Good and Bad Writing

How to Write Essays Good and Bad Writing

Writing an essay requires careful attention to sentence construction. Given below are some examples of good and bad writing. Study them carefully, and learn how to avoid grammatical errors and form effective sentences.

Example 1

The mayor had called a committee meeting, in order to plan the city’s restoration, following extreme weather conditions in California.

Now, the above sentence has been framed with efficiency, except for one minor error that is likely to come under the reader’s gaze. Using “extreme weather conditions” in the last part of the sentence, results in the propagation of a vague message. A message or an information, whenever provided, needs to be concrete, and should form a lucid image of what you’re trying to say, in the reader’s mind. Also, California is a vast state, and the exact city or the location needs to be specified. See below for the corrected sentence.

Following the hurricane in San Pedro, California, the mayor had called upon a committee meeting, in order to draw out a restoration plan.

Example 2

There are several national issues, of which we are unaware. Even newspapers fail to address them.

The above sentence shows a nearly well-framed sentence. Although they cannot be deemed as an incorrect statement, the sentence could’ve certainly been framed in a better way. It would be advisable if you restrict the use of there are, it was, there is, it is etc. Also, “even newspapers fail to address them,” can be rephrased, so that it sheds a significant amount of uncomfortable weight in the writer’s judgment. The statement below puts forth the same message, but with efficiency and subtlety.

We are unaware of several national issues, and newspapers do less to make them public.

Example 3

You must ensure accuracy in grammar, spelling, and punctuating, while writing essays.

When you use similar grammatical form while offering a list or a set of ideas, it’s called parallel construction. In the above sentence, “punctuating” is in its verb form, whereas “spelling” is a noun. “Grammar” is a constant here, and its form cannot be manipulated. So, “punctuating” needs to be replaced by “punctuation”, if the sentence is to be accurate. Also, placing the second phrase at the start of the sentence would facilitate optimal expression. See below for the corrected statement.

While writing essays, you must ensure accuracy in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Example 4

While he was out for a long drive that evening, an SUV crashed his car, but somehow left him breathing.

The above sentence sounds funny because, whenever you start a sentence by describing an action, you need to place the performer of the action, immediately following the action. Also, “left him breathing” is likely to be termed as an odd man out in the sentence. See below for the corrected sentence.

While he was out for a long drive that evening, his car got crashed by an SUV, but he survived the accident somehow. OR

He met with a car crash that evening, when he was out for a long drive, but somehow survived the accident. (this one is better and safe, ideally to be preferred if you wish to avoid confusion)

Example 5

On 7th January 2012, the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan confirmed the effectiveness of the role-playing model, with the idea first being implemented in March 2011, as a major part of their research for healing patients suffering from Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

The above statement is perfectly constructed, except for a common error in punctuation. Here, “7th January 2012” has been incorrectly quoted. The order that you need to maintain while specifying complete dates should be in the format – “Month Date, Year”. And, date should be separated from the year by a comma. So, the correct form would be “On January 7, 2012, the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan…”

If you skip the date, and only the month and the year need to be specified, then you must leave out the comma. And that is the reason why there is no comma between “March” and “2011”, in the example.

Example 6

Dr. Warren’s works fell into the hands of the American Society of Psychiatrists during the late 1990’s, when his theories and derivations were starting to be accepted and implemented globally.

Whenever you use an apostrophe, it denotes possession and not plurality. Therefore, the above sentence is incorrect, where “1990’s” needs to be replaced by “1990s”. However, an apostrophe can also be used for abbreviating or combining two words, for ease of reading.

For example:

It’s is the abbreviated form of “it is” (Its calls for possession)
He’s denotes “he is”
There’s is a shorter version of “there is”
Someone’s means “someone is”, and it also means “belongs to someone”

Similarly, there are several occasions when an apostrophe does not mean possession, like he’ll, they’ll, let’s, we’ve etc.

Study the above examples of good and bad writing carefully, and pave way towards composing a great essay.


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