Grammar 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:

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

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Writing Mechanics & Grammar

Learning grammar rules and the mechanics of writing are critical components of learning to write.  Having strong skills in writing and grammar allows writers to get their message or story to their readers in a clear and understandable way.  It is important to know the rules of grammar and how to use them properly. is a useful site to find resources to help students improve their familiarity with writing and grammar. You’ll find free writing resources covering capitalization, parts of speech, and punctuation. The articles on each topic provide additional guidance and students can practice their skills using activities that include video lessons, printable worksheets and quizzes, standardized test prep materials, and interactive games. For a more in-depth look at the mechanics of writing, eight-week courses are available.

Parents and educators can use these resources to motivate students and reinforce skills. Students can gain a better understanding of writing and grammar as well as boost their confidence and expand their skills with online practice.

Parts of Speech

Knowing the parts of speech, using them correctly, and understanding how they relate to one another is an important early step in creating strong writing skills. From nouns and verbs to prepositions and conjunctions, each part of speech plays a key role in sentence structure and clarity of thought. ... Read More »

Subject-Verb Agreement

The question of subject-verb agreement highlights a writer’s need to make sentences clear and understandable. Having plural subjects with singular verbs, or the reverse, results in nobody being quite sure who is doing what. This becomes particularly important when long phrases separate the subject from the verb. Learning about and understanding subject-verb agreement helps writers create clear sentences that the reader will understand. ... Read More »


In a world of lowercase texting, learning proper capitalization takes on a whole new meaning. From learning to distinguish between “capitonyms” (a turkey in Turkey, a march in March) to learning the basic rules of capitalization, students have much to gain from mastering this area of writing mechanics. ... Read More »


Punctuation marks are signposts used by writers to give directions to their readers about which way a sentence is going. Using punctuation properly is one of the most crucial elements in making the meaning of the sentence absolutely clear. Take our favorite example: “Let’s eat Grandma!” becomes considerably less worrisome when a single comma is added … “Let’s eat, Grandma!” ... Read More »

Homophones, Homonyms, Homographs

Some of the most interesting words in English are homophones, homonyms, and homographs. However, intrigue can quickly give way to confusion when dealing with sound-alikes and look-alikes! Learning the distinction between identical spellings with two different pronunciations or two different spellings with identical pronunciation is not just confusing, but potentially frustrating. Still, with the proper approach, students can be brought to appreciate homophones, homonyms, and homographs. ... Read More »

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