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Capstone Multilingual Writing Tips: Blog

January 2019: Revising for Sentence-Level Grammar

by Paul Lai on 2019-01-02T08:00:00-06:00 | Comments

Revising for sentence-level grammatical errors in a dissertation/doctoral study/project study can be overwhelming. Remember that revision is not simply a one-step process. When it’s time to revise for sentence-level grammar, self-awareness is the key to effective self-editing

  1. To develop this self-awareness, read actively and analyze sentence-level grammar in published academic documents. Reading published Walden doctoral studies and dissertations can be very helpful for analyzing language and grammatical structures. For instance, you could focus on areas such as sentence construction, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, count versus noncount nouns, article usage, and preposition usage.
  2. It is also helpful to be aware of common sentence-level grammatical errors and to be aware of your own writing strengths and weaknesses. Know where to find the answers when there is a question about the sentence-level grammar. Common sentence-level errors include the following:
  1. Another way to develop self-awareness is to keep a Grammar Revision Journal of your grammatical errors since these errors tend to follow patterns. This journal has a place to keep track of the type of error, example(s) of the error, revisions/corrections, and the grammatical rule. Of course, you could always adapt the Grammar Revision Journal for your own needs.
  2. Additionally, try using a corpus to search for grammatical structures. The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)is a free corpus with many possibilities. The SMRT Guide on Using a Corpus to Revise for Grammar and Scholarly Voice shows a couple of examples of how you could use this corpus.
  3. Finally, use Grammarly and the Grammar and Style proofing settings in MS Word. Keep in mind, however, that these tools can misidentify or not catch errors. The software can provide relevant tips and recommendations, but they are only helpful if the writer understands how to apply the feedback. 

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