic. Robert Louis Stevenson makes the character Mr. Hyde an opposite of Dr. Jekyll: furthermore, at the end he reveals that in fact Mr. Hyde is Dr. Jekyll. In the beginning of the book Robert Louis Stevenson made us think that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are nothing alike and two different people, but really all of this leads up to them being the same person. In the book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield were walking by Jekyll’s house and asked if he wanted to join them for their walk, but Jekyll was saying “no” because he kept turning into Mr. Hyde, portraying that he was using his work in a silly way. It relates to the theme of being one person at once. 

In the book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Mr. Utterson stayed to talk to Jekyll after his dinner party. When Utterson brought up Mr. Hyde “The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very lips. Dr. Jekyll said ,“ I do not care to hear more, and ” he also said, “This is a matter I thought we agreed to drop,” foreshadowing the fact that Dr. Jekyll did not want to speak of Hyde and say where he is because he is truly Hyde himself. This relates to the theme of being two people at once. Jekyll also tells Utterson that it’s a “private manner and I beg of you to let it sleep.” It’s clearly shown in the story that Jekyll doesn’t want to talk of Hyde. Also when people asked Jekyll if he knew where Hyde was he denied knowledge, which proves that one person can’t be at two places, foreshadowing, the ending that Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde are truly one person. 

Robert Louis Stevenson uses foreshadowing to show that one can’t be two people at once. Both of the foreshadowing examples relate to the theme. The first example of foreshadowing shows that Dr. Jekyll isn’t using potions beneficially and fooling around with them. The second foreshadowing example shows that Dr. Jekyll did not want to speak of Hyde or say where he is, proving that they are one person and can’t be at two places at once. Robert Louis Stevenson unravels this exciting mystery and 
leads us to this interesting ending of duality.

Sample by Nicole

Erroneous decisions often lend themselves to fortuitous outcomes and the lesson learned is what not to do to succeed. In the era of colonialization from 1750 to 1900, Britain, the archetype superpower of the world, lost control of one of its colonies, North America, due to England’s policy of taxation without representation; quickly recovering from this loss, Britain tempered its policies of colonialization in other areas, such as Canada and Australia, and maintained authority over these regions for a significant amount of time. Ebenezer Scrooge, of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is visited by three ghosts who call attention to Scrooge’s spiteful attitude to the holidays; Ebenezer is so stirred by the tales these apparitions tell that he immediately alters his personality to the better.

The most important lesson often learned is “what not to do” because with this knowledge success becomes almost imminent. Great Britain’s immense naval power allowed for domination of foreign lands, the three most prominent being mainland US, Canada, and Australia. At this time, England had many long-standing oppressive economic and social policies regarding its colonies including, extreme taxation, indentured servitude, taxation without representations, and so forth. In 1775, the US won the Revolutionary War and declared itself a country independent from Britain. While the initial shock was paralyzing to England, it quickly regained its composure and sought to amend its policies for the sake of preserving possession of Canada and Australia. Britain almost immediately implemented new tenets of colonialization into other controlled areas. The introduction of representatives, options for lowering taxes, and possible exemption from lifelong slavery drastically improved the relationship between England and its subordinate lands. The misguided regime of Britain, although initially leading to war, preceded reforms that significantly bettered the status of British colonies elsewhere.

In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens paints a portrait of a man’s journey into his own personality, and, through the observation of his past mistakes, this man changes his malevolent attitude to Christmas. The night of Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who teach him the value of benevolence and compassion: the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of Christmas future. Each ghost attempts to shake Scrooge from his deep feelings of greed and animosity towards the holidays. The ghost of Christmas present takes him through the festivities of the past: an apprenticeship with Fezzwig, and Christmas with Belle, a woman who leaves Scrooge because of his incredible lust and greed; Scrooge sheds tears of regret. The ghost of Christmas present visits him and shows Scrooge the incredibly jovial moments of the Christmas of that year and Ebenezer is stirred by the jubilation of these spirited events that he stays to watch until the end of the celebrations. Lastly, the ghost of Christmas future shows Ebenezer his own grave: unkempt and untidy with businessman around it selfishly discussing what to do with the dead man’s riches. This last image so profoundly affects Scrooge that he vows to forever change his ways to forever avoid the fate which he has foreseen.  Ebenezer Scrooge emulates the maxim that people learn from their past mistakes.  

The past is a tool with which to improve the future, a lever to bounce oneself from the dredges into good fortune. The British government along with Ebenezer Scrooge discovered that with adequate knowledge of how not to act, they could both improve themselves. After all, isn’t the past the only way with which to learn?

Sample by Sam 

Human intelligence comes with excessive complications and an abstruse human nature, one that constantly impacts our everyday lives. One of the most confusing instincts we as society possess remains our rejection of the easily obtained item for the long and difficult road to another. Much of this instinct derives from our unexplainable need to be elite at all times: We neglect the favorably humble road and shoot for the seemingly glamorous unknown. Not only does society forget its realistic roots, but it also hopes for the sparkling image it encounters on a daily basis. We as humans mistake a fabulous image for a fabulous life, and through these fallacious assumptions, strive for the more difficult and usually less rewarding goal down the road. Human nature finds itself perpetually avoiding the simple route, and due to its imperative attraction to a wealthy title and ostentatious manner, respects a more “worthwhile” target.

A constantly reappearing image of an all-powerful ruler versus his poor subjects dominates the most of our younger selves’ educations; thus, a prominent bond between power and title is formed inconspicuously in our minds. A most direct connection can be drawn from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which Macbeth is told he will definitely be king, but patience kills and he ends up murdering the then-current king to get his title. Macbeth’s and his wife’s anxieties to fill the roles of king and queen push them to neglect their easily waited-out futures and destroy a kingdom’s happiness, only to get none for themselves. A more modern representation would showcase a businessman so enamored with the idea of money equaling happiness, that he forgets all about his life and focuses solely on the money. Both scenarios lead to the conclusion that a shiny nameplate and big bucks do not define a happier life. Humanity carelessly tosses its simple, but adequate title and treasures one that is nearly unobtainable due to the inert mental connection between upper class and happiness.

Not only does society desire a wealthier title, but also anything that glitters in the corner of its eyes; the simple wooden rocking chair has nothing on the diamond-embezzled throne, yet both serve the same function. Because a sparkle here and there defines wealthiness in our minds, we tend to stray from the simple and functioning to the extravagant of unknown quality. In Tina Fey’s hit high school drama Mean Girls, Cady Heron finds herself in a loving friendship, but quickly obsesses herself with the glamorous lives of the Plastics. Ditching her friends for a dazzling crown and a group of prettier fake friends, she soon realizes her mistakes and retrieves her real friends. Cady Heron finds that beauty does not guarantee quality, a lesson society struggles with on a daily basis. We constantly esteem the more ornamented item over one that might be a tad bit simple, even though both serve a homogenous function.

 Human nature finds it imperative to bedazzle itself with a grand name and even more grand surroundings, destroying our pursuit of happiness and encouraging a road towards self-deprecation. A simple metal sword will slay the dragon, while a diamond embroidered, velvet excessive sword will weigh you down. Rather than foolishly pursuing a glamorous fate, one should work on cultivating the intricate life they already have.

Sample by Anna, 7th Grade

While failure is often interpreted as an adversary in one’s life, many look up to failures as a teaching guide that could lead to success In the future.  Henry Ford, known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cards, was not an instant success; however, with perseverance and a couple of his own failures, he became renowned for his work.  Similarly, Thomas Edison, the inventor of the much-used light bulb, used his failed attempts as a guide for future efforts.  Thus, failure should not be viewed as ones adversary but as an aid towards upcoming years.

Henry Ford’s success was not easily achieved for him; he had to persevere and keep trying, but most significantly, he had to learn from his mistakes to ensure future success. Two years after he produces the Model T., two other automobile makers invented cars that offered a variety of colors and added features, unlike Henry Ford’s model.  Unfortunately, he was so confident in his corporation’s position that he refused to alter his motto of providing affordable vehicles.  As a result, his company lost his number one spot; however, after learning from his mistakes, he regained the number one position as an automobile creator.  Henry Ford, as an entrepreneur, was never again haughty about his business. He learned from previous mishaps and later on created a successful business.

Similarly, Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, used the knowledge he learned from his mistakes and applied them to his work on electric light.  Edison thought of approximately three thousand theories about electric light; unfortunately, most of them were specious.  Surprisingly, only two experiments had a successful result.  Edison ended up with over 1,093 patents by learning what he did wrong in his failed experiments.  Thus, failures or mistakes should not be viewed negatively because success is just around the corner for most people who persevere.

People, such as entrepreneurs, should acknowledge failure as an opportunity for future success.  Henry Ford, the industrious inventor of the Model T., faced an error that was deleterious to his company’s success and was highly regretted; however, after encountering this obstacle, his business regained popularity and flourished.  Unlike Henry Ford, Thomas Edison used his many failed attempts to guide him, thus leading him to a successful, functional invention that will later on be widely used.  Failure, contrary to other people’s beliefs, should be viewed as positive reinforcement that will lead to ones success.

Sample by Irene

New Challenges ultimately impugn naive individuals by introducing them to unheard of experiences. After fortuitously seeking independence from despotic Great Britain, Jingoistic mavericks were haplessly coerced to learn the tactical strategies on how to become a potent empire.  Analogous to the complicated challenge endured by patriotic Americans, young adults were also faced with the inevitable challenge of moving out of their parents’ homes and living a new life independently. In both cases, these difficult transformations represent convoluted obstacles that must be efficaciously defeated in order to continue in one’s life.

Insurgent patriots were unexpectedly introduced to the difficult task of becoming a self-sufficient nation, after the American Revolution.  Prior to the revolutionary war, reliant Americans were completely dependent on their mother country, Great Britain, for essential commodities and goods; however, after effectively ousting the British and receiving their freedom, these juvenile mavericks had to learn how to prosper independently, without the beneficial aid of foreign alliances. After many long years, iconoclastic Americans became inured to the new lifestyle, and established their own effective federal government that managed to avoid controversial disputed among the independent states. As evidently delineated through the challenging experience of the Americans, seeking independence comes with a lavish price.

Analogous to the conspicuous challenge faced by the insurgent patriots, young adults are also coursed to overcome a similar challenge when they decide to leave their supportive parents, and ascend to a new step in their life.  A child’s life is certainly one of indulgent paradise: children are not obligated to pay expensive bills, complete exhausting chore, or punctually attend monotonous work every day. However, when the adolescent reaches the appropriate age, the individuals are coursed to take responsibility just like their parents.   The challenge of becoming an adult is laborious, and extremely dreaded; however, the challenge is unfortunately required, and is an inevitable transformation in one’s life.

New transformations ultimately impugn naive individuals by introducing them to new experiences.  As evidently illustrated through the experience of jingoistic  insurgents and young adults, challenges are undesirable, but eventually benefit individuals in the end no matter how exhausting or challenging the experience may be, there is , in fact a resplendent light at the end of the tunnel.

Sample by Winnie

We, humans, are inevitably socialized to unquestionably obey reverent authority; however, this unchallenged rule changes when the great public life is threatened with atrocity from the jurisdiction. For instance, the imperious British authority stealthily exploited the deprived colonists’ resources and opportunities; the “impaired” colonists had no choice but to rebel the absolute doctrine to win auspicious outcomes for all of the American colonies. Moreover, the US government’s tacit acknowledgement of the inhumane slavery system outstandingly stripped away all of African Americans’ prosperity; thus, moral citizens relentlessly engaged in an all-out civil war to publicly liberate the unfortunate ones in “hostage.” Henceforth, one should indubitably break the rule when the myriad public is threatened.

The courageous American revolutionaries broke the golden rule in order to accomplish greater benefits for all of the exploited settlers. The foreign British legislature at the time was on its unstoppable way to finish its mastered plan of dictatorially controlling all the aspects of colonial life: the ignorant government dismissed all petitions, disassembled all protests, and shut down all “radical” communications. The infuriated settlers were on the brink of collapsing; they had to quickly devise a plan to respond to the fast-paced changes; or else, everyone in the colonies would face imminent debacle sooner rather than later. Thus, with back against the wall, charismatic leaders assiduously organized a holistic plan to fight the British injustice. The result of the war was profound: Colonists finally created a democratic government that was truly run by people-elected officials and inalienable rights were guaranteed to all citizens. Had the settlers not disobey the demanding authority, America would never be a land of opportunity and there would never be an American dream. Thereby, there should be an irrefutable exception to the rule when that very same rule “abuses” everyone in society.

Similarly, ambitious leaders censured the government for its condoning of the prejudiced slavery system. Maliciously ill-willed demagogues condescendingly argued that their presence was important to the slaves because they, the paternal “care-providers,” “unselfishly” supported the slavers’ means of life; however, in reality, the slaves were often brutally mistreated with no comforting compensation. Furthermore, the growing “Slave Power” surreptitiously extended its roots to the supreme government; through lobbying and other immoral methods, wealthy pro-slavery plantation owners influenced the passing of anti-slavery laws and “inauspicious” acts. The penurious slavers were then further deprived into an endless black hole; they had no means to protest against the owners’ unfair conduct. The for-the-people advocates challenged the existing semi-proslavery authority and debated the cons of forced servitude. The benevolent reformers’ altruistic actions instantaneously sparked nationwide response to the demeaning labor system. The fruitful American Civil War not only emancipated all slaves but also rewarded slaves with inseparable rights. If the heroes had never protested against the biased laws, African Americans today would still live in suffocating anxiety and complete darkness. Hence, exception to the rule should be made when the doctrine interferes with the public’s well-being and entangles the people in chaos.

“There’s always an exception to the rule.” This well-known paradox truly impeccable explains that exceptions are allowed in a rule. How a rule came to be and how it is determined are stemmed from people’s different perspectives. How one person interprets the rule differs from another person’s opinion; hence, the nuances in interpretations compose the “accepted” exceptions. When these accepted beliefs are “violated,” charismatic leaders arise and organize routine protests and rebellion against the rule. Thus, these exceptions are condoned in society because they are socialized into every member’s mind through time.

Sample by Gabriel, age 12

A dog’s education isn’t the same as a student’s education. Although a diligent teacher is a pivotal component to a student prospering in education, indolent student should not be exonerated from blame because of their disregardful actions. The example of the assiduous supreme-court justice, Sonia Sotomayaor, delineates that one may still succeed even if given an inauspicious chance to thrive: Additionally, callow students may abhor their teachers for the rigorous standards that they set, so industrious teachers should be vindicated from a student’s unsatisfactory education.

The industrious Sonia Sotomayor was able to succeed even when put at a disadvantage. As an example, although Sonia may have not had the most intelligent teachers in the school she had attended in an impecunious neighborhood, she was able to abet her own success by maintaining a sufficient attendance rate. Additionally, the determined Sonia Sotomayor was also able to build competence in a multitude of different aspects without the assistance of teachers. Sonia’s passion to read enabled her to enhance her skills in several different ways. Therefore, the indigent quality of teaching that was provided for Sonia didn’t influence her path to prosperity.

The challenging expectancy levels that a benevolent teacher sets may cause a careless student to work with a negative motive as opposed to a tenacious mind set. For example, instead of using homework to enhance knowledge, inconsiderable students may not complete their homework. Incomplete homework may lead to underachieved test grades. Consequently, teachers may be marked with an inaccurate reputation, and the effect will be a detrimental impact on their career. Hence, a student’s inconsiderate motivation may have a deleterious impact on an exemplary teacher.

Although horrible teachers may have a deleterious impact on industrious students, imprudent students may cause spurious calumny for their teachers. The examples of supreme-court justice Sonia Sotomayor and the standards set by teachers delineate that students need to take responsibility for their underachieving studies. Even though students may need to adapt to their teacher’s incoherent principals, teachers must understand the abilities of their students.

Sample by Yasmeen

Topic: Do we value what we struggle for?

Humans tend to overlook certain situations and maintain an exorbitant amount of hubris under circumstances that may incite sensations of simplicity; subsequently, some cases are more accessible, as an individual becomes unfazed and proceeds with his or her life with a feeling of nobility. The goals that are attained are considered trifle and are deliberately disregarded as vital, although they are significantly consequential and may contribute to a more glorious triumph. Adversities abet one to persevere and gain the experience essential for compassion and appreciation, for difficulty inspires industrious character and acclaims prosperity. The women’s rights suffrage movement of America and Marilyn Monroe’s personal story of her profound Hollywood career as she encountered a multitude of hardships behind closed doors personify how affliction is the ultimate catalyst for success.

America’s Founding Fathers never once acknowledged women for their munificent deeds upon the forging of the nation; patriarchal society vilipended women, as they were recognized only as caregivers and homemakers who nurtured their sons to become benevolent citizens. Women’s influence was underestimated for centuries because men olympianly considered themselves the superiorly banausic gender; women were outraged by the belittlement they faced, so they cooperated in other countrywide issues, mainly temperance and the abolition of slavery. They congregated to protest against the evils of mankind utilizing other innocent beings for their own selfish desires, and claimed that alcohol was the utmost reason that American men mistreated and humiliated women in instances of domestic violence and public affairs. In the early 1900’s, the United States was renowned as a world superpower, with a fortuitous industrial capital and groundbreaking technological advancements; however, in 1914, the outbreak of World War I spurred a series of military drafts, forcing men to sacrifice their time to dedicate their war efforts to the American army. Meanwhile, due to the spontaneous relinquishment of millions of fathers and husbands from their families, women had no choice but to join the workforce; moreover, they applied for factory jobs, advertised liberty bonds, and volunteered as nurses to help injured soldiers recover. They were also the apparent source of political decisions and the functioning of American society whilst prominent figures were stranded in Europe fighting in the midst of warfare. Their altruistic activities certified that they were just as revered as men, especially since they prevented the entire nation from collapsing under an enduring period of  political distress, social corruption, and economic turmoil. Finally, after their tenaciously striving ambition, women were enfranchised, and the decades of constraint were indefinitely absolved.

Although Norma Jean Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe, was an illustriously aspiring American actress of her time, she was heavily plagued by her personal issues. Her biological parents divorced before she was born, and as she matured, her mother became psychologically unstable to the point where she was forcibly removed from their home and placed under intensive care in an asylum for Marilyn’s sake. Monroe never permanently lived with one person; she constantly moved from household to household because her guardians would become gravely ill and pass away until another had to assume their liability for her. Her later behavior was corroded by hypersexuality, which she was noted as a sex symbol who had multiple engagements with hundreds of men, substance abuse, disturbed interpersonal relationships, and childhood sexual abuse by her mother and her caretakers. Despite these incidents in her youthful life, she exponentially ascended to fame; she played the lead role in several major motion pictures, retained a flourishing modeling vocation, and the American Film Institute named her the sixth greatest female star of all time. A few years elapsed, and the blonde bombshell’s health gradually began to deteriorate; she suffered multiple miscarriages due to her accumulating anxiety and depression, obtained an excessive variety of prescription drugs, causing her escalating insomnia to spiral out of proportion, and doused her internal problems with alcohol. Eventually, Marilyn’s detrimental habits ensued her demise; at age 36, her unfinished acting and modeling career was secluded in the dust, suspecting her overdose on barbiturates a probable suicide because she could not handle the agony devouring her mentality.

People take issues, objects, and ideas for granted without realization; success is not handed over to anyone, for victory is evoked through one’s own consequences. With this at hand, sometimes one may have too much on his or her plate, and he or she may not fathom what they truly have until all is gone with the blink of an eye; that individual may regret or wish they would have further conceded a person or an object before loss, but failure can yield the engenderment of new ethics, morals, or values, no matter how knotty or undemanding one may reach his or her goals.

Sample by Marina

The complexities of life and the plethora of daily hardships that are thrown upon billions of people in the world can certainly be overcome if the correct choice is made or the better path is pursued. Marriage is an extraordinary, yet extremely difficult, decision that may, in turn, have positive or negative consequences. The great deal of commitment that is vital to a successful and prosperous married life may not be favored by each and every person. Different individuals have varying outlooks on this subject and, without a doubt, remaining single or devoting the rest of one’s life to a special person is a crucial decision to make.

On one hand, marriage has a set of obvious, favorable consequences including a loving, caring husband and a benevolent family. These are the people that are, and will, be there at all times. A spouse, whether a male or a female, is obligated to protect and pay meticulous attention to his other half. Such protection may seem clingy, but realistically, it is coming from the bottom of a loved one’s heart. Children, as well, are a jovial addition to a family. Unfortunately, maintaining a well-developed and functional family is a challenging task to accomplish, but with full effort and an optimistic outlook, marriage can only have pleasant effects.

With one side of a choice always comes a second, opposing side; staying single has its own, specific bonuses. Unmarried adults have the freedom and possibilities to do anything they please without the restriction of a husband or a wife. Also, children do not intersect in their life, hence leaving vacuous space for alone time. Without a husband or infants running around the house and constantly arguing over minor aspects of everyday life, such as permission to watch TV or what to eat for lunch, a person will have fewer stresses on his mind. Not only this, but also being single gives one permission to go out with friends and not be concerned with a curfew or discomfiture around members of the different sex.

Evidently, the lifelong choice of marriage or no marriage is a vital stage that every individual has to go through. These two options are therefore difficult to choose between; they are surely not minor, spontaneous decisions, but rather substantial, far-reaching selections that demand scrupulous resolutions and a comprehensive list of pros and cons.

Sample by Kathy

How does change challenge us?

Change can come in many forms, from malicious to marvelous, but is  always met as a challenge. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Linda, a citizen of a utopian society, is faced with the challenges of an unfamiliar lifestyle and culture. A change that is commonly faced is moving into a new neighborhood and attending a new school; the different atmosphere must be faced despite the discomfort. In The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, an entire society’s daily lifestyle is threatened by an invasion of powerful and dangerous Martians. Even though change is difficult and challenging, it must be faced in order to be resolved.

In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, once a civilized person enters the wilderness of the Savage Reservation, the unaccustomed atmosphere is taken in as a challenge. Linda, who was part of the sanitary and glamorous utopian society, was left behind in the Savage Reservation. With no other way back to her country, Linda was forced to adopt thesavage way of life. When Bernard and Lenina visit they were shocked at Linda’s gruesome appearance; Lenina was appalled at the sight. At the utopian society people had perfectly fit bodies, scented perfumes, and numerous clothes; however, Linda had to cope with the absence of those luxuries. She became corpulent, wore rags for clothing, and had to live in unsanitary conditions. Also, in this Savage Reservation the inhabitants spoke a different language, making communication and understanding difficult between Linda and the natives. The Savage Reservation and the utopian society have completely different customs and traditions. Back at home, Linda had the benefit of a consumer lifestyle. On the other hand, at the reservation Linda was required to perform household chores, such as cleaning and sewing. This sudden change in atmosphere for Linda was challenging indeed, for the lifestyles were completely different from each other.

One change that everyone goes through is the challenge of moving. Whether it is to a different country or within the same country, the new atmosphere and sudden change is met with uneasiness. For example, I moved two times in my life. I found it difficult to adjust to the new house and neighborhood.  Once a person grows accustomed to a certain atmosphere and routine, a sudden change makes a person feel uncomfortable. Another common change is graduating and changing schools. Upon entering an unfamiliar school in September, people may not know how to cope with their strange surroundings. Most of their friends are gone, the teachers are different, and the new building seems like a maze. However, a person will eventually face the challenges of the new school and, once again, grow accustomed to the surroundings. However challenging it may be, change occurs continuously throughout a person’s lifetime. Change is inevitable and can only be dealt with through coping.

In The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, a New England gentleman must face the threat of Martians. His daily life, along with other Englanders’, was immediately changed after the invasion. Once the Martians began attacking the commoners through the use of their Heat Ray and fighting machines, everyone’s life was threatened. People had to deal with the immediate change to their daily routine and act on their own well-being. As more canisters delivering Martians fell on the Earth’s surface, the more people were put in danger. The migrating people made an exodus of England with no certain destination. Such a tremendous change was no doubt a challenge for everyone. The Englanders no longer feel safe, have to travel on the world, and need to conserve the scarce food and drink they have available. For once, everyone’s life is threatened from the panic brought on by the Martians. In this novel, a change brings about many difficulties and challenges that a mass of people must face in order to survive.

Change, whether it is positive or negative, brings forth many challenges. In Brave New World, Linda must face the change in lifestyle and customs of the Savage Reservation. The common change in atmosphere, such as a new neighborhood or school, is inevitable, yet must be coped with. In The War of the Worlds, a Martian invasion changes the daily lives and routines of many Englanders, as their lives are threatened by the foreigners. Change brings on many challenges, but a person must grow accustomed to the new conditions despite the hardships.

Sample by Emma

The current year is two thousand and nine and the world is more highly efficient than ever before. Technology has reached an all time high and has been providing people with more advanced means of entertainment. New discoveries in the medical field have been developed that enable humans to live longer and healthier lives. In America, a soaring level of education is available to all and people have the opportunity to become extremely successful despite their previous economic statuses. Time has augmented the planet and created the masterpiece of today’s world.

Highly beneficial creations of technology have been developed in today’s impressive world. Electronic devices such as the Blackberry and the IPod Touch provide users with reliable internet on the road. Plasma and HD televisions allow watchers to view shows and movies in better quality. Tiny and portable digital cameras with almost unlimited amounts of memory let people capture all their most valuable memories with the click of a button. GPA systems in cars can lead the most disoriented people to their desired locations. Even cars that run on solar power and do not guzzle up large quantities of gas have been created. Technology and its convenience in common lives is one of the biggest highlights of today’s world.

New developments in the medical field have provided society with medicines and hospital equipments that raise survival rates. Antibiotics have now become useful drugs used to counteract diseases that are commonly contracted. Surgery has reached incredible heights, allowing doctors to save lives by complex operations such as heart and brain surgeries. Also, flu vaccines have strengthened the immune systems of the young and the old. In hospitals across the globe, pulse and heart rate monitors allow doctors and nurses to carefully watch their patients’ conditions. Advanced machines for radiology have been invented to fight dangerous cancer cells and possibly eliminate them completely. The increasing efficiency of the medical field plays a significant role in today’s healthier world.

America’s well-planned system of education available to all of its citizens is a great source of pride. Elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools are open to children and teenagers everywhere and are gratuitous programs supported by the government. Colleges and universities provide financial aid as well as scholarships for high achieving students that are low on cash. Community colleges are also available for those with a low income who cannot afford private universities. Colleges provide their students with a wide range of course choices and students are never limited in their academic developments. Free tutoring is available at the schools and a student seeking counseling or help is never turned away. This modern education system contributes to the high intelligence level of today’s world. 

From the Stone Age to the modern days, the world has been through fascinating and unbelievable changes. Advances in technology, successes in medical fields, and a broadening of education are just a few of the things that create a sense of pride in the modern world. Discovery is what makes the world the priced jewel that it is today.

Sample by Lidiya

The ultimate goal of humanity tends to be to leave a legacy. Being successful in a lifetime is no longer enough; to be remembered and influential decades, or even centuries after your death is the new aspiration. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown exemplifies an organization alive since the lifetime of its creator – Leonardo da Vinci. The accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln will be significant until the end of human existence. On a smaller scale, the main goal in the life of an average person often includes passing on the family name and the success that is associated with it. Thus in life, our main priority becomes to reach a goal worthy of being remembered.

The Da Vinci Code describes the accomplishments of Leonardo Da Vinci, exemplifying the longevity of the impact of his accomplishments. Aside from the infamous Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, The Da Vinci Code mentions Leonardo da Vinci’s contribution to the worship of woman. Living during a period when women were looked down upon, Leonardo da Vinci began his own cult – The Priory of Sion – the members of which greatly believed in the holiness and divinity of women. Even after his death, the Priory of Sion continued to thrive, with its sacred teachings being passed on from generation to generation. As the years passed, the Priory of Sion also retained its prestige, mostly consisting of members who are educated and elite. Paired with outside knowledge of Leonardo Da Vinci, it is obvious that his name will be remembered for many centuries to come. He was a painter, a scientist and an engineer; the fields in which Leonardo da Vinci excelled are endless. His achievements are significant and so are their lasting effects. Leonardo established a reputation that has out lived him.

The undertakings of Abraham Lincoln have also been praised for centuries after they took place and will continue to affect the lives of African Americans. The Civil Rights Movement led by Abraham Lincoln helped to free African American slaves and to enfranchise them. Before this movement, African Americans faced the harsh working conditions of slavery and were not considered to be equals.  Thus, it can be said that every free African American – even today – owes much of his freedom to the initiatives taken by Abraham Lincoln. Some believe Lincoln to be the most exemplary president our nation has seen. For Abraham Lincoln, changing the lives of thousands of people during his lifetime was simply not enough; the actions of Abraham Lincoln help to, indirectly, ensure the rights of African Americans in the past, present and future.

Not everyone can have as great an impact as Leonardo da Vinci and Abraham Lincoln, but many people try to leave behind something to be remembered by. Life is too short and many people are not given enough time to live their lives to the fullest. To counteract such an impediment, we aspire to reproduce and pass on wisdom through children. Many may try to live vicariously through their children. Others seek a different purpose in having children; those that have accomplished the majority of their life’s goals would be deeply saddened if the recognition of their success ended with the day of their death. Such individuals hope for their children to take pride in their parents and maybe even to prosper from the experiences of their parents. Thus, wanting to live beyond the time you are given on earth does not always refer to greatness worthy of history books. Sometimes, we simply want to be remembered.

Aside from career goals, people often share the common goal of wanting to live beyond their years of physical existence. The historic achievements of both Leonardo Da Vinci and Abraham Lincoln exemplify two prominent figures who have secured their significance in the lives of others for many generations to come. The more average person also hopes to remain alive in spirit after they cease to exist.  One thing we all have in common, no matter our race, social status or era is the desire to be acknowledged, even after we are no longer living members of our society.

Sample by Marina

Is progress achieved through disagreement?

Progress is carried out in a circuitous manner and oftentimes through dispute between two sides. Historically this is portrayed through the American Revolution, during which the thirteen colonies transformed into independent states under a cohesive and strong national government. The United States judicial and legislative branches abet this perspective as well, demonstrating that laws are currently put into effect through various debates concerning opposing views with regards to the citizens’, state governments’, and federal government’s rights. 

Discrepancy among the people during the American Revolution in 1775-1776 inadvertently led to progress. During this time period, America had been under the absolute control of Great Britain; one of the major disputes concerning the Americans, otherwise known as the colonists, was the continuous burden of taxation thrown upon them. Colonists’ discontent was expressed through the slogan “no taxation without representation” in Parliament. The dispute eventually led to a full-scale war in which the colonists had an overwhelming victory over the British. If the colonists had not disagreed and fought for their beliefs, the United States of America would not have formed; moreover, the colonies would have maintained their separate constitutions and relied on the Articles of Confederation, an unsuccessful document which only led to quarrels, rather than the acknowledged and efficacious Constitution that citizens still follow today. The smooth transformation of the country and the granting of citizenship prevented the thirteen colonies from remaining under the concrete and impervious British clutch.

The manner in which the American Judicial and Legislative branches of government function exposes a realistic example of growth and development of the states acquired through conflict. Once the people involved in the two systems start to argue about the laws, such as the right to tax or wage war, a two-thirds vote must take place in which the majority rules for the decree, and the law is then ratified. When these new regulations or decrees are put into effect, advancement of society-directed toward the betterment of people-is gradually achieved as the public gets used to and becomes content with the novel legislations. Therefore, disagreement over a situation directly affects the succeeding results.

Progress is advancement or development towards an enhanced order. Amelioration occurs in an indirect manner through dispute and diverging thoughts rather than straight forward conformity and understanding. As stated by the prudent Mahatma Gandhi, “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”


Should heroes be defined as people who say what they think when we ourselves lack the courage to say it?

Though heroism is primarily termed with those who apply themselves in physically precarious situations, a hero can also be one who defends his beliefs for the sake of others.For instance, Martin Luther King Jr. is considered a heroic figure in American studies as a result of his courageous endeavors in the civil rights movement. Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi was another influential hero who chose to advocate passive resistance and influence his fellow people to rise against the enemy. In both situations, the heroic leaders took a stand by defending their race through words of sagacity and persuasion, while still evading belligerent circumstances.

Martin Luther King Jr., arguably the most renowned African-American, has showcased his unique form of heroism during the civil rights movement. At a time of social inequality, many citizens were apprehensive in voicing their opinions about controversial matters such as race. Determined to make a change, King decided to be the one to lead those who lacked the courage to protect themselves. He made speeches [spoke] regarding the issue and truly proved to be a motivational as well as life-changing director. Reciting such unforgettable words as “I have a dream,” King successfully paved the way for the civil rights movement in the United States. Clearly, the tenacious African-American exemplifies a hero who says whatever is on his mind when those around him are hesitant to do so. 

Another influential male of our time, Mahatma Gandhi, proved to be a hero when taking the initiative to advocate passive resistance against the British in India. Considered as one of the most famous Indian individuals in history, Gandhi has accomplishment unprecedented and extraordinary achievements in his country. He urged his fellow Indians to rebel against the domineering English, but take a pacifying approach. As a result, Gandhi is well known for being a hero who completely avoided any physical interaction in the insurgence of the early 20th century. Instead, he led his followers on marches and movements that he believed would be more noteworthy and acknowledged acts. Thus, Gandhi bravely freed the many Indians who initially felt violence was the sole key to political success.

In conclusion, heroes can be those who are persistent in speaking their minds for others and who act as succor for those in need of a leader. Throughout history, memorable individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi have proved to be true participants in the act of heroism.


 Assignment: Is censorship sometimes justified?

During difficult occurrences in life, censorship is an appropriate action the government must implement to ensure safety. During World War One, the United States was entangled into war against the Central Powers, and censored national media and publishing to keep society unified.  In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the main world state censored literature and liberal arts from its population to prevent rebellion or instability.

The United States enforced censorship during the first Great War to keep the country potent, unified, and ready for any obstacles found along the path to success.  After pledging to remain isolated from European conflict, America was forced to react to Germany’s repetitive threats to American passenger ships. Economically, the country was stronger than any other on the battlefield, and produced the most weapons and warfare technology; yet, the country was stuck in quick sand due to its population disorder among people pro-war and anti-war. The US reacted quickly and expertly, by carefully analyzing newspapers and magazines for insurgent opinions, and by suppressing any radicals threatening the country as a whole. In this situation, censorship of newspapers and media was a necessity for the overall outcome of the war.

In the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the government controlled all means of publishing to ensure no slip of radicalism and insurgence would sneak into the lives of the docile population. All the people in society were living a very carefully monitored life, in which they did not have the opportunity to plan their future, to choose a career, to read personal choice of literature, or to start a family. This seems absurd compared to the numerous opportunities people have in present day society, but in the book, the entire world was in an era of stability. Stability is the main concern to government and in result, leads to censorship. Furthermore, limiting personal rights is worth in exchange for safety and stability

As always, censorship implemented into society during times of instability and social corruption in attempt to achieve tranquility. During WWI and in the book Brave New World, censorship was a necessity in order to substantiate stability and unification in society. Sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a few liberal rights, in exchange for far greater causes.

Sample by Julia    

Who knew that erroneous actions usually lead to gaiety? Mistakes are little pieces of a puzzle waiting to be assembled together in order for jubilation to be brought about. One should act without knowing a particular subject too well. A headstrong woman presumed that living a life of prominence would be benevolent, but little did she fathom the fact that her errors in judgment would make her a better person. Another obdurate woman believed that she does not have to think about loving someone, but should just take the leap and see what consequences will arise.

When popularity overpowers integrity, a desperate woman has to choose the life that she desires to live in without knowing what lifestyle she is about to dive into. Jenny always emulated Blair, the “Queen Bee.” Albeit life in the fast lane was what Jenny wanted, she had no idea what detrimental repercussions would come with the price of popularity. As the influenced individual commenced to act like a vainglorious snob, Jenny saw a change that had been exacerbating her. She was losing all of her candid friends. Jenny’s mistakes abetted her to become a congenial individual, who never let superficial people take control of her.

After an obstinate woman falls in love blindly with a bellicose creature, she has to fight for her life, but at the same time learn from her fatuous blunder. Bella absolutely adored Edward, the most provocative vampire, but she did not comprehend what web of lies she was beginning to become entangled in. Edward convinced Bella that he can control himself around her, but he always desired to suck her blood. Bella fell profoundly in love with the malevolent creature; as a result, she learned from her deleterious mistake and never made the error in judgment of falling in love blindly ever again. The gallant woman had to endure the consequences or else she would never have learned from her dull-witted blunder.

A mistake is the key to a jovial future. One must go through tough times, so that the individual will never repeat the same erroneous action twice. Jenny presumed that popularity was the paramount aspect of life, but after she learned the hard way, Jenny never fell into the trap of fame. Bella did not think twice when falling for Edward; however, when she fought for her life against nefarious vampires, Bella was more guarded than usual. People must err to enhance their lives in order to achieve contentment. 

Sample by Marika

Do small events lead to catastrophes or are great events initiated by other causes?

Grand, powerful events are often set in motion by simple causes. In Hamlet byShakespeare, Ophelia’s betrayal of the main character slowly causes specific outcomes that lead to a tragic end in which the entire royal court of Denmark is murdered. Even the most dreadful weapon created by man, the atomic bomb, produces its dominating force from a single neutron that is so small that only electron microscopes detect it.  What appear as innocuous, ineffective causes produce a powerful domino effect that leads to unimaginably significant consequences.

Shakespeare recounts a renowned play in which a trifling cause amounts to a terrible disaster. Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover, betrays her partner, telling her father about the prince’s feelings and later rejecting Hamlet’s letters. Even though betrayals, which happen numerous times, appear harmless, this specific one causes a grisly conclusion. Because Hamlet is angry at the young lady, he kill’s Polonius, Ophelia’s father and continues the chain of actions that eventually lead to the play’s epitome. In the end, the King, the Queen, Ophelia’s brother and Hamlet himself lie dead, saturated with blood and gore. Thus, a simple refutation of love concluded with a terrible disaster.

Another example in which one can observe a small object capable of inducing a release of a powerful force is an atomic bomb. This dreaded weapon contains numerous Radium238 atoms that, at first, appear to be completely safe. However, when one atomic particle, a neutron, is thrown at the congregation of the Radium238 atoms, a terrible chain reaction is set into action. The harmless Radium atoms break apart in two and release large quantities of energy. This reaction, caused by a small particle, brings desolation to cities and sometimes even to countries.

Objects or events that appear innocent at first and do not have any potential to cause disasters, at times amount to resounding climaxes. Maybe all astounding, great actions can trace their roots to a single, by no means special beginning.

Sample by Daniel

Education, the teaching or the transmission of knowledge from once source to another, has been a crucial and quintessential component of the history of mankind. The primary rationale of education is the transmission of ideas and experiences, to supply the subject with an adequate amount of skills and knowledge to attain or achieve the standards of society. Therefore, for the utmost productivity of this system, every stride taken must be completely independent, unbiased and impartial. Values, on the contrary, have been deemed as judgments or ideas presented by the society, and have minimal significance to the initial purpose of education. In fact, under certain professional circumstances, the introduction of values in the form of education can prove detrimental to the purpose of the education itself; therefore, the imprudent use of values may be a limiting factor in the analysis of the student.

Nevertheless, the purpose of values is of significant importance, and the coalition between values and skills must be at hand for successful handling of any weighty situation. Nonetheless, the introduction of values to a subject cannot be instilled in a
subject's mind as can the practice of skills. Values cannot be successfully entrenched into a subject's mind through repetition, or a combination of auditory and physical exercises as can the use of skills. Values are essential ideas that must develop in the subject's mind and can only lucratively be fixed through conversation, discussion and banter. By coalescing these concepts, we are capable of combining vital skills and knowledge with values that let us 'morally' distinguish what is more beneficial.

Lawyers, for example, are introduced to the principles behind the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems. Nevertheless, the introduction of a subject to the skills necessary in becoming an eminent lawyer will not allow one to perform accordingly. The distinction between a lawyer who excels at his/her profession with one who does not involves the idea behind experience and discussion. Through such experience and understanding, one becomes more wary of the situation and more aware of his actions. These values that develop over time intertwine with the skills to which one was introduced, and develop a subject with ideal experience and knowledge of his or her field of work. Therefore, both skills and values are vital components of education of the ideal subject.

The successful teaching of a subject is heavily reliant on the topic that is being taught, and the balance between values and skills is crucial to how the subject ultimately deals with troubles in the future. Students of younger generations are introduced to the practical application of their skills in theoretical situations; however, values become pivotal when it comes to selecting between what is ethical. Education, an argumentative topic, deals with a subject that obtains information from numerous sources and molds, shapes and twists it into its most inclusive form.

Sample by Mitchell

Is it better to be true to thine self or conform to societies standards?

It is better to be true to oneself rather than conform to society’s standards. Tijs Andersen, known as DJ Tiesto, the world class performer who needs no introduction, is a man who made his millions by staying true to himself. James DeLaVega, a self-titled “non-graffiti” artist , is another such example. Essentially, embracing oneself leads to a far more bountiful life than being tormented by the pressures of catering to society’s every whim.

DJ Tiesto reached such lofty consequences in life because, rather than obey his parents and take over the family business, he became a DJ and producer. At first, he struggled to pay rent and even to find a morsel of food. However, by pursuing his dream, chasing his opportunities, and generally cultivating his volatile, budding future, he became the multi-million dollar DJ Tiesto. His Just Be concert, celebrating individuals and their idiosyncrasies, drew more than five-hundred thousand boisterous souls, alone. Tiesto built such success upon the bricks of self-embarrassment.

James DeLaVega graduated Cornell University with a degree in teaching, only to return to his native East Harlem neighborhood and teach history to juveniles. He was hoodwinked by the people that surrounded him into believing that his knowledge and insight were meant to be disseminated by serving the community as he did. Obviously he was wrong to have believed such banter.  He realized, spontaneously, that his true calling all along was his greatest love. He even quit his job to pursue this love: his love of art. Conforming via teaching made him loathe his occupation. It was DeLaVega’s decision to remain true to himself and silence unsupportive noise that led to his own happiness.    

Both characters clearly discovered the value of self-worth. Tijs Andersen transformed into the wealthiest musician in the world by embracing his deepest desire for music. James DeLaVega embraced his desire for creating inspirational, “non-grafitti,” art rather than limit his influence on the world by teaching ungrateful delinquents. Without a doubt, listening to one’s heart leads to boundless personal and mental freedom, remuneration, and jubilation.

Sample by Sabina 

Are all important discoveries the result of focusing on one subject?

All pertinent discoveries result from incessant study and perseverance. One who wants to discover something innovative must have extreme concentration and interest on only that one topic of study and nothing else to find the truth. Alexander Graham Bell, a  pioneer in the field of telecommunications, is a paragon of how one who is interested in discovering or inventing something new must appropriate one’s time in only that area of study or development. Eli Whitley, the inventor of the Cotton Gin, a machine that separates cotton from its seed, hoped to alleviate the hard work and extreme difficulty involved in ginning cotton by hand; is the epitome of how devoting time to one topic of interest will result in a new improvement.

Alexander Graham Bell is a quintessential example of how focusing on a single subject area will lead to new and unique discoveries. Throughout his life, Bell had been interested in the education of deaf people; this interest led him to invent the microphone and, in 1876, his "electrical speech machine," which we now call a telephone. Bell's extensive knowledge of the nature of sound and his understanding of music enabled him to conjecture the possibility of transmitting multiple messages over the same wire at the same time. Bell spent six years doing research on how to transmit sound through wires and in 1876 his research paid off and he invented the telephone. Only from his profound research was Alexander Graham Bell able to invent the telephone.

Eli Whitley, the inventor of the cotton gin and a pioneer in the mass production of cotton, serves [as] yet another example of how intelligent discovery could only be made with focus on one area of study. Whitney had designed and constructed the cotton gin, a machine that separated cotton from its seed to help decrease the time it took to produce raw cotton. Only after months of construction, preparation, and most importantly patience was Whitley’s Cotton Gin engendered. Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin revolutionized the cotton industry in the United States and was the product of interminable work and research.

All important discoveries, whether they are the invention of the telephone, or the invention of the cotton gin, come as a result of diligence, patience, and perseverance in one particular area of study. Alexander Graham Bell and Eli Whitley both serve as examples of people who focus on one area of study, and as a result discovered something new.