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Checking your essay for grammar mistakes


Every student needs to be aware of and involved in the editing and proofreading of their essays. It seems crazy that a student would spend a great deal of time in choosing the right topic, doing all the necessary research and planning and then write the best essay possible only to pay lip service to checking their essay. Looking for and finding grammar mistakes as well as spelling errors, repetition and lack of clarity in writing errors is an essential part of writing an essay.

One of the biggest mistakes students make is to not pay enough attention to their proofreading. Then with those students who do follow up with some proofreading, one of their biggest mistakes is to rely on software alone. Yes, the built-in software you can use when writing your essay will find grammar mistakes if they exist. But if you rely solely on the inbuilt devices, you may miss some mistakes or you may correct something which does not need correcting.

Read aloud is often the best way

When it comes to checking your essay for grammar mistakes one of the best ways to find such mistakes if they exist is to read your essay aloud. Yes you can spot mistakes simply by looking at the words on the screen or on paper if you print your essay but by reading aloud it can often trigger an alarm bell in your brain warning you that a mistake has been made.

The best defence is knowledge

If you really want to be successful at finding and correcting any grammar mistakes in your essay you need the knowledge of what is correct and incorrect. There are textbooks on basic grammar principles and of course many websites which will explain aspects of the English language from a grammar point of view.

One of the most common areas of mistake is the use of the apostrophe. Use of the apostrophe is governed by some very simple rules and you would do well to find them, learn them and apply them.

As a last resort one good tactic is to show your completed essay to somebody who has a firm grasp of English grammar and ask them to proofread your essay. Remember that the proofreading process is relatively short but it is certainly important. Never dismiss proofreading. Always treat it with respect and never be satisfied with anything less than perfection when it comes to spelling and grammar.

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