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The small intestine

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The Small Intestine What is it? The small intestine is locates in the abdomen. It looks as though it comes from the butcher (looks like a long sausage coiled up). It is around 5 metres long and although it is longer than the large intestine (the small intestine is the largest digestion organ), it has a smaller diameter and is therefore called the 'small' intestine. What does it do? When food is eaten, it is sent to the digestive system, which, with the help of enzymes, breaks down the food so that we came use the energy. ...read more.


These are rich in enzymes. They break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Another chemical, called sodium bicarbonate enters as well to neutralise the acids obtained from the stomach. After this, the bladder inserts some bile down a duct and this helps break down the fats. Food is pushed down the small intestine with the help of alternating contracting and relaxing muscles; this is called 'peristalsis'. This process allows some of the nutrients to be digested through the lining into the blood. Little hairs called 'microvilli' vastly increase surface area and therefore exposure to nutrients. ...read more.


What can go wrong? * Small intestine cancer - A rare disease that is treatable and sometimes curable. Usually it starts in the glandular cells. Tumours develop in the inner lining of the Duodenum. This is a particularly dangerous as food cannot be properly digested especially when they block the whole passage way. * Tapeworm infection - Through the digestion of undercooked food, a tapeworm can appear and infect the small intestine. This can also be passed on to other people (infectious). * Crohn's disease - Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting and weight loss. The actual disease is where the immune system attacks the small intestine and therefore is considered to be an 'autoimmune disease' Alan Foley & Guy Hewett 11F ...read more.

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Response to the question

Though the candidate answers the question ‘What is the small intestine?’ They have not given a clear introduction. When you write any sort of essay, you need to make sure that you introduce your topic, this means that you should ...

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Response to the question

Though the candidate answers the question ‘What is the small intestine?’ They have not given a clear introduction. When you write any sort of essay, you need to make sure that you introduce your topic, this means that you should give a brief description on your topic. You also need to clearly state what you plan to discuss, as this ensures that the purpose of your essay is clear. That said, the candidates overall response is fairly good, they provide a reasonable amount of detail and they expand upon their knowledge by mentioning complications relating to the small intestine.

Level of analysis

The candidate has demonstrated enthusiasm for their subject by including information that you are not expected to know at this level of qualification. However they do so at a fairly basic level as they have used bullet points to discuss this information. Had the candidate taken the time to throughly research these complications, they could have discussed this information in more detail. By researching your subject, you show that you are capable of working independently, which is useful skill for higher education. In addition to this, the candidate has missed the opportunity to demonstrate a boarder range of knowledge, as this essay is about the small intestine, it would be appropriate to expand on this topic and briefly go through the process of digestion, you could even go on to discuss enzymes, which play an important role in the digestion of food. This additional information allows you to link together key topics, which is important in biology as many topics are related to one another. On a final note, the candidate has failed to write a conclusion which is disappointing, it is important to end your essay appropriately so that you can leave the reader with a good impression of your work. To write a good conclusion you need to summarise key facts from within your essay and state why these facts are important as this can help tie together any loose ends and bring your essay to a close.

Quality of writing

The layout of this piece of work is very simplistic, the candidate simply answers four questions one of which is answered in the form of bullet points. At this level of qualification you should be writing scientific information in an essay format therefore you should be writing in continual prose instead of relying on bullet points or short sentences. That said, the candidate does use correct scientific terminology which shows a good understanding of your subject. However, there are some minor spelling and grammatical errors, though these can usually be avoided if you take the time to carefully check over your work.

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