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Can I get some feedback on this LNAT practice essay?

For reference I am an international student applying to Oxford University. Basically, every time I write a practice essay I write three paragraphs, but for this question, I just could not come up with three distinct points and for some reason I really struggled to get the essay done in 40 minutes and I don't think it came out very well. All this is to say, I would love some feedback if you can provide it :smile:

Should COVID vaccines be shared with third world countries?
With the invention of the various COVID vaccines first world countries are slowly emerging from their lockdowns into COVID free nations. Having administered millions of doses, it may seem that the end of the pandemic is in sight for such countries. However, while first world countries are enjoying the freedom of post-pandemic life, many third world countries who lack vaccines are still gripped with the struggles of COVID. Thus, one may wonder whether first world countries should share their vaccines with these third world countries. The answer to this question is a resounding yes - vaccines must be shared with third world countries.

The COVID-19 virus is a global problem, and like all global problems, it requires a global solution. When the threat is a virus that's main weapon is its ability to spread, the fact is that no country can truly exile it from its borders until every country can do so together. Otherwise, even if every first world country has its population vaccinated enough to return to normal life, if there still remain countries where COVID runs rampant, the virus will eventually be carried back across the borders of those first world countries that worked so hard to remove it. When this occurs, the remaining people whose vaccines were ineffective or chose not to be vaccinated will once again suffer the sickness of COVID, return to ventilators and continue the spread. This is in addition to the long-term implications where, by allowing COVID to continue spreading in third world countries, new variants will emerge rendering the current vaccines ineffective, sending first world countries back to square one. Ultimately, without vaccinating the globe at once, COVID will never be defeated, it will simply evolve and evolve until every new vaccine is rendered useless, and every country is in a perpetual lockdown cycle. Thus, for COVID to be eradicated, all countries, including third world countries must vaccinate their populations.

Now having established the necessity for third world vaccines, we are brought to issue of whether it is necessary for first world countries to share their vaccines with third world countries. One could argue that third world countries ought to be responsible for their own vaccinations just as first world countries were, for first world countries are preoccupied with their own problems regardless. Yet, this argument overlooks the crucial fact that third world countries simply do not have the same capability to vaccinate their population. In addition to the healthcare systems being entirely overwhelmed, third world countries already have to deal with the hardships of being a third world country - having limited food supplies, perhaps being in a civil war or struggling to protect the basic rights of their citizens - before they can turn their attentions to creating or purchasing a vaccine. Thus, without the assistance of first world countries, third world countries simply could not vaccinate their populations. Ultimately meaning that if first world countries wish to eradicate COVID completely, then sharing their vaccines is the only option.

To conclude, it is clear that to eliminate the threat of COVID, first and third world countries alike must be vaccinated, and this global vaccination can only be achieved through the sharing of vaccines. Thus, ultimately vaccines must be shared with third world countries. [553 words]
(edited 2 years ago)
Overall - a reasonable answer, but too 'wordy'. Your paragraphs are too long and your argument lacks punch.
Use shorter sentences. They have more impact.
Also what do you mean by Third World, First World (this is very dated terminology by the way - 'poorer countries, 'wealthier countries' is a less pejorative).

Example - 'Now having established the necessity for third world vaccines, we are brought to issue of whether it is necessary for first world countries to share their vaccines with third world countries.' Are the vaccines 'third world'? What do you mean here? 'Brought to the issue', 'whether it is necessary' = padding. Use more straightforward language. And btw, you could drop the entire introduction and jump straight into para 2 - more direct.

I've marked LNAT essays for 10+ years and I would have given this a mid-20 grade - a solid answer but lacks clarity of language and argument.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by Elizabeth Choc
For reference I am an international student applying to Oxford University. Basically, every time I write a practice essay I write three paragraphs, but for this question, I just could not come up with three distinct points and for some reason I really struggled to get the essay done in 40 minutes and I don't think it came out very well. All this is to say, I would love some feedback if you can provide it :smile:

Should COVID vaccines be shared with third world countries?
With the invention of the various COVID vaccines first world countries are slowly emerging from their lockdowns into COVID free nations. Having administered millions of doses, it may seem that the end of the pandemic is in sight for such countries. However, while first world countries are enjoying the freedom of post-pandemic life, many third world countries who lack vaccines are still gripped with the struggles of COVID. Thus, one may wonder whether first world countries should share their vaccines with these third world countries. The answer to this question is a resounding yes - vaccines must be shared with third world countries.

The COVID-19 virus is a global problem, and like all global problems, it requires a global solution. When the threat is a virus that's main weapon is its ability to spread, the fact is that no country can truly exile it from its borders until every country can do so together. Otherwise, even if every first world country has its population vaccinated enough to return to normal life, if there still remain countries where COVID runs rampant, the virus will eventually be carried back across the borders of those first world countries that worked so hard to remove it. When this occurs, the remaining people whose vaccines were ineffective or chose not to be vaccinated will once again suffer the sickness of COVID, return to ventilators and continue the spread. This is in addition to the long-term implications where, by allowing COVID to continue spreading in third world countries, new variants will emerge rendering the current vaccines ineffective, sending first world countries back to square one. Ultimately, without vaccinating the globe at once, COVID will never be defeated, it will simply evolve and evolve until every new vaccine is rendered useless, and every country is in a perpetual lockdown cycle. Thus, for COVID to be eradicated, all countries, including third world countries must vaccinate their populations.

Now having established the necessity for third world vaccines, we are brought to issue of whether it is necessary for first world countries to share their vaccines with third world countries. One could argue that third world countries ought to be responsible for their own vaccinations just as first world countries were, for first world countries are preoccupied with their own problems regardless. Yet, this argument overlooks the crucial fact that third world countries simply do not have the same capability to vaccinate their population. In addition to the healthcare systems being entirely overwhelmed, third world countries already have to deal with the hardships of being a third world country - having limited food supplies, perhaps being in a civil war or struggling to protect the basic rights of their citizens - before they can turn their attentions to creating or purchasing a vaccine. Thus, without the assistance of first world countries, third world countries simply could not vaccinate their populations. Ultimately meaning that if first world countries wish to eradicate COVID completely, then sharing their vaccines is the only option.

To conclude, it is clear that to eliminate the threat of COVID, first and third world countries alike must be vaccinated, and this global vaccination can only be achieved through the sharing of vaccines. Thus, ultimately vaccines must be shared with third world countries. [553 words]

I think McGinger is being quite generous with you. The very first sentence contains a factual error - no country is 'emerging...into a COVID-free nation' because COVID will become endemic - and that is the transition we are on, not a transition to a 'zero-COVID world'.

Far, far too much waffle and too many words. You continue in your 'argument' to suggest that COVID can be eliminated without any sort of persuasive argument as to how that could be achieved.

Some of your language is poor. You don't start a sentence with 'Ultimately', and things like 'When the threat is a virus that's main weapon is its ability to spread' is wrong. There are also contractions (best avoided) and wrong plurals.

Overall, there is far too much circumlocution, repetition and padding. You could probably reduce the word count by 40% and not change the meaning. You need to make an argument in your answer - punchy, attacking, and without all this waffle and verbiage. Get to the point quickly, make your argument, back it up with something, conclude it punchily.
Original post by Reality Check
I think McGinger is being quite generous with you. The very first sentence contains a factual error - no country is 'emerging...into a COVID-free nation' because COVID will become endemic - and that is the transition we are on, not a transition to a 'zero-COVID world'.

Far, far too much waffle and too many words. You continue in your 'argument' to suggest that COVID can be eliminated without any sort of persuasive argument as to how that could be achieved.

Some of your language is poor. You don't start a sentence with 'Ultimately', and things like 'When the threat is a virus that's main weapon is its ability to spread' is wrong. There are also contractions (best avoided) and wrong plurals.

Overall, there is far too much circumlocution, repetition and padding. You could probably reduce the word count by 40% and not change the meaning. You need to make an argument in your answer - punchy, attacking, and without all this waffle and verbiage. Get to the point quickly, make your argument, back it up with something, conclude it punchily.

Thanks for the feedback but why can't I start a sentence with ultimately? It isn't grammatically incorrect. Also, where did I use contractions and wrong plurals? I put the essay through a grammar check and there were no problems
Original post by Elizabeth Choc
I put the essay through a grammar check and there were no problems

You will not have this for your LNAT test so start doing without it, and checking your own work.
Original post by McGinger
You will not have this for your LNAT test so start doing without it, and checking your own work.

Yeah I usually do practice essays on wordpad, I meant I put it through a grammar check afterwards to see if I had made many mistakes :smile:
Original post by Elizabeth Choc
Thanks for the feedback but why can't I start a sentence with ultimately? It isn't grammatically incorrect.


Starting a sentence with 'ultimately' is grammatically correct, yes - but it's ugly and out of place in writing like this and compounds the problems of the quality of your writing.

Also, where did I use contractions and wrong plurals? I put the essay through a grammar check and there were no problems



And after putting this writing through a grammar check, how much stuff did you change? This is entirely self-defeating: the point of practising writing like this is to avoid using grammar and spell checkers and wean yourself off these crutches. As @McGinger rightly says, you're not going to have these in the actual test, so why use them now? If you need to consistently use them in order to produce half-decent writing at this stage, this would suggest to me that your English wasn't good enough to do a law course anyway.

Moreover, you can see that grammatical 'checkers', even when used are fallible. As well as an incorrect plural and contractions, there's also an incorrect relative pronoun. There is no point my just giving you a list of errors for you to correct - you need to find them yourself. Come back to us if you really can't find them and we'll help you - but you need to try first. Neither we, nor the grammar and spellchecker, will be at the Pearson test centre. You do also need to perhaps focus more on developing the ability to make a good tight argument, backed up with appropriate evidence, rather than small grammatical errors.
You are being disgustingly harsh. They stated that they are an international student. There’s a way to give criticism without being a ****.

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