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Please help me evaluate this essay

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:00 pm
by nosvnn
Hi, I wrote an essay according to the following topic. Please help me mark it in the range from 1 to 5 points. It would be so much better if you point out mistakes in the writing.

The topic: Some people say that the internet provides people with a lot of valuable information. Others think access to so much information creates problems. What is your opinion? Use reasons and examples to support your choice.

Thanks to the increasingly dramatic advance in the Internet and computer science, the world can now be placed in a palm of a man’s hand. If he just curls his fingers up, he can touch every point on the surface of the world. That means he can know many things at his fingertips by sitting in front of a computer. Employing the Internet has been changing the way humans live and brought so many benefits to them. Thus, the information people access from the Internet is valuable.

More than thirty years ago when Internet was an unfamiliar concept, events around the world were collected and reported from one day to the next. People did not have many chances to receive breaking news. All they knew was what had happened on the day before. It could also waste their time receiving unexpected information. With the presence of Internet, they are now free to pick up any news they desire. Since news is easy to be reached, it can help people, for example, avoid an approaching storm in the nick of the time or be aware of nearby crime. Similarly, it can also assist businesses in keeping track of the trends of their consumers or responses from them.

Imagine a student wants to know briefly a particular kind of animal such as polar bears. She hardly goes to the North Pole to observe them. It would take her a lot of time if her teachers are not available or she has to read a stack of books just to find the concise information. Using a computer with an Internet connection, world knowledge on academic subjects is ready for her to explore. A lot of relevant information is shown in less than a second by entering some key words into a search engine. An example of this benefit is the open encyclopedia Wikipedia. This huge source of human knowledge that gives an open access for everyone is updated frequently by people from around the world.

Furthermore, information from the Internet is really helpful in giving tips on ordinary living. Those tips will aid a person with home improvement, maintaining intimacies, or keeping body healthy. This kind of information is generally given by experienced people and completely free. Instead calling the services to do the work, accessing such tips not only helps one saving some money but also gives them some enjoyment and hands-on experience.

Internet has been making the world smaller and smaller. Information can be accessed from anywhere at anytime. It delivers a new entry to the human knowledge which is useful for education and researching where there are no libraries or schools. It also provides critical forecast that can help people out of catastrophes. Internet created a place where people can exchange information and help them live better.

Re: Please help me evaluate this essay

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:53 am
by IvyEyesEditing

I really enjoyed reading your essay and would find it difficult to rate. However, I have a couple of major suggestions for you to help refine the language and strengthen your argument.

My first major suggestion for you is to be conscious of your use of English idioms. Subtle language variations in these idioms can sound somewhat strange. The following expressions, for example, should be revised as follows:

a palm of a man's hand ---> the palm of a man's/your/one's hand
he can know many things at his fingertips ---> he can have information at his fingertips
in the nick of the time ---> in the nick of time

Also, keep in mind that idioms give your writing a more casual, informal tone, and may not be appropriate in some academic settings.

The second major suggestion I would have for you is to outline the structure of your argument, and think about creating concrete examples for each component. As it stands, you outline the benefits of the internet according to the following structure:

I. Introduction
II. Current Events
III. Information Database
IV. Practical Tips on Everyday Living
V. Conclusion

In paragraphs 2-4, I would recommend you focus on several specific internet functions, and elaborate on why they are useful or practical in full detail (as a general rule, 1 concrete example might require 2-3 sentences of commentary). Remember, the more specific you can be with these internet examples, the more persuasive and focused your argument will be. I think your introduction and conclusion paragraphs are already quite good. Your introduction effectively introduces your point of view, and your conclusion paragraph builds off your argument and provides broader implications for how the internet can improve our lives. Great work!!!!!

We hope this information helps you! Please let us know if you have any further questions. You have done some fantastic work with this essay, and you should be very pleased with its progress.

Most sincerely,

Ivy Eyes Editing

Re: Please help me evaluate this essay

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:29 am
by nosvnn
Hello Paul,

I really appreciate your response. You have mentioned the problem that I usually have in my writing. I used to think that using idioms in essays would make the readers feel more interested, moreover, the examiners would assume that I have a wide vocabulary. Now, I should avoid them. Anyway, I have one more question.

I am developing skills for the TOEFL. My English teacher always expects students to use transition words such as first, second, in conclusion, etc. at the beginning of each paragraph to give the signal to the readers. Would it be really necessary? I do not think it is as a general template for essays but I have read many sample essays in which the writers use such template a lot.

With best regards,

Re: Please help me evaluate this essay

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:15 pm
by IvyEyesEditing
We are thrilled you found our feedback useful!

I appreciate the journey and development of all writers, and the tools that teachers employ to help writers grow. To that end, I understand why many teachers encourage transition words and phrases to help give your writing a stronger structure. I agree that this approach can be helpful, not only to students as they learn how to organize their content, but also to their readers!

Ultimately, I believe you will reach a point where these transition phrases are not needed. Your essay will flow organically and seamlessly, and the sequence of your analysis will provide all the 'organizational framework' that you need. Your next step might be to remove the transitional phrases, and think about ways to connect your thought process between paragraphs. Of course, I recommend that you seek our help or the help of your teacher to guide you!

I think you are definitely headed in the right direction. Learning how to effectively organize and frame an argument is critical to developing your English writing skills. I wish you all the best!

Most sincerely,
Ivy Eyes Editing
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