Play the Essay Critiquing Game (Again)!

In my last post, I offered you the chance to play the Essay Critiquing Game. Did you nail it? Did you miss some errors? Here’s a second bite at the Essay Critiquing Cherry!

Sarah writes a much more passionate essay about keeping a snake as a pet. After beginning with a creative title, she resists the urge to simply list the many attributes of a snake. Instead, she shares a slice of herself by telling a personal story. However, Sarah’s essay is overrun with mechanical errors. Try proofreading the essay to see if you can detect them all:

My beloved Bailey: better than a dog

(1) When I was six years old my family had a picnic down by the pond and a snake slithered out of the grass right next to our blanket. (2) My mother screamed, but for me it was love at first site. (3) The reptile was so beautiful. (4) Because its scales were iridescent. (5) After that experience, it became my goal to own a majestic and uneek snake as a pet. (6) I finally convinced my parents to buy me a Boa Constrictor for my 10th birthday. (7) My dad understood how a snake would work out well in our apartment because they are quiet they are low-maintenance, too. (8) Mom was skeptical at first; but I won her over by reminding her that a snake doesn’t shed on the furniture like a dog would. (9) I named my boa “Bailey,” and she’s been my loyal friend for the past eight years. (10) I haven’t never had another pet as interesting, clean, or easy to take care of as Bailey the boa!


  1.  All the title words (except “a”) should be capitalized.
  2.  Sentence #1 would benefit from a couple of commas.
  3.  In sentence #2, “site” is used in place of its homophone “sight.”
  4.  Sentence #4 is a fragment.
  5.  In sentence #5, the word “unique,” is spelled incorrectly.
  6.  In sentence #6, boa constrictor should not be capitalized.
  7.  Sentence #7 is a run-on.
  8.  Sentence #8 should have a comma in place of the semi-colon.
  9.  Sentence #10 is a grammatical nightmare.

So that’s two sample essays with some serious shortfalls. Check back soon for two samples of winning essays to see how it should be done.

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