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Hello,

I wrote an essay on a topic of why people attend to colleges or universities. I already posted it for correction and got a piece of feedback that the essay is almost flawless, which made me a bit of leery. Could you please provide me with your opinion on whether it contains any grammatical/style/semantic errors? Anything you consider incorrect, awkward or bad-smelling. I'd be very appreciated if you take a look.

Essay:

First of all, it ought to be specified what terms college and university stand for. There are no precise definitions; functions of colleges and universities vary from country to country. For instance, in Russia college is an optional step between school and university. Russian colleges are able to provide only "intermediate" degree, which is lower than bachelor's degree and is probably on the same level as US associate degree, while you can obtain a bachelor's degree in one of US colleges. Furthermore, even within one country various educational institutions carring similar titles may differ in their structure and the way of functioning. And vice versa, essentially similar institutions may have different titles. Let's not emphasize these differences, but instead speak generally about educational institutions, that provide at least associate degrees.

The main and the most obvious reason to attend college or university is to gain knowledge that is necessary for working in a certain sphere. Even the lowest college degree yields a great benefit: you may be accepted to jobs, that require special qualifications, and lack of those simply makes it impossible to work in these fields. For instance, you can't get a job of a medical assistant if you haven't got a degree in medicine. So, the higher (read, better) degree you have, the most job opportunities will be opened for you. Besides that, even within a fixed working field, a decent degree will for sure increase you salary level, the position you hold and provide you with better work perspectives. Finally, if you're planning to work in science, then attending to university is quite an evident move, since doing science outside university is extremely tough and not so efficient.

However, obtaining knowledge and getting a degree aren't the only reasons why people may want to attend. For some people the academic life itself is quite attractive. It has a lot to offer people, who have multifarious passions and desires. Communication is a great part of academic life. Whether you are debating in class, participating in seminars and scientific conferences, doing research projects in teams or associating on campus, you're communicating with intelligent people, who may share your interests, passions and views. Another attractor in the academic life is athletics. Many colleges and universities practice sports, have their own professional teams and participate in state- or country-level sporting competitions. Besides sports, there may be a bunch of hobby groups, so every student may find something interesting for him- or herself.

Summarizing all stated above, we can conclude that there are indeed various reasons why people trying to get college or university degree. These reasons vary from person to person and depend chiefly on person's interests and life objectives while being resricted by economical factors. And it's quite unlikely that a person, deciding whether to attend, is guided by only a single reason. It's more likely that the whole specter of reasons is taken into account.

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Victor
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Hi,

Your writing is good, but it could be better. I've made some changes to the first paragraph. Then I got tired of doing that, so I just added some general comments about the rest.

If you want to revise it and post again, we'll try to have another look.

Please ask me about any of my changes you don't understand.

Best wishes, Clive

First of all, the terms college and university require definition. However, there are no precise definitions; the functions of colleges and universities vary from country to country. For instance, in Russia college is an optional step between school and university. Russian colleges are able to provide only an "intermediate" degree, which is lower than a bachelor's degree and probably on the same level as a US associate degree. A student can obtain a bachelor's degree in one of the US colleges. Furthermore, even within one country various educational institutions carring similar titles may differ in their structure and functioning. The opposite is also true, in that essentially similar institutions may have different titles. These differences should no be emphasized,so this essay will instead consider educational institutions that provide at least associate degrees.



Keep it all in the third person, eg instead of 'you', say 'people, a person, students'.



Don't use short foms, eg say 'have not' instead of 'haven't.



Don't use parentheses.

.
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Hello Clive,

Thanks for your comments. I've revised the original essay taking into account your corrections of the first paragraph and the remarks that follow. I'll be very obliged if you take a look at the revised version.

Essay, rev. 1:

First of all, the terms college and university should be defined. However, there are no precise definitions; the functions of colleges and universities vary from country to country. For instance, in Russia college is an optional step between school and university. Russian colleges are able to provide only an "intermediate" degree, which is lower than a bachelor's degree and probably on the same level as a US associate degree. Whereas in a US college a student can obtain a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, even within one country various educational institutions carrying similar titles may differ in their structure and way of functioning. The opposite is also true, that is, essentially similar institutions may have different titles. These differences should not be dwelt upon, so this essay will instead consider educational institutions that provide at least an associate degree.

The main and the most obvious reason to attend college or university is to gain knowledge necessary for working in a certain sphere. Even the lowest college degree yields a great benefit: a graduate may be accepted to the jobs that require special qualifications, where the lack of such simply makes working in these fields impossible. For instance, one can't get a job of a medical assistant if he or she has not got a degree in medicine. So, the higher the person's degree, the most job opportunities will be opened for this person. Besides that, even within a fixed working field, a decent degree will for sure increase one's salary level, the position one holds and provide one with better work perspectives. Finally, a person is planning to work in science, then attending to university will be quite an evident move, since doing science outside the university is extremely tough and not so efficient.

Whatsoever, obtaining knowledge and getting a degree are not the only reasons why people may want to attend. For some, the academic life itself is quite attractive. It has a lot to offer people who have multifarious passions and desires. Communication is a great part of the academic life. Whether students are debating in class, participating in seminars or scientific conferences, doing research projects in teams or associating on campus, they are communicating with intelligent people, who may share each other's interests, passions and views. Another attractor in the academic life is athletics. Many colleges and universities practice sports, have their own professional teams and participate in state- or country-level sporting competitions. Besides sports, there may be a number of hobby groups, so each student may find something interesting for him- or herself.

Summarizing all stated above, it may be concluded that there are indeed various reasons why people try to get a college or university degree. These reasons vary from person to person and depend chiefly on person's interests and life objectives while being restricted by economical factors. And it's quite unlikely that a person deciding whether to attend is guided by only a single reason. It's more likely that the whole specter of reasons is taken into account.

Additionally, I have a couple of questions related to your general remarks:

> Don't use short foms, eg say 'have not' instead of 'haven't.

Does it concern all contractions ("isn't", "aren't", "won't", ...)? And also, why? Are contractions considered to be informal?

> Don't use parentheses.

Do you mean not to use round brackets or "parenthetical inclusions" at all? And again, why?

Thank you in advance.

--

Victor
Hi,

Thanks for your comments. I've revised the original essay taking into account your corrections of the first paragraph and the remarks that follow. I'll be very obliged if you take a look at the revised version.

Better.

Essay, rev. 1:

First of all, the terms college and university should be defined. However, there are no precise definitions; the functions of colleges and universities vary from country to country. For instance, in Russia college is an optional step between school and university. Russian colleges are able to provide only an "intermediate" degree, which is lower than a bachelor's degree and probably on the same level as a US associate degree.

Whereas in a US college a student can obtain a bachelor's degree.

A 'whereas' clause needs to be associated with another clause,

eg Tom is a boy, whereas Mary is a girl.

Furthermore, even within one country various educational institutions carrying similar titles may differ in their structure and way of functioning. The opposite is also true, that is, essentially similar institutions may have different titles. These differences should not be dwelt upon, so this essay will instead consider educational institutions that provide at least an associate degree.

The main and the most obvious reason to attend college or university is to gain knowledge necessary for working in a certain sphere. Even the lowest college degree yields a great benefit: a graduate may be accepted to the jobs that require special qualifications, whereas the lack of such simply makes working in these fields impossible.

For instance, one cannot get a job as a medical assistant if one has not got a degree in medicine.

Is it true that a medical assistant needs such a degree?

Consider this.

We use the words 'do' and 'get' all the time, every day, in conversation, yet we tend to try to avoid then in formal writing. I think it's because in writing you have the time to choose a more subtle, nuanced word.

eg

In speaking - if one has not got a degree in medicine . .

in writing - if one does not have a degree inmedicine / if one has not obtained/earned a degree in medicine . .

So, the higher the person's degree, the most job opportunities will be opened for this person. Besides that, even within any given a fixed working field, a decent degree will for sure increase one's salary level, the position one holds and provide one with better work perspectives. Finally,if a person is planning to work in science, then attending to university will be quite an obvious step evident move, since doing science outside the university is extremely tough and not so efficient.

Whatsoever, obtaining knowledge and getting a degree are not the only reasons why people may want to attend. For some, the academic life itself is quite attractive. It has a lot to offer people who have multifarious passions and desires. Communication is a great part of the academic life. Whether students are debating in class, participating in seminars or scientific conferences, doing research projects in teams or associating on campus, they are communicating with intelligent people, who may share each other's interests, passions and views. Another attractor in the academic life is athletics. Many colleges and universities practice sports, have their own professional teams and participate in state- or country-level sporting competitions. Besides sports, there may be a number of hobby groups, so each student may find something interesting for him- or herself.

In summary, Summarizing all stated above, it may be concluded that there are indeed various reasons why people try to get a college or university degree. These reasons vary from person to person and depend chiefly on a person's interests and life objectives, while being restricted by economical factors.<<< Did you discuss these economical factors? And it's It is quite unlikely that a person deciding whether to attend is guided by only a single reason. It is more likely that the whole specter spectrum of reasons is taken into account.

Additionally, I have a couple of questions related to your general remarks:

> Don't use short foms, eg say 'have not' instead of 'haven't.

Does it concern all contractions ("isn't", "aren't", "won't", ...)? Yes

And also, why? Are contractions considered to be informal?Yes

> Don't use parentheses.

Do you mean not to use round brackets Yes

or "parenthetical inclusions" at all? Some people would argue that dashes are OK. I avoid them.

And again, why? If I see a lot of parenthetical things, I think that the writer his unable to organize his thoughts well and structure his sentences carefully.

Clive
Clive, thanks for comments.

>> Russian colleges are able to provide only an "intermediate" degree,
>> which is lower than a bachelor's degree and probably on the same level
>> as a US associate degree. Whereas in a US college a student can obtain
>> a bachelor's degree.

> A 'whereas' clause needs to be associated with another clause, eg Tom
> is a boy, whereas Mary is a girl.

Could such an association possibly be established between two consecutive
sentences like in my case or in "Tom is a boy. Whereas May is a girl.", or

these should be two adjacent clauses that belong to the same sentence?

>> For instance, one cannot get a job as a medical assistant if one has
>> not got a degree in medicine.

> Is it true that a medical assistant needs such a degree?

It was my guess, but, according to Wikipedia , having a high-school degree
is not sufficient for working as a medical assistant, though it is stated there
not very rigidly:

"Most employers prefer to hire formally educated medical assistants who
are professionally certified. Formal education of medical assistants usually
occurs in postsecondary institutions such as vocational schools, technical
institutes, community colleges, proprietary colleges, online educational
programs or junior colleges."

>> These reasons vary from person to person and depend chiefly on
>> a person's interests and life objectives, while being restricted
>> by economical factors.

> Did you discuss these economical factors?

I thought, it is obvious that human desires are restricted by trivial economical

factors, e.g., the financial potential of a person who is considering application
to college or university.

> If I see a lot of parenthetical things, I think that the writer is unable to
> organize his thoughts well and structure his sentences carefully.

It seems to be a peculiarity of fiction writing; in technical writing, all kinds of

brackets look quite natural.
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Hi,

>> Russian colleges are able to provide only an "intermediate" degree,
>> which is lower than a bachelor's degree and probably on the same level
>> as a US associate degree. Whereas in a US college a student can obtain
>> a bachelor's degree.

> A 'whereas' clause needs to be associated with another clause, eg Tom
> is a boy, whereas Mary is a girl.

Could such an association possibly be established between two consecutive
sentences like in my case or in "Tom is a boy. Whereas May is a girl.", No

or

these should be two adjacent clauses that belong to the same sentence? Yes

>> For instance, one cannot get a job as a medical assistant if one has
>> not got a degree in medicine.

> Is it true that a medical assistant needs such a degree?

It was my guess, but, according to Wikipedia , having a high-school degree
is not sufficient for working as a medical assistant, though it is stated there
not very rigidly:

"Most employers prefer to hire formally educated medical assistants who
are professionally certified. Formal education of medical assistants usually
occurs in postsecondary institutions such as vocational schools, technical
institutes, community colleges, proprietary colleges, online educational
programs or junior colleges."

My basic point, really, is that you should always try to be sure of your facts.

>> These reasons vary from person to person and depend chiefly on
>> a person's interests and life objectives, while being restricted
>> by economical factors.

> Did you discuss these economical factors?

I thought, it is obvious that human desires are restricted by trivial economical

factors, e.g., the financial potential of a person who is considering application
to college or university.

Broadly speaking, it's not a good idea to introduce new ideas in your conclusion.

And in this case, if they are obvious and trivial, why bother to mention them?

> If I see a lot of parenthetical things, I think that the writer is unable to
> organize his thoughts well and structure his sentences carefully.

It seems to be a peculiarity of fiction writing; I assume you know the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Your essay is non-fiction.

in technical writing, all kinds of brackets look quite natural.

Yes. But technical writing is not usually considered to exemplify good English prose style. Bluntly speaking, quite a lot of technical writing is terrible!

Clive