Suggest improvements for the highlighted problem area:
Liyao told Lu that she should explain how the Yangtze River can be both a lake and a dam. At Lake Poyanghu during the winter, the river comprises small streams on a broad lake bed. In the summer, high waters fill the reservoir and curb the inflow of tributaries like a dam.
Liyao also described how she tried to visit a friend which had called for help from the other side of the lake. It was summer and they always warn you about the high waters. While rowing across Lake Poyanghu, Liyao became exhausted and decided, with great regret, to return home. It was too far across.
- Pronoun Reference-
As we use pronouns in our writing, we must be careful to make it clear who or what is being referred to. A common problem with pronoun reference is shown in the first sentence of our opening paragraph:
Liyao told Lu that she should explain how the Yangtze River can be both a lake and a dam.
In this ambiguous sentence, the reader isn't clearly told who she is. Is it Lu? Or is it Liyao? Revise the sentence to make this clear, either by replacing the pronoun with the noun, or by rewriting the sentence:
Liyao told Lu that Liyao should explain how...
Liyao explained to Lu how...
This is such an important feature of good writing that we should practice some more. Consider the example:
Liyao saw Lu when she was on the lake.
This pronoun reference is ambiguous. It can be fixed in many ways. Choose whichever would best fit with surrounding sentences:
Liyao saw Lu when Liyao was on the lake.
When Liyao was on the lake, she saw Lu.
Liyao was on the lake when she saw Lu.