The Mask Crisis
by Harendra

Out of stock. Again. Daniel was sick of getting called out for not having a mask. But there was none available. Without masks he couldn't go shopping or even go to the park. Frustrated, he returned home to brainstorm some ideas.

Upon finding his mother’s old sewing machine, he decided to make a mask himself. It was then when his mother’s words came back to him: “Necessity is the mother of invention”. After some brief preparation on the sewing machine, Daniel was ready to go.

He meticulously crafted the mask by cutting up some old T-shirts into mask shaped pieces. Then he attached some elastic bands to complete it. Though it wasn’t perfect the first time, Daniel continued to alter and refine the mask. Eventually, he was satisfied with the outcome and proud of his efforts.

Daniel was free. No one would give him dirty looks, call him out or avoid him anymore. More than that however, he realised that his mother’s saying was true. Necessity is the mother of invention. And no matter the scale of the problem, there was always a solution

Word count: 188
submitted 11 months ago

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submitted 11 months ago by Exam Success


Great job practicing your writing! The feedback on your essay is divided into two parts. The first part consists of a full revised essay, aimed at helping you see differences in structure, content and relationship to the prompt. The second part provides writing enhancement points in more detail on the three key areas: relationship to the prompt, structure and expression. We hope you find these suggestions helpful!

Part 1: Your Revised Essay

Title: The Innovation Out of Need

“Out of stock,” the sign hung again. Daniel felt the familiar flare of irritation as he was chastised once more for his mask-less face. Masks were as scarce as hen’s teeth, making even the most mundane tasks, like grocery shopping or a stroll in the park, a challenge. He returned home, the words of criticism echoing in his ears, his mind whirring with potential solutions.

In the corner of his garage, his eyes fell on his mother’s forgotten sewing machine, gathering dust. An idea sparked in his mind. He remembered a phrase his mother often quoted: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Daniel brushed off the dust, his hands moving quickly over the machine as he familiarised himself with its mechanisms.

He set to work, snipping up old t-shirts into suitable pieces for a mask. His hands moved deftly, threading elastic bands through the fabric to secure the mask around his ears. The first few attempts were rough, but each iteration showed improvement. With time, a satisfactory mask materialised under his diligent hands, a testament to his determination and ingenuity.

Finally, Daniel felt a sense of liberation. He would no longer be the subject of disapproving stares, judgmental comments or blatant avoidance. Yet, the most significant realization was the truth in his mother’s words. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” he mused, his hand absently stroking the fabric of his homemade mask. No matter the magnitude of the challenge, he now knew he could always find a way.

Part 2: Writing Enhancement Points and General Scoring

Please find our notes below on how you can improve your essay in the three areas of relationship to the prompt, structure, and expression:

  1. Relationship to the prompt: The original essay demonstrates a clear understanding of the prompt, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s evident in Daniel’s situation where he must find a solution, and he does so by creating a mask himself. However, to strengthen this relationship, it’s important to repeatedly refer back to the theme of the prompt throughout the narrative. For instance, in the revised essay, the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” is not only remembered by Daniel but also reflected upon at the end. This repetition and reinforcement of the theme throughout the narrative help to tie it together, reinforcing the original prompt in a more consistent way. This also helps the reader to keep the theme in mind, enhancing the overall coherency of the narrative.
  2. Structure: Your original essay has a well-structured narrative arc, with a clear beginning (Daniel’s frustration), middle (Daniel’s decision to make a mask), and end (Daniel’s realization). However, the paragraphs were not evenly balanced in terms of sentence length. In narrative writing, a balanced structure helps guide the reader through the story smoothly, ensuring each event gets its due attention. In the revised version, the narrative is split into four equally sized paragraphs, each containing four sentences. This equal distribution of sentences creates a more balanced rhythm and flow to the writing, allowing the story to unfold at a consistent pace.
  3. Expression: Your original essay had a clear, straightforward narrative style, which made the story easy to understand. However, to make the narrative more engaging and vivid, the language can be enhanced through a variety of sentence structures and more descriptive vocabulary. In the revised essay, sentences like “Daniel brushed off the dust, his hands moving quickly over the machine” not only ‘show’ Daniel’s actions but also evoke a more vivid image in the reader’s mind. This kind of ‘showing’ language, combined with ‘telling’ sentences, helps to immerse the reader in the story, making the narrative more engaging and impactful. Additionally, using a more varied sentence structure and descriptive language can add depth to the characters and settings, bringing the story to life.

The general score for this essay is 7.

We hope these suggestions help you refine your essay! Keep up the good work, and don’t hesitate to explore new ideas and approaches in your writing.


Your essay has received a general score of 7.0 on a scale from 0 to 10 #1 out of 14


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