GRE essay: The study of history places too much emphasis on individuals

ISSUE48 - “The study of history places too much emphasis on individuals. The most significant events and trends in history were made possible not by the famous few, but by groups of people whose identities have long been forgotten.”

History has witnessed significant events and trends, all of which are presented by the great efforts and far-reaching influences of those memorable heroes and heroines. However, we should bear in mind that real achievement can hardly be attained by a single person, and thus the power of the mass public should by no means be undermined or forgotten.

Admittedly, there are countless great men who contributed a great deal to the process of history and without them a society or a group of people may be hopelessly wandering outside the truth and civilization. God once said that the world must be light and then Newton was born. Since then, the researches on natural sciences made a great leap forward a clearer state. If Newton had not ever existed, our understanding about nature will be absent until another great man appear. In the progress of a nation in disorder or ignorance, it is only a few able men who brought hope and development into people’s well-beings. Take India for example, Gandhi can be regarded as such an individual that determined and guided the very destiny of India. The nonviolence resistant theory was carried out through his iron will and immense appealing among his people, which gave rise to the final success of India’s independence against British colonization. Therefore, a powerful leader’s personal feat is sometimes the determinant factor to history.

However, the prosperity of society and the foregoing of civilization should never neglect the considerable contributions of its hundreds of thousands of people who are working hardly and silently comparing to the leadership and publications of those famous few. They constantly serve as the stable foundation upon which the mansion of brilliance and spectacle can be built up. For example, the Great Wall has been one of the greatest wonders of the world. When people all over the world are marveling at the wisdom and power of the ancient Chinese leader who conducted the outstanding project, it is time for us to calm down and think twice that who actually deserve the reward. Without the blood and toil of those soldiers and constructing workers, how can the blocks and stones be so strongly standing along the waving mountains across the wide range of north China? Thus, the identities of people should be remembered as a whole and be offered a corresponding place in history.

In addition, more often than not, an event or a trend is merging and thriving according to its external environment. That is to say, the history usually chooses his heroes accidentally but responsibly with the features of that time. A trend is probably brought out by a few people but in fact, it is following its own rule and tendency. For instance, the Enlightenment of French in eighteenth century is such a far-reaching trend that influenced the generations to come. We can name those famous writers, thinkers, and reformers who exerted considerable power on those issues concerning the significant meaning of ration and knowledge. In fact, their efforts and contributions can be attributed to the very demands of their times.

In sum, the famous few have written many crucial pages of history but at the same time, the mass public is the basic force to propel the development of society. What is more, we have a reason to assume that it is our time to choose the heroes but not the heroes themselves to choose the events and trends.

ISSUE48 - “The study of history places too much emphasis on individuals. The most significant events and trends in history were made possible not by the famous few, but by groups of people whose identities have long been forgotten.”

History has witnessed significant events and trends, all of which are presented by the great efforts and far-reaching influences of those memorable heroes and heroines. However, we should bear in mind that real achievement can hardly be attained by a single person, and thus the power of the mass public should by no means be undermined or forgotten.

Admittedly, there are countless great men who contributed a great deal to the process of history(,) and without them a society or a group of people may be hopelessly wandering outside the truth and civilization. God once said that the world must be light(,) and then Newton was born. Since then, the researcheRs oF natural sciences HAVE made a great leap forward TOWRD a clearer state. If Newton had not ever LIVED, our understanding about nature WOULD be absent until another great man appearED. In the progress of a nation in disorder or ignorance, it is only a few able men who HAVE brought hope and development into people’s well-beings. Take India for example, Gandhi can be regarded as such an individual that determined and guided the very destiny of India. The non-violence resistant theory was carried out through his iron will(,) and WAS immenseLY appealing among his people, which gave rise to the final success of India’s independence against British colonization. Therefore, a powerful leader’s personal feat is sometimes the determinant factor to history.

However, the prosperity of society and the foregoing of civilization should never neglect the considerable contributions of its hundreds of thousands of people who are working hardly and silently(,) WHEN comparED to the leadership and publications of those famous few. They constantly serve as the stable foundation upon which the mansion of brilliance and spectacle can be built up. For example, the Great Wall of CHINA has been IS one of the greatest wonders of the world. When people all over the world are marveling at the wisdom and power of the ancient Chinese leader who conducted the outstanding project, it is time for us to calm down and think twice ABOUT who actually deserveS the reward. Without the blood and toil of those soldiers and constructION workers, how COULD the blocks and stones be STILL so strongly standing along the waving mountains across the wide range of north China? Thus, the identities of people should be remembered as a whole(,) and THEY TOO SHOULD be offered a corresponding place in history.

In addition, more often than not, an event or a trend is merging and thriving according to its external environment. That is to say, the history usually chooses ITS heroes accidentally but responsibly, withIN the features of that time. A trend is probably brought out by a few people(,) but in fact it is following its own ruleS and tendencIES. For instance, the Enlightenment of French in THE eighteenth century WAS such a far-reaching trend that IT influenced the generations to come. We can name those famous writers, thinkers, and reformers who exerted considerable power on those issues concerning the significant meaning of rationALE and knowledge. In fact, their efforts and contributions can be attributed to the very demands of their times.

In sum, the famous few have INDEED written many crucial pages of history(,) but at the same time, the mass public is the basic force to propel the development of society. What is more, we have a reason to assume that it is our time to choose the heroes(,) but not the heroes themselves to choose the events and trends.
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That was very good work Vicky. Most informative.

Kitos. 8.5/10

Vicky,
You’re doing a great job here. Your thesis statement is very clear (although it misses a part of the main point - I’ll explain). The first two sections of your essay are also very clear and make good, informative points. Kitos has also done a good job here of editing your essay.
So - what could be improved?

  1. Your thesis statement.
    It includes the first two points, but not the third one. Basically, when I was reading your essay, the third section about the demands of the times and their heroes came as a surprise to me. So, what to do?
    Simply add a sentence to your thesis statement:

History has witnessed significant events and trends, all of which are presented by the great efforts and far-reaching influences of those memorable heroes and heroines. However, we should bear in mind that real achievement can hardly be attained by a single person, and thus the power of the mass public should by no means be undermined or forgotten. Moreover, some heroes leave their indelible marks by responding most effectively and with innovation to the demands of their times.

This way, your reader now knows exactly how your essay is constructed and is well prepared to accept the proof (support).

Here is a blog post on How to Write a Thesis Statement:

tutorphilblog.com/?p=31

  1. Your choice of words.
    Try to write in a little more simple language. It is better to say something simply than to sound overly sophisticated. Although, I understand that it’s for a GRE exam. Still, don’t sacrifice clarity for the choice of fancy words.

Hope this helps,

Tutor Phil
www.TutorPhilBlog.com