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Comparison of paragraphs

Which of the following two paragraphs is better? Give your reasons.

After completing your answer, please read comments from the lecturer.

Topic: Depression in young people

Version 1

The New South Wales Health Department has recently reported on the health behaviours of high school students (NSW Dept. of Health, 2009). This report indicates that in 2008, 13.3% of secondary students reported experiencing high levels of psychological stress. An Australian university surveyed their student cohort and found that 13% experienced depression or other mental health issues (Bretag, Hayes, & Rohde, 2009). Youth beyondblue (2010) a national depression initiative base claims that young people’s depression has emerged as a major health problem since 160,000 young people between the ages of 16-24 live with depression. In Australia and the US current practice highlights the importance of depressed adolescents ‘taking action’ (Youth beyondblue, 2010) to begin their recovery. In the US suggested strategies include physical and social activities, taking the initiative to manage stress and distress as well as seeking professional guidance (Berger, 2010).  Youth beyondblue (2010) has initiated many of the same strategies as recommended in the US .

Version 2

Young people’s depression, a cause of serious concern, is currently being addressed by State and Federal Government initiatives. Research undertaken by Youth beyondblue (2010) a national depression initiative and Bretag, Hayes, and Rohde (2009) indicates that approximately 13% of teenagers will experience depression or other mental health issues. Depression typically will affect 160,000 young people between the ages of 16-24 annually. As a result of such persuasive statistics, the New South Wales Department of Health (2009) has been compelled to act by developing guidelines for the identification, assessment, diagnosis, management and prevention of depression in young people aged between 16-24 (Youth beyondblue, 2010).  These guidelines are accessible through the internet and when used by individuals and healthcare professionals may contribute to the reduction of both long and short term problems for depressed adolescents. The guidelines are particularly significant because they focus on primary prevention and they highlight the importance of self care. Self care  strategies include participating in physical and social activities, taking the initiative to manage stress and distress as well as seeking professional guidance (Berger, 2010; Youth beyondblue, 2010).

References
Berger, F. (2010). Adolescent Depression. MedlinePlus. Retrieved April 14, 2010 from www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001518.htm

Bretag, L., Hayes, A., & Rohde, A. (2009). How are you feeling today? A brief intervention to assist university students to manage their mood. Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Assn. 33(April), 43-55.
               
NSW Dept. of Health (2009). NSW School Students’ Health Behaviours Survey, 2008 Report. North Sydney: NSW Health.

Youth beyondblue, (2010). Facts sheets and info. Retrieved April 14, 2010 from http://www.youthbeyondblue.com/factsheets-and-info/

 

Sample Correct Answer - Comments from Lecturer:

Version 2 is much more acceptable as an example of academic writing. Version 2 has a topic sentence (sentence1) whereas version 1 begins with references to experts. Version 2 integrates the references to experts according to ideas/ themes. In version 1 the reader feels that the references are not related in any sense to a central idea- this is because there is no topic sentence. In version 2 the reader gets a sense of what the writer is thinking because of the evaluative sentences at the end of the paragraph. Notice the writer's evaluation in the bolded sections below:

'These guidelines when used by health professionals may reduce both the long and short term problems for depressed adolescents (Kowalenko, 1996). The guidelines are particularly significant because they focus on primary prevention and they highlight important differences between adolescent and adult management'.

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