2. Say "Comma", "Full Stop", "Question Mark" for punctuation

I am attracted to the doctoral program at Texas A&M for precisely this reason. Only Texas A&M offers the kind of collaborative experience that suits my personal needs and professional goals. Over the past four years, I have seen the department blossom into a challenging and innovative program. I am excited about the program's direction and its emphasis on practical application. I appreciate that every course offers the opportunity for independent research, and that the faculty is open to student suggestions for improvement. The flexibility and patience of the faculty and the talent of the students makes Texas A&M a singular choice for my doctoral degree.

Professor Harold Laski (Essay in )

However, there are ways in which your essay could be improved. My comments in this critique describe ways to make your writing more vivid and offer recommendations on how to make your statement more convincing.

Essay on psychology in (New York)

Here are my specific comments on each individual paragraph of your essay:

But there is a difference. For this Micawber knows that he isMicawber. He holds a looking-glass in his hand. He is a man ofexaggerated self-consciousness, endowed with an astonishing powerof self-analysis. Dickens would need to be doubled with HenryJames, to be trebled with Proust, in order to convey thecomplexity and the conflict of a Pecksniff who despises his ownhypocrisy, of a Micawber who is humiliated by his ownhumiliation. He is so made that he can hear the crepitation of aleaf, and yet remains obtuse to the claims of wife and child. Anunopened letter brings great drops of sweat to his forehead; yetto lift a pen and answer it is beyond his power. The DickensColeridge and the Henry James Coleridge perpetually tear himasunder. The one sends out surreptitiously to Mr. Dunn thechemist for another bottle of opium; and the other analyses themotives that have led to this hypocrisy into an infinity of fineshreds.

Essays and articles on Shakespeare's Hamlet

‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’


I liked the passion you convey in this sentence, but you need to maintain a formal, almost reserved voice in academic writing. See my suggestion for alternative wording that does a better job of capturing your experience and of demonstrating how that experience has influenced your decision to seek an advanced degree.

Detailed information on Shakespeare's Hamlet from scholars and editors.

The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.

American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States

Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. New York: Knopf Books for Young Adults, 2007. Kindle edition downloaded
30 December 2009.

Mitchell, David. Black Swan Green. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007. Kindle edition downloaded
20 April 2010.

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. 71. New York: Perennial Classics, 1999 (orig. 1963).

Rabb, Margo. Cures for Heartbreak. New York: Delacorte, 2007. Kindle edition downloaded 20 April 2010.