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Essay writing guide: avoiding grammar mistakes

Grammar is a subject that teachers have difficulty teaching. When students get to high school and college, their collective grammar experience is so inconsistent that many teachers do not even know where to begin. To make matters worse, once students hear the word “grammar” many of them shut down and do not pay attention. Students have difficulty understanding the subtle nuances of the English language, so they do not usually recognize the errors they make when they write essays. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid grammar mistakes, even when students have little to no understanding of the science behind grammar.

Use a Grammar Checker that Provides Explanations

Since grammar mistakes are inevitable, student should always use a program that will check their grammar. There are many word processing programs that will do this when they are typing. There are also several apps that can check for grammar errors, too. It is important to know that the best grammar checkers will explain why the possible errors are marked. Then, students can decide what they want to do with their own essays.

Be Alert for Capitalization Errors

Many students make simple mistakes that they should be able to find on their own. One of the most common errors is missing capital letters. So many students forget to capitalized proper nouns and many forget to capitalized the work “I”. Students should be able to see these on grammar and spelling checkers so they should be easy to fix.

Keep the Sentences Simple

Many students also make mistakes with punctuation. Either they forget to use it or they use too much of it. Since there are so many options for punctuation, students who do not understand the nuances, should stick to simple sentences. If they have questions about punctuation, students can look for answers on grammar websites. They can also ask their teachers for advice on particular sentences.

There are a few rules that students unintentionally break on a regular basis. These are the most common:

  • Never end a sentence with a preposition.
  • Avoid run-on sentences.
  • Write complete sentences.
  • Use parallel structure.
  • Use active verbs.

These common mistakes can be easily avoided by simply paying attention. By the time that students are in upper-level grades, they should be able to follow these instructions. Grammar checkers will be able to find most of these issues, but students should be able to find them, too.

Posted by July 7th, 2016