Model Essay 3:
Essay Topic: Basically, you have to suppress your own ambitions in order to be who you need to be.
          - Bob Dylan

Model Essay 3:

Bob Dylan is renowned for his almost poetic lyrics. The social relevance in his songs is one of the factors that won him the Nobel Prize.

I am not aware of when he presented the quoted lines, and don't know whether they have a specific context, or whether they represent a general view that he holds. If the latter, I am inclined to agree with that view only partially.

When would I not agree? Ambitions are long-term objectives. We frame them keeping in mind our capacities and our circumstances. We make the effort to build our capacities and fashion our circumstances to the extent that we can. When we do not give them such realistic thought and conscious effort, they are day dreams, not ambitions. When we put in the thought and effort, we do progress towards the goals we set for ourselves. We may deal with different circumstances in the course of our progress, but we wouldn't need to suppress our ambitions.

For instance, an NDA cadet may have the ambition of finishing his career as Army Chief. If serious (and not just day dreaming), he would be eager to learn and to perform at every stage of his career, to handle challenges and responsibilities, and to progress, towards his goal. Competition with others for that one position would prompt greater focus and effort. Whether he finally gets there or not, he would have worked towards his ambition, not suppressed it.

When would I agree with the quote? There could be a few unfortunate persons on whom those circumstances descend that require them to take on such responsibilities as do not allow progress towards their ambitions. It is only in such instances that ambitions would need to be suppressed.

For instance, a child with severe, permanent mental impairment may be born to the ambitious army officer. He may then have to still his ambitions to be what he needs to be – the parent whose efforts will ease the life of his child.

To sum up, it's usually unfortunate circumstance that would cause an ambitious person to suppress ambition to take up selfless responsibility.

Feedback and Comments:

(I) Overall impression:


(II) Detailed feedback:

i) The essay is basically compartmentalized into two main parts – A point of agreement with the quote and a point of disagreement with the quote. While this is a good idea, the writer could have provided more points in support of the quote and several other reasons for disagreeing with the quote. Some parts of the essay beat around the bush without coming to the point.

ii) Special attention could have been paid to overall structure. There is no need to devote two paragraphs to Bob Dylan and his views. One could have begun to talk about ambitions, circumstances and other relevant points from the second para itself.

iii) Again, the fourth and the sixth paras of the essay completely revolve around examples. While the examples are relevant, the essay could have been built on solid content (relevant ideas along with their elaboration) and the examples could be briefer to help explain the point. Different examples intended to display different aspects could have been separately presented with the related ideas.

iv) It would've helped to include a couple of lines on how one can align our needs with our wants.

iv) Diction is fine. There are no grammatical errors in the essay.

(III) Evaluation parameters and score:

Content Adequacy of information 7 x 2 14
Ideas and their development Elaboration through reasoning, explanation, examples 7 x 3 21
Perspective Pros and cons, different aspects, parallel reasoning, suggestions 6 x 1 6
Structure Logical idea-flow in Intro-Body-Conclusion form 7 x 2 14
Control over language Grammar and spellings, sentence construction and punctuation 9 x 2 18
OVERALL       73