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9.3: Samples of Good Essay Writing

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    You may find some minor errors in these sample essays, but they were exactly as the student wrote them.

    Sample Essay #1

    I have a small and happy family. Everyone in the house loves each other. But I know that inside the heart of each family member, there are small broken pieces. About ten years ago, my mom and my dad divorced. Everyone had a hard time especially my mom. It was a big change that my family has gone through.

    Before they divorced, I thought my family was the happiest in the world. Every day, my dad took me to school. He gave me a big hug with his lovely eyes and a big smile. I loved him so much. My brother and my sister were both older than me so they took care of everything of mine. They helped me wash my clothes, dishes and cleaned up my room. I was the only one who just sat down with a cup cake in my hand and enjoyed watching cartoons. My mom would do everything else in the house. She was not going to work, but she was always busy with all the house work. I felt like twenty four hours a day is not enough for her to do all that work. My house was not too big, but it was full of laughing and loving every day. I would never have thought my parents decided to divorce.

    After they divorced, my dad got married with a new girl and moved far away from us. He left my mom who did not have any job and three children who were still in school. I could not believe my house was like a hell. Every day, my mom moved from place to place to work. Her job was to clean up the house for old people for a small amount of money. My brother and sister now had to find a part time job to help my mom. They did not have time for me anymore, so I had to take care of myself and even the house too. Many things left over my house when my dad left us were bills, tears and sadness.

    My family lived like that for a few year. Finally, my mom found a job at a small company and has good money. My brother and sister all graduated and have jobs. My small family now has come back with laughter and love that I never thought it would be again. I am so proud of my mom who always stands by her kids even when she was broke and lost. She never left us alone. (420 words)

    Credit: Hanh Nguyen (Vietnam)

    Sample Essay #2

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Credit: Jie Gao (China)

    Sample Essay #3

    There are so many people in this world and we each have many different characteristics. Some people may be negative. Others may be very energetic. A persons character is very important to become successful. In my opinion, the most important characteristics to become successful are positivity, loving, and goal oriented.

    To begin with, having a positive character can help you in your road to success. For example, Most people know that when a person is trying to become successful, there will be many challenges. During that time, having a positive character is very important because if you decide to state negative statements towards the challenge your bringing yourself down. One day

    I was in baseball practice, and I was getting ready for a game. I accidently stepped on a ball, and hurt my ankle. Although I hurt my ankle, I remained positive, wrapped my ankle, and continued to practice for the game. As a result, my team and I won the game.

    Another characteristic that’s important to becoming successful is loving. When I work, I show people love by encouraging them and giving them a helping hand. Since I do these actions, people always want to repay me back in some way. For example, I needed support for my mission trip to Thailand. When I asked my co-workers for support, they supported me. This shows how when you love, you set yourself up for success.

    People who have a goal oriented characteristic become very successful. My friend is a track star, and he is trying to prepare himself for the olympics. Therefore, he made it to the olympic trails and won one of the races. Because my friend was so goal oriented, he won the race.

    In conclusion, It is very important to have positive, loving, and goal oriented characteristics to become successful. (303 words)

    Credit: Gregory Hernandez (Dominican Republic)

    Sample Essay #4

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\)

    Credit: Negar Dadgostar (Iran)

    Sample Essay #5

    When in Rome

    Every country has a unique culture. Each individual is proud of distinct beauties of his or her culture. We want to preserve those features and introduce them to friends all over the world. However, behavior norms differ from region to region. Behavior patterns that are standard in one country may not be standard in another country. In certain instances, it can be unacceptable. As an international student, I sometimes encounter this situation. To avoid awkward moments, I bear in my mind the useful expression: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” From my understanding, the saying means when in foreign country, we should learn to adapt to coincide with the native population.

    I was born and grew up in Vietnam. Like other children, I was taught several common codes of behaviors: to greet older people respectfully by bowing, to believe that the elderly and teachers were always right, and to eat with chopsticks. Nevertheless, things are different in the U.S. I don’t need to bow to show respect. I simply say “hello, how are you?” with a smile. One difference that I found to my liking is the ability to freely ask questions and carry on a discussion with the elderly and professors. On the other hand, a challenging task has been to replace the chopsticks with silverware and learn how to use forks and spoons properly.

    There are not only differences in behavior but also conflicts in body language. For example, the gesture to call a friend over to you in Vietnam is the same as calling a dog over in the U.S and vice versa. A sign of friendliness in Vietnamese is interpreted as insulting here. Another instance is, in my country, people do not have the habit of holding the door open for others whereas it is considered basic courtesy here. I, along with my international friends in ESL classes experienced cultural shock for the first few months here because of adjusting to these cultural norms.

    Listed above are a small list if examples of contrasting differences among cultures, but the tip of the iceberg. Still, cultural shock is an issue that can be avoided if we are well prepared. Although we all want to be sociable civilized, the standards of behavior and good manners vary country from country. It is important for an individual to broaden their knowledge of diverse cultures and be willing to adjust to fall into line with the native culture. The expression “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” or “nhập gia tùy tục” in Vietnamese is a reminder for to act accordingly. (436 words)

    Credit: Tuyet Nguyen (Vietnam)

    Sample Essay #6

    Everyone has a dream. Many people have dreams that they think one day it will come true. On the other hand, some people think it will just stay dreams. In most cases our dreams one day it will come true if we work hard and do our best to make it happen. In the United States many people work hard for the American Dream. Everyone has his own American Dream. The American dream for some people is to have your own home. However, the American dream for me is to finish my education, open my own business and buy a home for my family.

    First, finishing my education is the most important dream for me. Education is my American dream because after finishing my education my life will become much easier. For example, I am in college and I do not have a job that rains money on me. For that reason, I have to work hard to get my degree and find a job that can make my life easier. However, finishing my education is not the only dream I have.

    Second, opening my own business is my American dream too. By owning a business, I do not have to be stress every few years to find a better job. Also, I do not have to take orders from anyone because I will be the boss. Furthermore, I do not have to ask anyone for a day off. For example, If I want a vacation from the job, I do not have to ask anyone for it. However, finishing my education and having my own business are not my only American Dream.

    Third, buying a home for my family is not my dream only, it is my family’s dream too. My family face a stress every month to pay our home morgage. Paying off the mortgage on my family’s home will take off the stress from them. Also, they will not have to be worried about the monthly payment. This is not my family’s dream only, it is the dream of most Americans.

    In conclusion, finishing my education is my most important American dream. Also, opening my own business will make my life easier. Furthermore, buying a home for my family will take off the stress from their life. (380 words)

    Credit: Rami Abusaada (Palestine)

    Sample Essay #7

    “Pay attention! Smallest mistake could ruin your whole career.” My grandfather said this in front of his children on his 72nd birthday. I was there with my father, and I was only six years old at that time. However, I still remember it because when words are spoken out from a person who has lived 72 years, these words will be meaningful. Therefore, I’m still thinking about them everyday, and I not only just think about my career, but I also think about my life, and about things that happened and changed my whole life. The latest thing that changed my life in a positive way is about the house I am living in now and about Mrs. Lee who is the owner of the house.

    I’m an international student from Vietnam. The day I came here, I knew it would be hard for me because I didn’t have any relative or friend or person that I knew in this country. Therefore, nobody helped me to find shelter, and I didn’t know anyone to call for help. At that time, I was panicked, but I calmed myself and asked anybody I saw at the airport when I arrived for help, and a nice lady gave me Mrs. Lee’s phone number. I was so happy, but I did not have a phone to call her. I was panicked again because a lot of questions appeared in my head at that moment such as “What should I do now?” and How can I contact her?” Then an idea flashed in my head and showed me how to solve that problem. Because of that idea, I met Mrs. Lee, and she changed my life forever.

    The idea that flashed in my head that day was borrowing the nice lady’s phone to call Mrs. Lee, and I did that. I still remember that moment when she picked up the phone because her voice sounded like my grandma’s voice, and she is Vietnamese too. She said, “I will let you stay in my house, but it’s not free, and if you don’t be nice, I will kick you out!” I was so happy, and I did not care much about the cost. I only needed a place to live, and she gave it to me. Now, I am still living at her house, but I don’t have to pay Mrs. Lee money anymore. I just need to pay my bills and food, and she treats me like her son, and I treat her like the way I treat my mother. It’s a long story. However, this story changed my life from a panicked young boy without shelter to the person I have become.

    In conclusion, good things happen to us all the time, and the good things that Mrs. Lee gave me changed my life forever. I will never be able to thank her enough. (480 words)

    Credit: Khoa Nguyen (Vietnam)

    Sample Essay #8

    Arthur: That was his name. He was a light-skinned black African American man. He was so sweet, and a kind hearted person. Arthur Scott was a perfect man whom I met when I came to America. Meeting him is one of the good things that has happened to me because of the following reasons: he boosted my self-confidence, and also he is a great source of inspiration to me.

    To begin with, I was a shy and a nervous person when I first came to America in 2012. I was easily intimidated by people before I met Arthur. He helped me build my self-confidence and my self-esteem. He made me understand how indifferent humans are; that is, though we might come from different countries with different cultures, at the end of the day, we are still all the same. Also, he made me understand that I am smarter than most people born and raised in American, and being born an American is not so extraordinary. I got to build my confidence in talking to Americans without having to feel that they would laugh at me because of my accent, and that has had a positive impact on me. Now I have confidence within myself and believe that nobody is totally different from me, and I should not get intimidated.

    Moreover, when I started school, I did not know how to write essays, and I was scared to take a math class because I felt it was too difficult. Arthur, the motivator and the inspiration, told me to believe in myself. He told me I can do anything I set my mind to do, and he make me have “Yes, I can” as my motto in times of difficulties. He always told me that I was a good writer and a storyteller. Anytime I am with him, he makes me write anything I have on my mind on paper.

    Gradually, I found passion in writing, and now I feel proud when I write, and my instructors give me positive comments. I successfully completed College Algebra with an A when I thought I couldn’t do it. He always makes me feel I am stronger than I believe I am!

    In brief, good things happen all the time, but meeting Arthur has positively impacted my life in many ways. Now I have become a very optimistic person in all circumstances, and I value that. (401 words)

    Credit: Adomako Cobbina (Ghana)

    This page titled 9.3: Samples of Good Essay Writing is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Barbara Hall & Elizabeth Wallace (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) .

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