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September 30, 2023, 06:01:04 am

Author Topic: Help! I drastically need to improve my essay writing!  (Read 9646 times)  Share 

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Re: Help! I drastically need to improve my essay writing!
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2010, 10:13:10 pm »
If you want to get down to the finer detail they're many aspects of English that people can improve. You see this across many essays posted on here for comments: i.e.: use of preposistions, pronouns, active and passive voice, tense etc. These take time and a lot of practice to resolve as they're little things that most pople will just incorrectly do without realising. That's why it's hard to correct.

This is all related to grammar and effective 'plain English', which unfortunately is not taught in many schools anymore. For some reason which astounds me, personally I have not learnt a thing about grammar over the past six years of secondary school. Yet they expect me to write fanastic pieces of prose without been taught the foundations on how to write. That's why you either need to try and teach youself through reading about how to write, other's essays and tutors.

Download the VCAA assessment reports and read all the sample "high-scoring" responses, especially the context examples at the end of the reports.

Get a hold of William Strunk's 'Elements's of Style' and 'A Desk of Plain English' by Albert Rowe.

Sentence structure.  I can drag out sentences for ages, and it just sounds shit.

Rule 13: Omit needless words.   ..... http://www.bartleby.com/141/
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
Many expressions in common use violate this principle:
common expression .... (proper express)
the question as to whether whether (the question whether)
there is no doubt but that no doubt (doubtless)
used for fuel purposes (used for fuel)
he is a man who (he )
in a hasty manner (hastily)
this is a subject which (this subject)
His story is a strange one. (His story is strange).
In especial the expression the fact that should be revised out of every sentence in which it occurs.
owing to the fact that since (because)
in spite of the fact that though (although)
call your attention to the fact that remind you (notify you)
I was unaware of the fact that I was unaware that (did not know)
the fact that he had not succeeded (his failure )
the fact that I had arrived (my arrival )
Who is, which was, and the like are often superfluous.
His brother, who is a member of the same firm (His brother, a member of the same firm)
Trafalgar, which was Nelson's last battle (Trafalgar, Nelson's last battle)
As positive statement is more concise than negative, and the active voice more concise than the passive, many of the examples given under Rules 11 and 12 illustrate this rule as well.
A common violation of conciseness is the presentation of a single complex idea, step by step, in a series of sentences which might to advantage be combined into one.
Macbeth was very ambitious. This led him to wish to become king of Scotland. The witches told him that this wish of his would come true. The king of Scotland at this time was Duncan. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth murdered Duncan. He was thus enabled to succeed Duncan as king. (55 words.)
Should be:
Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth achieved his ambition and realized the prediction of the witches by murdering Duncan and becoming king of Scotland in his place. (26 words.)

PM if you want more detail.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 10:20:21 pm by mba »
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Re: Help! I drastically need to improve my essay writing!
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2010, 10:15:42 pm »
I've been having the same problem as you.
I found the biggest help is scrutinising your work by excessively proof-reading.
Read it aloud etc.
That way you say the sentence and if it sounds too long chop it in half.

I brought my marks up from 28/50 to 39/50 in about 2 essays.
(I'm studying Kenneth Slessor if your interested)

Hope it help.


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Re: Help! I drastically need to improve my essay writing!
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2011, 08:36:02 am »
I agree! I know the contents, but my expression is lacking!
The only thing I can manage is a 70% tops.


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Re: Help! I drastically need to improve my essay writing!
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2011, 07:18:17 pm »
Stop replying to threads that are almost a year old
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