1. linchpin
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    linchpin Member

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    Any one can give me suggestion on my dissertation? Grammar, structure or any mistake

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by linchpin, Oct 31, 2011.

    Skyscraper Index: Tallest Buildings Rising as Mercury of Looming Economic Crisis

    Skyscrapers, a building backed up by powerful economic forces, are viewed by people and politicians mostly as the symbol of social progress and economic boom, a notion some economists turn up their noses at. The tallest buildings spring up usually as the herald for an economic downturn at hand, typically when setting a new record, the economists argue.
    “The bad times come once the edifices are finished”(1), judged by Andrew Lawrence, a security analyzer at Deutsche Bank(2), in 1999. On Feb. 15, 2006, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. set up an international economic meeting in Beijing. “If there would be any global depression in the near term, it mostly could be in 2007 or 2008”(3), Mr. Llewellyn, chief economist for Lehman Brothers, said to their China clients in the meeting, looking ahead when referring to the “Skyscraper Index”.
    The chief economist predicted the bust through 2007 into 2008, only to find out later the century-old corporation he worked for was toppled down in that recession. In terms of the economy, here come our questions: Is the high-rise a glory or curse? And whether the buildings do have a close relationship with the economic disaster?
    In 1999, Andrew Lawrence’s study proved there’s connections between skyscrapers and recession, which the researcher described as the “Skyscraper Index”(4). In fact, every record-breaking structure normally rises along with the economic downturn. From early-20th-century, there’s four rounds of global skyscraper-building spree, coming with them the depression or financial turmoil each time.(5)
    In the 1920’, America’s economy turned up, with an unprecedented roaring stock market back and a surge in building on residential and commercial properties. During that period, three record-breaking skyscrapers had leapt into existences in a string: 40 Wall Street, Chrysler Building, and Empire State Building, constructions in New York, were erected through 1929 to 1931. Nonetheless, hot on the heels of them was not a new boom but a disastrous economic debacle. After the long-and-robust-growth 1960’s, a period called by the Americans as the “Golden Age”(6), World Trade Center in New York and Sears Tower in Chicago broke ground. In 1972 and 1974, the two world-record-breaking skyscrapers were completed in turn, in the wake of them a serious global economic stagnation.
    Hardly anyone believes it is a coincidence that skyscrapers had a close relationship with economic crisis. Then what makes the depression stay with skyscrapers?
    First, human nature makes a contribution.(7) People’s optimism sometimes is unwarranted. To put it another way, men do not fully understand the objectives in the real world as they thought do, and stubbornly stick to the subjectives in their minds. Although Mr. Lawrence named the nexus between skyscrapers and depression as the “century-ailing-link”(8), that “ailing-link” had been existing not the least of 100 years in human society. In retrospect, one can easily find that “ailing-link” was standing as far back as in China’s long-time history. King Zhou, a monarch of Shang Dynasty, constructed Lutai when his kingdom was well-off, a then magnificent architecture, while the resentments cropped up from everywhere, and he was forced to incinerate himself on the construction. Emperor Qian Long, a ruler of Qing Dynasty, had gardens built on a large scale at a time of the dynasty’s greatest grandeur, leading to the waning in national power, humiliating the nation and forfeiting its sovereignty
    Second, profit weighs in. Margin is primary to any business behavior. Before the onset of a boom, low interest rates are paving the way for the economic upturn as a prerequisite. Yet in a prosperous economy, interest rates are always lower than the expectation of income. And there come the flows of money in the form of the said so- -called money-flow-pipe(9). In addition, the economic boom and comparably low interest rates work on land values and capital costs directly. Consequently, a plan for a new world-record-breaking construction is mapped out in keeping with the flow of money, to which three contributing factors are land prices, business demands and supporting capitals.
    As we know, like the alternation of day and night, or seasonal cycle, business cycles back and forth between good and bad; price of goods depends on the supply and demand. Thus, the demand for the high-rise stems from a so-called “golden status”, a volatile state, in which the darkest hour is just before the dawn(10), and the bust rolls out from the peak of the boom, in which interest rates are lower, and demands are growing, and in which prices are rising, and most people are blindly optimistic.
    Generally, the economy staggering into a recession, the tallest buildings have just been finished, and after they are occupied, the economy might have already been bogged down, resulting in the depression keeping pace with the building of skyscrapers and the NO.1 building in the world being the monument to the faded boom.

    Notes:
    (1) This is not the original words from Lawrence but the translation of the Chinese article.
    (2) Actually, Andrew Lawrence was then research director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. From Wikipedia, "Skyscraper Index".
    (3) This is not the original words from Llewellyn but the translation of the Chinese article.
    (4) In fact, Lawrence brought out the concept as a joke. From Wikipedia, "Skyscraper Index".
    (5) Lawrence’s data was based on United States experience. And there's more than four rounds of building fever in USA history. From Wikipedia, "Skyscraper Index".
    (6) The Chinese writer may have been confused with the "Golden Age" of Europe and America. But obviously, he just wanted to say in the 1960's, American's economy was very good.
    (7) The first reason is typical of Chinese writing cliches, and it's hardly to be found on any research book/article of Skyscraper Index on the internet.
    (8) This is not Lawrence's original words but the translation of the Chinese article.
    (9) It seems that the Chinese author had dug more than other researchers on the theory of Skyscraper Index. His concept of "money-flow-pipe" is seldom to be found on the internet.
    (10) The author uses a Chinese saying as a metaphor to indicate the buisness cycles.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, it's not paragraphed... you need to insert a line break where each indent has been lost in posting...

    also, this is the wrong section for reviewing/critiquing a formal essay... you can ask a moderator to move it for you...

    lastly, you should do a careful proofread for mistakes such as the number conflict in the first sentence ['skyscrapers, a building']...
     
  3. linchpin
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    linchpin Member

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    Hi Mamm
    nice to see your comments.
    Years ago, you had talked in my post about comma and "and" a lot and impressed me much

    Actually, I don't want to see any professional or very serious comments. I just want to know whether my essay is suitable for native speaker. Cause it's just a translation while not a creative topic.

    And I don't agree with your judge on the mistake "skyscrapers, a building..." . It's easy to understand "Tigers are a beast". Why can't I say "Skyscrapers are a building"?

    Anyway, I appreciate your time and hope you can piont out more mistakes from my article.

    Sincerly.

    Linchpin
     
  4. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Because "skyscrapers" are plural and "a building" is not. "Skyscrapers are buildings" would be correct, but not "a building." So correct would be, "Skyscrapers, buildings ..." for your line.

    For the actual essay, I won't go very in-depth here, but there are places where it doesn't make a lot of sense, like after the line "First, human nature makes a contribution." A few notes ... your citations are inconsistent; you do not need to cite a person's job title; please "edit" (forum button) your original post and add white space (double spaces) between all paragraphs to make it easier on the eyes); you have several small grammar mistakes as mammamaia pointed out; and your sentence structure needs some work in places, like "that 'ailing-link' had been existing not the least of 100 years in human society." I also think the length, thoroughness, and structure of the essay may have a problem, but I'll comment on that after you fix the paragraphs to be eye-friendly and I have time to look at it again.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say that it does not read as if it were written by a native speaker. It definitely reads like a (somewhat flawed) translation.
     
  6. linchpin
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    linchpin Member

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    Sorry, it seems I cannot edit it after 24 hours, so I have to post it again.

    Skyscrapers, a building backed up by powerful economic forces, are viewed by people and politicians mostly as the symbol of social progress and economic boom, a notion some economists turn up their noses at. The tallest buildings spring up usually as the herald for an economic downturn at hand, typically when setting a new record, the economists argue.

    “The bad times come once the edifices are finished”(1), judged by Andrew Lawrence, a security analyzer at Deutsche Bank(2), in 1999. On Feb. 15, 2006, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. set up an international economic meeting in Beijing. “If there would be any global depression in the near term, it mostly could be in 2007 or 2008”(3), Mr. Llewellyn, chief economist for Lehman Brothers, said to their China clients in the meeting, looking ahead when referring to the “Skyscraper Index”.

    The chief economist predicted the bust through 2007 into 2008, only to find out later the century-old corporation he worked for was toppled down in that recession. In terms of the economy, here come our questions: Is the high-rise a glory or curse? And whether the buildings do have a close relationship with the economic disaster?

    In 1999, Andrew Lawrence’s study proved there’s connections between skyscrapers and recession, which the researcher described as the “Skyscraper Index”(4). In fact, every record-breaking structure normally rises along with the economic downturn. From early-20th-century, there’s four rounds of global skyscraper-building spree, coming with them the depression or financial turmoil each time.(5)

    In the 1920’, America’s economy turned up, with an unprecedented roaring stock market back and a surge in building on residential and commercial properties. During that period, three record-breaking skyscrapers had leapt into existences in a string: 40 Wall Street, Chrysler Building, and Empire State Building, constructions in New York, were erected through 1929 to 1931. Nonetheless, hot on the heels of them was not a new boom but a disastrous economic debacle. After the long-and-robust-growth 1960’s, a period called by the Americans as the “Golden Age”(6), World Trade Center in New York and Sears Tower in Chicago broke ground. In 1972 and 1974, the two world-record-breaking skyscrapers were completed in turn, in the wake of them a serious global economic stagnation.

    Hardly anyone believes it is a coincidence that skyscrapers had a close relationship with economic crisis. Then what makes the depression stay with skyscrapers?

    First, human nature makes a contribution.(7) People’s optimism sometimes is unwarranted. To put it another way, men do not fully understand the objectives in the real world as they thought do, and stubbornly stick to the subjectives in their minds. Although Mr. Lawrence named the nexus between skyscrapers and depression as the “century-ailing-link”(8), that “ailing-link” had been existing not the least of 100 years in human society. In retrospect, one can easily find that “ailing-link” was standing as far back as in China’s long-time history. King Zhou, a monarch of Shang Dynasty, constructed Lutai when his kingdom was well-off, a then magnificent architecture, while the resentments cropped up from everywhere, and he was forced to incinerate himself on the construction. Emperor Qian Long, a ruler of Qing Dynasty, had gardens built on a large scale at a time of the dynasty’s greatest grandeur, leading to the waning in national power, humiliating the nation and forfeiting its sovereignty

    Second, profit weighs in. Margin is primary to any business behavior. Before the onset of a boom, low interest rates are paving the way for the economic upturn as a prerequisite. Yet in a prosperous economy, interest rates are always lower than the expectation of income. And there come the flows of money in the form of the said so- -called money-flow-pipe(9). In addition, the economic boom and comparably low interest rates work on land values and capital costs directly. Consequently, a plan for a new world-record-breaking construction is mapped out in keeping with the flow of money, to which three contributing factors are land prices, business demands and supporting capitals.

    As we know, like the alternation of day and night, or seasonal cycle, business cycles back and forth between good and bad; price of goods depends on the supply and demand. Thus, the demand for the high-rise stems from a so-called “golden status”, a volatile state, in which the darkest hour is just before the dawn(10), and the bust rolls out from the peak of the boom, in which interest rates are lower, and demands are growing, and in which prices are rising, and most people are blindly optimistic.

    Generally, the economy staggering into a recession, the tallest buildings have just been finished, and after they are occupied, the economy might have already been bogged down, resulting in the depression keeping pace with the building of skyscrapers and the NO.1 building in the world being the monument to the faded boom.
     
  7. linchpin
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    linchpin Member

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    Thanks, looking forward to your further critics. Moreover, "a building" means a kind of building not a single building like " bicyles are a tool for transportation". Thanks for your time
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, linchpin, but you're wrong... your reasoning is faulty... the number must agree there...

    it has to be either 'a/the skyscraper, a building' or 'skycrapers, buildings'...

    and the bicycles sentence is also wrong... it would have to be 'the bicycle is a tool'... but it's not, really... it's a 'method' of transportation, or a 'vehicle' but not a 'tool'...
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Linchpin, just to underscore what has been said about the first sentence since you seem to disagree, I'll add my voice to the others. Since you say skyscrapers, plural, then you need to say buildings, plural. So why not just write: "Skyscrapers, buildings back up by powerful economic forces...?"
     
  10. mth0csc
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    mth0csc New Member

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    In all fairness, linchpin's bicycles example sounds OK to me, but his skyscrapers sentence doesn't. Here is what I found with the help of Google:

    "bicycle is a tool": 138,000
    "bicycles are a tool": 25,200
    "bicycles are tools": 3,090

    So, although "(a/the) bicycle is a tool" is clearly more popular, "bicycles are a tool" is not uncommon (as in "Bicycles are a tool for personal empowerment and a vehicle for change. ").

    On the other hand,

    "skyscraper is a building": 453,000
    "skyscrapers are buildings": 853
    "skyscrapers are a building": 4

    However, all 4 matches for "skyscrapers are a building" that Google turns up are really part of the sentence "Skyscrapers are a building type ...".
     
  11. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Number of results on Google is one of the worst ways you can check grammar.

    And I agree that "[the] bicycle is a tool" and "bicycles are tools" both sound awkward and unnatural, regardless of grammar.

    Let me nitpick for just a second here, especially if you want this to sound native. In addition to everything that's already been said:

    Glory and curse are not opposites, so this sentence doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

    This isn't a well-formed sentence. Better would be "And do these buildings have a close relationship with economic disaster?", though that still sounds awkward and stilted (but at least it sounds native).

    This should be "a connection"

    This should be "Since the early 20th century, there have been...", and then I'm not even sure what to do with the next part, but "rounds of..." and "spree" are redundant. If you want to use just "spree", it should be "sprees", but that word also doesn't really sound right here. At the end of this sentence, perhaps "and with each of these has come a period of depression or financial turmoil."

    I could go on, but you get the idea -- there's a lot of subject-verb disagreement, tons of awkward sentences, etc.

    Now, concerning your subject itself, you do nothing to show that skyscraper building is a leading indicator of a bust -- each boom in skyscraper building has closely followed an economic boom, so I would more readily believe that it's a lagging indicator of an economic boom. I don't know much about the skyscraper indicator itself, but from the standpoint of someone who knows a lot about economics, you don't make your case very well -- it should be convincing to someone who doesn't know the topic (though you can assume a certain level of general economic understanding, depending on the audience).

    You call this a dissertation; I really hope this is actually just a short essay, because it doesn't stand up to the quality or length requirements of any dissertation I've ever heard of.

    What you need to do is find someone you can trust who is good at English, or even a native speaker, and have them read through it and help you correct your mistakes. This isn't high enough quality for a proofreading to fix it: there are a number of awkward and downright ambiguous sentences that a proofreader will not be able to make a good decision about.
     
  12. mth0csc
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    mth0csc New Member

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    Well, the point of the Google exercise was to show what are commonly used.
     
  13. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    As others have pointed out, it doesn't quite work like that. It's a little thing called subject-complement agreement. When you say "skyscrapers," you are saying there is more than one "skyscraper," and when you say "a building," you are saying there is only one building ... then you put them together, "Skyscrapers are a building," and you're saying all the skyscrapers are a single building. It doesn't make sense. It's like saying, "The students are my friend" instead of "friends." The same goes for "Bicycles are a tool." If a bicycle was to be considered a tool, then more than one bicycle (bicycles) would have to be considered as more than one tool (tools). There are a few exceptions to this rule: if you use abstract, uncountable, or collective nouns. But generally, you want the numbers in the subject and complement to agree.

    This rule does present some problems (consider the sentences: "The problem (one) is the explosions (more than one)," and "The explosions (more than one) are the problem (one)."). Like you said, you used "a building," and meant for it to be "a type of building" or "a kind of building." If you were to write, "Skyscrapers are a type of building," it may "sound" correct, but still be incorrect mainly because you have more than one on one side and only one on the other. Basically, a skyscraper is a type of building, but skyscrapers are types of buildings, just as bicycles are tools. You may be comparing a skyscraper to a house, a warehouse, a mill, a barn, a shed, a bank, a mall, a library, etc., each with its own "type," but when you say there is more than one, you need to give a "type" to each one ... if that makes sense. Another way to look at it ... would you say, "Ten skyscrapers are a building," or "Ten skyscrapers are a type of building"? If so, why would you? If not, why would you say, "Skyscrapers are a type of building" or "a building," if you removed the numerical amount but kept it plural? For the sentences in consideration at the top of this paragraph, they should be, "The problems are the explosions" and "The explosions are the problems."
     
  14. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Right, but the point of what I said is that "bicycles are a tool" being more commonly used than "bicycles are tools" doesn't make it any more grammatically correct. As Raki mentioned, there are precious few cases where "bicycles are a tool" would be unquestionably correct. You cannot use the Internet as a source for grammar to be used in a paper. Even if you argue for descriptive grammar, and make the case that the Internet is a valid source, it would still only be a source for similar works (mostly blog posts). An academic article uses different language, and can't be clumped together, even if the Internet destroys grammar as we know it for casual contexts.
     
  15. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Some more specific thoughts on the subject matter of the actual essay (and not the grammar or sentence constructions of which most need work) ...

    First, I would say that it is lacking of a strong thesis. It also needs much more content. Personally, if I rewrote this essay with the information you have here, it would probably be two paragraphs, maybe three at the most. You do not have enough content here to be more than that, but more importantly, the content contained here is not enough to prove your thesis. A side note, the amount of paragraph breaks is also a distracting feature here and, in many cases throughout, unnecessary.

    Anyway, the thesis introduces the main idea of the essay, the point to the argument, and it needs to be specific and focused. A weak thesis leads to a weak argument. A thesis may also provide reasons (talking points) for the main idea and probably should. I have a few books lying around here somewhere on the construction of a solid thesis and a good argumentative essay, but I'll let you do your own research and just provide some thoughts on where and how you may consider improving.

    From your essay, I gathered the following four thoughts from the first paragraph: skyscrapers are backed by powerful people; skyscrapers are viewed as symbols of progress and economic boom; some economists hate skyscrapers; and the completions of skyscrapers occur before economic downturns. These are the thoughts you need to persuade me to "see it your way" through objective analysis by the time I reach the end of the essay. Of these four thoughts, I don't think any are really "proved" throughout the discussion, and I'll talk on that below.

    The more common construction of body paragraphs in an essay is to lead with your words, introducing a talking point from your thesis; provide quotes, examples, and other useful information to reinforce your words; and then to exit the paragraph with your words, summarizing the talking point and what it means and so on. Your paragraphs two through six all refer to the same talking point (completion of skyscrapers occur before economic downturns), and thus, the content of all five paragraphs could shrink to just one paragraph.

    In this particular paragraph, the first sentence basically repeats what you said in the introductory paragraph (completion of skyscrapers occur before economic downturns). You use a citation to repeat this information, but this citation adds nothing to your argument, it just repeats it, and therefore, is not really needed. Personally, I would recommend replacing it with words of your own to re-introduce this thought (from the thesis), and then go into means of proving the thought.

    The second sentence in this paragraph, as far as I can tell, adds nothing to the argument either. What does setting up a meeting have to do with skyscrapers being the cause of economic downturn?

    There's a statement you make in the sixth paragraph ("Hardly anyone believes it is a coincidence ... ") and I'll touch on that further below, but I thought it important to note that this first paragraph introduces it, especially the third sentence, as just that--a coincidence.

    You also need a citation when you say he made his statement "looking ahead when referring to the 'Skyscraper Index'." Otherwise, it appears you made that up, and the connection between his statement and skyscrapers is not really there.

    I like the first sentence in the third paragraph, but the idea of it was never acted upon. Also, his prediction of the bust doesn't mention anything about skyscrapers (see last note about paragraph 2).

    The second sentence here (and both questions at the end) again repeats your thesis talking point (completion of skyscrapers occur before economic downturns) and again offers no further evidence that they do.

    A small grammar note ... drop the hyphens from "early-20th-century" and spell "20th" out, like "early twentieth century"

    This paragraph I liked, and I assume that paragraph 5 are the examples of Andrew Lawrence's study? If not, you need to show how he "proved there is a connection between skyscrapers and recession." You may also want to explain what the "Skyscraper Index" is.

    These examples are good and need to be combined with the thought/idea that introduced them (previous paragraph).

    The first sentence of this paragraph needs a citation or needs information to back it up. Up to this point, everything provided in the essay makes it seem nothing more than a coincidence. You have the buildings construction in the 1920's before the Great Depression, and more in the 1960's before an economic downturn. But these examples don't prove it wasn't a coincidence. They show how it could be a coincidence, or it could be as you suggest, the cause of the economic downturns. So before you can jump off into another thought (what makes the depression stay with the skyscrapers, which by the way seems irrelevant to your thesis, but maybe that's because I don't understand the question or the way it's worded), you need to complete the first thought and show how these economic downturns were anything but coincidence.

    I felt this entire paragraph could use some real "cleaning up" work. It has some good examples, but its construction is awkward. I do not understand what the first three sentences have to do with the argument. The fourth sentence is a good one, but you may need to elaborate on what "century-ailing-link" is and what it means. I also believe you should include citations with the examples.

    I think this paragraph may need simplified. It seems like it has something important to say related to the discussion, but it doesn't finish its thought and it is a bit difficult to understand.

    This paragraph seems to contradict itself ... or lead itself into ambiguity. You say "price of goods depends on the supply and demand" and "Thus, the demand for the high-rise stems from a so-called 'golden status.'" How are these two statements related?

    Likewise with paragraph 8, this paragraph probably needs simplified, too, so the non-economist can understand what it is saying.

    The conclusion usually sums up what was discussed in the argument (essay) and relates it to the ideas of the thesis. I thought this conclusion could use some work. One of the reasons is because it adds a time element to the essay ("Staggering into a recession," "have just been finished," "after they are occupied," and "might have already been bogged down.") These statements (except the last) sound as if this is all happening right now, and it may just be your word choices here that provide that "illusion." It may be better to keep it "timeless."

    Back to speaking on the essay as a whole. I think you need to rework your thesis and the arguments that extend from it. You may also want to add an objective argument against your thesis that you can counter and disprove. Some examples that come to mind might be a recession that takes place without the prior construction of a skyscraper (or similar edifice), or perhaps the construction of a skyscraper (or similar edifice) that did not result in a recession, or perhaps the idea that the construction of a skyscraper offers a "boom" of its own through capital expenditures. But the idea of the essay is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that skyscrapers cause recessions, and from what you have here, you just don't do that.

    Also, for your sources of information, you may (read: absolutely) want to avoid wikipedia. Wikipedia can give you some starting points for researching information, but it is usually frowned upon to cite information from wikipedia, even if it may be fact, and that's mainly because anyone with access to the internet can get on there and add/change stuff to entries. For example, instead of citing Wikipedia about the "Skyscraper Index," why not cite Andrew Lawrence's paper, "The Skyscraper Index: Faulty Towers" directly?

    And that's about all I have for now. Hope it helps. :)
     
  16. linchpin
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    linchpin Member

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    Good work. I do appreciate your time on my post and thanks a lot for those suggestions. I might rewrite it according to your points to fit for your sophisticated taste.

    As it's a translation article, the grammar and sentence are also important. Since they "most need work", please list some if you have time.
     
  17. mth0csc
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    mth0csc New Member

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    Point well taken. I do agree with you that formal writings should be held to a higher standard than casual ones. It is just that I doubt it is a real dissertation, despite what the subject suggests.
     
  18. linchpin
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    I don't know why this causes so many discussions. This usage can be seen on many serious newspapers like the Time, New York times or economist. For example: "tigers are a very strong, earthy animal".-http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/nyregion/31artsnj.html?scp=8&sq=%22tigers+are+a%22&st=nyt

    Do you mean here it's also should be "Tigers are very strong animals"? I don't see any sense from it.

    When talking about the category, we have 3 ways: a+N(s), the+N(s), and N(p) without any articles. If you say "Tigers are very strong animals", it means "Tigers are all kinds of strong animals", and this sounds very awkward, because you are just talking about the species of tiger, not any other ones.

    For "Bicycles are a tool", you can understand it the same way. "Tools" means all kinds of instruments, but here we're just talking about "the bicycle", not "the car" or sth else. This category is a tool

    In my article, "skyscapers" refer to the whole kind of high edifices, and it's also a category, so I think you need to use "a building", but not "buildings"
     
  19. linchpin
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    linchpin Member

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    That's from the original language(article)- as I said it's a translation

    Did you notice the colon? Our questions: Whether ...


    May I ask why?

    This should be "Since the early 20th century, there have been...", and then I'm not even sure what to do with the next part, but "rounds of..." and "spree" are redundant. If you want to use just "spree", it should be "sprees", but that word also doesn't really sound right here.
    Could you give me more details on grammar?
     
  20. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    As a native speaker of English, "tigers are a very strong animal" rubs me the wrong way. It sounds wrong. I don't care who uses it how, there is a subject-verb disagreement, and it comes off as awkward. No, I wouldn't suggest "tigers are very strong animals", but rather "the tiger is a very strong animal" -- this is colloquially correct, and sounds just fine. Likewise "the skyscraper is a building...". Despite how it looks, this is clear to English speakers through the context as not talking about a single tiger or a single skyscraper, but the class of animal/object.

    Which doesn't at all make it correct in English. You asked if it sounds native, and it certainly doesn't.

    Two things here:
    1. There's no colon there. Go back and look at your paper.
    2. Whether or not there's a colon there doesn't enter into it anyway. A clause after a colon must be a complete, well-formed sentence. This sentence is not complete and well-formed.
    In your original sentence, "Andrew Lawrence’s study proved there’s connections between skyscrapers and recession", the word "connections" just doesn't fit. When we use the word connection in this sense, to mean a correlation, it tends to always be singular "there's a connection between...". Saying "there's connections between" makes me think that there are physical or personal connections between the two things being discussed, which doesn't apply in this case.

    Honestly, you need to go get yourself a good grammar book. We can correct grammar here and there, but there are some sentences like this one that don't even really make sense. And as I said, you need to get a good proofreader who is fluent at English or who is a native speaker. There's enough ambiguity that we can't really help you fix everything in this article.

    Also, If you wanted help from native English speakers, I don't understand why you're getting so defensive and arguing with us over it. You're clearly not a native speaker, which is fine, but when asking advice over whether something sounds native or is correct, getting argumentative doesn't really help anyone much.
     
  21. Raki
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    It's not subject-verb disagreement ("tigers" and "are"), but as I mentioned earlier, subject-complement disagreement ("tigers" and "a ... animal"). The verb agrees with the subject in the sentence, "Tigers are a very strong animal," but the subject complement "animal" does not agree with the subject "tigers." It also needs to be plural.

    I would say NYTimes was wrong in their use there, but newspapers make mistakes all the time, usually small, inconsequential mistakes (but occasionally on a larger scale). And it's to be expected. They're written by people, and people make mistakes. Their content is definitely not a place to decide a grammatical right or wrong, just as the majority of the internet isn't. It should be "Tigers are very strong animals." Take away the distracting words here (adverb and adjective). "Tigers are animals." makes more sense than "Tigers are an animal." Use my earlier method of adding a number before the subject, "Ten tigers are an animal," or "Ten tigers are animals." And no, by saying "Tigers are very strong animals," you are saying that each tiger (of the multiple tigers) is an animal, not that they are all multiple animals. To put that in your words, it would be "Tigers of all kinds are very strong animals," not "Tiger are all kinds of strong animals." In the same regard, the following sentence would be correct: "Each of the tigers is a very strong animal." Likewise, "The tiger is a very strong animal" is also correct.

    Another way to look at this is to reverse the order ... "The animals are tigers," which means that all the animals you are referring to are tigers. You wouldn't say, "The animal is tigers," or "The animals are a tiger." However, "Animals are tigers," without the definite article, is implying all animals are tigers.

    In the end, this isn't an incredibly big issue. It's a problem the reader can usually distinguish what the writer is trying to say whether it's correct or incorrect, and the problem only lies with what is grammatically correct or incorrect. Still, I would recommend to either use, "The skyscraper, a building ..." or "Skyscrapers, buildings ..."

    You're welcome. I may take some time later on to list a few sentences or notes that may help you with the grammar, but before I spend a lot of time doing that, I'd like to see what improvements to the content and structure you can come up with first because if you're serious about this essay, the majority of these sentences, their structure, and the content itself will change. And if it will change, you will benefit incredibly little from my noting specific passages that you may not use in a later version of it.
     
  22. Arathald
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    Right, my mistake. I had "subject ______ disagreement" in my head, and my mind immediately filled in "verb" :)
     
  23. mammamaia
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    ...that ungrammatical bit was part of a quote from a woman whose first language was chinese... it was not written by the ny times writer and, had it been, would never have made it past the editor into print...
    ...not necessarily... could be, 'the tiger is a very strong animal...'
    ...but 'tigers are a very strong animal' simply is not good grammar...


    ...here, too, proper grammar would be, 'the bicycle is a tool'... or 'bicycles are tools'...
    ...regardless of what you think, the number must agree... and 'skyscrapers are a building' is totally incorrect... you have come here to ask for help with your english/grammar and then argue and insist you're right, when those who know better tell you otherwise... how does that make any sense?... i've been a professional editor for probably much longer than you've been alive and your arguments simply have no merit... if you'd do your homework and check this out in the grammar books from about 3rd grade on up, you'd see we're right and you're wrong...
     
  24. mth0csc
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    An example of subject-verb disagreement in this essay would be "there's connections...".
     
  25. linchpin
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    I agree with you. The most important thing is to stick to the topic.

    Anyway, the thesis introduces the main idea of the essay, the point to the argument, and it needs to be specific and focused. A weak thesis leads to a weak argument. A thesis may also provide reasons (talking points) for the main idea and probably should. I have a few books lying around here somewhere on the construction of a solid thesis and a good argumentative essay, but I'll let you do your own research and just provide some thoughts on where and how you may consider improving.



    My topic is to introduce the concept of skyscaper index, as the title, Skyscraper Index: Tallest Buildings Rising as Mercury of Looming Economic Crisis. In the introductory paragraph, "economy forces", here the force is not a troop but the meaning "strength". Turn up their noses at a notion - Some economists do not hate skyscapers but just do not accept a popular opinion. So my point in the first paragraph is to introduce the relationship between skyscapers and economy. The four thoughts you summarised are just two: Skyscapers come from the boom economy. And They have some kind of relationship with the bust. (the 2nd is the main idea I will elaborate)


    I cannot see eye to eye with you on the blue words, for the whole essay is focusing on the point (completion of skyscrapers occur before economic downturns).

    After the introductory paragraph, the 2nd sect is telling some exact stories to elaborate the last sentence of the 1st paragraph. P(aragraph)3 is a dramatical result of stories in P2. While P4 for the first time "officially" introduce the concept of Skyscaper Index, though it was mentioned before. P5 are concrete instances to support the concept. P6-P10 are " to exit the paragraph with your words". P6 is a transitional paragraph. It brought out questions and the author would answer them himself. P7 and P8 are the answer for P6. P9 is a questionable one. It should be combined with P10 into the last paragraph.

    As a whole, to make the correct paragraphs, we need to put things together that go together. I think only paragraph 9 is questionable while the others find their niches in the essay. Anyway it's my understanding on the article. Hope to see more of your comments.

    I think the author just wants to list some economists who "argue the contrary". P2 follows closely to P1 that "some economists turn up their noses at the public's opinion"

    In this paragraph, the main idea is "some argue the contrary". The sentence is a backdrop for sb. telling his opinion.


    I understand what you are referring to. You mean the concept of "coincidence" is too abrupt in the context. But I think the author just put it there "it is not a coincidence" as a fact based on the former debate, and that leads to another direction, and then comes the author's answer.

    Sorry I don't understand why "it appears you made that up". Could you just revise it for me?



    Yes, you are right. This sentence is a little bit redundant. But I think the author just want to make a dramtical effect on the above story to atract the readers' interesting in the relationship between skyscrapers and economy. But I don't understand why he should mention "skyscapers"? P2 only lists some opposite opinions to prove the last sentence of P1

    P2 just listed the opposites. It's time for P3 to say sth. to direct the readers to the core issue.



    Grammar note is right. But why "twentieth century"? Anything special?





    May I ask how?

    Correct. Actually this is the most imporant issue of this translation. It reflects some kind of culture difference. I will make further discussion later.



    Exactly. You are not supposed to understand the first 3 sentences as you can find the explanation in my notes at the bottom of the article. This is sth. about the philosophy of a culture, or even the ideology.


    Yeah, I will try to fix it.


    You are right. It needs to be revised here. The original words are not organised well. My translation is directly from it. But as you mentioned it, I think I can make it better.



    Likewise with paragraph 8, this paragraph probably needs simplified, too, so the non-economist can understand what it is saying.



    I thought that sentence is an Independent Genitive.


    This is a very important suggestion to me. It helps me know how you understand my article. Sometimes a translation work is even more difficult than to write it yourself. On one hand you can rewrite the article, select proper words, even reorganized the structure, but on the other hand, you are limited to go beyond the orginal article's idea, instances, even the rhetoric. What the translator needs to do is not only to present the integral idea of the original words but to help the readers enjoy it in a "comfortable way", which is what I am looking for here.

    Thanks. It helps a lot. I never thought of it. By the way, the title is fixed, and I cannot change it.

    Conclusion.

    Thanks for so much work on my article. Actually, it leaves me much to think. Though, on some aspects, I have different opinions with you, your reply makes me think how to overcome culture difference and how a translator would provide an easier way for the readers. I will rewrite it based on your suggestions.
    And that's about all I have for now. Hope it helps. :)[/QUOTE]
     

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