English spelling is
difficult. There is little systematic, logical relationship between
how words are spoken and written, and native English speakers often
have problems with spelling themselves. However, this is no excuse for
you to make spelling mistakes in your work! A piece of academic writing
should contain no spelling mistakes whatsoever: they are a sign of careless,
rushed work, create a very bad impression and may lose you marks. Indeed,
many spelling errors are in fact the result of careless typing, so be
Here are some tips on improving your spelling:
Use a dictionary. If you are not sure about the spelling of a word,
look it up! When you're checking your final draft, you could perhaps
mark any word you're doubtful about, and then check them all together
at the end.
If you find yourself looking up the same word often, make a separate
note of it and build up a "hot list" of problem words. We
all have them - I always have to check "commitment" (or should
that be "committment"??)
If you are building up lists, try to do it systematically. List together
"-ie" words and "-ei" words; single consonant words
(writing) and double consonant ones (occurred); words which you spell
wrongly because of influence from other languages you speak.
Use the spellchecker on the computer. They are generally quick and accurate
and should find most of your mistakes. However, it won't find words
that are wrongly used but spelt correctly. For example, "There
was a brake in transmission for 10 minutes" is fine for the spellchecker,
but "brake" should, of course, be "break". Do not
use the grammar checker: they are very unreliable.
Also remember that at the moment you can't use a dictionary or spellchecker
Develop your own strategies for learning words and their spelling. Learn
six a day. Write them on post-its and stick them up around your house/room.
Give each other tests. Learn what rules and systems there are.
Here are a couple of
The following sentences are taken from students' work. Most contain
at least one spelling mistake. Find the mistakes and correct them.
1 Low wages mean that companies
have litter incentive to invest in the long term.
2 The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Minmum Wage
3 Eglish law may be dfined as a body of rules created by the state.
4 A private prsecution may be brougth by an individual.
5 The information provided by the students was insufficient.
6 The company will sing a two year contract with the Republic of Korea.
7 All the decision marking is based on discussions and concensus.
8 The announcement was made by the Foreing Office at 10.00.
9 The growth of frachising and lower risks involved point to the benfit
of the system.
10 Their is an increaseing shift by large companies to more centralized
11 Franchising is used in business to describe certain types of licensing
12 Civil Law gives legal rigths to individuals.
13 Various tecnics can be used to assess the data obtained.
14 The scours of the information was an official government publication.
15 Wealth is largely determinned by the differences in revenue inflows.
Correct these sentences and
then decide how many of the errors would be found by the spellchecker.
1 He estimated that their were probably
20,000 species in the country.
2 The result depends on weather the equipment is correctly aligned.
3 Measurements should be taken at it's centre of gravity.
4 At first site, it was impossible to tell the difference.
5 Could you tell me what time the bus lives?
6 The examination will last for one our.
7 The sign clearly stated that no dogs were aloud.
8 Success will only be achieved threw hard work and dedication.
9 It is advisable to practice for at least two hours a day.
10 Candidates are expected to rite around 500 words.
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