English is the universal language that was established a long time ago. However, it still evolves and changes, bringing new words and terms. Writing essays in English is a common thing in academia. Every student must produce dozens of papers during the academic path. But the problem is, lots of people are prone to making mistakes when writing papers. People tend to commit punctuation, lexical, and, most importantly, grammar errors, making them demoralized and desperate. If you are the one who wants to boost your writing and design a peerless essay, keep reading the guide, and you will learn what to pay attention to to achieve your goal.
The Most Common Grammatical Mistakes
There are numerous mistakes students make when writing essays. They depend on the students’ command of the English language, academic level, and country. However, the following five most common mistakes make a profound impact on the paper’s final grade:
- Determiners: Words that come before a noun or a noun phrase. They tell us whether the noun is general or specific. The category comprises articles (a, an, the) and words like this, that, which, etc.
- Prepositions: Words that precede a noun or pronoun highlight the relationship to another word in the same clause or sentence. The problem is that there are a few rules about the use of prepositions; that is why it is a common mistake.
- Verb Tense Shifts: Another standard error is that we write one sentence and try to describe one event is verb tense shift, but we misuse the tense. Therefore, we confuse the reader and write a grammatically wrong sentence.
- Subject-Verb Agreement: People often forget to make a subject and verb agree in number.
- Verb Form: There are six typical verb mistakes. The base, the 3rd person singular, the infinitive, verb+ing, the past simple, and the past participle.
How To Correct Errors While Writing
First and foremost, no matter how hard you want to write your essay, you can’t write it without mistakes. We are humans, and we commit errors, whether we want it or not. We can’t be concentrated all the time. Our attention span lasts for about 20 minutes. If we stay focused for a longer time, the higher the chances of making a mistake.
But no need to worry; although we can’t hide from errors, we can still diminish their presence in an essay. The following ways will help you prevent from occurring the severest and strictest mistakes:
Avoid Spelling Errors
We always want to make our papers stand out. Using different structures, we try to impress the teacher or any other person who reads and evaluates the essay. Sometimes, such a strategy is detrimental, mainly if students use words whose meaning they don’t know for sure. Before including the word, double-check its meaning. Not only can you misuse the term, but you can also misspell it. Keep a dictionary close and check words you are dubious about.
Punctuation is one of the worst enemies students can encounter when writing papers. Misplaced punctuation can change the sentence’s entire meaning, making it hard to understand or, even worse, awkward and pointless. So, ensure putting commas and apostrophes in the right places.
It comes as no surprise that students always lack time. Many learners have lots on their plates, including classes, extracurricular activities, and work. They are always in a hurry, writing papers quickly. As a result of paying no attention to quality, lots of typos arise.
Indeed, it is hard to write slowly, especially when the deadlines approach. Plus, we think way faster than we write, so we try to keep up with our brains and jot down every concept that comes to our minds. Try to avoid writing in a rush. You can jot down ideas before writing the paper. You can also record your ideas if you are on the go.
Proofreading plays a pivotal role in our final grades. There is no shame in reading out loud. In fact, it helps capture concealed mistakes. Whenever you can, try reading aloud. You can find a secluded place and read the piece. Highlight a sentence if it sounds unnatural.
Get Someone Else To Read Your Work
A fresh set of eyes is always an excellent idea. If you can ask your friends, colleagues, or family members to check your paper, do that. They would be delighted to help you succeed in writing. Even if they are not good at the subject, they can still analyze the essay in terms of grammar and punctuation.
Use Online Tools
Technology has developed tremendously, so why not benefit from it in academia? A dozen apps exist these days, so make sure to use the most potent and useful ones. For instance, Grammarly, Thesaurus, and Hemingway Editor. These three apps ensure your writing is polished to a shimmering brilliance concerning spelling, vocabulary, and readability. They are free and easy to use, so make sure to employ them every time you work on the paper.
Listening is Learning
Whether you are an ENL or ESL speaker, listen to people and the way they speak. Watch movies and listen to podcasts to understand the language and structures. Every person is an individual. They use unique words and phrases, their viewpoint and mindset are different. All these influence the language they use to communicate with others.
Play Relevant Games
Learning through playing is another great strategy to understand how English works. Fortunately, you can find hundreds of games to boost your writing abilities. Depending on your level and age, you may look for different ones.
Find Inspiring Materials
You can find a multitude of sources to bolster your writing skills. Whatever you are interested in—be it Biology, Science, Literature, or History—the Internet contains myriads of relevant articles, books, journals, and blogs. Use Google Scholar and JSTOR to find inspiring sources.
Needless to say, practice makes perfect. Even though you can’t write a completely clear and error-free paper, you can minimize the chances of making mistakes by practicing. Start writing an essay per day. After three months, compare those essays. You will see a huge difference.
Last but not least, accept criticism. If you are involved in peer review during classes, someone will present your essay in front of your colleagues. Mistakes are bad, indubitably. But accepting them lets you progress through the course. Suppose you made a mistake. In that case, admit it and say why it occurred. Even simple “I don’t know” will do it.
Writing a flawless essay is unattainable. We are prone to making mistakes every day. However, we can improve our writing by using the mentioned ways. All of them are essential and effective. If you want to hone your writing skills and stop making grammar mistakes, use them daily, and you will observe the results shortly.