"Wisdom is rightfully attributed not to people who know what to look for in life but to people who know what to overlook."

  I disagree with the opinion expressed above, in that I feel that the statement is omitting a very big part of what learning is all about. I firmly believe that wisdom is gained by careful observation of all that is around us in our lives. We gain a great deal by watching those around us, or by observing our surroundings, as well as watching the assembly of an object. All my life, I have learned a great deal by being very observant of people and their reactions to certain situations, or to procedures that are to be followed. Being observant has helped tremendously in travelling as well, since it has helped me recall certain landmarks to know if I am going in the correct direction. It is true that if we pay too much attention to insignificant detail, we clutter our minds with too much that is unnecesssary. Instead, we should have more time to devote our attention to that which is meaningful. In the field of science, we teach our students to be observant, and to look for specific reactions. If they don't learn to watch closely and record their data precisely, their results will be less than adequate, and their data will most likely not be very accurate or dependable. The statement above has merit, but it does not represent widsom in its entirety. It doesn't do justice to the great amount of learning that thas taken place through the ages through simple observation. Our forefathers survived by learning and knowing what to look for. That information was then passed on, so each successive generation didn't have to gather the same basic knowledge, but could build on what had already been learned. As a society, we need to lean on those who come before us, to learn valuable lessons from their experience, and to decipher that which we can improve on and that which is steadfast through the ages.


  This response presents a competent analysis of the issue, taking a position contrary to that expressed in the prompt, at least initially.

  After stating the importance of "careful observation of all that is around us," the response presents reasons and examples to support that position. The examples are clear and relevant, although the analysis is fairly brief. Also, the organization and focus of the response weakens a little, especially as the writer interrupts the group of examples with a statement that "if we pay too much attention to insignificant detail, we will clutter our minds with too much that is unnecessary." This statement modifies -- and weakens -- the initial position, which the writer believed "firmly."

  The writer抯 ideas are conveyed with reasonable clarity, but -- as is evident in the closing sentence -- this response lacks the skillful use of sentence structure and vocabulary that communicate meaning in responses that typically earn higher scores.