Example Essay 2

An Extraordinary Musician

       What makes one musician amazing while another is simply average? Some musicians seem to have special qualities that make their music exceptional. These qualities go beyond knowing how to play an instrument. Certainly any musician needs to have training of some kind to play an instrument with skill. However, an excellent musician is not simply a musician with more knowledge than others. An extraordinary musician is dedicated and proactive.

       An extraordinary musician is dedicated to practice. When a musician is dedicated to practice, he practices consistently, even when practice may be boring. This dedication makes him exceptional because he fine-tunes his skills and perfects his techniques through consistent practice. An example of a specialized skill that can be perfected through consistent practice is playing mordents on a piano. A lot of musicians can avoid playing them or replace them with easier notes. A dedicated musician will practice mordents until he can play them consistently. Being dedicated is a necessary characteristic of being excellent as a musician.

       Another quality of an extraordinary musician is being proactive. A proactive musician will ask other musicians for feedback or advice without waiting for someone to approach her. This will make her an excellent musician because she will improve more than she would if she were on her own. She will know what to work on if she gets advice and help on her technique, her form, her speed, or her posture. Some of these things, especially posture, would be hard to improve without seeking feedback from someone. By seeking feedback, a proactive person will be an exceptional musician.

       Proactivity and dedication are qualities of an extraordinary musician. These qualities set an excellent musician apart from average musicians because an excellent musician uses these qualities to refine his skills. Almost any musician will know how to play his instrument, but knowledge alone isn’t enough. With dedication and proactivity, a musician can reach the highest levels of skill in performance. When these musicians play, the audience can see their skill and be moved by the performance.


Exercise 1: Analyze an essay.

Read one of the two Process Example Essays on the following pages to complete this exercise.

  1. Label the introduction paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph.
  2. Circle the hook.
  3. What is the general topic of the essay?
  4. Underline the thesis.
  5. Underline each of the topic sentences.
  6. Do each of the topic sentences support the thesis?
  7. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?

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