The most important tip for correct grammar in essay is simple: use the structures that you are one hundred percent sure of. It is not a grammar multiple choice test, when you must guess, even if you do not know. It is a free form of expressing you ideas and you are welcome to choose the means of expression on your own.
However, many students try to use unfamiliar constructions or forms, which often results in an upsetting result.
The following checklist will help you focus on the key grammar areas while checking your essay:
- Simple sentence: check your sentences for both the subject and the predicate; make sure simple sentences are not introduced by a subordinate clause connector.
- Complex sentence: when a subject comes before an adjective clause, do not add an extra subject after the adjective clause (e.g. The essay he wrote yesterday it was a real success); when a noun clause is the subject, do not add an extra subject after a noun clause (e.g. What was done it left much to be desired).
- Subject-predicate agreement: subjects agree with predicates in number; a compound subject needs a plural verb.
- Countable and uncountable nouns: always check countable singular nouns for determiners; check uncountable nouns, as they can be singular or plural (e.g. news, goods).
- Be careful not to use adverbs instead of adjectives and vice versa: remember that -ly suffix is not always an adverbial marker.
- Use correct capitalization: use the initial capital letter for the names of individuals, institutions, historical events, days, months and holidays; capitalize words like mother and father, when they are used with a proper name.
- Pay attention to comparative and superlative forms and try to avoid double forms (e.g. Your ideas are more deeper now.)