Check your spelling and run a spell checker. If you’ve come this far in your education and are still a poor speller it may make you feel better to know that you have a lot of company. Many highly intelligent people are poor spellers. Most of them, however, are also careful to see that any writing that goes out under their name isn’t marred by misspelled words. They know how damaging spelling errors can be in the academic or business world or even on a web site.
If you’re a poor speller, there are two things you can do. First, recognize that you have a problem with spelling. Don’t apologize and think people will forgive your lapses. Just resolve to spell correctly. Second develop a set of habits that will overcome your handicap.
Here are some suggestions.
• As you edit, check or circle words you’re uncertain about or that you know are tricky – for instance, harass, liaison, villain, bourgeois. If you often confuse accept and except, mark those. Mark words that end in those pesky suffixes – ible or able that sound exactly alike. You may have to look them up several times.
• Buy a good college dictionary and use it. No excuses. When you’re editing, look up any word you’re unsure about.
• Buy a word list, that inexpensive, pocket – size reference that list the words most commonly misspelled and use it.
• If a specific and hard - to – spell term occurs frequently in a project you’re working on - Gentileschi was such a word in the model paper – pick an abbreviation for it, such as Gt. and use it every time the word occurs in your essay. When you finish the essay, use the Find and Replace feature on your computer to fill in the correctly spelled term everywhere the abbreviation occurs.
• Develop some memory gimmicks for Ricky words – for instance, Emma is in a dilemma to remember the double m in dilemma and remember the gum in argument to remind yourself there’s no e after the gu.
• Watch out for words that sound like contractions but are not. For instance, your for you’re, there for they’re, were for we’re or its for its. Remember, the spell checker won’t know the difference, so it’s up to you to spot them!
• Run your spell checker, but don’t count on it to catch all your spelling errors. It won’t distinguish between cite and site, passed and past or reel and real because all those words are in its stock of correctly spelled words. It will however catch many misspellings and most typographical errors. Misspelled words that the spelling checker would have caught – for instance, there or which – may be the most damaging of all, for they show your readers that you don’t care enough about your final product to use a simple tool to improve it.
• If you can, get one of those lucky people who seem to be naturally good spellers to check your writing for spelling errors. Fortunately, when you’re working with a computer, errors are easy to correct.
Other Pages in This Section :
• Review Any Specifications.
• Check Details for Accuracy and Consistency.
• Check for Awkwardly Repeated Words.
• Check for The Most Common Errors.
• Consider The Way Your Writing Looks.
Successful Writing Index