Uni Learning Previous Next
Essay Writing

Editing the final draft

Editing for grammatical aspects and punctuation

Why is it that when we write essays at university we make grammatical errors we probably wouldn't make in other contexts? One reason is that these 'errors' wouldn't be considered errors in other contexts, such as in spoken English between friends. Another reason is certainly a combination of haste, carelessness, lack of proofreading, and perhaps lack of knowledge of the grammar of written English. Furthermore, when students discuss or explain new and difficult concepts, their language is put under considerable strain. This can result in clumsy expressions, incomplete sentences and faulty logic. Some common grammatical problems in student writing are:

bullet problems with sentences such as sentence fragments or run-on sentences
bullet problems with noun-verb agreement
bullet problems with using too many or not enough commas
bullet problems with the use of apostrophes
bullet problems with use of colons and semi-colons

If some of the grammatical problems above are unfamiliar, you should follow the links to the Writing Sentences unit of the UniLearning website. You need to be able to identify problems such as these in your own work. One way to do this is to read your assignment aloud (very useful for identifying problems with sentences), or ask a friend to help you check your sentence structure and punctuation.

© Copyright 2000
Comments and questions should
be directed to Unilearning@uow.edu.au


Introduction Analysis of Questions The Research Process The Essay Writing Process Summary