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History of the Suez Canal . points to be observed




            (1)      beginners dealing with history like to use superlatives : the biggest, greatest, first.
            (1a)      the first to read Hieroglyphics since Antiquity.
He was not. During the Caliphate, books were translated from Hieroglyphic into Arabic. This is a little known fact; a teacher should advise the student to leave room for exceptions : he rediscovered how to read Hieroglyphics, a skill which had long been forgotten.
            (1b)      greatest engineer
Firstly, de Lesseps was a diplomat by profession; he developed the idea and managed the construction, but hired persons with experience in canal digging. Secondly, the judgment of him being "the greatest" is subjective and may cause readers to disagree. Writers of history papers want to convince, not alienate.
            (2)      lack of independence from source of information : usage of Imperial system
Students are to take ownership of the information they present, which is one step beyond paraphrasing and summarizing. The students we deal with are Koreans writing/presenting in English to address an international audience/readership, not a specific U.S. or British readership. The usage of 'miles', 'feet' etc. thus reflects only partial taking of ownership, the uncritical takeover of bits of information
            (3)      Inaccuracy : in 1869 for the first time ships could sail from the Med to the Red Sea
Firstly, several older canals connecting the Red Sea with the Lower Nile (and thus with the Med) existed, so it was not the first time.
Secondly, ships could sail from the Med to the Read Sea any time in history, the long route around Africa. The writer expressed himself imprecisely.

            (4)      Usage of "He" (greatest engineer)
"He" usually refers to the last male person mentioned in the text. In this context, the "greatest engineer" would refer to Benjamin Disraeli, not Ferdinand de Lesseps.
            (5)      References : Wikipedia
at GLPS : insist on a specific Wikipedia article (or to several specific articles)
            (6)      References : green book
at GLPS : insist on author, title, year of publication

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