Grammar

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Grammar is an integral part to your papers and to your whole life. Grammar involves a body of rules concerning the form and structure of sentences. Letters make words. Words make sentences. Sentences develop into paragraphs. Paragraphs form the structure of an academic paper. If you do not have a firm understanding of all grammar concepts, especially those that concern the use of commas, semicolons, conjunctions, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, prepositions, which are the foundation, then you will have problems creating a complete thought within your papers.

Oftentimes, your professor will write the word “grammar” in the margin(s) as an indication that there is a larger issue with your grammar and that you need to refresh your memory about certain concepts. In addition, your professor will use proofreading marks such as CS for comma splice; Tense or Shift for when you shift the tense of verbs within a paragraph; and an underline mark under a subject and verb to highlight that your subject and verb don’t agree.

Grammar is necessary. It is important that you understand the nature of a noun, the verb and its many tenses, and the function of a preposition. You must also understand the arrangement of words and phrases. Without an understanding of the basic principles concerning the construction of sentences, knowledge gained typically during secondary education, you will not be able to comprehend the functions of all elements within complex sentences.

Your paper on the whole can be largely good, but the grammar problems will be distracting to the professor grading it. Grammar issues can change a B+ to a C- depending upon what grammar issues are most prevalent. If you don’t understand basic subject and verb agreement or you shift tenses within a sentence or paragraph, expect the above illustration to apply as an indication of where you may stand with your professor.

The best prevention method is to allow a day for proofreading these issues, in addition to the other one or more days you dedicate for revision. Take each line one-by-one and examine each sentence. For an example on how to approach proofreading your paper see Figure 41. Favors Quick Self-Proofreading Checklist under the comment “Proofreading.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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