Model Essay 1:
Essay Topic: Basically, you have to suppress your own ambitions in order to be who you need to be.
                - Bob Dylan

Model Essay 1:

It is not surprising that this insightful quotation comes from Bob Dylan, the Nobel Prize winning singer-songwriter. Each of us have our own ambitions in life, whether they are realistic or not. And we try to work towards achieving those ambitions in our own way. However, sometimes that is just not enough. This is especially true in highly competitive fields like sports, music and theatre.

Dylan does not say that we have to suppress our ambitions in order to be who we 'want' to be. This is because who we want to be is what defines our ambitions. But in many cases, who we 'want' to be may not be the same as who we 'need' to be. Who we 'need' to be is a product of our circumstances. We cannot forgo the necessities of life for the sake of our ambitions. An aspiring musician may have to work as a janitor or an aspiring actor may have to wait tables to eat two square meals every day.

This does not mean that we should always suppress our ambitions, and this is where I depart from the opinion of Dylan. If we are able to align our needs with our wants, we no longer have to suppress our ambitions. For this to happen, we need to define our needs properly. Everyone has certain basic needs (like food, shelter and clothing). To make sure that we do not have to worry about these needs, we find someplace to work. Say, after a few days, we no longer have to work to satisfy our basic needs. What can we call as a need next? The answer to this question determines the strength of our ambition. A person who wants to become a musician might need a guitar to practice, while a person who wants to become a lawyer might need to study law.

Hence, while circumstances might force us to suppress our ambitions to become who we need to be, the real test of character lies in getting out of those circumstances and become who we want to be.

Feedback and Comments:

(I) Overall impression:


(II) Detailed feedback:

i) The essayist has understood the true essence of the title of the essay. He has correctly explained the difference between “who we want to be” and “who we need to be”and has stated that Bob Dylan has referred to the latter when he talks about suppressing one’s ambition.

ii) The essay is well-written and it concisely explains important points.

iii) The introduction of the essay is a standalone para highlighting the importance of ambitions. The second para begins to elaborate on Bob Dylan’s quote. The third para focuses on aligning our needs with our wants. The conclusion para mirrors the second para of the essay.

iv) The essay presents views with a good command over the language. Diction is fine. There are no grammatical errors.

v) While the essay uses a few examples to explain the points, some more relevant examples or figures of speech or quotes could have been used to make the essay very impressive.

(III) Evaluation parameters and score:

Content Adequacy of information 9 x 2 18
Ideas and their development Elaboration through reasoning, explanation, examples 8 x 3 24
Perspective Pros and cons, different aspects, parallel reasoning, suggestions 9 x 1 9
Structure Logical idea-flow in Intro-Body-Conclusion form 8 x 2 16
Control over language Grammar and spellings, sentence construction and punctuation 9 x 2 18
OVERALL       85