Essay help: common grammar mistakes to avoid

A well-written essay is free of mistakes such as grammar errors. While no one is perfect there are times in which some words and their meanings pose confusion for writers of all levels. This is an important aspect for students writing essays to consider, especially if they want to improve their skills overtime. If you want to self-edit and proofread your content you need to have an idea of common errors to look for and how to correct them.

Words that Sound the Same with Different Meanings

Words that sound the same but are spelled differently are common problems that easily go undetected. For instance, the words “they’re,” “their,” and “there” all sound the same but have different meanings. They’re a contraction for they are. Their refers to ownership by a person or group, and there refers to a place or distance. Another set of words that sound the same include “your” and “you’re”. The first one (your) refers to personal ownership and the second (you’re) is a contraction for you are; this is saying you are something (you’re special, etc.). Another common set of words includes “its” and “it’s.” The first (its) refers to possession and the second (it’s) is a contraction for it is.

“Affect” and “effect” are common pet peeves for many people. Not only do they sound the same they are often used incorrectly. They each describe a change but in different ways. An effect refers to a change associated with a noun and affect refers to the actual act of a change.

Words that Compare Something

There are words that we tend to use incorrectly or learn we should have been using them instead. Such examples may include stronger, better, and faster. Sometimes it is a matter of clarifying what you are comparing to understand which word you should use. It does make a difference to understand which word you should use because it can through off readers when an incorrect word is in the sentence.

How to Avoid Such Mistakes

You should get familiar with other types of grammar mistakes such as Me vs. I, use of possessive nouns with apostrophes, active voice, passive voice, and dangling modifiers to name a few. As you get more familiar with them you may be able to catch them as you write. Take time to read and edit your work as it is possible to look over a mistake your computer program may not catch.