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General Writing and Grammar Help/Dear Ted, please hep me to correct my essay

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Question
QUESTION: Dear Ted,
Please help me to correct my essay. Thanks for your help.

Topic: In many big cities in the world, the quality of life is decreasing. What are the causes and solutions for this?

It is known that the quality of life tends to decrease in many big cities across the world due to various reasons. Many measures should be taken to mitigate this tendency among city dwellers.

Firstly, environmental pollution is one of the main causes that affect to the living standard of urban dwellers. Due to the exhaust fumes from cars and manufacturing plants, the industrial and household trash, many serious consequences have happened around the world such as contaminated water, air pollution, climate change, global warming, natural disastersÖ In addition, the busy and non-stop life style of the city residents that occupies plenty of peopleís time to involve in recreational activities in order to ensure the well-being. Itís easy to realize there have been many health problems such as mental and physical illness. Finally, the growing inhabitant population which is related to the lack of accommodation, the expensive living cost also contributes to the deterioration on the quality of life.

There are several measures that Governments should take to solve this issue. By relocating the manufacturing plants into rural areas, improving the infrastructure facilities, a better environment for urban inhabitants would be created. Moreover, Governments could organize the protecting environment campaigns to enhance the resident sense of protecting environment and living healthily. That helps people realize the risks they have to encounter. Finally, strict and hard punishment to unaware offenders should be set up.

In conclusion, reducing in living standards of people in big cities which is always a big problems has existed for many years, prudent measures should be considered and applied effective to ensure a good living conditions for city inhabitants.

ANSWER: Dear Mai Nguyen:

I apologize for not responding sooner.  I have been undergoing treatments for a problem with my right eye, and my doctor has limited my computer time.

****

Topic: In many big cities in the world, the quality of life is decreasing. What are the causes and solutions for this?

It is known that the quality of life tends to decrease in many big cities across the world due to various reasons. Many measures should be taken to mitigate this tendency among city dwellers.

**** You have begun your essay in the weakest possible way.  You start with "It is known that . . . ."  So, you have begun your FIRST sentence with the indefinite pronoun "it" as your subject.  Secondly, you do not name WHO is doing the "knowing."  Finally, the MAIN idea of the sentence -- the quality of life tends to decrease -- is demoted to a dependent clause, beginning with the word "that."

*** Look at this version:  The quality of life decreases in many big cities around the world because of various reasons.  [The subject is "quality" and the verb is "decreases."]

Firstly, environmental pollution is one of the main causes that affect [AFFECTS THE LIVING STANDARDS . . . ] to the living standard of urban dwellers. Due to the exhaust fumes from cars and manufacturing plants, the industrial and household trash, many serious consequences have happened around the world such as contaminated water, air pollution, climate change, global warming, [AND] natural disastersÖ ****[SEE BELOW] In addition, the busy and non-stop life style of the city residents that occupies plenty of peopleís time to involve in recreational activities in order to ensure the well-being. Itís easy to realize there have been many health problems such as mental and physical illness [ILLNESSES]. Finally, the growing inhabitant population which is related to the lack of accommodation, [AND] the expensive living cost [COSTS]  also contributes [CONTRIBUTE] to the deterioration on [OF] the quality of life.

There are several measures that Governments [NO CAPITAL "G" ON GOVERNMENTS] should take to solve this issue. #####[SEE BELOW]By relocating the manufacturing plants into rural areas, improving the infrastructure facilities, a better environment for urban inhabitants would be created. Moreover, Governments could organize the protecting environment campaigns to enhance the resident sense of protecting [THE] environment and living healthily. That helps people realize the risks they have to encounter. Finally, strict and hard punishment to unaware offenders should be set up.  [Should not both AWARE and UNAWARE offenders be penalized?]

In conclusion, reducing in living standards of people in big cities which is always a big problems has existed for many years, prudent measures should be considered and applied effective to ensure a good living conditions for city inhabitants.

*** Mai, you are trying to write too many words into one sentence.  As a consequence, you sometimes confuse the reader.  You need to divide some of your longer sentences into shorter sentences.  

*** Let's look at your final sentence:

In conclusion, reducing in living standards of people in big cities which is always a big problems has existed for many years, prudent measures should be considered and applied effective to ensure a good living conditions for city inhabitants.

**** You are writing about two things, and the first ends with "for many years."  The first topic is the reduction in living standards.  The second topic concerns the "prudent measures" that should be taken to improve the living standards.

Each part of this sentence deserves to be its OWN sentence.

**** I marked one of your earlier sentences this way:  ****[SEE BELOW] In addition, the busy and non-stop life style of the city residents that occupies plenty of peopleís time to involve in recreational activities in order to ensure the well-being.

*** I think that you are suggesting that residents are too involved in their daily businesses to take time out for recreational activities.

You need to rewrite this sentence to make it very clear what you mean.

#### I marked another sentence this way:  

#####[SEE BELOW]By relocating the manufacturing plants into rural areas, improving the infrastructure facilities, a better environment for urban inhabitants would be created.

*** The sentence contains a "list" of three items:  (1) relocating the manufacturing plants into rural areas; (2) improving the infrastructure facilities; (3) a better environment for urban inhabitants would be created.

*** Mai, you have written the three together, as if they were equal.  #1 and #2 are activities TO BE DONE.  #3 is completely different, because it is the result of the completed actions.

*** I am helping three other students in Vietnam.  I wonder if one of them recommended me to you.
Nevertheless, you do need help in constructing sentences and paragraphs.  You seem to be a serious student, and your ideas in general are very good.  I will continue to assist you, if you need me.

Please complete the evaluation form that is attached to this response.  There are three categories and the very important recommendation for "volunteer of the month."

Again, I apologize for my not answering sooner.  I had to read your essay a paragraph at a time, because the light from the computer screen causes a painful reaction in my eye.

Best wishes to you, Mai.

Ted Nesbitt


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

QUESTION: Dear Ted,
Thank you for your help very much. I'm very sorry for your eye problem. Hope you will get better soon. Your health is more important. I can wait until your eyes recover.
Your advices are very helpful. Those help me a lot.
My Vietnamese friend appreciates you very much and she recommends you to me.
I'm very sorry because I used my mobile phone to look through my emails so I can't read carefully, I did the evaluation before I read carefully your comments so I made a mistake. I promise that in the next time I will surely recommend you "volunteer of the month".
I feel very glad when you are willing to assist me.
I have another essay, please help me to correct my mistakes. I just start trying to learn IELTS writing just a few weeks so I've got a lot of mistakes.
Thank you very much!

Government investment in the arts, such as music and theater, is a waste of money. Governments must invest this money in public services instead. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Nowadays, there are many arguments regarding the budget expenditure of a country. While I accept government must invest money in public services, I believe a proportion of budget should be spent on arts such as music and theater.

One of the most important things that reflects the status of a country is how effectively the government spends money on public services. In many developing countries, a lot of residents can not be able to meet the basic needs. The leaders have to establish sensible policies to advance the economic growth, enhance the quality of education and improve the infrastructure. All that demands cost a lot of money and effort to perform. And with a tight budget, the Governments would prioritize the social bases first to ensure the residentsí living standard.

On the other hand, arts such as music and theater, are vital for humanís spiritual lives. Arts help us to have diversified kinds of entertainment to enjoy after regular stressful working hours. We go to the theaters to relax and get the enjoyment. Furthermore, arts attach to the formation and development of a country. Many great art works represent for the ancient civilization and still remain until now. They are very important evidences for the archaeology to find out about our ancestorsí lives. Arts also contribute to the economy by creating occupations for people to raise the families, pay bills, accommodation and food. The problem in many developing countries is that many traditional trade villages are going to disappear according to the lack of support and aid of the governments. That would be a lost for the communities.

In conclusion, the investment in arts should be maintained to encourage the diversity of arts as well as protect traditional features of a country.

ANSWER: Dear Mai:

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

QUESTION: Dear Ted,
Thank you for your help very much. I'm very sorry for your eye problem. Hope you will get better soon. Your health is more important. I can wait until your eyes recover.
Your advices are very helpful. Those help me a lot.

******My Vietnamese friend appreciates you very much and she recommends you to me.
[I think that your friend must be Anh Thy.  She is a wonderful writer and a very gracious young lady. You are fortunate to have her as a friend.  She sent me a beautiful silk embroidery, which was completely unnecessary, but it is wonderful.  I had it framed and everyone comments on its beauty.]

I'm very sorry because I used my mobile phone to look through my emails so I can't read carefully, I did the evaluation before I read carefully your comments so I made a mistake. I promise that in the next time I will surely recommend you "volunteer of the month".
I feel very glad when you are willing to assist me.
I have another essay, please help me to correct my mistakes. I just start trying to learn IELTS writing just a few weeks so I've got a lot of mistakes.
Thank you very much!

**** TO YOUR ESSAY . . . .


Government investment in the arts, such as music and theater, is a waste of money. Governments must invest this money in public services instead. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Nowadays, there are many arguments regarding the budget expenditure [You need the plural form, EXPENDITURES] of a country. While I accept [THAT THE] government must invest money in public services, I believe a proportion [PORTION] of [THE] budget should be spent on arts such as music and theater.

One of the most important things that reflects the status of a country is how effectively the government spends money on public services. In many developing countries, a lot of residents can not [CANNOT is one word] be able to meet the basic needs. The leaders have to establish sensible policies to advance the economic growth, enhance the quality of education and improve the infrastructure. All that [THOSE] demands cost a lot of money and effort to perform. And with a tight budget, the Governments [no capital "g" on "governments] would [SHOULD] prioritize the social bases first to ensure the residentsí living standard [plural form - STANDARDS].

On the other hand, arts such as music and theater, are vital for humanís [PLURAL -- HUMANS'] spiritual lives. Arts help us to have diversified kinds of entertainment to enjoy after regular stressful working hours. We go to the theaters to relax and get the [OMIT "THE"] enjoyment. Furthermore, arts attach to the formation and development of a country. Many great art works represent for [OMIT "FOR"] the ancient civilization and still remain until now [Mai, "still remain" and "up until now" means the same thing.  Use one or the other, but do NOT use both.] . They are very important evidences for the archaeology [ARCHAEOLOGISTS] to find out about our ancestorsí lives. Arts also contribute to the economy by creating occupations for people to raise the families, pay bills, accommodation and food. The problem in many developing countries is that many traditional trade villages are going to disappear according to the lack of support and aid of the governments. That would be a lost [LOSS] for the communities.

In conclusion, the investment in arts should be maintained to encourage the diversity of arts as well as protect traditional features of a country.

*** Dear Mai -- I also spend a lot of time reading and re-reading messages/questions I get.  I do not usually undertake the reviewing of essays, because of their length.  I often spend more than an hour or even two hours, critiquing and essay.  

As a result, I tend to be a "perfectionist," and I want students to do their absolute best.  Please do not think I am being especially hard on you.  I am hard on and demanding of everyone.

First, you have a number of simple errors, which I have corrected by using brackets.  [. . . ]

Second, the basic problem I have with your essay is the amount of attention you devote to both aspects, the "pro" and the "anti."  You were supposed to choose ONE of the two options.  You have one paragraph [4 and 1/4 lines] about inventing government money in public services.  However,
you have devoted just one paragraph [6 and 1/3 lines] to the option YOU PREFER.

My belief is that your essay would be much stronger if you mentioned briefly [two sentences at most] the government's responsibility to help the people with their basic needs.  THEN, after you agree, briefly, that the government has a role in helping the people financially, you must TURN your essay to the ARTS and ONLY to the arts.

You haven't mention the literature of a culture.  What you do think about preserving the music of Vietnam?  Do not the Vietnamese have wonderful dancers that express the traditions of the country through their movements on stage?  Should it not be a government responsibility -- or OBLIGATION or DUTY -- to provide support for ALL of the ARTS?  

I strongly suggest that you come up with many more strong examples of various art forms and how they are extremely important to a country's culture.

I will be glad to help you.

Ted

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

QUESTION: Dear Ted,
Thank you for spending your precious time on helping me. I will try my best to write better.
Anh Thy and Lizzie are both my friends at the university. Anh Thy is a very nice girl, she has learned English very hard, I respect her too much for that. She recommended you to Lizzie and Lizzie recommended you to me when she knew that I needed to improve my writing skill.
Your advices are very helpful and precious. Those help me realize my weaknesses. Without you, I would not know how to write an essay better.
Thank you very much!
Best wishes to you!

Answer
Dear Mai:

QUESTION: Dear Ted,
Thank you for spending your precious time on helping me. I will try my best to write better.
Anh Thy and Lizzie are both my friends at the university. Anh Thy is a very nice girl, she has learned English very hard, I respect her too much for that. She recommended you to Lizzie and Lizzie recommended you to me when she knew that I needed to improve my writing skill.
Your advices are very helpful and precious. Those help me realize my weaknesses. Without you, I would not know how to write an essay better.
Thank you very much!
Best wishes to you!

*** I am very upset with myself.  I forgot Lizzie, and I should not have, because she is also a very good student.  Please apologize to her for me.  I now have six Vietnamese students who write to me, and I treasure all of you.  I have one man who writes every day.  He sends me sentences, about 4 or 5, with idioms in them.  He needs to know if he is using these idiomatic expressions correctly.  I have found that my Asian students are the BEST.  I have students in South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.  

Keep sending me questions, Mai.  I will do my best to write informative answers.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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