One way for all you
Americans err international applicants to improve your English skills is to read the news.
(Honestly, sometimes the international applicants have better grammar than the Americans! Don’t click off this post just because you think we’re not talking to you today.)
So yeah. Simple advice. Read the news! (Don’t worry, it’s safe to click on that link, it’s not going to a news site, it’s going to another snarky post here on the blahg.)
The New York Times is known for more sophisticated writing. It’s said to be written at a 10th grade reading level – meaning that you have to have comprehension skills of a high schooler in order to get it. USAToday is significantly easier to read. Sometimes it’s just due to shorter sentences; other times it’s because of more basic vocabulary.
In any event, reading – and paying attention to the way the information is structured – can help you with your writing.
To do a little practice with this, today we’ve got a sample from the Washington Post to share with you. Since the section that we’re going to extract for discussion may have been edited since the time we discovered it (May 2016) we’ve captured the full original as a PDF here.
Here’s the first chunk of the article:
Huge bonuses and forced transfers were downfall of top TSA official Kelly Hoggan
By Ashley Halsey III May 26, 2016
The downfall of a top official in the Transportation Security Administration this week came amid allegations of under-the-radar bonuses and targeted retribution at the highest levels of the agency.
One of the practices that led to Kelly Hoggan’s removal as head of the TSA’s crucial security division is common enough to have a name: smurfing.
“Smurfing is breaking specific financial transactions into something below the reporting requirement, which is what happened here,” said John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security. “The [TSA] regulations at the time were so loose that it was technically permissible, even though clearly the intent was wrong.”
It was undercover agents from the inspector general’s office who last year were able to penetrate security checkpoints at U.S. airports while carrying illegal weapons or simulated bombs, 95 percent of the time.
Hoggan received bonuses of $10,000 on six different occasions, and three others just above or below that amount, over a 13-month period in 2013 and 2014, according to information collected by the DHS, which oversees the TSA.
The bonuses, amounting to more than $90,000, were approved internally and were in addition to Hoggan’s $181,500 salary.
Do you notice anything with those few short paragraphs? We’re actually spotting numerous issues. We’ll discuss in the coming few days. All you essay-writing maniacs, we encourage you to leave a comment on this post about anything that you’re noticing in this opening to the article.
What a great way to procrastinate on your apps even further!
Yes we’re around this weekend – if you’re a paying client, post any questions to My SnarkCenter and we’ll help you out if you’re struggling with any essay development dilemmas.