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Rafflesia - A True Floral Wonder

by Liberty


A/N: Hiya! This is an essay I was supposed to do for English and I’m posting it on here. An excuse to come onto the site, lol. It was supposed to be 100 words, but can you blame me for trying to fit a gazillion points about this flower in a 100 words? Nope. Anyways, it turned out to be 118.

Book: In no more than 100 words, write a summary of “Rafflesia - A True Floral Wonder”. Include only the essentials.

The Rafflesia is named after Sir Stamford Raffles, British explorer and founder of Singapore. It's the official state flower of the Sabah province, Malaysia Borneo and Surat Thani province, Thailand.

When in bloom, the flower gives off an odour similar to rotting meat or human decomposition. It attracts the pollinators of the flower.

It has no stem, leaves, or root, making it necessary to adhere itself on another plant.

When it blooms, five orange spotted petals unfurl. It can grow to 106 centimetres and can weigh up to ten kilograms. The flower is short-lived. The Rafflesia takes about a year to grow to its full size, but only survives for about a week after it is fully grown.


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Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:32 am
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Hello Liberty FlamingPhoenix here with a short review for you on this lovely warm night.

Okay let's begin.

So I didn't pick up on anything that was wrong with this work, I thought you did a wonderful job with this Essay.

Now I want to talk about this flower. I had no idea anything like this was around, I do read a few flower books but I haven't come across this one before, and I'm really amazed at what I have learned here. I had no idea there was a flow that smelt as bad as rotting meat or human decomposition. I must say I felt a little sick finding that out. XD
Man this flower can grow really big. You really don't want one of those in your back yard it will make the whole place stink.

So you really have got me intrigued with this flower, so I think I will go look it up and find out more about it. So I'm glad you posted this on the sight so I can learn something new, I hope you have a great day and post more things like this on the sight soon.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix!
Reviewing with a fiery passion! ;)

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Liberty says...


Thanks, Flames! <3





No problem! :D



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Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:13 am
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Gnomish wrote a review...



Wow! This flower sounds like something out of a fantasy book!
I can totally relate to going over the word-count, it's so difficult sometimes!

About the essay, I like how quick and short it is. A bit of history, it's name, it's size and characteristics all in just a few words! Might I just add though, I would not want to smell this flower!

That's all I have to say!
-Gnomish




Liberty says...


Thanks! (:



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Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:33 am
Dilbert64 wrote a review...



The essay is good overall, and lays out all the information, but there are some suggestions I would make. First I'd change 'basically parasitic' and take away the 'basically' and put in 'making it parasitic'. This might make it sound more formal.

Also I would move the paragraph about this being the state flower, up to under the paragraph about Sir Raffles, since they are kinda connected and that makes the progression of the essay more natural

I'd also move the bloom paragraph to be before the smell paragraph because then you could lead into the smell paragraph with a line like 'another effect of blooming is the smell' or something like that.

Another line that is a little strange is 'five orange (mostly with spots) petals unfurl' I'd change the bracketed words, to 'five orange spotted petals unfurl'. Because it sounds a little better, and it cuts out a few words.

I would also suggest against using shortened words. For example, instead of saying 'it's to attract the flower's pollinators.' I would say 'it attracts the pollinators of the flower.' This makes it sound more formal in the essay.

the line 'The most striking thing about it… is the… smell!' Is a little strange. I think you should take away the ellipses, they just feel kinda awkward, and out of place in the line.

I would also use the word 'rafflesia' more often. It's only use twice throughout, so I would say it more instead of 'the flower'

If you need to cut down the word count then there are some lines that aren't as necessary as others. 'Despite its strength and length, the flower is short-lived.' I'd change it to just 'the rafflesia has a short life' This would cut out some words. Also I would cut the line 'The most striking thing about it… is the… smell' entirely and jus start at 'When in bloom'.

But the essay is really good, it's very informative and give a lot of interesting information.

(I know I'm being super nitpicky, sorry.)

Hope this helped!




Liberty says...


Thanks so much for your review! (Nitpicks was what I needed. ;))



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Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:25 am
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Tuckster wrote a review...



Hey there Liberty! Tuck stopping by for a short review :)

The most striking thing about it… is the… smell!
I don't think these ellipses really work here. It doesn't really create suspense like I suspect you were intending, but instead comes off as sloppy and unprofessional, in my humble opinion.

making it necessary to adhere itself on another plant; basically parasitic.
I would simplify this wording to just say "meaning it needs to adhere onto another plant". It even eliminates a word!

It can grow to 106 centimetres and can weigh to almost ten kilograms.
Instead of "can weigh to almost ten kilograms", I would say "can weigh up to ten kilograms". It's more grammatically correct and saves you some words.

Taking about a year to grow to its full size, the Rafflesia dies after a week or so.
The way that this is worded is kinda confusing. I would say something more along the lines of "The Rafflesia takes about a year to grow to its full size, but only survives for about a week after it is fully grown."

Overall, I think you have everything you need gathered here! There are a lot of interesting facts about this flower that I didn't know before, and I think you did a good job of picking facts to present. However, there are still a few areas I think you could improve, and I'll do my best to point them out to you.

First and foremost, I think your organization is slightly lacking. You kinda just throw random facts at your reader without a logical structure, so I would reorganize it in a way where it has a more logical flow. For example, I would combine the first and last paragraphs so it reads something like "The Rafflesia is named after Sir Stamford Raffles, British explorer and founder of Singapore. It is the official state flower of the Sabah province, Malaysia Borneo and Surat Thani province, Thailand." (It also eliminates some words for you. Every little bit counts!)

To echo what niteowl said, I think you should do your best to cut it down to 100 words. Your teacher gave you that limitation for a reason, so not only will it help you as a writer to figure out what needs to be cut out and how to do that, but it'll ensure you get better marks on your assignment as well. Usually when there's such a strict word limitation, you'll be penalized for going over, and there's a lot of value in figuring out how to be concise and use your words wisely as an author; it's not all about how much you can write! Sometimes you have to chop good writing in order to make a good story.

Hopefully these tips were helpful to you and didn't come across as too harsh! I think you have a good base here, which is all you need for a first draft, and I hope that the criticisms I provided help you to cut down on some words and to make it even better! I wish you the best of luck with this assignment and any future endeavors. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

All my best,
Tuck




Liberty says...


Thanks so much for the review! You're review has definitely helped. :)



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Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:19 pm
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niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there Liberty! Niteowl here to leave a quick review.

Overall, I like all the neat facts about the infamous "corpse flower". However, I do have some suggestions given that this is supposed to be an essay and it is twice as long as assigned. It might not seem a big deal for a short piece like this, but imagine you were grading five page papers and then someone turned in a ten page one...you would not be happy. Weirdly enough, sometimes it's very difficult to read a page/word limit and sometimes it's harder to condense it.

My first suggestion would be to make the tone a little more academic. Essays don't typically contain exclamation points, ellipses, or statements in parentheses. The single word "yuck" also doesn't feel very essay-like to me.

Okay, now let's think about where we could shorten things.

The Rafflesia is the largest flower ever! It was named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, British explorer and administrator and also the founder of Singapore.


I would shorten the second sentence to "It was named after Sir Stamford Raffles, British explorer and founder of Singapore."

The most striking thing about the Rafflesia is not that it’s got more than fifteen different species, or it’s size. It… Is the… Smell! When in bloom, the flower gives off an odour similar to rotting meat or human decomposition. Yuck. It’s to attract the flower’s pollinaters.



"it's got more than fifteen different species" isn't essential. I would cut it. Since you opened with the size tidbit, you could transition like this "However, the size isn't its most notable feature, but rather its smell". You could also condense/combine the last two sentences "When in bloom, the flower smells like rotting meat to attract its pollinators." This is a little dry, but given how little room you have, I think its necessary.

The paragraph on it being parasitic could be cut, but could also be condensed. "making it necessary to adhere itself to another plant", is extra words. Maybe mentioning a specific plant would help cut this down?

When it blooms, five orange (mostly with spots) petals unfurl. It can grow to 106 centimetres and can weigh to almost ten kilograms.


I would move the size bit to where you mention that its the largest flower. This might also have to be cut to save words. You might also be able to squeeze in the orange colored petals when you talk about the smell.

Despite its strength and length, the flower is short-lived. Taking about a year to grow to its full size, the Rafflesia dies after a week or so.


The first sentence is superfluous, so I would cut it. Words like "about" and "or so" are unnecessary in the context of providing a short summary. The tidbit about dying within a week could be combined with another sentence.

So famous is the flower that when a Rafflesia growing in any botanical garden of any city throughout the world begins to bloom, the event is likely to merit a word or two in the local news. The flower is an official state flower of the Sabah province, Malaysia Borneo and also Surat Thani province, Thailand.


The first sentence here does not strike me as essential. At best, it could be condensed, but I might just cut it. Depending on space, I might cut the second sentence too.

Okay, so since this is a school assignment, I'd think about what they expect you to learn from this and tailor accordingly. Based on the prompt you gave, I think they want you to read an article, figure out what is essential, and use concise wording to summarize.

I know it's hard to cut words when you're writing about something that interests you, but I can also say that being concise is a useful skill, especially in tasks like writing emails and respecting space/word limits in longer assignments.

Good luck on your assignment and keep writing! :D




Liberty says...


Thanks so much for the review! I'll def get to editing soon. ^^




You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.
— Jennifer Niven, 'All the Bright Places'