Errors in your spelling and punctuation might cause your reader to think that your ideas and reasoning are also inexact.
Becoming a more confident speller will speed up your writing, editing and proofreading. Here are some common errors and tips for improving your spelling:
Suffixes are groups of letters added to the end of a word, for example, -ed, -ful, -ly, -ing, -able and -less.
Words with ‘ei’ and ‘ie’
Exceptions to this rule include leisure, height, weight.
Some examples of ‘ei’ words are deceive, receive.
to agree to receive or do
to change or make a difference to
a result; to bring about a result
in, or at, a place or time
belonging to several people or things
to suggest indirectly
to draw a conclusion
indicating movement toward
also, as well as, adding emphasis
Lists can be useful in assignments. They help you group together instructions, processes or ideas that would be difficult to read in normal sentence structure.
Use bullets when the items have no particular order. Use numbers when the order is important; for example, step-by-step processes (describing how to do something), hierarchy (most important to least important), or timing (events from most recent).
Here are some examples of list punctuation styles.
There are two commonly-used methods for working at height.
You can also make your introduction a stem sentence, followed by a colon. Each bullet would then start in lower case.
Some examples of commonly-used methods for working at height are:
This example lists three goals in order of importance. Note that only the final goal has a full stop.
The New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy identifies three goals:
Brackets, or parentheses, contain and emphasise content. They are useful for including dates, clarifying information, or providing sources.
When employees and leaders practice accountability, their actions form a habit and routine which eventually becomes a culture within an organization (Freund, 2010, pp.32-36).
Completion of a project that is within budget, meets specifications, and satisfies stakeholders, benefits both the project owner (the developer) and the property buyer.
Muhammed Ali (1942-2016), arguably the greatest athlete of all time, claimed he would “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
He asked, “When will you be arriving?” I answered, “Sometime after 6:30.”
Also use quotation marks to indicate a novel, ironic, or reserved use of a word.
History is stained with blood spilled in the name of “justice.”
Dashes emphasise content more strongly than brackets. A dash is not a hyphen. Don’t be tempted to use a hyphen in place of a dash. Learn the keyboard command for an em-dash. In Microsoft Word it is ALT+CTRL+MINUS.
There are two common ways to use hyphens.
The new system is the first step towards a self-regulated construction industry.
The students have re-elected (reelected) Sam as their representative for a second term.
Apostrophes seem to cause more confusion than any other punctuation mark.
There are just three ways you should use an apostrophe.
The Smarthinking Writer’s Handbook contains detailed information about grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure, with topics that include: