An essay is not perfect unless it is fully proofread and edited. You can do wonders with your writing skills and perform a grand research, but if you fail to correct all those little errors and typos in the paper, you won’t get the high grade you deserve.
To help you out, we created a short, but very efficient guide for perfecting your essay grammar.
Forget about the Rules
If you focus too much on the rules, you can miss a punctuation error. All those rules you used about semi-colons and commas are good, but before you say: ‘’I’m done editing’’, forget about the rules and read the paper once again.
When you read a sentence out loud, you will naturally pause in the places where you need a comma. If you pause for a longer time, but the thought is not finished just yet, you’ll need a semi-colon.
This is your essay, which means that it is your decision where you want the thoughts to pause. If you do not want the reader to pause while reading a sentence, do not add a comma. Punctuation can make your writing very reach, but also cause many misunderstanding if you exaggerate with using it.
This tip goes both ways. You shouldn’t forget to add commas and semi-colons and leave the reader gasping for breath. A long sentence without punctuation is never a good idea.
Check the Hyphens and Dashes
The long dash, or the m-dash, is used in place of the colon when you want to dramatically emphasize the following words and phrases. But, generally, this dash is used when the writer sets off a clause.
How can you check if you used it right? Read the part of the sentence before and after the dash. If they are readable and make sense without the dash, you did well.
Double-Check the Abbreviations
You cannot afford to use a wrong abbreviation in your writing or spell a term in the wrong way. If you are using acronyms and abbreviations in your essay, you are probably speaking to an audience who specializes or has background knowledge in the specific discipline.
Make All Your Referents Clear
When you are referring to something, such as ‘’that point’’, is it clear what point you are talking about? Check all referents and make sure that the writer can clearly understand what you are referring to.
Avoid Using Passive Voice
Passive voice can be used in writing, but try to avoid overusing it.
Never Underline and Use Italics at the Same Time
Underlining a thing and using italic on it means the same, and using both in your writing is the same as a double negative. When you underline an italicized phrase, it means that you want the reader to forget about the underlining.
That’s it – as simple as that! When you are editing your essay, do not forget to go through this list of tips!