Where you may get it wrong when writing English

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Reporting and Paraphrasing

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Paraphrasing is the use of different words to express meaning or clarify either written or spoken statement. Paraphrasing is a commonly used feature when writing. It is when one puts another person’s ideas in his or her own words (someone else’s ideas in your own words) and not just rewriting a paragraph. Some of the important words in paraphrasing include: passive this is written from an active sentence. I.e. John drives a car, this active the passive form of this is a car is driven by John. Existential clause in a sentence refers to the existence of something (there exists or there is) (Barkho, 2011). For example, ‘there are girls in the class’ this is an existential clause. Extra-position is the act of putting the keywords at the end of a sentence (Barkho, 2011). For example, ‘how frustrated with their kids are they?’ This can be rewritten as ‘how frustrated are they with their kids?’ cleft sentence is one that contains a main clause ‘as well as a dependent clause’. I.e. who did Stan see at the party? It was Nick that Stan saw at the party. It was Stan who saw Nick at the party. The three sentences can be written as ‘Alice told me that Stan saw someone at the party that he knew from his high school days. It turns out it was Nick that Stan saw at the party. Fronting or preposing. Is a sentence construction in which a word group that customarily follows the verb is placed at the beginning of a sentence? (Barkho, 2011) For example, the garage was on the right of the house, ‘On the right of the house was the garage.’ Reported speech is the opposite of the direct speech for example I like ice cream (Direct speech). She says she likes ice cream (Reported speech) (Barkho, 2011).

Question 2 article

            Mick and his brother Trig are hanging on a rail outside their home enjoying the scene of the neighbourhood. Dressed in their trainers, the caretaker to their estate sees them ordering them down from the rail. 19 year old Mick who himself is a member of the east London gang shouts back at the caretaker and threatens to beat him up. These kinds of confrontation between Mick add the caretaker is the order of the day in the inner-city London, symbolizing broken Britain.

Having been raised from a broken family (fronting), his life had gone a mess. He indulged in sex at the age of 14 and at age 15 he was doing drugs. Despite his good performance in GCSE which could have enabled him secure a place in Sixth Form College, he only looked forward to one place that he dreamed of joining was Feltham jail (Reported speech). This urge came from the time he watched a documentary on TV which portrayed young inmates. Mick’s wish was achieved (passive) when he was sentenced (passive) for 14 months after being charged (passive) with robberies in east London. According to Mick, the Feltham turned to be the best place he has ever been. Three meals in a day, TV, private bedroom (existential) and other luxuries are part of what you enjoy in the jail.

The impression to the young people outside is that, they want to be jailed as they think it is an honour, and it is even better than school. The mentality in the jail among the youth is that one does not have to hustle for a living as everything is provided. For the rest of boys in the streets and outside there, going to Feltham is a key part in their lives. Moreover, they find it a substitute to their homes and the chaotic life associated to the homes. The main question arising from this perception is ‘if the prisons are no longer deterrent, then what could be to the young ones in the society.

Lewis refers to Mick as a head case Mick. This is after saving him from the young gang that hand threatened to him. Lewis got Mick into a plumbing course hoping to turn him round but to no avail. Despite the situation Mick talks of other gangs made of youth such as the Black hawk boys and Asian gang. However, his group is the most feared d in east London. Despite the police being aware of his group, they are not successful in hunting them down as there is no particular group leader. Mick’s day is entailed with taking care of the drug business. He gets the staff from the supplier, and takes to his customers, later in the day he enjoys the evening with his girlfriend. Despite dong the drugs, Mick claims it is easy to sell wind, but it does not make good money as cocaine and heroin do. Despite the rotten life in drugs, Mick has a dream of a good big house and cars and hopes to one day get a job, but he is not sure of the best time to legit.

A two year feud with another boy leaves Mick with a gashed lip. Despite respect for Lewis, Mick plans to make it even with the boy by revenging. He likens the life to a video game you either die early or you play to the end. The incident makes Mick always walk around armed with a weapon (9mm Glock pistol). The jail is not solving the purpose intended, and Lewis looks for an alternative to save the at-risk boys in London. He looks forward to coming up with 1000 ‘Capital Men’ to save the boys. However, the menace has greatly the black families which the politicians have all feared to address. After a period of 5years in drugs and city crimes, Mick is tired of it now. However, trig who has all time watched his mentor Mick, says, “I dint fear Feltham if Mick made it, I can also handle it”. At the end, Mick says “Young people are like blind people crossing the highway. They cannot be able to tell what coming down road and instead he to me for guidance. Feltham was a good experience but as one gets older, you comprehend there are better places to go on holiday. I can tell Trig that, but I highly doubt he would even listen to me.” (Direct speech).


Barkho, L. (2011). Where you may get it wrong when writing English: A practical guide for

students, teachers academics and professionals. Norderstedt: Books on Demand.

Smaby, R. M. (1971). Paraphrase grammars. Dordrecht: Reidel.

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