Skip over navigation
Home > Miss Marm > It's Not Looking Good

It's Not Looking Good

It's Not Looking Good

By Miss Marm

One of the emails in my inbox has this subject line: "please help me im procrastinating and its not looking good"

I love that! It really captures the dread and horror that steal over you when you're procrastinating and can't seem to make yourself get off Facebook and start working.

And what's the writer procrastinating about? A thesis paragraph, of course:

A reputation that is based off of lies is really no reputation at all. A reputation should reflect who you are, the things you have done, and who you want to become. In the play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller many of the character’s actions support that one should not lie to protect their reputation. Even if the outcome is negative, it is important to always stay true to yourself and not have a contradicting reputation to your character because it can alter your true identity, hurt those around you, and**( need to finish my thoughts) :p

I'll fix up the grammar in a sec, but we've got bigger fish to fry first. The major problem here is that while we know a lot about the writer's opinions, none of those opinions are grounded in the play itself. Every sentence in this paragraph would still make sense if it began with "In general..."—and that's not good.

Not good: In general, even if the outcome is negative, it's important to stay true to yourself.

Better: Miller argues that truly noble men like Giles Corey stay true to their ideals at all costs—even death.

See what I mean? You want to avoid vague generalities and get really specific about the argument the author's making, and how s/he's making it.

And now for the grammar:

A reputation that is based off of ["based off of" is okay in speech, but it's too colloquial for a paper. Change to "based on"] lies is really no reputation at all. A reputation should reflect who you are, the things you have done, and who you want to become. In the play The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, many of the character’s actions support [insert "the idea"] that one should not lie to protect their [change "their" to "his or her," to agree with "one"] reputation. Even if the outcome is negative, it is important to always stay true [change to "always to stay true," to avoid splitting the infinitive] to yourself and not have a contradicting reputation to your character ["not have a contradicting reputation to your character" doesn't really make sense...] because it can alter your true identity, hurt those around you, and**( need to finish my thoughts) :p

How are your college application essays coming along, Sparklers? Anyone racing to make a January 1 deadline? If you get lucky, I'll look at your essay: missmarm@sparknotes.com.

Topics: theses, the crucible
 

Write your own comment!


Write your own comment!


Director

John Crowther

Executive Sparkitor

Emma Chastain

Senior Sparkitor

Emily Winter

Sparkitors

Marc Bain

Chelsea Aaron