User-submitted essay: Society and Attitude to Consumption II

 

In regard of a recent discussion about society and attitude to consumption, I would like to leave here some of my personal thoughts.

To start with, nowadays our society own (1) more personal belongings such as a television or a fridge but whether this items (2) are necessary or not is still not clear.

It goes without saying that thanks to some of the electronic devices our life it is easier due (3) to the fact that we have more free time to spend on things that we really love doing. However, there is a tendency on buying (4) unnecessary things just for pleasure and this turns out to be a waste of money and a waste of resources (5).

Another important thing to highlight is the fact that nowadays there is a common belief that the more you have the better you are so as a result we keep buying and keep working such a long hours so that we can earn more money to buy new things (6). This leads to spending less time with our family and friends and as a result a deterioration of our social relationships (7).

To conclude, despite owning items such as a television or a fridge leads to some advantages, the drawbacks of our way of consumption are higher due to that as a result our social relationships are being damaged.

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. To start with, nowadays our society owns — ‘society’ here is in singular.
  2. whether these items — ‘items’ are plural.
  3. our life is easier — ‘it’ shouldn’t be used as ‘life’ is the subject here.
  4. However, there is a tendency of buying/to buy — ‘tendency’ and ‘on’ do not collocate. Make sure you use the correct preposition.
  5. this turns out to be a waste of money and resources — avoid using the same verb twice, leave the unnecessary words out.
  6.  Consider breaking this long sentence into two shorter ones.
  7. This leads to spending less time with our family and friends and as a result a deterioration of our social relationships — you may leave ‘social’ out as it is already obvious from context what kind of relationships you are referring to.

This essay’s structure is decent, however there is one point that could be improved on. Both introductory and conclusion paragraphs are a single sentence. Try to develop your ideas into at least two or three sentences per paragraph. Check basic essay writing guide for more information.

A number of good language constructions are used that makes the essay look favourable in the examiner’s eyes. Sometimes the writer attempts overly complex and lengthy constructs which are at times difficult to understand merely because of their sheer size. I would opt for shorter, accessible sentences.

There is a number of inconsistencies when it comes to single and plural subject-verb relationship (see above).

User-submitted essay: Video Games and Children Nowadays

Most of the children these days are spending their time playing computer games and spend less time playing outdoor sports. Why is this? Is this positive or negative?

In modern times, a majority of kids are indulged in playing computer games for long hours and dedicated less time for playing out-of-door activities (1). This trend is the result of reduced social interaction, and I believe this tendency has a negative impact, in terms of children lacking the behaviour of socialization (2).

The main reason for children being too much involved in video games is not having supporting environment that can help kids to play with other children. This can be attributed to the fast phase of urban life where most of the people are completely involved in a day to day activities and does not have time to spare for interaction with others (3). As a result, almost all families are leading an isolated life. Thus kids growing in these families have rare interaction with their neighbours and this promotes them to spend most of their time in the home (4). All these factors lead to children investing more time in video games which can be played alone and in fact looks very attractive to kids (5).

In my view, the trend of kids getting immersed in computer game leads to adverse ramifications. This is because kids who start playing video games get addicted to it and rarely show interest in other activities. This kind of behaviour and attitude gradually leads to children lacking interest in activities played in open space. In addition, due to limited interaction with the society, kids are even showing a lack of involvement in community functions.

In conclusion, modern society has witnessed a change in the pattern of activities played by kids (6). This is purely a matter of change in the lifestyle of the whole society which has an adverse effect on children in terms of lacking social behaviour.

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. In modern times, a majority of kids are indulged in playing computer games for long hours and dedicate less time for out-of-door activities — ‘out-of-door’ is spelled using dashes; you don’t “play” an activity (this mistake will repeat itself in the last paragraph).
  2. This trend is the result of reduced social interaction, and I believe this tendency has a negative impact, in terms of children lacking social skills — normally, complex constructions seem more favourable from a student’s perspective — an examiner ought to get impressed with the verbal intricacy. However, I’d take a simple and clear ‘social skills’ over a more sophisticated ‘behaviour of socialization’ any day.
  3. This can be attributed to the fast phase of urban life where most of the people are completely involved in a day-to-day activities and do not have time to spare for interaction with others. — ‘Day-to-day’ is an adjective here so it should be hyphenated. The verb ‘to do’ refers to ‘people’ and therefore should be plural.
  4. this encourages them to spend most of their time at home (or inside) — you can’t use ‘promote’ in the sense ‘make do something’. Secondly, if you mean the opposite of ‘out-of-doors’, then stick to two suggested words.
  5. All these factors lead to children investing more time in video games which can be played alone and in fact looks very attractive to kids — consider rephrasing the second part of the sentence after ‘and’ (e.g. All these factors lead children to invest more time in video games, which are fun to play even alone).
  6. In conclusion, modern society has witnessed a change in the pattern of activities chosen/favoured by kids — this inaccuracy was explained in #1.

This text could use a more diverse vocabulary: word ‘activity’ was used 6 times, ‘interaction’ and ‘lack’ – 4 times each, ‘children’ – 8 times. As some words can be problematic to paraphrase, try building your sentences with verbal variety in mind. You might want to try

Another issue is use of Continuous Tense — there are 15 verbs that use this tense in the text. The author has to make sure to use it with a purpose in mind. I didn’t correct any of it assuming (sic!) that the tenses are used intentionally.

User-submitted essay: Difference in Salaries

In many countries, a small number of people earn extremely high salaries. Some people believe that this is good for the country, but others think that governments should not allow salaries above a certain level. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

A few people  are paid enormous incomes in many nations (1). Some people hold the opinion that the salaries level should not be higher than an average (2); however, I believe that it is much better not to do that as the higher these salaries are, the more benefits the countries may have.

To begin with, I believe that this incomes policy should not be applied for some reasons (3). The main reason is that the more earnings one person could get, the more prosperous the country will be (4). This is mainly because there will be a significant rise in the amount of taxes given by people who gain high incomes (5). Consequently, citizens’ life qualities will increase dramatically especially in health and education (6).

However, there are several reasons why some people are in the opinion that there should be an average income applied. Firstly, everyone is treated fairly through this incomes policy. This is mainly because it is considered to be unfair when everyone has to work industriously; however, a small number of people gain striking high earnings, whereas many people do not have enough money to cover their daily needs (7). Secondly, if the government implement this policy the number of poor people will reduce dramatically (8). As a result, the government will no longer have to solve problems related to homeless or miserable people (9).

In conclusion, it is better to keep incomes in a certain level as it is fair for everyone, even though the taxes and the quality of life will increase if the government do not implement this policy (10).

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. A few people have enormous incomes (or paid enormous sums of money) in many nations — First of all you should understand that there is a difference between expressions: ‘a few people’ means ‘some people’ whereas ‘few people’ has the meaning —’not many people’. ‘Incomes’ does not collocate with ‘paid’, see a possible suggestion in the corrected sentence.
  2. Some people hold the opinion that salary levels (or salary’s level) should not be higher than the country’s average — you are either missing an apostrophe or a plural ‘levels’ in the first part. As for the ‘average’, just using this word gives the idea of what you want to say but it is grammatically wrong. You should also avoid using semicolons as substitute for commas — see this article on semicolons for more info.
  3. To begin with, I believe that this incomes policy should not be applied for several reasons (or I believe that there are several reasons not to apply this incomes policy — some sounds a bit too informal for this topic. I would  rephrase the sentence slightly to make it more apt for this formal register.
  4. The main reason is that the more earnings one person could have, the more prosperous the country would be — ‘To have earnings’ or simply ‘to earn’ is more appropriate word/collocation. See note on ‘would’ below.
  5. This is mainly because there would be a significant rise in the amount of taxes paid by people with high incomes. — from here on now you should use ‘would’ and ‘could’ instead of ‘will’ and ‘can’ as you are talking about an unreal, hypothetical situation. I have also changed the second part — ‘to pay taxes’ will get you more points than a more primitive ‘to give taxes’.
  6. Consequently, citizens’ quality of life would increase dramatically, especially in health and education — quality of life is more commonly used than ‘life quality’. If you are unsure which one to use when writing mock essays — google both phrases and see which gets more hits.
  7. This is mainly because it is considered unfair when everyone has to work industriously, but only a small number of people have strikingly-high earnings, whereas many other people do not have enough money to cover their daily needs — ‘but only’ makes the contrast clearer, same with ‘other people’. ‘Have’ collocates with ‘earnings’. Do not use two adjective next to each other, change the first adjective to an adverb (‘strikingly-high‘)
  8. Secondly, if the government (were to) implement this policy the number of poor people would reduce dramatically — another unreal situation here. ‘Were to do something’ is used to suggest a hypothetical scenario.
  9. As a result, the government would no longer have to solve problems related to homeless or miserable people — same as before — a hypothetical situation that does not reflect the current reality.
  10. In conclusion, it is better to keep incomes at a certain level as it is fair for everyone, even though the taxes and the quality of life will increase if the government do not implement this policy — this part is a bit unclear. Try breaking this up into two sentence.

This essay needs two issues to be addressed to be good. First of all the major idea here is a hypothetical scenario. Such sentences need a certain use of modal verbs (see above). Secondly, the conclusion does not present the ideas clearly. I understand what the author implied, but without reading the text it would be next to impossible to get this idea. Try using simpler and shorter sentences to make sure the point gets across to the reader.

User-submitted essay: 21st Century

Many people are optimistic of the 21st century and see it as an opportunity to make positive changes to the world. To what extent do you share their optimism? What changes would you like to see in the new century?

It has been claimed by few individuals that 21st century is an era of opportunities and many people aspire to bring great changes to the world. In my opinion, even I am optimistic about future and like to see some drastic changes in protecting our environment (1).

Being optimistic is the key to happy life and I believe, every individual should always think positively which in turn create positive vibes around the world (2). I am delighted to share the optimistic thoughts of people who are on the verge of bringing changes to the world. Narendra Modi is the prime example who brought some real changes to our nation which was supported by citizens of our country wholeheartedly (3). He achieved something which was quite impossible by his will and optimism which is commendable (4).

There are few areas which need immediate attention from everyone (5). First and foremost, humans have destroyed the environment to an extent which can not be recovered again (6). The only thing what we ought to do at the current situation is to stop deforestation and reduce the emission of carbon-di-oxide (7). In addition, we should also plant some trees to make the earth greener and better environment to leave(8).

In conclusion, an optimistic view can transform the whole world and bring a positive change in it. Some fields which need quick attention is Global warming, which has a devastating effect if not addressed. As a whole, we can bring changes within us to minimize the Global warming to make our world livable (9).

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1.  I would ditch the introductory ‘In my opinion’ since you’re talking about yourself — it’s pretty much self-explanatory. Try going with something more straightforward like:
    > “as for me/myself …” — true and tried, even if it seems a bit simplistic
    > “the way I see it…” — might need to rephrase the sentence if you opt for this one
    > “I for one think/believe/hold it that” — go for this construction if you believe your opinion is different from that of majority. The choice of a rebel.
  2. Being optimistic is the key to a happy life and I believe, every individual should always think positively which in turn creates positive vibes around the world — ‘happy life’ takes an indefinite article here — a happy life of some person; ‘to create’ refers to ‘which’ and should be used in singular.
  3. Narendra Modi is the prime example who brought some real changes to our nation which were supported by citizens of our country wholeheartedly — I assumed that ‘which’ refers to ‘changes’ and swapped ‘was’ for ‘were’
  4. He achieved something that was quite impossible by his will and optimism which is commendable — this is a so-called restrictive clause that needs ‘that’ instead of ‘which’. Restrictive clauses give essential information that can’t be taken out of the sentence. This sentence also has a non-restrictive clause — ‘which is commendable‘. It is an addition to the main idea and can be taken out of context without ruining the sentence.
  5. There are few areas that need immediate attention from everyone — another restrictive clause.
  6. First and foremost, humans have harmed/damaged the environment to an extent which can not be recovered again — ‘destroy the environment’ is usually used in Continuous Tense to show that something affects the environment badly, e.g. ‘Coal power plants are destroying the environment at an alarming rate’. The words I suggested are more commonly used to describe the extent of damage humanity causes.
  7. The first (?) thing that we ought to do at the current situation is to stop deforestation and reduce the emission of carbon-dioxide — ‘the only thing’ implies that there should be no other relief efforts to undo the damage. Alternatively change ‘ought to’ to ‘could’: ‘The only thing that we could do…’. Carbon-dioxide spelling.
  8. In addition, we should also plant some trees to make Earth greener and better environment to live in — ‘Some’ implies a small amount or number. Unless you did it intentionally, I would use a more appropriate adjective here. Earth is a proper noun and should be capitalised. Using ‘the earth’ would mean the actual dirt under your feet — in that case it shouldn’t be capitalised and it takes a definite article. ‘Leave’ changed to ‘live in’ : ‘to live in a more friendly environment’).
  9. ‘Global warming’ shouldn’t be capitalised — it is not a proper noun.

Another solid essay, balanced essay. The structure is well-defined and easy to follow. The idea however might seem a bit vague: to undo the damage we have to maintain positive outlook of the situation and plant some trees. This isn’t a crucial point in deciding your score, but it could become of use later on — try to make the idea of your essay more pronounced.

User-submitted essay: Extreme Sports

Extreme sports such as sky diving and skiing are very dangerous and should be banned. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?

Some people hold the opinion that the government should prohibit extreme sports. I completely disagree with this view as these sport will not include risk or danger to the players’ safety if they are played in the right way (1).

To begin with, every sport has specific safety rules and regulations in order to ensure that serious accidents could not take place. As a result, I believe that if the players comply these rules properly (2), there will be no danger and there is no reason for the government to ban extreme sports. Furthermore, accidents could happen if the equipment provided for the players are not in high quality and it is true that the more extreme the sports are, the more fatal the accidents could be (3). However, this would not be an important problem if the players choose carefully and purchase the highest standard sports equipment (4).

Another reason why the government should continue allowing extreme sports is that they are considered to be extremely good for the players’ mental as well as physic health (5). This is mainly because playing these sports will definitely help the players to get rid of all the tension from daily life (6). Moreover, the players can maintain a healthy body and increase resistance to serious illnesses such as heart attack or high blood pressure. In addition, the players’ courage is also increased as these sports are all extreme sports, which contain a high level of danger(7)

In conclusion, there are a lot of reasons why extreme sports should continue to be allowed such as helping the players be healthier and these sports have safety rules and the players will not be dangerous if they fulfill these rules strictly (8)

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. Some people hold the opinion that the government should prohibit extreme sports. I completely disagree with this view as these sports (or kinds of sports) will not pose/involve risk or danger to the players’ safety if they are played in the right way — Plural should be used in the first case as you mean at least two different kinds suggested by task. Second correction suggests proper collocation of verb+risk.
  2. As a result, I believe that if the players comply (with)these rules (or follow this rules) properly — ‘comply’ is an intransitive verb and therefore needs a preposition. Alternatively you can use a transitive verb ‘to follow’.
  3. Furthermore, accidents could happen if the equipment provided for the players is not of high quality and it is true that the more extreme the sports are, the more fatal the accidents could be — ‘equipment’ is singular; you can use ‘in’ preposition when talking about condition (e.g. my shoes are in poor condition). The second part (about the accidents) has completely different idea and would be better used to sum up the paragraph as a stand-alone sentence.
  4. However, this would not be a big/serious/major problem if the players chose (or would choose) and bought (or buy — used with would here) sports equipment of the highest standard. — make sure to use the adjective that collocates with ‘problem’. In the second part try to maintain consistency of tense.
  5. extremely good for the players’ mental as well as physical health — ‘physical’ is the adjective when you want to refer to the aspect of body rather than mind.
  6. This is mainly because (taking part in) these sports will definitely help the players to get rid of all the tension from their/the daily life — the first part should use ‘taking parts in these sports’. You don’t ‘play’ skiing or sky diving.
  7. Moreover, the players can maintain a healthy body and increase resistance to serious illnesses such as heart attack or high blood pressure. In addition, the players’ courage is also increased as extreme sports involve high level of danger. — avoid using the same verb (‘increase’) twice in such close proximity. See this list of synonyms for most common words to avoid such mistakes in the future. Remake the sentence). I have rephrased the second part to be shorter and easier to understand, at the same time avoiding using ‘sports’ twice in the same sentence.
  8. Last sentence is awfully long and should be transformed into two or even three smaller one. A general advice is to avoid using single-sentence introduction and conclusion — they end up being either too short or too difficult to write and understand.

As most essays, this would be improved by better collocations and appropriate use of prepositions. When preparing for your written exam, don’t be shy to consult your dictionary whenever you are in doubt — a good one will have examples of prepositions that a certain word takes.

User-submitted essay: Writing Letters

With the increase in the use of mobile phones and computers, fewer people are writing letters. Some people think that the traditional skill of writing letters will disappear completely. To what extent do you agree or disagree? How important do you think is letter-writing?

The habit of writing letter (1) is declining due to the extreme use of computers and mobile phones. It has been claimed by some individuals that the tradition of writing a letter will vanish completely. I completely agree with the view of writing letter might disappear in the near future (2). In my perspective, the main aim of the letter is to deliver the message from one person to another, if this can be achieved very well from other sources, I do not see the necessity of hand written letters (3).

It is true that the invention of cell phones and laptops have provided a great deal of flexibility for humans (4). In addition, the innovations in the area of communication have dramatically improved which is helping individuals to speak without any barriers(5). In this hi-tech world writing letter may take its own time to get delivered to the intended recipient, whereas talking over phone or mailing will get accomplished in a fraction of a second (6). An instance illustrating this is in action is the applications such as Facebook and Whatsapp which has been extensively used by plethora of people around the world (7).

The habit of writing letter is losing its importance due to the extensive growth in technology (8). The main idea of writing a letter is to convey a message from one person to another, which can also be achieved using messages or dialling the other person. When we can fulfill our task in a much easier and faster way via advanced technologies I do not see the need for the existence of writing letters (9).

In conclusion, the possibility of letter writing tradition may end soon (10). Though, it is not going to affect the community much, since there are better and faster means of delivering the messages.

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. The habit of writing letters (or habit of letter writing) is declining due to the extreme use of computers and mobile phones. — both variants are acceptable here, the original has to be pluralised to be grammatically correct.
  2. I completely agree with the view (that the practice) of writing letters (or letter writing) might disappear in the near future — same as in the first case, ‘writing letters’ has to be in plural.
  3. From my perspective, the main aim of a letter is to deliver the message from one person to another, (and) if this can be achieved very well by other means, I do not see the necessity of hand-written letters — ‘From my perspective’ is the expression you need to use here. ‘A letter’ should take an indefinite article as you don’t mean any particular letter. ‘From other sources’ is a bit confusing, you would be better off with ‘by other means’.
  4. It is true that the invention of cell phones and laptops has provided a great deal of flexibility for humans/The inventions like cell phones and laptops have provided — ‘invention’ is in singular and ‘to have’ refers to it.
  5. In addition, the innovations in the area of communication have dramatically improved which is helping individuals to speak without any barriers. — it is unclear what is meant by ‘innovations have improved’.
  6. In this hi-tech world a conventional letter takes time to be delivered to the intended recipient, whereas talking over phone or e-mailing will get accomplished in a fraction of a second — I have changed the first part of he sentence to use a form different from ‘writing letter’.You also have to specify that you mean e-mail and not the more traditional mailing service which deals with written letters that you mention in the first part of the sentence.
  7. (Two striking examples are) applications such as Facebook and Whatsapp which have been extensively used by plethora of people around the world — I have altered the beginning of the sentence to make it easier to read. Check this article on concise writing that covers the basics of making your essay easy to read. Avoid using unnecessary words.
  8. (Handwritten letter) is losing its importance due to the extensive growth in technology — ‘the habit of writing letter’ is the exact phrase you used in your introduction. Overusing the same expression lowers your final score. You should show the examiner that your vocabulary is rich and varied.
  9. When we can fulfill our task in a much easier and faster way via advanced technologies I do not see the need for writing letters — in this case you can trim the second part down to convey the same meaning and make it more grammar friendly.
  10. In conclusion, (there is) a possibility that letter writing tradition may end soon — an auxiliary verb is omitted.

There are two major issues with this essay. The author keeps using the same expression that they took from the task (‘writing letters’). This can seriously harm the final score. The second problem is using wrong articles/prepositions/vocabulary. Make sure you know the basics of articles in English. A better use of commas could also improve the readability and therefore the final score of this essay.

User-submitted essay: Culture Against Technology

It is inevitable that traditional cultures will be lost as technology develops. Technology and traditional cultures are incompatible. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?

Some people hold the opinion that as technology advances, cultural traditions die out undoubtedly (1). I partly agree with this view as that technological development and cultures are not compatible in large cities but it will be different when it comes to the suburban (2).

To begin with, it can be seen that the urban areas have been changed a lot as a result of the dramatic development of technology. For example, in the past ways for people to get rid of tension were usually spend time with their families or friends (3); however, in these modern days (4), people tend to use the Internet as a means of relaxation and recreation. As a result, all the relationships in the society will gradually be destroyed. Moreover, it is clearly that people knew clearly about their neighbourhood and always got along with their neighbours, which is unlike people these days who do not know their closest neighbours (5).

However, traditional cultures and the advances in technology are compatible in the rural areas as many customs and beliefs are still maintained. A clear example is that many traditional skills such as embroidering or pottery are still passed on from parents to children. Furthermore, advances in technology also make a great contribution to the development of the traditions in the countryside. Technology makes it far easier for the farmers when the harvest season comes, this development also helps people living in the suburban have more opportunities to access to the latest information by using the Internet (6).

In conclusion, in some cases it is true that the loss of customs and beliefs is brought about by technological developments; however, in some areas, many traditions are still preserved despite the significant advance in technology.

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. Some people hold the opinion that as technology advances, cultural traditions inevitably die out.inevitably would sound more natural here. Adverbs of certainty (‘inevitably‘) are normally used before the verb.
  2. I partly agree with this view in that technological development and cultures are not compatible in large cities but it will be different when it comes to the suburban — use ‘in’ instead of ‘as’ to indicate that you agree with a certain part of a statement.
  3. For example, in the past the ways for people to get rid of tension were usually to spend time (or spending time) with their families or friends — first of all, without the definite article past can be mistakenly attributed to ways. The second part needs either an infinitive (to spend time) or gerund (spending time).
  4. however, these days (or in modern days/nowadays) — the suggested examples are more commonly used when referring to the present.
  5. Moreover, it is clear that people knew their neighbourhood (better) and always got along with their neighbours, unlike people these days who do not know their closest neighbours (or who do not know people they live next to) — avoid using the same expression in the same sentence, let alone the same line. I have rephrased the first part of the sentence to avoid using clear (and its forms) twice. I have also included the ending of the sentence in brackets that avoids using word neighbours twice.
  6. Technology makes it far easier for the farmers when the harvest season comes, this development also helps people living in suburban areas have more opportunities to access the latest information by using the Internet.— Suburban areas is the phrase you should be using here. Avoid using the word ‘suburbs’ which means ‘away from the city centre’ but doesn’t imply that the area is out of town.  Access is a transitive verb so you don’t need a preposition.

The essay fully addresses the point of the task. It has a clear structure, varied vocabulary and appropriate style. It could use better use of collocations and prepositions. You should also pay attention not to use the same word twice. This is easy to avoid by proofreading your essay after you have finished your draft. Don’t be shy to make any corrections in it — as long as the correction is readable your mark won’t suffer from it.

User-submitted essay: Driving Age

Most countries allow 18-year old to start driving a car. Some say that it is good to allow start driving at the age of 18. Others feel that the age to start driving should be 25. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

The debate of minimum age limit for driving is on-going from ages , wherein people have contradictory views (1). It has been argued by some people that the minimum age to learn driving should be 18 years, whilst others disagree and feel it should be 25 years. In my opinion, the lower limit to start driving should be 25 years.

To begin with, there are plenty of reasons to illustrate increasing age limit for driving is utmost essential (2). First and foremost, accidents are inevitable while driving, which can be handled at its best from experienced elders. Juvenility is the age wherein people cannot make judgemental decisions during any accidents and end up losing their precious life. A prime example is a survey conducted by Indian government using data collected over 10 years with respect to accidents encountered in the country. The result of the survey was astonishing, as the people who lost their life during accidents involve 70% of juveniles under 20 years.

On the other hand, it is always good to give opportunity for the younger generation who are keen on learning things. Even though age is a deciding factor, there are some juveniles who are capable of taking right decisions and drive carefully. If the government make 25 years as the lower limit for driving, some juveniles may feel depressed who are eager to learn driving (3). An instance illustrating this in action is the life of “George Mellor” who invented Mercedez at the age of 29 years (4). He had a great passion for a car right from the age of 10, which was nurtured by his parents, who allowed George to learn driving from very young age.

Driving is popular among people which is a mandatory skill to lead a balanced and happier life. In my view, though lower limit to kick start driving can be 18 years, I am convinced that, it is always better to make it 25 years and give extreme importance to our offspring’s life who are assets of our nation.

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

  1. wherein people have contradicting views — ‘contradictory views’ would imply that a person has two views that contradict each other e.g. ‘Young people shouldn’t be driving because they have poor judgement’ and ‘Young people should be allowed to drive to give them more personal freedom’.
  2. To begin with, there are plenty of reasons to illustrate (that) increasing age limit for driving is most essential — ‘utmost’ is not an adverb and therefore shouldn’t be used with an adjective.
  3. If the government make 25 years the lower limit for driving, some juveniles who are eager to learn driving may feel depressed — rearranging the sentence sometimes makes it easier to follow. In this case it is better to describe what type of people may feel depressed first.
  4. An instance illustrating this in action is the life of “George Mellor” who invented Mercedes at the age of 29 years — spelling mistake. If you want to mention factual data such as the name of a person here, make sure you use it correctly. I couldn’t find any connection of George Mellor with Mercedes.

The essay has a defined structure and well-developed argumentation. It is easy to follow and understand. Well done!

User-submitted essay: Online Learning

Universities offer an online course for students. Do you think its a positive or negative development for students?

From (1) the last few decades, educational institutions have witnessed a tremendous change in the way of teaching, due to technological inventions. However, in my opinion, online courses provide extravagant benefits to educatees, I also believe that there might be a definite drawback if all courses are made online (2).

To begin with, there are several advantages of self-study courses which are offered by universities. First and foremost, online courses provide a great deal of flexibility and freedom for students, in terms of commuting to college and attending classes (3). In other words, online courses can be taken from anywhere, which in turn enable people who are working to pursue their higher education. A prime example is a survey conducted by UNESCO by taking a sample of 10 years data from oxford university (4), in terms number of students in each course. The results were astonishing, as students opting for online courses have skyrocketed exponentially (5) right from the introduction of online courses in the university curriculum.

Nevertheless, the advantages of online courses have not all been beneficial. That’s because, one of the fundamental responsibility of educational institution is to provide an environment wherein students can learn skills, such as empathy, debate, discourse et cetera. Furthermore, no one can replace the true value added in education by lecturers who guide, support and motivate students to set high goals and thrive to achieve those goals.

To sum up, development of online courses are extremely useful for pupils to suffice (6) their hunger for knowledge, along with their normal routine work. However, giving more importance to the online course can lead to adverse ramifications, which disable students from learning human skills which are utmost essential in one’s life (7).

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

1. Over(or in) the last few decades — I believe the result of development is meant here. So we can either imply the gradual improvement with ‘over’, or use the more generalised ‘in’.
2. Even though online courses provide extraordinary benefits to educatees, I believe that there might be a definite drawback if all courses are made online — I’ve taken the liberty to alter the sentence to make the contrasting more evident. I also changed ‘extravagant’ to ‘extraordinary’ as it is a more common collocation.
3. Use of commas in the text is not always optimal. There is a nice (and long) article on commas here. I might compile a shorter set of must-know rules later.
4. A prime example is a survey conducted by UNESCO in which a sample of 10 years data from Oxford University, in terms number of students in each course.(A prime example is a survey conducted by UNESCO using data collected by Oxford University over 10 years on number of students in each course— Names of universities, various institutions and organisations are normally capitalised. The sentence is difficult to understand because of three separate clauses. Consider breaking it up into shorter ones. Sentence in brackets is my suggestion that does not involve turning one sentence into two.
5. have skyrocketed — ‘skyrocketed’ already implies surging growth, you don’t need to emphasise it any further, even if it means using fancy vocabulary.
6. To sum up, the development of online courses is extremely useful for pupils to satisfy their hunger for knowledge — ‘satisfy’ collocates with ‘hunger’, ‘suffice’ doesn’t.
7. However, giving more importance to the online course can lead to adverse ramifications that prevent students from learning human skills which are essential in one’s life — ‘disable’ and ‘from’ aren’t used together. ‘Utmost’ is not an adverb and you need one if you want to use it with the adjective ‘essential’ here. Avoid using two ‘which’ determiners in one sentence.

A well-structured essay with clear ideas and decent use of vocabulary. A more focused punctuation would make it very decent — namely the use of commas needs some brushing up. Another aspect that needs attention is collocations — some of the expressions have established word pairs (‘to satisfy hunger’, ‘prevent from doing something’).

Students with good command of English usually believe that the longer and more complicated sentences they make, the higher score they will get. While this is partially true, longer sentences can be tricky to do right and they are usually harder to understand. A minor mistake in a bigger sentence can make it impossible to make out which can seriously harm the final score. Keep this in mind when planning your narrative.

User-submitted essay: Children Responsibilities

Children in some parts of the world have less responsibility has compared to children in the past. Some think this as a positive change others think of it as a negative. Write your opinion about it.

Childhood is the golden age in anyone’s life which molds each individual to grow as responsible citizens (1) of the nation. In many countries, children are raised without giving (2) too many responsibilities in contrast with the earlier days, where kids have to accomplish more tasks (3) in order to fulfill the assigned responsibilities (4). It is often argued that this approach is beneficial, whilst other think it has its own drawbacks. This essay will sight both the opinions before coming to a reasoned conclusion.

On one hand, children were assigned with more duties in the past and they were encouraged to fulfill those duties to learn and unlearn things from the very young age. This view of making children get acquainted with the responsibilities from childhood helps them to grow as responsible individuals and in turn act (5) as a stepping stone in their success. Beethoven is a prime example whose parents indulged him in a musical instrument from his childhood which made him worlds renown instrumentalist. He is well known around the world and appraise his parents and give all credits (6) to them for his extravagant success.

On the flip side, juveniles of these decades (7) are given liberty to assert their opinion which is very well received by elders. This is one of the must criteria for having a good bonding, as we should not force kids to perform things which is doesn’t appeal to them and burden (8) with responsibility. It is advisable to give anyone more space and time which helps children to identify their self interest and work upon them (9). For example, Sachin Tendulkar is a well-known cricket player who always shares his parent’s role in making him a big success by giving much-needed space for himself.

In my opinion, parents should always nourish children with love and care rather than make them feel burden with the responsibilities (10).

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

1. molds each individual to grow as a responsible citizen — since ‘each’ is used here it means every single individual. Therefore it is better to use singular to emphasise that idea.
2. In many countries, children are raised without having too many responsibilities (or without being given too many responsibilities) — I would suggest using the passive construction here to show the examiner your command of English.
3. in contrast with the earlier days, when kids had to accomplish more tasks — the author refers to time rather than space, therefore ‘when’ should be used. We are also talking about the time in the past, so you should be using past tense (either Simple of Perfect).
4. The word responsible and its variations are used nine times throughout this text. Although it isn’t an easy word to find a synonym for, it is advisable to avoid repeating the same word too many times. Think of some ways to alter your choice of words: Responsible — accountable, obliged; Responsibility — obligation, duty. This list of most commonly used words in English could be worth reading to avoid overusing other widespread words and expressions.
5.This view of making children get acquainted with the responsibilities from childhood helps them to grow as responsible individuals and in turn acts as a stepping stone in their success. The word ‘act’ refers to view (singular) and not children (plural).
6. He is well known around the world and appraised his parents and gave all credit — as Beethoven is no longer with us it makes sense to use past sense here. ‘To give credit’ is a set expression that isn’t pluralised.
7. On the flip side, juveniles of today (or juveniles nowadays) — ‘these decades’ is an expression I haven’t encountered, and Google didn’t return any relevant examples either.
8. This is one of the must criteria for having a good bonding, as we should not force kids to perform things which don’t appeal to them and burden (them) with responsibilitythings are plural. Burden is used as a verb here and needs an object.
9. It is advisable to give anyone more space and time which helps children to identify their self-interest and work upon itSelf-interest is spelled through a hyphen; it refers to self-interest (singular).
10. rather than make them feel burdened with responsibilities (or feel the burden of responsibilities)

This essay nails almost every aspect and deserves a high mark. Two areas that could use improvement — the first one is use of synonyms, i.e. responsible, responsibilities. The second improvement would be a more even balance of paragraphs — single sentence conclusion looks tiny in comparison with four-sentence introduction and voluminous body paragraphs.