Mastering the English language requires one to pay extra attention to the tiniest of details. Some of the common mistakes made by writers involve lack of cohesion and coherence, theme and rheme, and nominalization. This paper is a critical analysis of a text titled "Memory" to reveal the grammatical mistakes made. The paper also involves a rewrite of the text to correct the mistakes and an evaluation of the rewritten text.
Cohesion and coherence analysis
Grammatical cohesion refers to how text is tied together by use of reference, substitution, ellipsis and conjunction. Lexical cohesion, on the other hand, is achieved through collocation and reiteration (Silvia, 2018, p2). The writer of the text attempts to ensure the cohesion of the text but several mistakes are made.
The writer makes use of temporal conjunctions in the second paragraph by use of the words firstly, secondly, thirdly, fourthly and fifthly. The use of the words in an adverbial format with the suffix '-ly' is not proper English. The writer should have used first, second, and third which make more sense. Another mistake is that enumeration of points is accepted but after third, it is advised to use other words such as next, and also. In between the fourth and fifth point, the writer discusses two points which are not enumerated yet goes on to the final point and enumerates it. This brings about lack of cohesion. The last point should make use of the word finally to show the points being discussed have been exhausted as opposed to fifthly.
The writer also uses adversative conjunction incorrectly in form of the phrase 'on the other hand'. The phrase 'on the other hand' is used to describe statements that have opposite ideas. The points discussed by the writer were not presenting opposite ideas.
Other attempts to ensure cohesion of the text are correct with repetition used with the word memory in the first paragraph and sleep in the second paragraph. Coherence refers to the flow of text in an orderly fashion. The writer has a fair attempt to ensure the coherence of the text.
Theme and Rheme
The theme is divided into three macro-theme, hyper-theme and sentence theme. Macro-theme refers to the introductory paragraph in an essay that tells the reader what the hyper-theme will discuss (Shretha, 2010, p12). The first paragraph is full of grammatical mistakes which limit its communicative effectiveness. The writer fails to provide an adequate background of what memory is and its importance. The macro-theme is not clear and needs more information.
Grammatical mistakes in the introductory paragraph
Grammatical Mistake Correction We all agree that improve our memory is important things in our life We all agree that improving our memory is an important thing in our life. Poor sentence structure that requires paraphrasing.
Hyper-theme is a group of sentences that predict a pattern of interactions in the sentences that follow (Shretha, 2010, p12). The hyper-theme is seen in the second paragraph of the text. The second paragraph lacks a clear hyper-theme. The first sentence reads "Firstly, get a good night's sleep." This does not show what is to follow in the rest of the sentences. Instead, the author should have written "First, to improve our memory, get a good night's sleep" this way the readers expect more ways of improving memory.
Memory is a process that involves the storage and retrieval of information from the brain. Memory is key in the lives of human beings. It is through memory that we are able to remember information and events that happened years ago. It is therefore important to find ways of improving our memory. This paper analyses several ways that we can use to improve our memory.
First, to improve memory, get a good night's sleep. Sleep is key to the brain which helps us remember tasks. Sleeping seven to eight hours every day is a good way to improve our memory. Second, eating healthy food is useful to our brains and health. This includes eating fruits and vegetables, choosing low-fat protein food, and drinking at least eight glasses of water daily. Third, exercising is one of the best ways to improve memory. Exercise helps directly by reducing inflammation and stimulating the growth of new blood cells. Exercise also helps indirectly by helping you to have better sleep patterns and reduce stress. The other way to improve your memory is by controlling your salt intake. Both excess salt and inadequate salt are harmful to your memory. Other ways to improve memory include avoiding excess sugar and alcohol consumption which are harmful to memory in the short-term and long-term. Finally, stay mentally active. This can be achieved by learning a new language, reading a section of the newspaper, or doing something new that you didn't do before. The brain can also be activated by solving mathematical equations and playing chess which are good ways of improving your memory.
In conclusion, the paper has highlighted the various ways to improve memory. In summary, these ways include getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, exercising, avoiding excess sugar, regulating salt intake, and activating the brain. Adhering to these practices and habits helps us improve our memory.
Evaluation of Rewritten Text
A much-improved introduction was written providing a definition of memory. There was no background information in the original text as the writer got straight into the topic. The macro-theme was improved to give the reader insight of what the paper will discuss. The original text also had grammatical texts in the introduction which were corrected. The changes were highlighted under the discussion of rheme and theme.
The first line in the second paragraph was changed to show the hyper-theme. The original text stated "Firstly, get a good night's sleep" which does not give the reason or the theme being discussed. The line was altered to "First, to improve memory, get a good night's sleep". This way the reader knows what to expect in the sentences that follow.
To show cohesion of the text the enumeration was done up to the third point using the words first, second, and third. After the third point, other conjunctions were used such as the other way, other ways, and finally. There are seven points discussed in the second paragraph and if properly enumerated it would be monotonous. The change was necessary to give the text a more professional tone and flow. Enumerating up to seven points was not necessary thus the change.
Sleep is a key for the brain Sleep is key to the brain Incorrect use of the article 'a' which was omitted. Incorrect preposition 'for' replaced by 'to.'
..that helping us to remember our tasks. ..which helps us remember tasks. Incorrect use of gerund 'helping' changed to 'helps'.
Secondly, healthy food is useful for our brain and health too. Second, eating healthy food is useful to our brains and health. Sentence paraphrased to make more logical sense.
Fourthly, too much salt is harmful to your memory but too little salt is also harmful. A way to improve your memory is to watch your salt intake. The other way to improve your memory is by controlling your salt intake. Both excess salt and inadequate salt are harmful to your memory. Repetition of the word harmful in the original text and incorrect use of the conjunction but. The word watch is used incorrectly in the sentence. The order of sentences is altered to create coherence.
On the other hand, the next way to improve memory is to avoid excessive sugar. Also, Excessive alcohol is terrible for memory in both the short-term and the long-term. Other ways to improve memory include avoiding excess sugar and alcohol consumption which are harmful to memory in the short-term and long-term. Incorrect use of the conjunction 'on the other hand' since there are no opposite ideas being discussed. The two points were combined to create cohesion and coherence. Incorrect capitalization of the letter 'E' in excessive.
The conclusion was a vague attempt to summarize the text. The sentence 'Also, I give more example' is unnecessary and grammatically incorrect and was thus omitted. The conclusion was paraphrased to show coherence and cohesion of the various ways to improve memory.
The original text being criticized contained grammatical errors lacked cohesion and coherence, the hyper-theme and macro-theme were not clear. The paper was rewritten addressing its weaknesses and the changes evaluated. Writers should be meticulous in their writing to ensure the quality of their papers meets the required standards.
Shrestha, P. (2010). Dynamic assessment of academic writing: macro-Theme and hyper-Theme. [Online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/pnshrestha/dynamic-assessment-of-academic-writing-macrotheme-and-hypertheme
Silvia, A. (2018). Grammatical and Lexical Cohesion. [Online] Available at: https://www.academia.edu/2344329/Grammatical_and_Lexical_Cohesion?auto=download [Accessed Nov28, 2018]
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