I'm writing an essay about modern communications. The topic of the essay is "Modern communications mean that it’s no longer necessary to write letters. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?".

I have written an introductory paragraph, but I am not sure if it is correct, especially the phrase "In my opinion this statement has its own merits and demerits".

Introductory paragraph

Current advancements in the areas of communication and information technology have significantly changed the way people communicate and interact with each other. So that some people argue that we no longer need to write letters. In my opinion this statement has its own merits and demerits and in the following paragraphs they will be analyzed.

  • 1
    This is a well-established expression and it's used to say that something has both advantages and disadvantages. The second sentence, however, is not properly connected to the first. You can merge them into one sentence by dropping so: ... with each other that some people... . Besides, the word statement is better replaced with position. A statement is something said; a position is something held.
    – Rose
    Feb 1 '17 at 7:32

In addition to @Rose's comment about the badly constructed second sentence (it's not a sentence at all), there are a few other things to consider.

  1. You have two spelling errors. They're probably simply typos but they're errors nonetheless
  2. Your third sentence is mixing active and passive speech and not in a particularly elegant way.
  3. @Rose is correct to note that your phrase is common, and one of its meanings does fit here, but I'm not sure it's the best choice. Merits and demerits can indeed refer to advantages and disadvantages, but they can also refer to successes and failures, or even to positive and negative points of a person's character, and so on. You might consider alternative phrases.
  4. The word "this" is in your third sentence is ambiguous. Context suggests it is referring to the essay topic, but strictly speaking it could also be referring to your first sentence, or your second problematic sentence fragment, or to whatever combination you come up with to repair that fragment. Since this is an essay about communication, presumably you'd want to communicate clearly, so I'd suggest fixing this too.

This is ELL, so I'll leave it at that.

(But -- he says, not at all able to leave it at that! --- but you might also want to consider just what you are trying to say in your first paragraph. What exactly are you trying to achieve with that all-important opening of 50-odd words? What change do you want to create, in the mind of the reader, in the brief few seconds between them reading that first "Current..." and that final "...analyzed".)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.