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Can you please provide suggestions on how I can improve my writing and correct any...

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rainbow224 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM via web

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Can you please provide suggestions on how I can improve my writing and correct any grammatical errors if noted? 


There has been a dramatic rise in the number of overweight children and adults in Australia over the past 20 years (National Health and Medical, Research Council, 2005).

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM (Answer #1)

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When writing a factual essay, numbers will of course support the facts. The rules governing the use of numbers is confusing and generally, if in doubt, write numbers out in full unless dates, page (and appendix) numbers, flight numbers, and so on. Your "20 years" would be acceptable written either way.

Small numbers or when numbers begin sentences such as "one in four Australians", means that "1 in 4" would be grammatically incorrect in this context as it is both at the beginning of a sentence and quotes small numbers. Similarly, with "serves of vegetables and fruits per day; 2 fruits and 5 vegetables." Rather say, two fruits and five vegetables in this instance. This would also pause better if preceded by a semi-colon (;) as indicated. A semi-colon in front of "for example" would also improve the flow.

For numbers over ten, it is acceptable to write numerically but take care with consistency and do not mix usage within a sentence. 

Rearrange the following sentence to avoid the preposition "from" from upsetting the flow of that sentence, as prepositions at the end of a complete thought should be avoided:

"School canteens are one of the major take away food markets that many students consume a substantial portion of their daily intake from..." would be better as :

School canteens are one of the major take away food markets from which many students consume a ...daily intake.

Rearrange the following sentence and place the "To alert students,..." at the beginning of this sentence as otherwise confusion (ambiguity) creeps in.:

"The snacks menu must emphasise, either by using large size font or attractive color, that those foods must not be eaten on a daily basis but once a week to alert students."

Take care with singular and plural throughout, such as "diagnosis," the plural of which is diagnoses.In the sentence "menu boards, where it ..." the "it" refers to the menu boards, so it should say "where they..." The apostrophe also indicates singular and plural so correct "student’s thirst" to read "students' thirst" as it is the thirst of many students not just one! 

Some of the smaller issues are: lining....lining up...a serve of fruit salad...a serving of fruit salad.  


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