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Writing a Paper: Revising for Grammar

Revising for Grammar

Self-awareness is the key to being able to revise for grammatical errors. Grammatical errors tend to follow patterns, so once you are able to identify the types of errors you most commonly make, you will be able to focus specifically on these.

Strategies to revise for grammar and to identify patterns of error

  • Pay attention to the feedback you receive about grammar from faculty and Writing Center staff.
  • Look for particular grammatical errors in a paragraph or two of your own work. This allows you to break down the piece of writing into more digestible chunks.
  • Keep a grammar revision journal to track the most common grammatical errors in your writing. This journal gives you a place to keep track of the type of error, examples of the errors, corrections, and the rule. Feel free to download our Grammar Revision Journal Template to adapt it for your own purposes. For example,

Issue: Parallel Structure

Date Example Revision Rule
11/10/15 The students were unprepared, poorly behaved, and disrupted the class. The students were unprepared, poorly behaved, and disruptive. Use the adjective form for all of these items in the list to keep them parallel in structure.
11/25/15 I am both excited for the internship and I am nervous. I am both excited and nervous for the internship. With the “both…and” structure, the subject of the sentence does not need to be repeated.


Issue: Incorrect Semicolons

Date Example Revision Rule
12/3/15 Because there were so few participants; Jackson (2010) noted that study’s results were inconclusive. Because there were so few participants, Jackson (2010) noted that study’s results were inconclusive. Semicolons are used to separate two independent clauses. In this case, there is a dependent clause followed by an independent clause, so a comma is used instead.


  • Run your document through Grammarly. This is a free tool available through the Writing Center that can identify and provide feedback regarding grammar, syntax, and spelling errors. Grammarly is best for writers who have a strong grasp of English grammar and may not be as helpful for writers who have a large variety and number of sentence-level errors.
  • Check out the grammar pages and other grammar resources on our website.

Using a Grammar Revision Journal Video

Writing Tools: Dictionary and Thesaurus Refresher Video

Writing Tools: Using a Dictionary for Grammatical Accuracy Video