Revising and Editing: Writing Review Practice Exercises (page 2)

Updated on Aug 25, 2011


1. to 3.

We have all seen stories on the news and in the newspapers about all the car accidents that have (occured) downtown in recent months. Some of these accidents have even taken the lives of both car occupants and pedestrians. Although sometimes we feel helpless in the face of these tragic [event's], there are actions that our government can take to decrease the amount and the severity of such occurrences. By installing traffic lights at key intersections, lowering the speed limit, and increasing [driver's] awareness, the number of car accidents can be decreased.

  • The word occured should be spelled occurred.
  • Event's is not meant to be possessive, so it should not have an apostrophe.
  • Amount is used only in cases in which you can't actually count the items to which you are referring. Number should be used here.
  • Driver's means belonging to one driver, but the intention of the sentence is to say that the awareness belongs to multiple drivers. The apostrophe should go after the s, not before.

One way to decrease the number of automobile accidents downtown is to install traffic lights at intersections that (currantly) have only stop signs. Stop signs serve there purpose at intersections with relatively clear traffic patterns, but when the patterns become more complicated, [driver's] are unsure whom has the right of way on the road. Traffic lights would better organize those intersections, making it much easier for drivers to determine who has the right of way. Driving can be difficult for people who are just learning the rules of the road. Also, some drivers tend to drive straight through stop signs, only slowing down enough for people to think that they have stopped and making crossing the street extremely dangerous for pedestrians, as they may get struck by a car which they thought had stopped.

  • The word currantly should be spelled currently.
  • There is the wrong word in the context of the sentence. The purpose belongs to the stop signs, so the possessive their should be used.
  • Driver's is meant to be plural, not possessive, in this sentence and, therefore, should not have an apostrophe.
  • Who should be used here instead of whom. Whom is used only as a replacement for him, her, or them, none of which makes sense in the sentence. You wouldn't say, Him has the right of way. You would say, He has the right of way.
  • Which should be used only to introduce a nonrestrictive clause. They thought had stopped is not a nonrestrictive clause. It is an essential part of the sentence, not an aside. You should use that.

Pedestrians would also find it safer to cross the street if the speed limit were lower. More accidents occur when cars are flying by at high speeds, because it causes both drivers and pedestrians to have a much shorter time to react to oncoming accidents. Cars themselves, when moving at higher speeds, require a much longer distance in order to stop. This means that the faster a car is going, the more likely it is to rear-end the car in front of it, if that car has to make an unexpected stop. So the number of time a driver has to stop and the number of time that both drivers and pedestrians would have to react [is] both increased by decreasing the speed limit in the area.

  • This time, amount should be used instead of number. Time can be considered only as an amount, unless you are referring to specific measures of time that can be counted, like minutes or hours.
  • Is should be replaced by are, because the subject drivers and pedestrians is plural.

[Not only do drivers need time to react but they also need to be aware of what is going on when their behind the wheel.] Accidents would also (decreese) if drivers were more aware while driving. To help drivers become more aware, there are two steps that can be taken. We can add road signs to decrease any confusion regarding the traffic pattern in the area and we can ban cell-phone use while driving. [A driver who is distracted is much more likely to have an accident then one who is paying attention cell phones are an enormous distraction to a driver.]

  • The first sentence of this paragraph needs a comma before the but, because the first part of the sentence is an introductory clause.
  • Also, in that sentence, their should be they're, the contraction for they are.
  • Decreese is spelled incorrectly; it should be spelled decrease.
  • The last sentence in the paragraph is a run-on sentence. It is actually two sentences and should be separated by placing either a period or a semicolon after the word attention.
  • Also, in that sentence, then is incorrect. Than should be used because a comparison is being made.

Cutting down on distractions and the increasing number of road signs will help [driver's] be more aware while they are behind the wheel. Increased driver awareness, along with a lower speed limit and more traffic lights, will decrease the number of accidents that occur in the downtown area. It is important for our government to take these necessary actions to insure that no more lives are lost in car accidents that can be prevented.

  • Driver's is possessive but should be plural. The sentence is referring to multiple drivers, so there should not be an apostrophe.
  • Insure means to secure something from harm. Based on the meaning of the sentence, the correct word to use would be ensure, which means to make certain.
  1. Driving can be difficult for people who are just learning the rules of the road.
      Although this sentence is sort of related to the rest of the essay in the sense that it is about driving, it's not exactly relevant to the topic. The essay contains no other reference to new drivers.
  2. To help drivers become more aware, there are two steps that can be taken.
      The steps is the subject of the sentence, and they are receiving the action of being taken.
  3. To help drivers become more aware, we can take two steps.
      Now the subject of the sentence is we, and we are the ones performing the action. We are the ones who can take the steps to help drivers become more aware. Changing the voice to active fixes the misplaced modifier in the original sentence. Who was doing the helping in that sentence? Now the reader knows it was we.
  4. By installing traffic lights at key intersections, lowering the speed limit, and increasing drivers' awareness, the number of car accidents can be decreased.
      The thesis statement is the last sentence of the introduction and clearly states the main point of the essay.
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