Question: Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?
The plurality of etmologies in today's academia has birthed extreme moral relativism, which is a violation of the fundamental ethics of western society. The rise of postmodernism and post-structuralist thought in the 1980s, particularly among french intellectuals such as Foucault and Derrida, has perverted the greater purpose of academic pursuit, which is to better society through reasoned analysis and education. Thus, knowledge is only powerful and useful to an extent.
An analysis of historiographical schools chronicles the evolution of knowledge and differing/evolving approaches to intellectualism. For example, early objectivist historian Leopold von Ranke insisted on 'colourless' empiricism and 'rationality' as integral to historiographical methodology. However, we have since seen the evolution of approaches to history, formulated to reflect society's values and shifts in paradigms.
For example, Karl Marx's theorising of historical economic determinism both accommodated and stimulated great societal change, decentralising traditional economic separations within society. In this case, proletarian knowledge was seen not as a burden but as a liberating force, enlightening the lower classes to Rousseau's assertion that 'everywhere, man is in chains.'
The evolution of etymologies and ideologies concerning history and the world continued with the dawn of feminism in the 20th Century. Key female historians such as Joan Wallach Scott and Anne Summers rose to prominence to vindicate the rights of woman, as their predecessor Mary Wollstonecraft would have encouraged them to do. Through their acknowledgement of women and promotion of their position in society, they empowered women, in doing so giving them knowledge of their rights (those contemporaneous and those to be gained in the future.)
However, though Marxism and feminism are examples of knowledge being accompanied by empowerment, postmodernism and post-structuralism have made new forms of knowledge irrelevant, irrational and detrimental to the progress of humanity. Burdensome speculation on the impossibility of objectivity and the encompassing relativism of all forms of textual/evidentiary deconstruction fails to 'better' or 'liberate' marginalised sectors of society. It merely diminishes the accessibility of academic discourse to the common man, preventing the possibility of change is once did with feminism and Marxism. Thus, knowledge has evolved to the point of being a burden, rather than the benefit it once was.
I agree with pastafarian, too verbose and dry. Can you come up with a personal experience or current affair where knowledge was a burden? - that might add impact. Are there situations where social media creates a knowledge burden? How about Wikileaks? Take the opportunity to use these essays to show who you are. Good luck!
BTW - Based on your profile, Northwestern (stretch school) and NYU (safe school) would be a good fit with your stated interests.
typo "etmologies" should possibly "etymologies". This reads too verbose for my taste.
Great vocabulary, but is that all they are looking for, I'm baffled by the non-sense. Write from the heart, write from your point of view. This sounds like you've taken it from your AP English teacher.
Take a strong stance instead of a wishy-washy one. Good word choice.
Usually the stronger examples are personal anecdotes. I agree with Steen. SAT readers would probably like seeing how personal experiences have led you to believe that knowledge is a burden, instead of relying on just historical support.
Ugh. This is a great essay! Don't worry if its dry. That's not the point. Scorers want to see that you took a strong stand point, used good vocab, and had good examples to back it up. This deserves a 5 or a 6 in my opinion
I always followed the these "guidelines:"
First person point of view
A brief introduction with a clear thesis
1 or 2 PERSONAL examples (steer clear of political, literary, or historical examples)
Elevated, but not pretentious diction
Not addressing my audience (no "you")
A brief conclusion
I got a 12, so I think those guidelines worked!
very good essay, probably a 6. however it looks like you might have taken more than 25 minutes to write it. id practice with time constraints eventually but great essay overall