English as a Second Language/How well is this written?

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hi Amy,

As you know that I am practicing to write well, I learn something new every time I try to write something new. I hope that at least I improved a bit. Actually, I don't know that how can I really write. I mean to say that I don't really know that what is the quality of my writing. Therefore, I have written a 222 word article. It is short. I would be really grateful if you could check it.


------------------------------------------------------------------


BENEFITS OF APPLES

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a popular saying, and most of us are familiar with it. But do apples really keep the doctor away? Are they really that beneficial for our health? Recent studies  suggest that this is true.  According to a study done by Dr. Adam at the university of Lowa, mice which were given ursolic acid had improved muscle strength and growth. However, this study itself doesn't apply to humans; but ursolic acid is also found in many Asian herbs, and this could be beneficial to humans, too. This ursolic acid is also found in apples. Due to this reason, researchers believe that apples might be beneficial for strength and growth of body's muscles. On the other hand, apples are rich in antioxidants that help to reduce blood pressure problems. In a research done at the university of Western Australia, researchers found that people who were given apple related meals had better and healthy blood vessels. Furthermore, a Japanese study suggests that apple procyanidin solution can prevent or even reverse hair loss in men. Study suggests that men who were treated with apple procyanidin solution reported healthy hair growth after twelve months of apple procyanidin treatment. These are only a few benefits of apples. We can see that apples are really beneficial to our overall health.      


SOURCES:-

http://www.voanews.com/content/an-apple-a-day-keeps-weak-muscles-away-123561669/

http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/a

http://kathleen44.blog.terra.com/2013/01/13/apple-peel-and-ursolic-acid-health-b

http://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201110053999/research/eat-apples-healthy-heart

http://holistichealthliving.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/natural-hair-loss-remedy-di


------------------------------------------------------------------

Respected Amy, I will be very grateful if you could check for any grammatical or punctuation error in this text.


Yours Sincerely,

Den

ANSWER: Hello Den,

to answer your first question, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say this writing is at a 7.


BENEFITS OF APPLES

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a popular saying most of us are familiar with. But do apples really keep the doctor away? Are they really that beneficial for our health?

Recent studies  suggest that this is true.  According to a study conducted by Dr. Adam at the University of Iowa, mice that were given ursolic acid, a substance found in apples, with their food had improved muscle strength and growth. However, this study doesn't apply to humans. Moreover, ursolic acid, can also found in many Asian herbs, so these herbs should be as beneficial to humans as apples are thought to be. For this reason, researchers believe that apples might be beneficial for muscle strength and growth. (this sentence doesn't make much sense here)

Apples are also rich in antioxidants that help to reduce blood pressure. In a study conducted at the University of Western Australia, researchers found that people who consumed more apples had better and healthier blood vessels.

Furthermore, a Japanese study suggests that procyanidin, another substance found in apples, can prevent or even reverse hair loss in men. The study states that men who were treated with an apple procyanidin solution reported healthy hair growth after twelve months of treatment.

These are only a few of the many benefits of apples. We can see that apples are really beneficial to our overall health.      


SOURCES:

http://www.voanews.com/content/an-apple-a-day-keeps-weak-muscles-away-123561669/

http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/a

http://kathleen44.blog.terra.com/2013/01/13/apple-peel-and-ursolic-acid-health-b

http://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201110053999/research/eat-apples-healthy-heart

http://holistichealthliving.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/natural-hair-loss-remedy-di


Den,

I've checked for errors and corrected them -  see above.Please keep in mind that sometimes a text is more than just about grammar and punctuation, it's also about proper use of expressions/words, smooth and logical flow of ideas, etc.

Keep up the good work.

Looking forward to more of your interesting questions.

Best,

Amy

PS - if you're planning on publishing these texts, or use them in any way, I suggest you mark these types of questions private just in case.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Respected Amy,

Thanks a lot for your answer. Actually, in one of my sources, one article is written in the same pattern as mine. First, the author discussed about ursolic acid and mice. Then he discussed about ursolic acid's positive effects on mice. After all that and at the end, he or she discussed about apples. The author was probably a native English speaker. Actually, I wrote in my own words what I read from the sources, and I tried to write in accordance to what I read. I think the author was trying to show a relationship between the mice study and ursolic acid found in apples; therefore, he or she discussed about apples at last, so did I. I hope you got my point.

Respected Amy, do you still think that my original article is not in a correct flow even though it is according to my source and according to a pattern followed by a native English writer?

Respected Amy, Please point grammatical errors in my original article. I can't find where you corrected mistakes.

Thanks.


Your sincerely,

Den.

Answer
Hi Den,

your version:

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a popular saying, and most of us are familiar with it. But do apples really keep the doctor away? Are they really that beneficial for our health?
Recent studies  suggest that this is true.  According to a study done by Dr. Adam at the university of Lowa, mice which were given ursolic acid had improved muscle strength and growth. However, this study itself doesn't apply to humans; but ursolic acid is also found in many Asian herbs, and this could be beneficial to humans, too. This ursolic acid is also found in apples. Due to this reason, researchers believe that apples might be beneficial for strength and growth of body's muscles. On the other hand, apples are rich in antioxidants that help to reduce blood pressure problems. In a research done at the university of Western Australia, researchers found that people who were given apple related meals had better and healthy blood vessels. Furthermore, a Japanese study suggests that apple procyanidin solution can prevent or even reverse hair loss in men. Study suggests that men who were treated with apple procyanidin solution reported healthy hair growth after twelve months of apple procyanidin treatment. These are only a few benefits of apples. We can see that apples are really beneficial to our overall health.      

Some of the things I modified
- no paragraphs
- university needs to be capitalized: University
- due to this reason: doesn't sound like something many native speakers would write
- "but ursolic acid is found....beneficial to humans, too" - fragment that interferes with the fluency of the text
- "in a research/study done" - we say research/study performed
-"apple related meals" sounds unnatural, we say "consume more apples"
- "men who were treated with apple procyanidin solution reported healthy hair growth after twelve months of apple procyanidin treatment" you repeat "apple procyanidin solution" within the same sentence
- etc

"corrected" version

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a popular saying most of us are familiar with. But do apples really keep the doctor away? Are they really that beneficial for our health?

Recent studies  suggest that this is true.  According to a study conducted by Dr. Adam at the University of Iowa, mice that were given ursolic acid, a substance found in apples, with their food had improved muscle strength and growth. However, this study doesn't apply to humans. Moreover, ursolic acid, can also found in many Asian herbs, so these herbs should be as beneficial to humans as apples are thought to be. For this reason, researchers believe that apples might be beneficial for muscle strength and growth. (this sentence doesn't make much sense here)

Apples are also rich in antioxidants that help to reduce blood pressure. In a study conducted at the University of Western Australia, researchers found that people who consumed more apples had better and healthier blood vessels.

Furthermore, a Japanese study suggests that procyanidin, another substance found in apples, can prevent or even reverse hair loss in men. The study states that men who were treated with an apple procyanidin solution reported healthy hair growth after twelve months of treatment.

These are only a few of the many benefits of apples. We can see that apples are really beneficial to our overall health.     

Den,

I think you can figure out on your own what corrections I made. Just compare the two versions of the text. Unfortunately my time is limited and doesn't allow to go back and point to all changes I made.

As far as the flow of ideas: you go from ursolic acid and mice, to antioxidants reducing blood pressure (but you make no connection between blood pressure and blood vessels), to procyanidin and hair growth. Unless you separate these ideas by splitting the text into paragraphs, then the flow of ideas is quite strange in my opinion.

Not only that, but in the paragraph about mice and ursolic acid, in my opinion, the logical flow would be:
1) apples contain ursolic acid
2) mice were fed ursolic acid
3) mice are not humans
4) ursolic acid is found in other herbs (therefore people consuming those herbs should experience the same benefits they experience by eating apples - this idea is missing from your text)
5) paragraph doesn't have a clear conclusion, it's unclear to me whether people benefit from ursolic acid/apples or not - you have no arguments to prove this point


I hope this helps.

Looking forward to more of your questions.

Best,

Amy

English as a Second Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Amy Baker

Expertise

I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

Experience

I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

Education/Credentials
BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.