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Sir Isaac Newton.

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Isaac Newton's life can be divided into three quite distinct periods. The first is his boyhood days from 1643 up to his appointment to a chair in 1669. The second period from 1669 to 1687 which was the highly productive period in which he was a professor at Cambridge University. The third period (nearly as long as the other two combined) saw Newton as a highly paid government official in London with little further interest in mathematical research.

Isaac Newton was born in the manor house of WoolsThorpe, near Grantham in Lincolnshire. By the calendar in use at the time of his birth he was born on Christmas Day 1642. Isaac Newton came from a family of farmers but never knew his father, also named Isaac Newton. Although Isaac's father owned property and animals, which made him quite a wealthy man, he was completely uneducated and could not sign his own name.

Isaac's mother Hannah Ayscough remarried Barnabas Smith the minister of the church at North Witham, a nearby village, when Isaac was two years old. The young child was then left in the care of his grandmother Margery at Woolsthorpe. Basically treated as an orphan, Isaac did not have a happy childhood. His grandfather James was never

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Optics. He recorded his thoughts in a book, which he entitled Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae (Certain Philosophical Questions). It is a fascinating account of how Newton's ideas were already forming around 1664. He headed the text with a Latin statement meaning, "Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth" showing himself a free thinker from an early stage.

How Newton was introduced to the most advanced mathematical texts of his day is slightly less clear. According to de Moivre Newton's interest in mathematics began in the autumn of 1663 when he bought an astrology book at a fair in Cambridge and found that he could not understand the mathematics in it. Attempting to read a trigonometry book, he found that he lacked knowledge of geometry and so decided to read Barrow’s edition of Euclid’s Elements. The first few results were so easy that he almost gave up but he changed his mind when he read: -

… Parallelograms upon the same base and between the same parallels are equal.

Despite some evidence that his progress had not been particularly good, Newton was elected a scholar on 28 April 1664 and received his bachelor's degree in April 1665. It would appear that his

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Newton decided to leave Cambridge to take up a government position in London becoming Warden of the Royal Mint in 1696 and Master in 1699. However, he did not resign his positions at Cambridge until 1701. As Master of the Mint, adding the income from his estates, we see that Newton became a very rich man. For many people a position such as Master of the Mint would have been treated as simply a reward for their scientific achievements. Newton did not treat it as such and he made a strong contribution to the work of the Mint. He led it through the difficult period of recoinage and he was particularly active in measures to prevent counterfeiting of the coinage. In 1703 he was elected president of the Royal Society and was re-elected each year until his death. He was knighted in 1705 by Queen Anne, the first scientist to be so honoured for his work.

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Though is it clear from the title that the candidate plans to discuss Isaac Newton, this piece of writing has no introduction which is a mistake. An introduction is important as it sets the premise of the essay, therefore you ...

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Response to the question

Though is it clear from the title that the candidate plans to discuss Isaac Newton, this piece of writing has no introduction which is a mistake. An introduction is important as it sets the premise of the essay, therefore you should clearly state what you plan to discuss. This is also your chance to engage the reader and get them interested in what you have to say. You can do this by including an interesting fact or quote that is relevant to your essay. In addition to this you should give a brief introduction of your topic, in this case that should include a brief description of who Isaac Newton is and perhaps his main accomplishments.

Level of analysis

The candidate has written detailed information about Newton’s life, therefore they must have taken the time to do some research, this is particularly good idea when discussing a person as you want to make sure that you get your facts straight. In addition to this, the extra information can make your essay more interesting to read. However the candidate seems to have copied and pasted some of the information within their work, which I strongly discourage against, after all your teacher/examiner is interested in what you have to say on the topic. Furthermore, the candidate has not provided a list of the resources they have used, so the steps in which they have taken to prepare this essay are unclear. It is always a good idea to site any sources your use. Finally, the candidate has failed to write a conclusion, therefore the essay seems to come to an abrupt end. You should always conclude your work, a good conclusion consists of a summary of the key points and ideas and a personal response to the topic.

Quality of writing

The candidate has split the information into sections, therefore the information is ordered, which helps make the essay easier to read. However there are a few errors with spelling and grammar.

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