The Effects of Global Warming- Marker’s Report

Here are some of my comments after reading your essays. Do go through them once you get your work back and see which of the comment apply to your writing.

1. Lack of title

It is specifically mentioned in the question that you need to include a title, yet many of you left it out. This lack of attention to instructions is the most frequent cause of low marks in situational writing. The pity of it is that it is so easy to get this part right.

2. Incorrect title

There were many who used the title “Effects on Global Warming”. One little word makes a world of difference when an examiner is trying to assess how much you understand about the question and the task you have been set.

3. Merging points

You are asked to pick three points from the list given. Yet many of you chose to group the points together. The result was that you ended up using one point as supporting detail for another, instead of elaborating on each point in its own right. Again, this could have been avoided simply by following the given instructions.

4. Poor elaboration

A string of consequences cannot take the place of clear explanations or relevant examples.

5. Irrelevant hook

Some of the hooks provided were too far-fetched, and therefore difficult to transition from to the thesis statement.

6. Inappropriate tone and register

This is a written article, not a speech. So it is not appropriate to say, for example, “The first thing I am going to talk about is…” nor is it appropriate to use too many rhetorical questions. The primary text type required here is expository, yet many of you are so conditioned to use alarmist rhetoric that you are unable to break out of that mode. Successful situational writing requires that you respond to the specific task you are given.

7. Quoting verbatim

It was very evident which writers had consulted the transcript, because of the large chunks of text that were copied wholesale from it with no attempt made to tweak them to suit the situation. This not only puts your writing at risk of being irrelevant, it is also known as plagiarism, which is to be avoided at all costs. Furthermore, Al Gore was essentially making a speech, so he used a tone and register appropriate for that setting. Yours is a written article. Copying a spoken form leads you to produce many sentences that are only grammatical in a speech setting, such as sentence fragments.

8. Irrelevant elaboration

At the other extreme were students who clearly had not looked at the transcript at all, and so made up their own stories surrounding each of the main points. This stretched the points to ridiculous extents, and affected the writers’ credibility.

9. Copying the points in the question

Some of the points given in the question had a dash followed by a brief explanation. It looks ridiculous when these points are copied wholesale into your writing with no attempt made to ensure that they fit into a grammatical sentence format.

10. Vocabulary issues

The phrase is “to become extinct”, not “to go extinct” or even “to extinct”.
The word is “fewer” (for countable nouns) or “less” (for uncountable nouns). There is no such word as “lesser”, except in a very specific context (for example, there is a movie with the title “Children of a Lesser God”, in which case the word “lesser” means “inferior”).

11. Grammar issues

I am surprised to see that subject-verb agreement and sentence separation are still such common areas in which errors are made. Many of you also have problems with expression and phrasing. While we can target these errors in class to a certain extent (watch out for more grammar training next term!), you are all going to have to read a great deal more (newspapers, magazines, books) if you want to bump up your grades.

We will be addressing these issues in more detail when school opens in the second term.

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