How can I make this topic sentence better?


Make it more clear, or make it sound better

See example:

29 out of 32 severely overcrowded prisons in California are housing more offenders due to the rise of inmate population .
asked Oct 18 '12 at 10:05 Fro Montes New member

2 answers


Hi Fro,


Could you explain what you mean. At the moment it sounds like you are saying, "Prisons have more inmates because they have more inmates." Perhaps you mean prisons have more inmates because more people are being convicted of crimes carrying a custodial sentence. Also "overcrowded" is subjective: you need to define what overcrowded means (e.g., average inmates per cell or equivalent).


Sentences cannot start with a numeral (years are an exception).

link comment edited Oct 18 '12 at 12:11 Peter Guess Expert

I agree with Peter, your sentence basically states that there are too many inmates because there are too many inmates.  You need more information in this sentence. 


I don't agree that you have to define the word overcrowded.  In the US, prisons are built with a certain capacity and most now house more inmates than the prison was supposed to hold.  We refer this to be an overcrowded prison.  This may be different in the UK.


There are different style rules when writing numbers.  Check the style manual that you are using.  You may need to spell out twenty nine and thirty two. 

link comment answered Oct 18 '12 at 12:38 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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