When it comes to writing, especially in the English language, there is much confusion surrounding classic grammar rules and punctuation problems often arise. Writing is something everyone uses every single day, whether you are in the professional world, the workplace, in a collegiate atmosphere, or simply when you are writing lists or notes. Therefore, grammar is epically important to making your point clear and expressing your thoughts in a concise way so others can grasp your meaning and purpose for writing. Here are five tips for writing grammatically correct and keeping your punctuation in check.
This form of punctuation is perhaps the most important element of any paragraph or sentence. In fact, the misuse of commas is one of the most common problems in sentence and paragraph writing. This is so important that it has made number one on my list of tips. First, it is imperative not to overuse commas. This is a classic mistake that even the most experienced writer can make. Sometimes you can get so carried away with this part of punctuation that you neglect other forms such as the period, the exclamation point, the semicolon, the colon, or even the question mark. All of these need to become your friends if you would like to write effectively. Also, it is important to not use too few commas. This is another common comma conundrum. Oftentimes, people forget about commas altogether or have no idea how to use them correctly so they do not even attempt to use them at all. This is certainly a mistake. Omitting commas from your writing is a sign of an amateur writer. That is obviously not how you wish to come across in your writing. It is also a sign that you have no idea how to use a comma properly, so you have simply given up on that piece of punctuation. The bottom line here is that commas are absolutely essential because they signal your reader when to take a breath. Without this, your reader will be reading a run on sentence and that will compromise the clarity of your whole composition.
2. Steer Clear Of Weak Words
These means do not overuse weak adjectives like “very” or “really.” These are well-known filler words and should basically never be used in a professional writing piece. It makes you sound either over eager or unintelligent. Use more descriptive adjectives that are tailored to your meaning.
3. Avoid Passive Voice
Passive voice in writing is using verbs that you do not take responsibility for. Eliminate this from your writing, and try to use only active voice. This shows that you are being assertive and taking ownership of what you are saying. Hiding behind the passive voice is a cowardly thing to do and makes your writing boring.
4. Keep It Straight
Make sure you have a solid grasp on the meaning and usage of these homophones: they’re, their, and there. If you misuse any of these words and you have lost all credibility as far as your reader is concerned. Think about it, if someone does not even know how to use these common words, how can you trust them to be accurate about anything they are writing about. Keep they’re, their, and there straight and you show you are educated and knowledgeable.
5. Always Clarify
This is the most basic tip of all. When it comes down to guessing whether your reader knows exactly what you are describing, always assume your reader knows nothing about the subject you are writing about. Make everything as clear as possible, so as to avoid confusion. This technique will also keep the reader hooked on what you are writing.