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  1. #1
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    Smile Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.
    Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people to do this.

    One of the most frequently confronted situations of students who complete their high school studies is whether they should further their studies as soon as they can or postpone the plan for one year as a worker or traveler. To those who go to college without an interval, the efficient time may be fully used, while to those who choose to enrich their experience, the knowledge would contribute to their following study somehow.

    If one decided not to go to university directly, numerous benefits could be brought during the one-year period. To start with, the broadened horizon and the people they have met may give them valuable stories in their lives. Besides, it is generally accepted that not only leisure, but also amusement and enjoyment can be acquired by the tourists within the whole year. Likewise, what the workers can get is wealth as well as the joys of working.

    On the other hand, the drawbacks of this choice are evident too. First and foremost, it is possible that they have dropped most theories they learned at school. It may consume some time for them to pick up the knowledge they familiar with before, let alone deep study. Additionally, they lose the chance to graduate from college at earlier age as some peers may have grasped the knowledge when they are wandering around. Last but not least, a vast number of the students may never step into college as they once planned because of the satisfactory of the current situation.

    Undeniably, there may be pros and cons in both decisions. Nevertheless, as the situation is varying from person to person, it is crucial for one to make the final choice. Only be further planning the way in which we manage ourselves can we make sure that we possess a better future.

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    This is an excellent piece of work. It shows effort and intelligence. It is well-constructed and well-planned, with tightly-organized paragraphs that stick to the point. The points raised in the essay are good and the tone is balanced and judicious.

    The biggest fault in writing style is the overuse of the passive voice and the convoluted sentences that result.

    The attention given to transitions is outstanding.

    The subject has been canvassed pretty thoroughly. One omission was the failure to mention the option of taking a year off before the junior year

    This essay could have been strengthened by the addition of some data with citations (what percent of teens take a year off? What are the outcomes?) as well as the input of experts.
    CollegiateTimes.com - Students participate in gap year more frequently

    The biggest fault of this essay is the weak ending. The author has apparently concluded that "it's up to you," but is trying to avoid making this specific non-decision. One fix for the weak conclusion could be to suggest the strategy omitted from the essay: That students be encouraged to take a year off before their junior year.

    The student has to avoid using the passive voice.
    -----------------------------

    In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.
    Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people to do this.



    One of the most frequently confronted situations of students who complete their high school studies is whether they should further their studies as soon as they can or postpone the plan for one year as a worker or traveler.
    > "dilemmas" or "decisions" is better than "situations"
    > I don't think it is "frequent," but perhaps it is "perplexing"
    One of the most perplexing decisions students confront can be the choice between continuing their educations without a gap, or postponing college for a year in order to work or travel.

    To those who go to college without an interval, the efficient time may be fully used, while to those who choose to enrich their experience, the knowledge would contribute to their following study somehow.

    > I didn't get too much out of this.
    > It sounds like empty generalizations anyway, so I think it can be deleted without a loss

    If one decided not to go to university directly, numerous benefits could be brought during the one-year period.
    > Avoid this passive voice
    > The sentence is too complicated. Work to say what you mean simply and directly
    There are benefits to postponing college.

    To start with, the broadened horizon and the people they have met may give them valuable stories in their lives.
    > This is not the best transition, it seems to me.
    > "stories" cannot possibly be the right word
    For one thing, students will broaden their horizons and meet a wider range of people by work or travel than they would in a classroom.

    Besides, it is generally accepted that not only leisure, but also amusement and enjoyment can be acquired by the tourists within the whole year.
    > Kill this passive voice
    Besides, leisure and recreation may be just the thing for students who need some time away from school. According to neuropsychologist Dr. Brad Cranshaw, taking time off from the pressures of academia is the most common reason for teens to delay starting college. He points out, "Blah blah blah http://www.teenagerstoday.com/articles/college-information/postponing-college-a-year-4817/"

    Likewise, what the workers can get is wealth as well as the joys of working.
    > Likewise is the wrong transition
    In addition, students can benefit from the work experience. Besides bringing in a significant amount of money, work in their prospective fields can focus their career goals by giving them practical experience.


    On the other hand, the drawbacks of this choice are evident too.
    > Excellent transition

    First and foremost, it is possible that they have dropped most theories they learned at school. It may consume some time for them to pick up the knowledge they familiar with before, let alone deep study.
    > First and foremost is not a good transition. For one thing, it is hardly "foremost."
    One such drawback is retention erosion. According to an article published in the New England Journal of Education, students forget about a month's worth of information even over the summer vacation. http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-5/summer.htm

    Additionally, they lose the chance to graduate from college at earlier age as some peers may have grasped the knowledge when they are wandering around.
    > Not "grasped the knowledge"
    > "putting in your hours" is not the same as "grasping knowledge"
    Time spent in remediation for forgotten facts and skills will amplify the setback in their graduation dates.

    Last but not least, a vast number of the students may never step into college as they once planned because of the satisfactory of the current situation
    > Not "last but not least
    > Surely not "vast" numbers
    The biggest problem may be that some students will never end up in college at all because of their satisfaction with their "temporary" jobs.

    Undeniably, there may be pros and cons in both decisions. Nevertheless, as the situation is varying from person to person, it is crucial for one to make the final choice. Only be further planning the way in which we manage ourselves can we make sure that we possess a better future.
    DEAR STUDENT:
    > Instead of this weak ending, I think you should write a short paragraph suggesting a year off before the junior year as a compromise which is
    - likely to entail the benefits of a year off
    - while mitigating the drawbacks

  3. #3
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    Re: Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    I am so grateful for all your help!! It is useful and I began to understand how to clarify what I mean...
    There is a question I would like to ask:
    If I can't remember the example I am trying to use(eg. the exact date or statistics), can I still use it somehow when I really need it to prove my point?

  4. #4
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    Quote Originally Posted by clampever View Post
    I am so grateful for all your help!! It is useful and I began to understand how to clarify what I mean...
    There is a question I would like to ask:
    If I can't remember the example I am trying to use(eg. the exact date or statistics), can I still use it somehow when I really need it to prove my point?
    No, don't do that.

    In 15 minutes, you can google every statistic on earth.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    What I mean is when I am taking the real writing exam...you know, that is impossible for you to check any information during the text time...
    If I remember, it seems to be less than 20%, can I just write "20%" anyway? Is it dangerous to do so ?
    Thank you a lot

  6. #6
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    Quote Originally Posted by clampever View Post
    What I mean is when I am taking the real writing exam...you know, that is impossible for you to check any information during the text time...
    If I remember, it seems to be less than 20%, can I just write "20%" anyway? Is it dangerous to do so ?
    Thank you a lot

    It's possible to quote data even though you have no way of finding a citation, but it's tricky and you have to finesse the problem.

    It's probably better to avoid exact numbers, but if you really want to, it is possible.
    Specifically, if I really wanted to say an exact percent, I would write:

    "I just read a study a few days ago where a researcher at MIT found that nearly 20% of the students who postpone going to college have not done so by the time they are thirty."

    > This isn't "dangerous" if you pull it off
    > Don't write "by coincidence I read" or "it just so happen that I read"
    > Don't write "if I remember correctly" or any similar phrases
    > Don't write "I seem to remember" or "It seems to me that"
    > Don't write "approximately" 20% or 'around 20%" or "20% as near as I can remember."
    > You can write
    - nearly 20%
    - more than/less than 20%
    - as many as / as few as 20%
    - upwards of 20%
    - almost 20%
    > The idea is to call as little attention to the strangeness of the coincidence as possible, and as little attention as possible to the fact that you are relying on memory.
    > Once you give as your "citation" something you "read a few days ago," just treat everything that follows the same way you would treat statements following a real citation.

    > You don't have to do even this much if the statistic can be considered a part of common knowledge:
    "Considering that the divorce rate in the United States is now upwards of 50%, the greatest difficulty faced by marketing specialists is how to sell to this group without alienating the "still-marrieds."

    > You would not be expected to remember the researcher's name, but you might recall the agency (WHO, UN, MIT, etc), especially if it were a famous one
    > But this lucky miracle can happen only once per paper, so choose wisely
    > It is highly unlikely that anyone will try to track down this citation
    > But even if they do, you never made a claim to a perfect memory
    > What you write is what you remember at the time, and it is not serious if it turns out that you were just mistaken

    The purpose of the essay is to demonstrate your writing skills. The essay is not meant to have "agency' in the world -- to use one's business position to cause his company to make a purchase or choose a supplier. Making up statistics in a case like that would be serious, and have grave consequences in the real world. But these essays are not intended to do anything except show your writing ability.

    You can read my answer to a similar question in this forum here
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ed...ll-family.html
    Last edited by Ann1977; 16-Oct-2009 at 13:06.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can you help me correct this essay?I would be grateful

    Thank you for your time, your help and everything...
    It is so useful...

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