Thanks for this topic and your two essays. I put them in a new topic because I think it's a good question and I want people to be able to find it using the Popular Tags and "Related Topics" features (see the 'Related Topics' button near the topic title near the top of the page). I hope you don't mind.
Trying to write a shorter version is a really good idea
Your have two versions:
Long version: 306 words, 18 sentences, average 17 words per sentence
Short version: 259 words, 15 sentences, average 17.27 words per sentence
First of all, 309 words is still OK - I would be happy if most writers here kept to that maximum! I think 245 to about 325 is perfect, but as many candidates go over 300, the number of errors increases.
It's a really good exercise to see how you can shorten an essay. You've removed some entire sentences from the long version, and yet most of the ideas and examples are still there. However, you didn't change the sentences or edit them - that's more difficult and time-consuming!
Just wondering - which version did you start with first?!
Instead of looking for errors and suggesting fixes, I'm going to try to take your longer version and rewrite it in about 250-270 words. Here goes: