Sample Essay #2
11~12 Score Range
The author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey, advises, “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” Covey urges us to go beyond our pasts and to create something new in our lives. Some of us live by evoking the past, and some of us live by imitating others. Both styles of living may be considered uninspired, since both depend on reproducing the past or that which already exists.
Assignment: Does imitation demonstrate a sluggish imagination?
Write an essay that expresses your point of view. Include supporting examples and analysis taken from your studies, reading, life experience, or personal observations.
The age-old adage, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” asserts that imitation is a positive trait, not a negative quality. Imitation certainly does not demonstrate a sluggish imagination. Rather, people learn by imitating and imitation stimulates imagination.
Have you ever seen a young child, deep in concentration, construct a LEGO model? The instructions for LEGO designs are simple: Copy the diagram exactly as illustrated. It is through duplication that the youngster is able to reproduce the model. In turn, the youth learns about relationships between colored blocks of different sizes and shapes. Similarly, beginning writers may learn about writing by replicating, or imitating, writing strategies. For example, beginning an essay with a lead—a quote, question, or statistic—engages the reader. To emphasize, imitation is an appropriate and effective learning tool.
Imitation stimulates imagination. After a child learns how to successfully recreate a LEGO design for a space shuttle, aircraft carrier, or other intricate object, he or she is then empowered to produce original creations. As a matter of fact, inspired after building the LEGO Apollo 13 space station, my nine-year-old cousin Phillip designed and created his very own “Intergalactic Space World 2005!” In the same way, once a young writer masters the structure of the essay, he is then free to write creatively. Science fiction author Andrew Benz, commented, “My imagination soared after I internalized the conventions of writing.” In this way, imitation fosters the development of a creative imagination.
To conclude, the confidence and competency gained through imitation encourages imagination. Listlessness and lethargy are byproducts of inactive minds, not of imitation. Simply put, imitation lays the groundwork for a healthy imagination.
----by Dana J. G.
Essay strengths: Very well organized; excellent use of transitional phrases, such as “In turn,” “Similarly,” and “In the same way.” Effective topic sentences are used in the body paragraphs, such as the engaging rhetorical question, “Have you ever seen a young child, deep in concentration, construct a LEGO model?” and the crisp, “Imitation stimulates imagination.” These first-rate topic sentences introduce paragraphs that are well supported by examples based on the author’s personal experience and observation. This author also uses strong and fitting vocabulary, such as adage, asserts, trait, replicating, intricate, fosters, competency, listlessness, lethargy. To put the icing on the cake, this author demonstrates great competency with both punctuation and conventions of English grammar.
Essay weaknesses: There are no weaknesses, really. Even though the examples are not taken from literature, they are insightful and well developed.
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