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The assignment was to make inferences about a family, based on the garbage of their...

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samiha1998 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted June 9, 2013 at 6:26 PM via web

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The assignment was to make inferences about a family, based on the garbage of their house. So here is my theory (only 1 para long):

From the artifacts of House #3’s garbage, we were able to make many inferences about the how the people who resided in this house lived. Firstly, it was a couple, consisting of a man and a woman. Both were concerned about their appearance and hygiene. Both dressed in higher-end clothes; the man dress professionally, and has an interest in current events and politics. The woman valued fashion and fitness; she also may have had a hobby of cooking. Secondly, the couple was very active athletically, and in entertaining themselves. Both held a sport membership; the man was a left-handed golf player, while the woman anticipated in squash. The couple enjoyed classical music, and spending time together. The man occasionally drank hard drinks, such as rye whiskey. Thirdly, the couple was financially well-off. This justifies their reasonably high social status and ability to afford their easy living; their residence in an urban area made their needs and wants accessible. Their household income was relatively high and came come a high-paying profession. They were educated and they had much life satisfaction. 

How can I improve my paragraph?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM (Answer #1)

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I listed your question under "Essay Lab" since you are asking for  suggestions about the essay in terms of structure and not content.

A suggestion is that you start by explaining in your first sentence what you are doing and why. This is your thesis statement. An idea could be:

This study, titled _____ , attempts to correlate the type of garbage found in a typical family bin to the way in which they reside within the household. We selected house #3. The residents consist on a male-female couple. The evident suggests that they are concerned...etc. Continue with your observations, but here are other suggestions. One of them is to check that all of your verbs are in present tense, i.e., "the man dresses professionally", "the woman values" fashion and fitness. Your verbs are sometimes present tense and sometimes past tense. Check on that. All tenses should agree.

Other suggestions:

  1. Do not use transitions such as firstly, or secondly. Let the sentence content speak for itself. Notice how the example above does not have transition words.
  2. The sentence that reads, "the couple was very active athletically", do not speak in past tense. Just say something like "the couple appears to be involved in athletics"- present tense.
  3. When you explain that the couple "likes to spend time together" try to explain how the trash leads you to conclude that. It is easier to correlate trash to what they drink (occasional hard drinks) rather than to whether they like to be together.
  4. When it comes to how the couple feels, if you cannot justify it with the object

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