Learning to Write Good

Paraphrasing of question from U. Chicago application: Storytelling is an important part of every human society. Tell a story of your own. (Submitted as supplemental essay to schools other than U. Chicago)

If one were to ask me to relate a story of what had most troubled me throughout my high school experience, I would likely tell of my trials and tribulations as an ambitious writer in the hands of my English teachers. I, like sculptor's clay, was molded into a new shape, coated with a thin veneer to hide the crude interior, then subjected to intense stress to make me shine and reflect the beauty of all that had been put into me. Here follows the chronicle of my journey:

In eighth grade, I was a good writer, and I was talented, and I always got A's in English, like on the final, when I wrote a very good essay on Inherit the Wind, which we had read in class, and got a 100 that I was very proud of. My only problem was with run-on sentences, which I tended to use a lot without knowing it, and this somewhat detracted from my writing, but I was working at it, and I was slowly getting better. At any rate, I expected to do well in Honors English in ninth grade, which I had gotten into as a result of doing exceptionally well on the admission test, and I happily thought how, as such a good writer, I could look forward to all the A's I would be getting, as I was reading the four books we had to read over the summer.

Once I had...

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