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Why you should care about English grammar when writing an SOP

When it comes to academic exams and coursework, the essay is still the popular choice. So sharpen up your writing skills with these top essay writing tips.

Sarah MacLennan | 12 Jan 2013 | Updated on 20 Jan 2015 | 380 Views
Sarah MacLennan
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English is littered with grammatical pitfalls and spelling hazards. But perfecting your grammar will help you write a good essay. Invest in a good grammar book if necessary.

When it comes to higher education, there is no essay escape. This makes the ability to write a decent essay crucial to students. But it isn't just about swotting up and learning what to put in the essay; it's also how you write it. So sharpen up your writing skills with these essay writing tips.

Spelling and Grammar

Right or write, there or their, your or you're: English is littered with grammatical pitfalls and spelling hazards. But these are the cornerstones of good essay writing. And to get a decent grade, getting these right are absolutely essential. After all, you could be writing the correct answer but marks will be deducted for misspellings and grammatical errors.

Look to practice and invest in a grammar book if necessary. And find some quality reading material such as newspapers and magazines. Try putting aside time each week to study grammar points, or remind yourself of any tricky ones. Even if it's not homework, this will help your essay writing so that good grammar becomes second nature and one less thing to worry about.

21st century tools

Living in the 21st century, definitely has its perks including great inventions - Apple anyone? Software such as Microsoft's Word has meant students can auto-correct essays, reducing the number of wrongly spelt words.  So use it. When you're handing in a piece of coursework there is no reason for mistakes.

But it's worth bearing in mind, that this software won't be available during exams. So, if your end of year exam is made up of essay questions, sharpen up your writing skills, and don't become reliant on any additional tools. And when you are in an exam, try to write as clearly as possible. After all, you don't want your correct point to be missed due to sloppy hand writing. Additionally, always follow any lay out guidelines or typography requirements. If not, this can be a source of easily lost marks for students. Don't let this be you.

Plan It

And before you start writing a single word, make a plan. Whether it be as part of your coursework or in an exam, this is vital. It helps organise the structure, forming a coherent piece of work. This is particularly useful when you're under pressure, for instance in an exam. As the minutes tick by, sometimes as sense of panic sets in and with the fear, an idea that you should just put down everything you know on the subject. This can lead to lack of consistency in arguments and worse yet, not answering the question. So, instead, opt for taking some time at the beginning. Sketch out a rough plan and stick to it. That way you'll be able to keep track of your arguments and what's still to be discussed. At home, there's bit more time so there is absolutely no excuse for not having a plan.

Use The Help

And for those finding it tough, then don't struggle on in silence. Talk to your tutor.  And whether it be dissertation help or tips on essay writing, there are other forms of assistance. Have a look online, chances are you're not the first person to be struggling. Or try companies like UK Essays.  It works almost like a one-on-one tutor service and can help with essays tips and grammar and punctuation help. It has also put together lots of hints and essay writing tips and elsewhere, the internet is an amazing source of information.

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