When it comes to composing an academic essay, you should be aware of your two basic enemies, which are the content and the form. Every work should correspond to a number of criteria that were probably sent to you with the assignment. As a rule, essays must feature appropriate formatting and be free of any spelling or grammar mistakes. In this post we will dwell on the former.
Innovations that fall in line with technological progress have facilitated the process of checking our texts, but spelling mistakes still occupy a solid place in most scientific works. You cannot rely on a machine completely when dealing with a human language. Not all students resort to proofreading and editing services. That is why we have prepared some tips for you that are meant to help you in correcting spelling mistakes in papers on your own.
Haste makes waste
Procrastination is good in moderation. It may be useful to take your time before beginning to write just to wait for fresh ideas to come to your mind. But do not leave everything till the last moment. Starting to work on an essay beforehand (say, several days in case of a short paper and several weeks for a serious project) spares you from haste and subsequent panic. This strategy leaves you with enough time to type carefully and to reread and proofread your text. In what way can you do it? Just continue reading this post.
Use online services
When you are done with your essay and did your best to avoid spelling mistakes, it is time to prove yourself right or wrong. You can google up numerous online services that provide you with free of charge checking. They have their own pros and cons.
The pros are that in most cases you will get complex text checking, including grammar and spelling. Moreover, they provide their own suggestions and automatic corrections. But you should be careful with it when your subject deals with neologisms and other words that are not listed in general dictionaries.
As for the cons, you may experience problems with specific errors that most services do not recognize. For example, they will not save you from homonyms with different spelling. One of the most common challenges for online services arises with such words as to, too and two. If you accidentally mistype them, no spelling error will be shown. You can correct the mistake only after analyzing the meaning.
Install checking software
It is convenient when a program checks you spelling right when you type. In some of them you can even set automatic replacement. We find MS Word the most powerful tool that looks for proofing errors. However, you can pick out a free office suite as well, for example LibreOffice.
You will not depend on an Internet connection when exploiting this kind of software. Their another advantage as compared to online services is that you know your misspellings and misprints straight away, not after the work is finished. This eliminates the necessity to reread the whole text just for the sake of spelling.
Consult a dictionary
It may be either a bulky printed book or modern online dictionary. Dictionaries present the most trustworthy arbiters when you doubt yourself in spelling. The online ones are numerous on the web, here is a quick list of some of them:
They all feature an important advantage: they suggest correct variants when you type a word with a spelling mistake. Looks like a nice way of learning! These sites are also a reliable source of practical advice and entertaining education; they have their own articles on mastering the language.
American vs British
This issue is really tricky, that is why you should pay attention to it even when using the previous tips. For instance, some programs will mark either American or British spelling as a mistake, so make sure you have chosen the right language variant in settings before checking the text. Needless to say that you should stick to only one variant across your whole work.
This is a method to help you in the long run. Reading is one of the most effective ways to remember how different words are spelled. They cling to your memory automatically, without any effort on your side, which is a huge benefit as it allows you to devour your favorite novels and contribute to your general knowledge at the same time. We would recommend you to take pleasure in reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. There you will find a lot of witty puns based on spelling discrepancies. It is also possible to find whole books, namely practical guides written on the subject of spelling, but we do not cherish any hopes about you being eager to read them.
As you establish this useful habit of reading books to your liking, you may notice that you started paying attention not only to the story line, but also to grammar and spelling. It is a good sign, just go on with it. Even if you are not familiar with some rules, eventually you will be able to write correctly on a hunch.
Ask for help
When you cannot manage to correct your spelling mistakes on your own, try to ask your friend or relative for it. As this will be the first time they see the text, you can rely on them being unbiased and more attentive. Obviously, the effectiveness of this method increases when the person has a degree in linguistics.
Fighting spelling mistakes may take a while, but diligence is the mother of success. Following our advice, you will soon be able to write your papers without them. However, do not let your spirits sink in case errors keep haunting you. You can always choose to shirk off the work upon editing services. You may want to take a look at professional editor rates just to know what to expect. We wish you a good academic performance!