User-submitted essay: Technology in Our Life

Which aspect of our life has been effected most by technology?
– Communication
– Relationship
– Working Life

Technological advancement is not be less than (1) a miracle for the present age. Technology has totally altered the living behavior (2) of mankind on the face of globe. In every single domain of life, we are getting the effect of technological invention very deeply (3). 

However innovation in communication technology is indeed a marvelous achievement (4). If we compare today mode of communication to past and it would not take more than two or three decades; we can see a remarkable difference (5). Particularly invention of mobile phone along with internet (6), has just given a new dimension to communication and it just shifted the whole communication paradigm in to a new direction (7). 

Hence the way of our today working life is another excellent milestone of technological developments. In daily working life, we can imagine and only sketch a horrible picture of past; how people were performing same activities when these technological equipment were not invented (8). 

Furthermore, new invention in working life enables workers to perform at their best; give maximum output by spending minimum time (9). Technology ensures us to make participation and to play our part in ongoing task (10); even our physical presence do not matter (11). 

In light of above, I conclude my opinion; the technological advancement has effected (12) both communication and working life to a huge extent. These both (13) aspects of technology can be considered somehow the best part of technological inventions. Technology is playing a vital role in today communication (14) and working life; at one part it is connecting billion of voices around the globe, same at other end it authorized employees and employers to perform their part and can take their piece of work to any corner of the world (15).

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. Technological advancement is no less than a miracle of the present age — Other suggestions would be ‘nothing short of a miracle’.
Totally altered the lifestyle — ‘Living behaviour’ do not collocate. ‘Lifestyle’ is the closest word with the same meaning I could come up with.
In every single domain of life, we are experiencing the effect of technological invention very profoundly. — consider using a Simple tense instead of Continuous here. See more on tense basics.
However, innovation in communication technology is indeed a marvelous achievement. — A comma is needed here that introduces a new clause. Check this article on starting your sentence with ‘however’.
If we compare today’s mode of communication to that of the past it would not take more than two or three decades of going back to see a remarkable difference. — missed possessive case; ‘that of’ makes it clear that modes of communication of past and present are compared; the last suggestion makes it easier to understand that we go back in time for a more contrasting difference.
The invention of mobile phone along with the internet — in the first case a particular invention is meant; second case requires a definite article because it is an accepted way of using it with the word ‘internet’.
Shifted the whole communication paradigm into (or in) a new direction.
When this technological equipment was not invented — equipment is singular. It is also unclear from context what exact equipment is meant.
9. The second clause isn’t independent. It is better to connect two clauses with more conventional means such as as ‘and’ conjunction. There is an excessive use of semicolon throughout the text. See 
more on semicolons.
Technology enables(or allows) us to participate and to play our part in (an/the) ongoing task — the word ‘task’ either needs an article or be used in plural.
Presence does not matter. — Presence is singular.
Has affected. — Alternatively, a more complex construction could be used that would retain the original word: “has had an effect on…”.
Both of these.
Technology is playing a vital role in today’s communication — possessive.
One one hand it is connecting billion of voices around the globe, while on the other hand it enables (or empowers) employees and employers to perform their part and take their piece of work to any corner of the world. — On one hand… on the other hand is the construction I would use here to showcase two different ways of using technological advancements.

This essay has good structure with all of the points covered. Basic grammar structures are well used. Attempts to use more complex constructions can sometimes be challenging to understand. The excessive use of semicolon is another point that could be worked on.
I would suggest shortening the sentence instead of breaking them up into several clauses. The usage of Continuous tenses should also serve a purpose.

User-submitted essay: Socially Responsible Businesses

As well as making money, businesses also have social responsibilities. Do you agree or disagree?

Some people believe that corporations should also be responsible for social issues, besides making profit (1). In my opinion, while paying high priority to earnings, firms also need to consider public responsibilities.

On the (2) one hand, it is undeniable that generating profits brings various benefits for the public as a whole. This is mainly because the more money these companies earn, the more taxes they will have to pay for (3) the government. As a result, residents’ lives will be improved significantly as more revenue will be spent on public needs (4) especially health care and education. Another reason supporting for this view (5) is that a large number of people will not be unemployed as once firms (6) able to earning profits, they will expand their business and consequently more jobs will be created.

On the other hand, enterprises should also conduct their businesses in a socially responsible manner besides paying excessive attention to generating profits. Firstly, if companies are not fully aware of their responsibilities towards society, it will lead to a devastating result. A clear example for this case is that there has been a serious environmental degradation such as pollutted (7) atmosphere brought about by factories. Another illustration is that emissions or industrial and chemical wasted (8)have been discharged into lakes or rivers, contaminated the water and killed thousands of underwater features (9) especially fishes. Secondly, firms should also use their profits to do philanthropic actions such as give charitable donations to homeless or orphanages. Consequently, these businesses could enhance their public image and build up community’s trust and confidence.

In conclusion, although I believe that making profits is the most important princepal (10) in doing business, considering about (11) public responsibilites(12) is also needed.

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 believe that corporations should pay attention to social issues as much as to making profit — the idea here is not to use ‘also’ in the beginning, as it implies that there was something mentioned and the ‘also’ part is an addition to the previous statement. The suggested example is one way to rephrase the sentence without using ‘also’.
2. On one hand — no article is needed here. The phrase goes ‘on one hand … on the other hand’.
3. The more taxed they will have to pay to the government — ‘for’ would mean that the companies pay the tax instead of the government.
4. more revenue will be spent on public needs, especially — a new clause is introduced with a comma.
5. another reason supporting this view— supporting this view would me more correct — there is no need to use ‘for’ here.
6. once firms (are/become) able to earning profits — a verb is needed here.
7. polluted — spelled with one ‘t’.
8. chemical wastes — another typing inaccuracy.
9. killed thousands of underwater creatures, especially fishes. — wrong word is used (features), and a comma is missing before a new clause. 
I didn’t correct ‘fishes’ in case the author meant certain species of fish. See this article on fish/fishes for more information.
10. principle — spelling mistake.
11. considering/taking into consideration — ‘consider’ isn’t used with ‘about’ as far as I know.
12. responsibilities — spelling.

Great essay with serious approach to structuring, paraphrasing and usage of synonyms. Most inaccuracies could be easily avoided if the author proofread it more thoroughly. Remember to read your IELTS/CAE essay before handing it in to your examiner. You are not penalised for making corrections as long as they are easy to read and understand. Everybody makes mistakes and those couple of minutes for proofreading can make a world of difference.

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Essay Writing for IELTS and CAE

Essay writing is by far the most frustrating part for most. It is a serious challenge even for native English speakers. In this article, I will share my view on writing exam essays, what difficulties you are likely to have and how to overcome them. This was made as a stand-alone entry because the essay basics are universal for most exams (or even most writing assignments for that matter).

Difficulties of writing

Writing an essay can be a challenging task both for new and experienced students. There are three main challenges when writing an essay in English.

  • Essay structure
  • Lack of ideas
  • Idea development

Depending on the task you face one of the difficulties may be more difficult to overcome than the others. At times, you are held back by all three of them — such predicament would discourage even the most eager of writers. We will take these problematic aspects one by one.

1. Essay structure

When we talk about text structure in an English exam, we usually mean paragraphing and sentence sequencing. The latter will be covered in idea development chapter; we will concentrate on paragraphs now.

The purpose of having multiple paragraphs in an essay is to make it more clear and informative by grouping relevant information. This means that the sentences belonging to the same paragraph should be about a certain aspect of the main idea the text is dedicated to. This approach allows for smooth transition between several aspects making the text more accessible and pleasant to read.

Let us take an IELTS exam text to illustrate this. You are given a limit of 250 words which affects both the number and volume of paragraphs you can use. An ideal number is usually two or three body paragraphs plus introduction and conclusion. Fewer paragraphs will mean a mostly one-sided narrative concentrating on just one aspect of the text, which is inadvisable. More than three paragraphs will not allow to fully develop your ideas because of the word limit.

It goes without saying that introduction is going to be your first paragraph. Use it to introduce the topic and briefly state your view on it. Don’t go into details, you will do that in the subsequent paragraphs. This paragraph shouldn’t take more than three of four sentences. It is important for introduction to be shorter than the body paragraphs, otherwise the text will look out-of-balance.

Body paragraphs is where you expand on the notion or idea, that you mentioned in paragraph one. Your aim is to develop the points as fully as you can, without being too verbose i.e. not using non-essential words to convey the meaning (see article on concise writing for further reference and examples). To achieve said points development, we will be using multiple paragraphs for different aspects of the discussed issue. For example, if the task is to provide your opinion on welfare system, you can focus on its advantages (paragraph two) and disadvantages (paragraph three). With this type of task, another body paragraph seems redundant – you will have compared both aspects by the end of paragraph three. It is time to wrap it all up.

Some students find the concluding paragraph to be difficult because everything has already been described and summarising seems to them as repeating it all over again. There is nothing wrong with going over the things you have mentioned before when it comes to the concluding paragraph. It is advisable to paraphrase your key points slightly by any means possible – using synonyms, changing active voice to passive, changing sentence structure. Adding a summarising sentence as the last one can be a good way to end your essay i.e. “Having considered both advantages and disadvantages of welfare, I came to believe that it is an integral part of our society as it helps people in need to …”. You get the idea. Just don’t use one single sentence like that to finish your work. You have to substantiate the conclusions with ideas and examples from your essay.

2. Lack of ideas

Getting the essay started can often be the hardest challenge for a new essay writer. This is commonly referred to as “writer’s block” — inability to make that first step.

Nobody likes wrestling with a blank page. One reason for this could be extreme level of self-criticism. Young people feel reluctant to write anything but the best, top-notch material. When you find it difficult to get your writing started, then consider the following — your text will only be read by a handful of examiners. No matter how bad or good it comes out, it will never be seen by people other than the assessment committee. This should take some pressure away as some people tend to be too self-conscious about their work.

Another fact to keep in mind is the quality of your writing. You writing is assessed on four criteria and artistic value isn’t one of them. Don’t be discouraged by lack of insight on the question you should write about — it’s just a base that you use to show your ability to produce a piece of writing. They want to know that you can handle the language well, its words and constructions. That you can structure your text and make its parts stick together.

3. Idea development

The ideas that you are going to write about should be mentioned (or at least hinted at) in your introduction. By doing that you show respect to your reader and make your writing more cohesive. These ideas are normally placed in the last sentence of introductory paragraph:

Juvenile delinquency, or crime among young people, is a serious social issue. Over the past decade the crime rate among teens rose by a staggering 17 %. This phenomenon can be caused by a number of factors, such as peer pressure, insecurity and lack of sound judgement.

Writing about a topic you are recommended to follow a simple rule – go from basics to specifics. This is effectively applied to any body paragraph in your text — and it’s body paragraphs that help you develop your topic.

In your first sentence you present an idea, a statement or anything else that you want to discuss. The following sentences in that paragraph serve to expand on your first statement. That way your reader doesn’t get lost and your ideas are easier to follow:

Peer pressure seems to be the most contributing factor. In an attempt to find acceptance among the people of their own age group, young men and women commit offences, both minor and serious ones. Disregard for societal norms is seen as “cool” by the young and therefore openly defying the law is an easy way to gain respect of one’s peers.

In the paragraph above we slowly develop our ideas. First we explain our understanding of peer pressure and then present reasons for it to be a contributing factor to juvenile delinquency.

Finally, you want to wrap all your ideas up by presenting a conclusive paragraph. As it was mentioned before that if you choose to repeat the ideas do your best to paraphrase them.

English Essay Writing: Extra Tips

  • Practice makes perfect. Use sample essay topics and write mock essays at home — this will do you a world of good
  • Get to like writing. It is a skill that will probably be useful throughout your life. It will improve your literacy, promote imagination, it will look good on your CV. Think above and beyond of your exam
  • Always, ALWAYS proofread your writing. This will eliminate most if not all of your spelling and grammar mistakes you could have made. This skill requires some practice, so writing some essays at home is highly advised
  • Don’t feel bad about making corrections. A correction that is clear and easy to read will not affect your final score negatively
  • Avoid these common mistakes in writing
  • See some user-submitted essay samples here
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