Is my essay letter for the summer camp counselor-in-training program good?

  • #1
    I was a camper here at (I have a camp name here, I just modified because I don't want to give away on here) for three years and each year I took as many sessions as I could. I always went for at least three out of four sessions per year, for the three years I attended this camp, because I really enjoyed how this camp worked, its activities, the staff, and everything.

    Now, I would like to experience this same camp setting, but with a different role, a position of a staff member. I’m curious to know what it is like to be a CIT, it would also help me get more used to being around and working with smaller children. If I become a CIT, it will improve my ability to work and compromise with smaller children.

    I also want to enhance my leadership skills. In group work, I often desire to take the leadership position, and when I do, I usually know all the content or how things should be done, and on disagreements I am usually willing to compromise or discuss an agreement. Becoming a CIT will allow me to further understand the role of a leader in real life.



    By the way I'm in eighth grade. So please provide feedback promptly.
  • #2
    Not bad.

    You use the word "compromise" twice in the essay, and I don't think it's the best word for either place you use it.

    In group work, I often desire to take the leadership position, and when I do, I usually know all the content or how things should be done, and on disagreements I am usually willing to compromise or discuss an agreement. Becoming a CIT will allow me to further understand the role of a leader in real life.
    I'd rethink this whole paragraph in fact. It feels like you're haphazardly dumping a list of personality traits & ideas rather than building up to a point. There's a run on sentence in there as well. instead of throwing stuff down, step back, think of a one sentence description of what you're tying to say in that past paragraph and flesh that out into more detail. Right now the paragraph has no central idea to it other than "a list of my qualities related to leadership"

    Just remember, the best essays usually do require rewriting a few times.

    Also look for the other run on sentence in the first paragraph there and try to make it better.
  • #3
    Quote from Anonymous User
    but with a different role, a position of a staff member



    the position of a staff member.

    I’m curious to know what it is like to be a CIT, it would also help me get more used to being around and working with smaller children.
    I'm curious to know what it is like to be a CIT, and it would

    If I become a CIT, it will improve my ability to work and compromise with smaller children.
    it will improve my ability to work with smaller children.


    "compromise" isn't the word here, as compromise means "meet halfway" or worse "put at risk", which is something you shouldn't do with small children. Grin



    In group work, I often desire to take the leadership position, and when I do, I usually know all the content or how things should be done, and on disagreements I am usually willing to compromise or discuss an agreement.
    "I usually know all the content" sounds like you are bragging. How about "I strive to be familiar with all the content"
    Last edited by mondu_the_fat: 1/19/2012 8:19:45 PM

    "Sometimes, the situation is outracing a threat, sometimes it's ignoring it, and sometimes it involves sideboarding in 4x Hope//Pray." --Doug Linn

  • #4
    Thanks guys.
  • #5
    Bearing in mind that I am in my late 20's, was raised by a writer, and have been writing in the course of my profession for many years, I have a few points I'd like to raise. I ask you to bear in mind the perspective from which I am writing because I can come across as unintentionall critical at times. This is not my intention.

    The core structure of your letter is good. You present a good introduction in which you make a case for your qualification for the job (consistent attendance at the camp), and then you mvoe on to the primary reasons you are interested in the position, also a good idea. You conclude by highlighting personality traits that you believe would be assets for the position. I find this to be a good structure for this kind of letter, which is essentially a job application.

    The areas that could use improvement are in the style of the writing. Mondu has pointed out some gramatical areas for improvement, which are all 100% correct. (His?) point regarding the use fo the word "compromise" is also key. While your intent with this section is clear to me, it may not be to all readers, and the word has enough potentially negitive connotations that it should be avoided here.

    In the opening paragraph, you have used the word "year" (in its singular and plural form) four times in the course of two sentances. I would try to avoid that level of repetition, as it interferes with the natual "flow" of the writing, and makes it less attractive to the reader. The second sentance of that paragraph is also much too long, and casual in tone. The phrase "and everything" should be avoided - it's gramtically problematic and vague in its meaning. I'd attempt to edit that paragraph into a few smaller sentances, and avoid the casual tone.

    The second sentance in the second paragraph is actually two sentances, as the ideas are not directly linked. I'd rework that.

    As far as your final paragraph is concerned, I like your focus on being able to come to a compromise on disagreements. When applying for a job, it's usually better to use statements like "I strive to know as much about the topic at hand as possible" and "I make every effort to compromise on solutions to disagreements, so that everyone ends up happy". These are statements about your personal values and behaviours, rather than factual statements. They come across as less aggressive and more confident, rather than cocky.

    Again, given that you are in 8th grade your letter is fine, especially for a first draft. I just thought I'd critique it just as I would a letter from a colleague at work, and let you take from it what you will. It certainly shows something that you even bothered to post it, ask the question, and maintain confidentiality. Most 8th graders, indeed most people I know who have not yet graduated highschool, would not have gone that far.
    "A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men."
    - Willy Wonka
  • #6
    Quote from Killane
    Bearing in mind that I am in my late 20's, was raised by a writer, and have been writing in the course of my profession for many years, I have a few points I'd like to raise. I ask you to bear in mind the perspective from which I am writing because I can come across as unintentionall critical at times. This is not my intention.

    The core structure of your letter is good. You present a good introduction in which you make a case for your qualification for the job (consistent attendance at the camp), and then you mvoe on to the primary reasons you are interested in the position, also a good idea. You conclude by highlighting personality traits that you believe would be assets for the position. I find this to be a good structure for this kind of letter, which is essentially a job application.

    The areas that could use improvement are in the style of the writing. Mondu has pointed out some gramatical areas for improvement, which are all 100% correct. (His?) point regarding the use fo the word "compromise" is also key. While your intent with this section is clear to me, it may not be to all readers, and the word has enough potentially negitive connotations that it should be avoided here.

    In the opening paragraph, you have used the word "year" (in its singular and plural form) four times in the course of two sentances. I would try to avoid that level of repetition, as it interferes with the natual "flow" of the writing, and makes it less attractive to the reader. The second sentance of that paragraph is also much too long, and casual in tone. The phrase "and everything" should be avoided - it's gramtically problematic and vague in its meaning. I'd attempt to edit that paragraph into a few smaller sentances, and avoid the casual tone.

    The second sentance in the second paragraph is actually two sentances, as the ideas are not directly linked. I'd rework that.

    As far as your final paragraph is concerned, I like your focus on being able to come to a compromise on disagreements. When applying for a job, it's usually better to use statements like "I strive to know as much about the topic at hand as possible" and "I make every effort to compromise on solutions to disagreements, so that everyone ends up happy". These are statements about your personal values and behaviours, rather than factual statements. They come across as less aggressive and more confident, rather than cocky.

    Again, given that you are in 8th grade your letter is fine, especially for a first draft. I just thought I'd critique it just as I would a letter from a colleague at work, and let you take from it what you will. It certainly shows something that you even bothered to post it, ask the question, and maintain confidentiality. Most 8th graders, indeed most people I know who have not yet graduated highschool, would not have gone that far.


    BEST RESPONSE EVER! Thank you for nicely criticizing (I like polite criticism as it helps me improve) and telling me what I need to do in order for this essay to help me out when applying for the CIT position. I will take into account your suggestions and I hope this essay turns out well.
  • #7
    I'm glad I could be helpful. I hope it works out well - let us know!
    "A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men."
    - Willy Wonka
  • #8
    Edited to what I would say:

    For three years I went to X where I took as many sessions as I could. Each year I attended at least three out of four sessions per year. I tried to attend as many sessions as possible because I enjoyed how X works. The activities, the staff, and everything about the camp made it a wonderful experience.

    Now, I would like to experience X through a different role, as a position of a staff member. I am curious about what it is like to be a CIT. It would help me get used to being around and working with young children. If I become a CIT, it will improve my ability to work and communicate with children.

    Becoming a CIT would enhance my developing leadership skills. In group work, I often desire to take a leadership position. When I do, I lead with confidence using a combination experience and intelligence (Not worded perfectly...). During disagreements I compromise and discuss solutions for a peaceful (or amicable, choose what you would say) agreement. Becoming a CIT will allow me to further understand the role of becoming leader in life.



    -------------
    Good to see an 8th grader doing this. I fixed up some passive voice and grammatical errors (probably added a few...). I tried to keep it in the context of what you were saying. I hope this helps, but don't use it if you are not comfortable with my changes.
  • #9
    I think Killane really covered it all, but my two cents.

    I would change the sentance 'I am curious to know what it is like' to 'I am eager to learn how to' - I think the use of the word eager will convey your enthusiasm to participate better.

    And:
    'I also want to enhance my leadership skills. In group work, I often desire to take the leadership position, and when I do, I usually know all the content or how things should be done, and on disagreements I am usually willing to compromise or discuss an agreement. Becoming a CIT will allow me to further understand the role of a leader in real life.'

    I would adjust this as it sounds a little like you wouldn't be happy unless you were in charge (which makes for bad leaders) - when I look through resumes for applications to work in my office, I immediately reject these purely because we have had too many people that cannot work effectively as a team because they're upset that they're not in charge, or people that are in charge suddenly have it go to their heads and turn into a dictator/know it all that doesn't take criticism or advise.

    I realise, however, this was not how you were intending to sound, it's just that leadership skills would be a big part of this role. So I might suggest something more along the lines of 'developing leadership skills, eager to take on new responsibilities, the fact that you work well as part of a team and independently, good problem solving skills and good interpersonal skills and keep your comments about conflict resolution - I like that Smile

    Otherwise I think it sounded really good. You obviously have an ongoing interest in the work. Best of luck!
    Last edited by Lussuria: 2/23/2012 9:50:28 PM
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