Grammar and spelling errors account for lots of lost marks in college. Perfectly capable students can lose entire grades just because they allowed simple grammar mistakes to creep through. Proofreading services can help with your grammar, but it’s always better to correct them before this stage. So just what should budding editors look for when reading through their college essays?
1. Spell Check!
According to an article by the Huffington Post, 39 per cent of all errors come from not using a spell checker. With almost every word processor having one of these tools built-in, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do this.
2. Long Sentences
Long sentences are perfectly acceptable. When they become a problem is when nothing breaks them up. Commas should come before common contractions like ‘for’, ‘so’, and ‘and’. If you can’t say a sentence without running out of breath, you need a comma.
3. Sentence Fragments
Proofreading services regularly come across college essays littered with sentence fragments. Think of a sentence as a complete thought. A fragment is an incomplete thought. Programs like Microsoft Word will automatically flag up a sentence if it lacks something. Often, its sentences which have an action but no subject which cause the most hassle.
Verbs are known as ‘doing’ words. You can’t define an action by not including a verb. A lot of sentences lose students marks because they omit the verbs. Just because something makes sense in your head doesn’t mean the person reading the sentence knows what you’re talking about. A verb clears the air and explains something clearly.
5. Too Wordy
It’s common to find students extending their sentences when there’s a more concise option. As well as being easier to read, it reduces the chance of making an error. If you really have a lot to say, consider dividing it into more than one sentence.
6. Basic Word Usage
Editors regularly laugh at some grammar errors. These are the ones which make you look dumb. Choosing the wrong word is amateurish and highlights a gross failure to understand the art of writing. Word combinations like ‘lose’ and ‘loose’ or the dreaded ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ can completely discredit your work if you get them wrong.
Author bio: Robert Hudson is a writer and proofreader. He generally writes on different topics and also he is writing for Essay4students.com which provides professional essay writing help for everyone.