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Things not to write in Delta Background Essays


If you want to avoid the marker's ire, try not to include these in your writing.  Anywhere.

This paragraph contains an example of many things you should avoid in your writing.  They are in black type.  Can you see what's wrong with them?
Click here when you have an answer.

Clearly, there is a distinction between I'm going to go to London and I'm going to London (continuous tense) but for Germans who don't use a progressive, it is invariably unclear.  The usage of the first is to express intention and the second to indicate an arranged event.  I have found that pictures and charts clarify the concepts and are especially appealing to visual learners.  I recently taught a difficult class containing a mix of young Taiwanese girls (who were, of course, shy and reluctant to speak) and some typically vocal and forthcoming Spanish young men.  For the former, in particular, the visual element was useful but the latter needed to set the language in context and use it to communicate.
Naturally, it doesn't materially affect the meaning if one says, I am going to London and have my ticket already. or I have my ticket and I am going to London.  It is important, however, to note that the forms are only ever used with dynamic, progressive verbs and it is never possible to say I am thinking, he will be thinking, he's going to be thinking etc. to refer to the future.

For much more, see the guide to writing style for Delta.

There is a similar guide to things to avoid in the classroom.

There is one more area worth avoiding in writing for Delta (or anyway) and that is not to fall for a specious, superficially scientific or apparently plausible theory or hypothesis.  Most are baloney.
For more, see the guide to mythology in ELT.