all comments welcome on my draft!!

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all comments welcome on my draft!!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:43 pm

We are addicted to petroleum. It’s in our clothes, plastic, fuel, and an unsustainable number of other commodities. To make matters worse, the prices of food and fuel are joined at the hip by the blending of corn ethanol into gasoline. Estimates show that current production will likely deplete existing fossil fuel reserves by 2099.[1] In other words, we need to develop a new source of fuel, and we need to do it now. Cheap, sustainable, and clean energy would ameliorate national security concerns for numerous countries, myriad global environmental problems notwithstanding. My ultimate goal is to help design legislation that improves industrial production of sustainable fuel sources with substantial and effective energy policy.

Unfortunately, there is so much more to alternative energy development than just the science behind it. Growing up watching This Week with George Stephanopolous with my dad taught me that a number of powerful politicians have severely misguided views about science. It seems as though understanding the fundamental science behind a particular process like anthropogenic, or human-created, global climate change is irrelevant to the political opinions of some of the most influential politicians in the country. Some of these issues clearly stem from miscommunication between the “ivory tower” of science and the general public. In order to approach the policy discussion effectively, we need to overcome the divide between advanced science and mainstream America, and facts must drive policy, not the other way around. Through my college years, familiarizing the general public with non-political, research-based science became my mantra and a double major in Molecular Biology and Economics reinforced by disciplined research provided exactly the training I desired.

For the past two and a half years I have studied (ORGANISM NAME), a species of blue-green algae that responds to lack of nitrogen supplements by fixing atmospheric nitrogen gas into its cells. By understanding nitrogen stress in (ORGANISM), scientists may move closer to elucidating what kinds of nutrients, and therefore costs, are necessary for growing feedstock strains of algae for biofuel production. My preliminary data was presented at the 2012 International Symposium on Phototrophic Prokaryotes in Porto, Portugal. Furthermore, my research will lead to a Senior Honors Thesis wherein I will further explore ORGANISM’s nitrogen stress response and may result in publication in an academic journal. Independent research is easily the best way to comprehend the nuances of science. My experience as a researcher has given me the skills to understand advanced literature and know what is necessary for various milestones to be achieved in the laboratory. I believe these experiences will greatly help me in the future when advocating for research to the government.

I bore out my vision for public science education as a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Cell Biology. Every Wednesday at 9 A.M., I got up in front of a classroom of 30 sleepy college students with the aim of inspiring adoration for the subject. Fortunately, I was successful in at least one case: after the final exam, a freshman student named Rachel told me that my teaching convinced her to enroll as a full-time Biology major. In high school she had never seen someone who truly prized what they taught. Rachel is a symbol of what passionate teaching can do, and I am motivated to continue to spread science wherever it is welcome.

The way I see it, the challenge of a new energy future may ultimately be more a question of heart than of biology, physics, or dollars and cents. Whether or not humanity as a whole embraces the task of energy responsibility and development will come down to pioneering entrepreneurs, fearless politicians, and unprecedented international cooperation. We cannot escape the eventuality of a world without fossil fuels. I refuse to be a bystander in this new chapter of the human story and intend to leave a mark on the historic global discussion that is beginning to take place.

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Re: all comments welcome on my draft!!

Postby DocHawkeye » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:36 am

A footnote? Really?

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Re: all comments welcome on my draft!!

Postby sabp21 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:51 am

It's well-written and engaging, which is especially a compliment when coming from a person who finds science topics dry and difficult to follow. A problem I identify, however, if you don't address it elsewhere in your application, is why you are pursuing a law degree. Depending on what role you wish to play in the legislative process, you don't necessarily need to attend law school (you could obtain other kinds of graduate education, if at all), so adding two sentences or so about how a law degree would help you to achieve your goals would help to clarify your purpose.

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Re: all comments welcome on my draft!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:12 am

Not good. You need to develop a theme & progress paragraph by paragraph in a more organized & logical manner. As written, this piece leaves the reader with the impression of an overly zealous, semi-superficial, scatter-brained writer.

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Re: all comments welcome on my draft!!

Postby sabp21 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:28 am

Well, it seems as though the theme is "I am an advocate for sustainable fuel sources and energy policy reform". I wrote my first comment because I do think you picked the right details and illustrated some of your positions and accomplishments well (i.e. misrepresentation of science topics in media in paragraph 2). However in rereading it, I do agree with CanadianWolf in that you do stray from your theme to the point where the reader easily loses sight of it. Paragraphs 3 and 4 don't seem especially relevant to your essay's purpose, with the exception of the single sentences at the end of each paragraph that attempt to tie them in.

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