Grammar and punctuation are the basic rules that dictate how coherent sentences are formed. Mistakes related to these rules can range from having a minimal effect to drastically changing the entire meaning of the sentence.
This is a risk that cannot be taken in something as important as academic writing. Academic writing is a highly specialized type of writing in which the author has to present and defend their opinions with facts and logic.
This means that they have to provide evidence in favor of their arguments using the works done by other people and their own knowledge/experiments.
This kind of writing does not have any space for grammar mistakes, especially when you consider that there is potential for miscommunication.
For that reason, it is very important to find and remove grammatical and punctuation errors. In this article, we will discuss two types of methods for finding such errors.
Manual Methods of Find Grammar and Punctuation Errors
Manual methods entail that the writer has to take action themselves or with the help of another person to find the errors.
These methods do not use any technology and depend on the people’s own intellect and knowledge. Some of these methods are discussed below.
1. Read the Work Aloud to Yourself
You may already know this, but checking for grammar and spelling mistakes is part of proofreading and editing. This means that a draft of your academic write-up exists already, and you are checking it for mistakes.
The first manual method is to read the entire article aloud to yourself. If you do not read it aloud, then you will just correct the mistake in your mind and move on without actually correcting it in the write-up. In other words, you will skip over the mistake since your mind will not be able to catch it during reading it silently.
When you read something out loud, your brain is more focused on pronouncing the words. That’s why spelling errors easily get caught by reading this way. This method also works for finding out punctuation errors.
Any sentences that seem too long during reading are probably missing some punctuation. Similarly, sentences that don’t seem to make sense most probably have missing or incorrect punctuation.
This is actually something that even seasoned writers often rely on. Finding an error in the content can be as simple as finding something amiss during the read-aloud.
Once you find these mistakes, it is a simple matter of correcting them.
2. Get a Friend or Colleague to Read Your Work
This is a little bit risky, but you can get a friend or colleague to read your work. People are prone to ignoring their mistakes, but they become very sharp when it comes to criticizing others.
You can take advantage of this and get someone to read your work. They will be much more efficient in finding any mistakes that you overlooked.
Of course, you have to take certain precautions before you can ask someone to read your academic write-up. They are as follows:
- Only choose a person who is trustworthy. Unscrupulous people can steal your work and portray it as their own.
- Choose a person who has a strong grasp of grammar rules. Only a person who knows what a mistake is can identify it.
If you can find someone who satisfies these conditions then you can ask them to proofread your work. Once they have identified all grammar and punctuation errors, you can correct them. Then just to be sure, have them read it again.
3. Hire an Editor to Check Your Work
This is a tip only for professional writers. This includes professors who receive a research grant and people who are earning enough that they can afford to hire editors.
An editor is the best option for weeding out grammar and punctuation errors. They are professionals whose job is to pour over the write-ups of other people and identify any issues.
But the issue is that editors are also quite expensive to hire. And hiring one just to check an academic write-up for grammar is a tall order. If you have the financial capacity to hire an editor, it’s the best way to go.
An editor can also provide insights about matters other than grammar. They can help you to improve your write-up in many ways. Once an editor is done checking your work, you need to correct all the mistakes and then go over the write-up again.
Hiring an editor has one advantage over getting your colleagues to check your work; no trust issues. So long as you hire a reputable editor, you can be assured that they will not do something as unscrupulous as stealing your work.
If none of the manual options are available, or you are severely lacking time, then you can opt to use these automated methods.
Automated methods only mean that you have to use an online tool for checking your work. Here’s how you can do that.
With a professional editor, you will be able to spot and fix complex issues like comma splices and dangling modifiers, etc.
· Utilize a Grammar Checker
To find grammar and punctuation errors in your content, you can use an online tool to run a grammar check on it. There are a lot of online tools that you can use for this purpose.
Online grammar checkers are made to scan the entered content and point out the errors in it as well as their corrections/solutions
The benefit of using an online tool for running a grammar check on your content is that it does not take a lot of time. You will be able to find the errors in a matter of seconds.
Academic writing requires you to have excellent grammar. You need to be good at grammar to manipulate words and create works that are easy to understand. In academic writing, miscommunication can have a lot of implications, which is why it is necessary to check your work for grammar and punctuation errors. You can use any of the above-discussed methods for doing that. Hopefully, they can help you out.