I've written a small essay on the environment and would like you to take a look at it. I used some phrases and words which I hesitated about, so some phrases can seem strange to you.

The Condition of the Environment
More and more people are getting concerned about the environment nowadays. The number of such people is growing very rapidly. The reason for it is quite obvious: people do not want to live on the polluted and consequently dangerous planet.
I would emphasize three main problems. First of all, it’s air pollution. It’s proved that air pollution adversely affects your health and can cause a large number of diseases such as cancer for example,.
In order to solve this problem we should simply take some measures to cut down air pollution in big cities. For instance, we could introduce a law (I have failed to find a more appropriate word, so please help me) which would forbid factories to work and produce anything without special filters. It would also be good if we banned cars from city centers. Such a measure would have a very good effect in rather small cities with the population not more than 1.5 million people. The citizens of small cities can usually get to the city center by bus or even on foot. Cars release so many poisonous gases into the air that reduction of the number of cars in such cities would result in the reduction of these poisonous gases.
Secondly, it is the so-called problem of litter. Plenty of people are very worried about this problem, too. Dirty streets can give you only a very slight idea of what dropping litter in streets can result in. Dropping an aluminum can in the street just think how much harm it might do. Bearing in mind that we contract many diseases by inhaling infected air and litter creates the most favourable conditions for bacterium you will probably break the habit of dropping litter in streets. It’s not difficult to put your can in a litter bin at all!
Lastly, it’s water pollution. To my mind, the best way of solving this problem is to fine factories which pollute rivers, lakes, and seas. Before fining them, it would be a good idea to make all the factories install filters which reduce the number of poisonous substances polluting water. However, in most countries it’s impossible to do it due to these factories being of great value to them. As a result, they can’t stop using factories or reduce the volume of their production. Another good way of solving the problem of water pollution is to limit use of chemicals in industry. But here we face another problem. Many plants can’t help stopping using some chemicals since they cannot work without them. So, we are in a dilemma over whether to fine factories polluting lakes, seas, and rivers and to reduce the volume of their production or not.
There is no doubt there are plenty of other environmental problems such as acid rains, deforestation, global warming and so on and so forth but to my mind, these problems are not as topical now as those I mentioned.
Having paid so much attention to all these environmental problems I have to say a few words about recycling. It is a very important subject, and one that is becoming more so all the time. There are four main materials which can be recycled. First of all, it is paper. Paper is considered to be the easiest material to recycle. For instance, 20 tons of paper was recycled in the USA in 1990 which was a big success. Secondly, it’s metal. This material is also rather easy to recycle. A huge number of things we use are made of metal, so the more metal we recycle the better our planet will be. Thirdly, it’s plastic. This material is the hardest one to recycle. The reason why it’s so hard to recycle plastic is that there are a great many kinds of it. Lastly, it’s glass. Glass like metal and paper is fairly easy to recycle. Therefore, it’s recycled all over the world. You can just melt it down and use to make new bottles. The main problem here is that we can discover recycling chiefly in the highly developed countries. It’s rare to discover recycling (which is really working now) in many developing countries. Nevertheless, I assume recycling helps us get rid of many problems mentioned above. If both the countries which have already been using recycling actively and those which have just started continue recycling more and more materials and trying to invent new methods of recycling it will do a world of good not only to our planet but also all people living on it.
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Hi,

You opening is weak because you repeat yourself or state the obvious. Look at your first two sentences.

The rest of your essay is reasonably well written from an English point of view. From a logical point of view, it could use more work. For example, filtering effluent from factories is unlikely the problem. But you could “treat” the effluent from factories.

If I were in your shoes, I would be more inclined to write about ONE topic (air pollution or something). By covering off all types of pollution your essay becomes too bland or superficial because you are forced to state the obvious.

Again, from an English perspective, you are doing well.

MountainHiker

The Condition of the Environment

[More and more people are getting concerned about the environment nowadays. The number of such people is growing very rapidly. The reason for it is quite obvious: people do not want to live on the polluted and consequently dangerous planet.
I would emphasize three main problems. First of all, it’s air pollution. It’s proved that air pollution adversely affects your health and can cause a large number of diseases such as cancer for example. Delete---paragraph. Try rephrasing]

In order to solve this problem we should simply take some measures to cut down air pollution in big cities. For instance, we could introduce a law (law is a good work, or “act”) which would forbid factories to [work and produce anything without special filters—delete, exceed environmental limits]. It would also be good if we banned cars from city centers. Such a measure would have a very good effect in rather small cities with the population not more than 1.5 million people. [What about larger cities? What’s special about 1.5 million?] The citizens of small cities can usually get to the city center by bus or even on foot. Cars release so many poisonous gases into the air that reduction of the number of cars in such cities would result in the reduction of these poisonous gases.

Secondly, it is the so-called problem of litter. Plenty of people are very worried about this problem, too.[obvious statement, no?] Dirty streets can give you only a very slight idea of what dropping litter in streets can result in. Dropping an aluminum can in the street just think how much harm it might do.[repetitive] Bearing in mind that we contract many diseases by inhaling infected air and litter [we inhale litter?] creates the most favourable conditions for bacterium you will probably break the habit of dropping litter in streets. It’s not difficult to put your can in a litter bin at all! [you should avoid exclamation marks in essays,]

Lastly, it’s water pollution. To my mind, the best way of solving this problem is to fine factories which pollute rivers, lakes, and seas. Before fining them, it would be a good idea to make all the factories install filters which reduce the number of poisonous substances polluting water. [you’ll need more than filters] However, in most countries it’s impossible to do it due to these factories being of great value to them. As a result, they can’t stop using factories or reduce the volume of their production. Another good way of solving the problem of water pollution is to limit use of chemicals in industry. But here we face another problem. Many plants can’t help stopping using some chemicals since they cannot work without them. So, we are in a dilemma over whether to fine factories polluting lakes, seas, and rivers and to reduce the volume of their production or not. [No, the real question is do you want to spend more money and raise the production costs to reduce the harmful effects?]

There is no doubt there are plenty of other environmental problems such as acid rains, deforestation, global warming and so on and so forth but to my mind, these problems are not as topical now as those I mentioned. [Depends on where you live. If you were living near the ocean, global warming would be a major concern as the ocean levels might rise with the melting of the ice caps. Remember Kyoto? Global warming. If you lived in Brazil, deforestation might be your largest concern.]

Having paid so much attention to all these environmental problems I have to say a few words about recycling. It is a very important subject, and one that is becoming more so all the time. There are four main materials which can be recycled. First of all, it is paper. Paper is considered to be the easiest material to recycle. For instance, 20 tons of paper was recycled in the USA [There was more than 20 tons of paper recycled in my neighborhood last year, let alone an entire country] in 1990 which was a big success. Secondly, it’s metal. This material is also rather easy to recycle. A huge number of things we use are made of metal, so the more metal we recycle the better our planet will be. Thirdly, it’s plastic. This material is the hardest one to recycle. The reason why it’s so hard to recycle plastic is that there are a great many kinds of it. Lastly, it’s glass. Glass like metal and paper is fairly easy to recycle. Therefore, it’s recycled all over the world. You can just melt it down and use to make new bottles. The main problem here is that we can discover recycling chiefly in the highly developed countries. It’s rare to discover recycling (which is really working now) in many developing countries. Nevertheless, I assume recycling helps us get rid of many problems mentioned above. If both the countries which have already been using recycling actively and those which have just started continue recycling more and more materials and trying to invent new methods of recycling it will do a world of good not only to our planet but also all people living on it.
The Condition of the Environment
The problem of the environment became a matter of concern a long time ago. Living in the capital of Russia I would emphasize two main problems. These are pollution and litter.
First of all, I would like to pay attention to air pollution. In order to solve this problem we should simply take some measures to cut down air pollution in big cities. For instance, we could introduce a law which would forbid factories to exceed the environmental limits. It would also be good if we banned cars from city centers. Such a measure would have a very good effect in rather small cities with the population not more than a million people. The citizens of small cities can usually get to the city center by bus or even on foot. Cars release so many poisonous gases into the air that reduction of the number of cars in such cities would result in the reduction of these poisonous gases. (I wanted to write one million but somehow I wrote 1.5 million. It was just a misprint, I guess).
Secondly, it is the so-called problem of litter. Dirty streets can give you only a very slight idea of what dropping litter in streets can result in. Bearing in mind that we contract many diseases by inhaling infected air creates the most favourable conditions for bacterium you will probably break the habit of dropping litter in streets. Once you begin putting cans in litter bins you will realize that it’s not difficult at all.
Lastly, it’s water pollution. To my mind, the best way of solving this problem is to fine factories which pollute rivers, lakes, and seas. Before fining them, it would be a good idea to make all the factories install filters which reduce the number of poisonous substances polluting water. However, in most countries it’s impossible to do it due to these factories being of great value to them. As a result, they can’t stop using factories or reduce the volume of their production. Another good way of solving the problem of water pollution is to limit use of chemicals in industry. But here we face another problem. Many plants can’t help stopping using some chemicals since they cannot work without them. So, we are in a dilemma over whether to fine factories polluting lakes, seas, and rivers and to reduce the volume of their production or not. (I don’t quite understand what you meant by your question.)
There is no doubt there are plenty of other environmental problems such as acid rains, deforestation, global warming and so on and so forth but to my mind, these problems are not as topical now as those I mentioned.

(You are absolutely right in saying that it depends on where I live. As I said above I live in Russia, so deforestation must be my largest concern but it isn’t really. If my brain hasn’t quite totally deserted me there are so many forests in Russia that it is very difficult to imagine that the country will run out of this resource some day. I assume that you are more concerned about deforestation than me, for you have far less forests in England (by the way, where do you live?)

Having paid so much attention to all these environmental problems I have to say a few words about recycling. It is a very important subject, and one that is becoming more so all the time. There are four main materials which can be recycled. First of all, it is paper. Paper is considered to be the easiest material to recycle. For instance, 20 tons of paper was recycled in the USA in 1990 which was a big success. Secondly, it’s metal. This material is also rather easy to recycle. A huge number of things we use are made of metal, so the more metal we recycle the better our planet will be. Thirdly, it’s plastic. This material is the hardest material to recycle. The reason why it’s so hard to recycle plastic is that there are a great many kinds of it. Lastly, it’s glass. Glass like metal and paper is fairly easy to recycle. Therefore, it’s recycled all over the world. You can just melt it down and use to make new bottles. The main problem here is that we can see recycling chiefly in the highly developed countries. It’s rare to discover recycling (which is really working now) in many developing countries. Nevertheless, I assume that recycling helps us get rid of many problems mentioned above. If both the countries which have already been using recycling actively and those which have just started continue recycling more and more materials and trying to invent new methods of recycling it will do a world of good not only to our planet but also all people living on it.

(You said that more than 20 tons of paper was recycled in your neighborhood last year let alone an entire country. Right, but it was last year. I wrote in my essay about 1990, that is 14 years ago. I think it was a considerable amount at the time, wasn’t it?)

I quite agree with you that I should have put in more work to make this essay better from a logical point of view but I did not want to delve into all these details, as it would have taken a great deal of time which I haven’t got now. You also said that if you were me you would write an essay on one particular problem. I had this idea but I thought it would not be interesting. As it turned out, this was a good idea. All in all, my English mistakes are much more important for me than logical ones. According to your message, my essay was reasonably well written from an English point of view. That's great!
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ReDSanchous,

If you are an ESL student learning English, you've got a strong command of the language.

If you are a high school student or university student wanting to gain marks for both English and content, you need to work hard on the content issue. The English side is doing very well.

Small point: I don't use Firstly, secondly, thirdly etc. I use first, second, and third. It's sharper, more focused. If you hunt around on the Internet, you'll find that many others do the same.

20 tons for US in 1990? No, that is insignificant, even for 1990. [url="http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1999/ince99a.pdf "][/url]. Look at figures 8 & 10. You'll see that the recycle rate was about 20%. There was a lot more than a 100 tons of newsprint in the US in 1990.

In my tiny neighborhood alone, there is a huge bin that collects newsprint. Every month or less, it is collected. I am guessing that it holds 1500-2500 lbs of newsprint. So one tiny,tiny neighborhood would recycle more than 20 tons per year. For entire US, no way.

I didn't reread your essay. You seem to have a strong grasp of English, and I think you are bright enough to know where your essay needs to be strengthened.

I live in Canada, and we have lots of forests too. But still, it looks ugly when it is clear cut. And we are still loosing species of animals.

MountainHiker
Bearing in mind that we contract many diseases by inhaling infected air and litter [we inhale litter?] creates the most favourable conditions for bacterium you will probably break the habit of dropping litter in streets.


We don't inhale litter. What I think you were TRYING to say is....

We contract many diseases from inhaling polluted air as well as germs and bacteria from rotting litter in the streets.

You inhale: a) polluted air, b) germs and bacteria.

If it were me, I'd explain about the different polutants in the air that cause elderly people and those with asthma etc. great difficulty. Then I'd explain about germs and bacteria.

Just food for thought.

MountainHiker
MountainHiker,

I am an ESL student, so I don't have to concentrate on the content to get top marks (If I were a university student I would want to get top marks) for both English and content.

By the way, why don't you use firstly, secondly etc.? All my text-books say that you have to say firstly, etc. to mean in the first/second, etc. place. Is it informal?

I have looked at those figures and I can say that I was mistaken. I didn't devise those figures. As far as I remember I saw them somewhere on the web.

"I didn't reread your essay. You seem to have a strong grasp of English, and I think you are bright enough to know where your essay needs to be strengthened. "

Yes, I know where my essay needs strengthining. I will probably attend to it at the weekend.

Thanks for the compliments!
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I have forgotten about your second message.
I know that we don't inhale litter. I was thinking about rotting litter when writing the essay and as a consequence, I forgot to leave it out.
Hello ReDS

One small thing: when enumerating, there's no need for an 'it's':

'First of all, it is paper' => 'First of all, paper'.

MrP
Thanks MrPedantic.

What about the usage of first, second, etc. instead of firstly, secondly? Can I say:
... Second, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone.
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