Hi Everyone!

I'm a year 10 student from Australia.

I'm glad I've found this forum and have joined just a couple of hours ago. It's nice to be hereEmotion: smile.

Lately, I've become increasingly insecure about my English. I feel like my writing lacks something -- the quintessential 'spice' that makes a piece of writing great.

Anyhow, if someone could read my writing below and provide me with some recommendations or something, that'd be great.

What can I do to become better at English?

Thanks.

Here's an exerpt from an assignment I did on the book 'Peeling the Onion', it involves responding to quotes and stuff like that about the book:

2.1 “I may have broken bones, Mum, but there’s nothing wrong with my mind”

Why are the injuries so frustrating to Anna?

The injuries are so frustrating to Anna because they are essentially a completely life changing experience for her. Anna, the apparently non-mediocre, very active, energetic, euphoric, ecstatic, fit, beautiful teenage girl with her life fully sorted out suddenly turns into a hospitalised patient incapable of even moving properly and under extreme pain and suffering. Or, in other words, Anna’s life, which Wendy Orr portrayed as being a wonderful one, was tragically turned up-side-down in a tragic turn of events which are rather distorted and unclear initially, I suspect this was Wendy Orr’s ways of keeping the reader in suspense; they are clarified later in the book as a car accident. If one puts oneself into Anna’s shoes, one can better comprehend what she is feeling. Imagine you have just come from a wonderful time with friends, you have accomplished one of your significant goals, which was the karate championship in Anna’s case, and then suddenly and spontaneously all of your accomplishments and all of your dreams are blasted into oblivion; your whole life is shattered, like a fragile piece of glass; you’ve broken, and you wake up in a hospital bed completely disorientated, not being able to do any of the things you took for granted before, lying in the hospital bed like a piece of meat that wont die. The book depicts Anna’s pain is such a way that it almost forces the reader to experience it, or at least be able to comprehend it in some minute way.
Catalyst55,
The injuries are so frustrating to Anna because they are essentially a completely life changing experience for her. Anna, the apparently non-mediocre, very active, energetic, euphoric, ecstatic, fit, beautiful teenage girl with her life fully sorted out suddenly turns into a hospitalised patient incapable of even moving properly and under extreme pain and suffering. Or, in other words, Anna’s life, which Wendy Orr portrayed as being a wonderful one, was tragically turned up-side-down in a tragic turn of events which are rather distorted and unclear initially, I suspect this was Wendy Orr’s ways of keeping the reader in suspense; they are clarified later in the book as a car accident. If one puts oneself into Anna’s shoes, one can better comprehend what she is feeling. Imagine you have just come from a wonderful time with friends, you have accomplished one of your significant goals, which was the karate championship in Anna’s case, and then suddenly and spontaneously all of your accomplishments and all of your dreams are blasted into oblivion; your whole life is shattered, like a fragile piece of glass; you’ve broken, and you wake up in a hospital bed completely disorientated, not being able to do any of the things you took for granted before, lying in the hospital bed like a piece of meat that wont die. The book depicts Anna’s pain is such a way that it almost forces the reader to experience it, or at least be able to comprehend it in some minute way.


For a 10 year old, your writing is way beyond your years. In other words, your command of writing is advanced.

In reviewing your work, I think you are simply trying too hard. Turn down the volume on the adjectives and adverbs, and be consistent with "you" and "one". Also, be careful of run-on sentences. If you do that, I think you'll improve considerably. You just need more time. Read more books, fiction and non-fiction, newspapers and everything else. But also make sure your nose is not stuck in a book all day. Experience life so that you can write about it.

Here's some food for thought, though it is far from perfect. Notice that it is much shorter? To improve your work even further, you need to define the theme of the paragraph and develop that theme better. We still tend to jump around a bit in the paragraph. And then you need to make sure that the sentences flow better from sentence to sentence.

Here's an inexpensive book I highly recommend: [url="http://snipurl.com/9254"]Style: Toward Grace and Clarity[/url] by Joseph M. Williams.

Anna’s life, which Wendy Orr portrayed as being a wonderful one, was tragically turned up-side-down in a tragic turn of events. Anna, a very active and beautiful teenage girl with her promising life before her turns into a hospitalised patient incapable of even moving without extreme pain and suffering. I suspect this was Wendy Orr’s ways of keeping the reader in suspense; they are clarified later in the book as a car accident. Just imagine if you were in Anna’s shoes. Imagine you have just come from a wonderful time with friends; imagine you have accomplished one of your significant goals, which was the karate championship in Anna’s case; and then imagine suddenly all of your accomplishments and all of your dreams are are shattered, like a fragile piece of glass. You wake up in a hospital bed completely disorientated, not being able to do any of the things you took for granted before, lying in the hospital bed incapacitated. The book depicts Anna’s pain is such a way that it almost forces the reader to experience it in a very visceral manner.

Hope this helps.

MountainHiker
Thanks a lot for that.

Sorry about the ambiguity -- I'm in Year 10 (which makes me 16 years old) and not 10 years oldEmotion: smile.

So, for a first step, I should be more concise?

Did I mention that the text was actually in response to a question? This is why I had a tendency of 'jumping around' a lot in the paragraph.

What's the best way of answering a question? You seem to use semi-colons a lot. I personally do not use them much -- maybe I should start...

I'll see if I can get that book...

Cheers
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi Catalyst,

First step, be more concise? As a general rule, less is more. Try to focus on your topic like a laser beam and write the essentials. Obviously, you can take this too far.

Read a few novels occasionally, magazines on a regular basis, newspapers and whatever else. You will find that your writing will mature. That book I recommended will also help.

Also, the more you write, the better you will become. This advice applies equally well to me as it does to you.

Even when answering a question, you should focus. Sometimes, especially if you give a long answer, it is helpful to follow these steps:

1.) Tell'em what you're gonna tell'em
2.) Tell'em
3.) Tell'em what you've told'em

In other words, set up a guide as to what you are going to discuss. Then discuss it. And finally summarize what you have discussed.

The human mind likes to be able to slot things into their proper places. If you provide "hooks" (outline) early on in your discussion, the reader's mind is able to grasp your new material much easier.

Semi-colons? Use them when warranted. But don't overuse them. You can learn more about [url="http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/semicolon.htm"]semicolons here[/url].

I hope that helps.

MountainHiker
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