Thank you for your patience. It’s been a busy time for me.

Submission #2

“Are Cell Phones Good For Society?

I heard this question alot of times and my answer is “Yes!”. Many years ago before cell phones was invented, needless to say we didn’t know the benefit of cell phone. We were satisfied enough with our home phones, mailing letter, fax etc as our communication tools. However, our technology and information keep on growing and making our life easier.

Talking about cell phones, I got my first phone cell the one that only for calling and texting. I haven’t crossed in mind where one day, I could have a cell phone with camera, internet, music on the go, gaming etc. For many years I live my life with cell phone and for some reason I take it as granted.

One day, I dropped my cell phone in the toilet bowl. Unfortunatelly, at that time I didn’t have budget to buy a new cell phone right away. During the waiting which was almost a week, I felt that my life was like a fish out of water. I found it was very difficult to make a date with my friends, especially when we were outing. I had to stick with one of them just to make sure that I won’t lost in the crowd.

Based from my experience, I belief that cell phones is good for society. Moreover, now days cell phones is more that a phone. We can do many thing while we are on the go. With cell phone, information is very handy and handy.”

My Comments

Here, we have an attempt to give this essay proper formal “introduction/ body/ conclusion” structure. Of the two, the conclusion is more distinct. The introduction does not complete its job of having a proper “catch phrase” to end it to end the introduction of the rest.

Also, while I understand many people are taught this way, it is not my habit to put “my answer is yes” in the introduction. You can do it, but you need to know what you are doing and present your answer as the start of something interesting, not the end.

Having said this, the main problem here is with word usage.

The Good

  1. Tone. The tone of voice is very natural and outgoing. This connects with the reader.
  2. A clear opinion. The writer leaves no doubt as to where he stands.
  3. Structure. With few exceptions, the essay is structured in the proper way.

Nitpicks

Let’s come back to word usage.

First, “alot” is an error. There is a word spelled “allot” that means “to grant/ assign.” Quite possibly, “a lot” is derived from “allot,” but there is no such word as “alot.” It is a lot, two words, meaning “many,” “a great deal of,” and so forth.

A lot of the time, formal writers will use words like “a great deal of the time” to avoid all problems and work around another common Germanic construction. A lot of the time, this is unnecessary work.

Now, a little on punctuation and sentence structure.

“Many years ago before cell phones was invented, needless to say we didn’t know the benefit of cell phone.”

The pauses are simply not ideal. Also, “needless to say” is the sort of phrase that is best used to start a sentence, or failing that, to finish a sentence.

Here, let’s rewrite that part and adjust the commas.

Many years ago, before cell phones were invented, it goes without saying that we didn’t know the benefits of cell phones.”

I also changed “benefit” and “cell phone” to plural. Multiple benefits, multiple cell phones.

Tip: Many grammar problems are concentrated at the start of an essay before the writer has “warmed up” properly. (Having both translated professionally and written small books, I can attest tot his applying to both translating and authoring books as well.) Whenever possible, carefully review your first sentences.

“I haven’t crossed in mind where one day, I could have a cell phone with camera, internet, music on the go, gaming etc.”

There are two ways to write this.

1. “It never crossed my mind that one day,”

2. “I never thought that one day,”

And never the twain shall meet. (<- This is a cute phrase I use to mean, the two shall never meet – you should not mix the two ways of writing that. One is 3rd person, the other is 1st person.)

Here, the writer is using 1st person for the body (using his own experiences as authoritative), so I’d go with #2.

Similarly,

“I didn’t have budget to buy a”

A budget is a schedule and plan for spending money. To budget is a verb; to schedule and plan for spending money. Neither applies here, per se.

You either didn’t have room in your budget (room in your plan), or you didn’t have the money to buy a new cell phone. Room in your budget to do it, means the money to do it. They are two ways of saying the same thing. It would be good writing to use “room in my budget to buy,” but not to write “didn’t have budget to” or “I had not budgeted for” (because no one budgets for dropping their cell phone in a toilet, it is an unforeseen expense).

Of course, this isn’t to put the writer down. The intent is very strong. With work, this writing can become stronger. Grammar cannot produce clarity of thought, though; only clarity of writing. Strong intent is precious and valuable.

Overall

The argument is very clear and well developed. While the essay has word usage and grammar problems typical of non-native English speakers, this should not take away from a clear, sound, well put argument that cell phones are indeed good for society.

Thank you. I hope my comments have helped. I will write about the third submission, and cover a last-minute entry, soon. 🙂