You aren’t perfect. So, mistakes would happen, but in academic writing, grammar mistakes leave a sour taste in your reader’s mouth. Picture going to someone’s house without knocking on the door or talking over a mouthful of food in your mouth. Those are irritable and disgusting behaviors, aren’t they? That’s exactly how it feels when you make grammar mistakes in academic writing.
Your reader would feel you lack manners, and if your reader are experts, you will come off as lazy to them. We know that you don’t mean to offend your reader or come off as lazy. This is why you must be careful when writing to avoid grammatical mistakes. You must edit ruthlessly, and most importantly, you must be able to identify such mistakes.
Knowing that you are making those mistakes makes your editing better 100 times over. It even helps your writing as you would be able to avoid making those mistakes. This is why in this post, you will learn about popular grammar mistakes in academic writing.
Popular Grammar Mistakes in Academic Writing.
The thing about grammar mistakes is that they make work look unimpressive. These mistakes often break the reader’s concentration and could make the whole text difficult to understand. After seeing these popular mistakes, we are confident your writing will evolve. It could take a while, but you would reach a level of expertise, the kind that could make you be a top writer for an essay writing service.
Using Comma in the Right Places.
One thing about commas is that their mastery eludes even the best writers. Most writers don’t know where to place commas, and since commas feature almost all the time, it becomes a recurring mistake.
A comma is a brief stop in a sentence that allows the reader to absorb the meaning of said sentence. Usually, with commas, what happens is an indiscriminate use or non-use in crucial areas.
Even though the purpose of commas is clear, there are specific nuances that you should note. You would be able to appreciate how to use commas properly when you note them;
Areas to note When Using Commas
- You must use commas after an introductory clause, word, or phrase. For example, ‘In essence, that man isn’t frugal’ is correct, while ‘in essence that man isn’t frugal is incorrect.’
- Use a comma when joining two independent clauses when writing a compound sentence and use a conjunction to separate them. Here, the other sentence you are joining together must be able to stand alone when removed from the compound sentence. So, pay attention to the below
- James hates bugs and he is terrified of chickens. Wrong
- James hates bugs, and he is terrified of chickens. Correct.
- Don’t use a comma when you aren’t joining two independent clauses. In essence, the conjunction isn’t joining another sentence that can stand alone. Here, you wouldn’t need to use the comma. For example, ‘contestants must be able to sing and know how to waltz is correct,’ while ‘contestants must be able to sing, and know how to waltz is wrong.
- Commas are unnecessary when joining two short clauses with a conjunction.
- Uncle Sam joined the army and Uncle Davy joined the navy.
- Uncle Sam joined the army, and Uncle Davy joined the navy.
The two sentences above are correct.
- Don’t use commas when listing items not more than two.
- When listing items more than 3, you can use commas or not, depending on your region. If you are in the United States, use a comma before the conjunction that joins the last item. In the United Kingdom, it is wrong to use a comma before the conjunction that joins the last item. See examples below.
- I want sandwiches, fries, and soda. American
- I want sandwiches, fries and soda. British.
Beware Sentence Fragments
A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence, and it occurs too often. Each sentence should convey an idea. The sentence should be able to stand on its own. So, a sentence should have a subject and a complete verb. A fragmented sentence usually lacks this.
An example of a sentence fragment is this. You should be eager to see her. In spite of everything. That sentence is wrong. A proper sentence would be, ‘despite everything, you should be eager to see her.’
Subject Must Agree with Verb
This is a crucial part of every sentence. There must be an agreement between subject and verb such that if the subject is singular or plural, the verb is also singular or plural. For instance
- She is fine. Correct
- She are fine. Wrong.
Usage of Quotation Marks.
This depends if you are writing in American or British English. When writing in American English, use double quotes when you want to quote something. If you are writing in British English, you must use single quotes.
The Colon (:) and Semi-Colon(;)
Using these two depends on the purpose for which you want to use them. You use the colon punctuation mark when you have completed a sentence but wish to explain, quote, or list items. On the other hand, you can use the semi-colon to join two different sentences.
When you master your grammar, you are reaching the top of academic excellence. Note these popular errors you make and make amends.
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