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Write about an occasion when you made a difficult decision and then regretted it afterwards.

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Introduction

Write about an occasion when you made a difficult decision and then regretted it afterwards. "Go on," he taunted, voice laced with utter mockery and malice. I gulped. I had to do this, to prove my worth to the gang and yet... Standing a few meters away was an old lady, whom I gauged to be about 80 years of age. Her back was hunched in an undesirable manner and her frail, wrinkled arms were slowly rummaging the filthy dustbin for empty canned drinks. Just the thought of what I was about to do to her made me nauseous. I wanted to turn away, wanted to tell Jeremy that I could not harm the poor helpless woman, however, I knew the consequences if I did so. ...read more.

Middle

I had to do this. Renewed with determination, I took a deep breath and strode towards the old lady, trying to appear as brave as I could manage. Clenching my right hand into a tight fist, I raised it up slowly, while calming my nerves down. The old woman had noticed me then. A look of sheer horror spread across her face, her lips parted and closed, but no sound came out of it. My heart thumped wildly against my chest. This was it. Closing my eyes, not daring to witness the gruesome scene that would unfold before me, I summoned all my courage and brought the fist to her face. "Crack!" The sound of fist against flesh sounded deafening to my ears. I wanted to break down right there and then. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the position she was in, the old lady glared back at me while pointing a scrawny finger at my face, seemingly to question my actions. I bit my lips in shame, berating myself for my foolishness. It was then that Jeremy walked towards me. With a firm hand placed on my shoulder, he muttered, "Good job. You are in," before sauntering off with an arrogant smirk on his face. Waves and waves of remorse splashed over my whole being. I seemed to be drowning in an abyss of guilt and shame. How could I, at the expense of someone's health, do such a thing? A lone tear escaped from my eyes as I got up and ran towards the nearby store, hoping to get an ice-pack to reduce the damage I had inflicted on the old lady. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The writer of this essay has done well to answer the above question. They focus specifically on an event in the past whereby they felt enormous regret almost immediately after doing it. However, in some instances the answer slips into ...

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Response to the question

The writer of this essay has done well to answer the above question. They focus specifically on an event in the past whereby they felt enormous regret almost immediately after doing it. However, in some instances the answer slips into the present tense and does not explicitly state or give any clear inclination this is for effect (such as suggesting that, to the current day, they would never do such a thing again when saying "What has been done has been done"). Other than that, there is a clearly established focus on the question and the descriptive narrative is very effective.

Level of analysis

The use of adjectives in this answer is wide. There are very few, if any, instances where a given adjective or verb has been used where a synonym can be used instead. There is consistent and extensive use of linguistic and prosodic features to show the candidate's ability to write, with much emotive language employed to draw empathy from the reader. Minimal spoken dialogue mean that much of the focus is on the event being described, which the candidate did well to concentrate on as spoken dialogue is harder to illustrate with adjectives. The use of short, minor sentences like "I gulped" instil tension and quicken the pace of the reader, with some empathy drawn too. Some adjectives used however are not entirely appropriate - to be "hunched in an undesirable manner" is one of very few moments in the essay where the image in the readers' heads become ambiguous, though this is a rarity. A pedant may argue that there is an overuse of descriptors and the sentence structure can prove clunky at times. Possibly the best part about this answer though is that the candidate not only focuses on how regret is felt after an action, but also on the stirring of emotions that can lead to making an action difficult. Through the essay there is a constant reminder of the reluctance the individual has, and this makes the sympathy for both them and the elderly woman apparent throughout.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is fine. What could be improved though is the range of punctuation. Other than full stops, commas and speech marks there is little variation, and what variation there is can appear misused or unnecessary (e.g. the ellipsis in line 1). The candidate has used a variety of challenging words and managed to spell the majority without error. Their grammar does slip in some places (the first line reads: "'Go on', he taunted, voice laced" which should be
"'Go on', he taunted, HIS voice laced". But ignoring these minor slip-ups, this essay is a very solid effort.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 07/02/2012

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