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 Post subject: Grammar and editing help please
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:39 pm 
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The Effects of Marijuana on Driving

According to Statistics Canada, over 10 million Canadians have used marijuana at least once in their lives. In 2004 70% of people ages 18-24 have reported that they use marijuana on a regular basis. As such a common drug, marijuana is bound to bring up some controversy among scientists. An important question posed is: Does marijuana use have an effect on ones driving capabilities? If there is an effect, is it significant, or minor? Many studies have shown that this is not case. The use of marijuana does not have a significant effect on driving, certain not enough to impair ones ability.

There are several different views on this issue. There are many scientists who evaluate the effects that marijuana has on a person, and compare it with the common abilities required to operate a vehicle, and conclude that marijuana use, whether in small or large quantities, is extremely hazardous to ones safety while operating a vehicle. Other scientists have done various studies and have determined that while marijuana does impair certain abilities required to drive; it does not impair a person greatly enough as to increase the risk of a fatal car accident. Lastly, it is believe by some that marijuana use does not have a significant negative effect on ones driving abilities. Unlike alcohol, or certain other drugs, it is stated that THC does not impair judgment and the user is aware of their impairments, so they compensate by driving slow, or being more cautious. (Smiley, 1999)

In a study done in 1998 by Olaf Drummer, it was shown that marijuana use does not increase the risk of a fatal accident; in fact, the relative risk of fatal accidents was less than the relative risk of a fatal accident by non-drug users. “Use of all of the drugs identified shows an increase in relative risk except for cannabis, which shows a slight decrease” (Drummer, 1998). Around 3400 fatally injured drivers were investigated, and it was determined what drugs, if any, were used by the driver. 53% of the drivers had either alcohol or drugs in their system. 23% had alcohol, and 14% had only drugs. Only 9% of drivers were found with both drugs and alcohol was found. Only 1% of drivers were found with only cannabis in their system. The study done by Drummer shows that the risk is actually decreased when under the influence of marijuana. Even when cannabis is combined with alcohol, the risk doesn’t increase anymore then it would be with alcohol alone. “According to Drummer, the combination of alcohol and cannabis does not increase the relative risk any more than does alcohol alone”. (Alcohol and Drugs Foundation of Australia) Based on evidence similar to this, Researcher Allison Smiley of the University of Toronto formulated the hypothesis that, while under the influence of marijuana, the driver is aware that they are impair, so they compensate by driving slowly or cautiously. (Smiley, 1999) In other, more ‘hands-on’ research it has been shown that marijuana does indeed impair driving skill, however it is very insignificant and minor.

In conclusion, it is made apparent by several studies done that using Marijuana does not have any significant effect on ones driving capabilities.


(2004). INDEPTH: MARIJUANA Statistics. Retrieved Nov 3rd 2010, from CBC News, http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/marij ... stics.html

Drummer, Olaf (1998) CANNABIS AND THE RISK OF ROAD CRASHES. Retrieved Nov 3rd 2010, from http://www.monash.edu.au/cemo/roadsafet ... _paper.pdf


Smiley, A. (1999). University of Toronto study shows marijuana not a factor in driving accidents. Retrieved Nov 3rd 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/19 ... 110700.htm


This is my longest one, i simply took a longer essay I had written in high school and shortened it, its supposed to be an argumentative essay so please correct any grammar mistakes as well as critique my essay and make sure its done properly, will +rep any help thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar and editing help please
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:12 pm 
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I proofread it and corrected some mistakes:

According to Statistics Canada, over 10 million Canadians have used marijuana at least once in their lives. In 2004, 70% of people ages 18-24 reported that they use marijuana on a regular basis. As such a common drug, marijuana is bound to bring up some controversy among scientists. An important question posed is: Does marijuana use have an effect on one's driving capabilities? If there is an effect, is it significant, or minor? Many studies have shown that this is not the case. The use of marijuana does not have a significant effect on driving, certainly not enough to impair ones ability.

There are several different views on this issue. There are many scientists who evaluate the effects that marijuana has on a person, and compare it with the common abilities required to operate a vehicle, and conclude that marijuana use, whether in small or large quantities, is extremely hazardous to one's safety whilst operating a vehicle. Other scientists have done various studies and have determined that while marijuana does impair certain abilities required to drive; it does not impair a person greatly enough as to increase the risk of a fatal car accident. Lastly, it is believe by some that marijuana use does not have a significant negative effect on one's driving abilities. Unlike alcohol, or other certain drugs, it is stated that THC does not impair judgement and the user is aware of their impairments, so they compensate by driving slow, or being more cautious. (Smiley, 1999)

In a study done in 1998 by Olaf Drummer, it was shown that marijuana use does not increase the risk of a fatal accident; in fact, the relative risk of fatal accidents was less than the relative risk of a fatal accident by non-drug users. “Use of all of the drugs identified shows an increase in relative risk except for cannabis, which shows a slight decrease” (Drummer, 1998). Around 3400 fatally injured drivers were investigated, and it was determined what drugs, if any, were used by the driver. 53% of the drivers had either alcohol or drugs in their system. 23% had alcohol, and 14% had only drugs. Only 9% of drivers were found with both drugs and alcohol was found. Only 1% of drivers were found with only cannabis in their system. The study done by Drummer shows that the risk is actually decreased when under the influence of marijuana. Even when cannabis is combined with alcohol, the risk doesn’t increase anymore then it would be with alcohol alone. “According to Drummer, the combination of alcohol and cannabis does not increase the relative risk any more than does alcohol alone”. (Alcohol and Drugs Foundation of Australia) Based on evidence similar to this, Researcher Allison Smiley of the University of Toronto formulated the hypothesis that, while under the influence of marijuana, the driver is aware that they are impair, so they compensate by driving slowly or cautiously. (Smiley, 1999) In other, more ‘hands-on’ research it has been shown that marijuana does indeed impair driving skill, however it is very insignificant and minor.

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar and editing help please
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:22 am 
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thanks john

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar and editing help please
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:01 am 
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Looked through your essay. Based on John's edition, my edits are in bold, and my comments, if any, are in italics [as such]:

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According to Statistics Canada, over 10 million Canadians have used marijuana at least once in their lives. In 2004, 70% of people aged between 18 to 24 reported that they used marijuana on a regular basis. As such a common drug, marijuana is bound to bring about controversy among scientists. Hence, an important question is: Does the use of marijuana have an effect on one's driving capabilities? If so, is it significant [removed the 'or minor']? Many studies have shown that the use of marijuana does not have a significant effect one's driving abilities. [Combined the sentences as the first one was redundant.]

There are [b]three
views on this issue. [Rena says: Better to signpost by letting your reader look out for the 'three views', makes your essay more clear.] Some scientists tested a marijuana user's basic ability in operating vehicles, and concluded that marijuana use - whether in small or large quantities - is extremely hazardous to the safety of the user if he operates a vehicle. [Rena says: Rephrased the entire sentence; the original was too rambly. You might also want to elaborate on why these scientists say this - what evidence is there? Right now this just seems like a sweeping statement; you need to make it stronger.] Other scientists have concluded that, while marijuana does impair certain abilities required to drive, it does not impair a person greatly enough as to increase the risk of a fatal car accident. The third view is the most extreme - some scientists have concluded that marijuana use does influence one's driving abilities at all. This is because, unlike alcohol (or certain drugs), THC [Rena says: Before using acronyms, you must spell them out in full first.] does not impair judgement - because the user is under the impression that he has impairments [Rena says: Your originally phrasing was screaming contradiction! You said that it doesn't impair judgement, yet 'the user is aware of their impairments'. o.o], they compensate by driving slow, or being more cautious. (Smiley, 1999) [Rena says: You may also want to explain why alcohol has a different effect. Your argument doesn't come through here.]

Examining a case study, [Rena says: You must use directive words like this. It makes your essay more fluent because the readers are naturally directed.] in a particular research conducted by -insert impressive post here- Olaf Drummer in 1998 [Rena says: Try to point out the credibility of the people whom you quote from, by stating their posts / who they are / what they have achieved. This makes your essay more convincing.] , it was shown that marijuana use does not increase the risk of a fatal accident; in fact, the relative risk of marijuana users encountering fatal accidents is less than the relative risk of a non-drug user encountering one. Drummer said, “Use of all of the drugs identified shows an increase in relative risk except for cannabis, which shows a slight decrease” (Drummer, 1998). [Rena says: You might want to paraphrase this. To non-specialists of this field, this quote contains too much jargon so it doesn't do anything except for confusing the reader.] Around 3400 fatally injured drivers were investigated, and it was determined what drugs, if any, were used by the driver. 53% of the drivers had either alcohol or drugs in their system. 23% had only alcohol, and 14% had only drugs. Only 9% of drivers were found with both drugs and alcohol was found. (???) [Rena says: Besides the repeated 'founds', the stats you're giving don't make sense. I thought you said 53% of the drivers had both? Why is it 9% now?] Only 1% of drivers were found with only cannabis in their system. The study done by Drummer shows that the risk is actually decreased when under the influence of marijuana. Even when cannabis is combined with alcohol, the risk doesn’t increase more than it would with alcohol alone. "According to Drummer, the combination of alcohol and cannabis does not increase the relative risk any more than does alcohol alone". (Alcohol and Drugs Foundation of Australia) [Rena says: You shouldn't be quoting this directly. It doesn't flow. Paraphrase, then cite.] Based on evidence similar to this, researcher Allison Smiley fromthe University of Toronto formulated the hypothesis that, while under the influence of marijuana, the driver is aware that they are impaired, so they compensate by driving slowly or cautiously. (Smiley, 1999) In other, more ‘hands-on’ research, [comma] it has been shown that marijuana does indeed impair driving skill, however it is very insignificant and minor. [Rena says: Elaborate on this - right now this sentence is out of place. It'd be fine to leave it out if you don't wish to elaborate - better to not have a sentence at all than to confuse your reader / make him doubt what you say.]

In conclusion, from several studies conducted, it is apparent that that marijuana usage [don't need to capitalise the M] does not have any significant effect on one's driving capabilities.




Things to note


1) Introduction? Stand? Anti-thesis?

If this is an argumentative essay, you should be starting off with an introduction to give your reader a rough idea of what your essay is about, and how it will be structured. In the introduction, you should also include your stand, so that your readers know from the start what you're going to attempt to drive at (in this case, your stand is that marijuana does not have a significant impact on driving capabilities). Also, since it's argumentative, you need to include your anti-thesis as well - in other words, why some people may claim that it DOES have a significant impact. You need to acknowledge these claims in detail. With the thesis and anti-thesis, you should then evaluate which is more valid, and give reasons why.


2) The third paragraph is extremely confusing.

You're giving too many statistics and the paragraph doesn't have significant structure. This makes it difficult to read. You might want to structure it like this:

1) Olaf Drummer conducted a research
2) What he concluded
3) His method of research (brief idea of how he conducted it)
4) How he arrived at that conclusion (SIGNIFICANT statistics)
5) Probable reasons for those statistics (as suggested by Olaf Drummer)
6) Bring in Allison Smiley

Also, to make this paragraph more succinct, don't use too many numbers. Say things like 'only a small proportion of the drivers tested had... which makes it insignificant, hence the correlation between marijuana usage and accidents is probably a weak one - or non-existent. Then, you can make footnotes to give the exact statistics. Don't put the numbers in the main body of your essay because it's overwhelming and tend to confuse the reader! (See 'Things to Note' #4)


3) You use the words 'marijuana', 'drug' and 'cannabis' interchangeably.

You should stick to one. Not only will you make things more clear, remember that you're supposed to assume that you're writing to a dummy when you write an essay. Assume that the reader doesn't know what cannabis is. If you really need to, say something like 'cannabis - a type of marijuana - is...'.


4) The shorter, the better.

Some of your sentences are too long. As a rule of thumb, anything longer than 1.5 lines of a Microsoft Word page is too long. Remember that you should be going straight to the point. Long sentences confuse the reader.

Also, you tend to repeat yourself in the same paragraph. Remember the PEEL method:

[P] oint (Topic sentence)
[E] laboration
[E] xemplification
[L] ink (back to your point)

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