Common Essay Mistakes on a Standardized Test

writing2   Common Mistakes on an Essay

Teacher certification tests such as the GACE Program Admission, FTCE General Knowledge, Praxis Core, PLACE Basic Skills, MTTC Basic Skills, AEPA Basic Skills, ICTS Basic Skills and MTTC Basic Skills have essay questions.

Common Mistakes on an Essay – Example 1

Whetherthe topic is love or action, reality television shows damage society.  Viewers witness the personal struggles of strangers and they experience an outpouring of emotions in the name of entertainment.  This can be dangerous on many levels.  Viewers become numb to real emotions and values.  Run the risk of not interpreting a dangerous situation correctly.1  The reality show participant is also at risk because they are completely exposed.2  The damage to both viewers and participants leads to the destruction of our healthy societal values.

Romance reality shows are dangerous to the participants and contribute to the emotional problems witnessed in society today as we set up a system built on equality and respect, shows like “The Bachelor” tear it down.3  In front of millions of viewers every week, young women compete for a man.  Twenty-five women claim to be in love with a man they just met.  The man is reduced to an object they compete for.  There are tears, fights, and manipulation aimed at winning the prize.Imagine a young woman’s reality when she returns home and faces the scrutiny of viewers who watched her unravel on television every Monday night.  These women objectify themselves and have learned5 that relationships are a combination of hysteria and competition.  This does not give hope to a society based on family values and equality.

 6 While incorporating the same manipulations and breakdown of relationships offered on “The Bachelor”, shows like “Survivor” add another level of danger.  Not only are they building a society based on lying to each other, they are competing in physical challenges that become dangerous.  In the name of entertainment, these challenges become increasingly physical and are usually held in a hostile environment.  The viewer’s ability to determine the safety of an activity is messed up.7  In order to entertain and preserve their pride, participants continue in competitions regardless of the danger levelFor example,8 participants on “Survivor” have sustained serious injuries in the form of heart attack and burns.  Societal rules are based on the safety of its citizens, not on hurting yourself for entertainment.

Reality shows of all kinds are dangerous to participants. They damage society.9

1. Correct sentence fragments.  Who/what runs the risk?  Add a subject or combine sentences. Try:  “Viewers become numb to real emotions and run the risk of not interpreting a dangerous situation correctly.”

2. Correct redundant phrases.                                                                                                                                                      Try:  “The reality show participant is also at risk because they are exposed.”

3. Correct run-on sentences.  Decide which thoughts should be separated.

Try:  “Romance reality shows are dangerous to participants and contribute to the emotional problems of society today.   As we support a system built on equality and respect, shows like “The Bachelor” tear it down.

4. Vary sentence structure and length.                                                                                                
Try:  “Twenty-five women claim to be in love with a man who is reduced to being the object of competition.  There are tears, fights, and manipulation aimed at winning the prize.”

5. Use active voice.

Try: These women objectify themselves and learned that relationships are a combination of hysteria and competition. 
6. Use transitions to tie paragraphs together.
Try:
  Start the paragraph with, “Action oriented reality shows are equally as dangerous to the participants.” 

7. Avoid casual language/slang.

Try:  “The viewer’s ability to determine the safety of an activity is compromised.”

8. Don’t address the essay.  Avoid phrases like “for example” and “in conclusion”.

Try
:  “Participants on “Survivor” have sustained serious injuries in the form of heart attack and burns.

9. Leave yourself time to write a strong conclusion!

Designate 3-5 minutes for writing your conclusion.

 

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Modified: October 2nd, 2017
Published: May 13th, 2014

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