I think if you ask most students what they look forward to the most come this time of year, they aren’t going to say writing term papers! Those long paged, academically formatted projects, can be a pain in the butt. It certainly doesn’t help when students hate to write. It’s a skill that’s pretty important for a lot of jobs, especially in advertising and marketing, for example.
I thought about this recently while working in my grammar class online from edx.com. I hadn’t thought about it before, but as mentioned by Geoffrey Pullum from the University of Edinburgh, the internet has changed the interest in writing. With blogs becoming popular, almost everyone wants to write about their lives or some other topic. Even twitter requires some skill at 150 characters, unless you don’t mind looking like a fool! Sadly, there are many examples of poor spelling and grammar online.
For me, I think spelling isn’t a big problem, but I do fall victim to grammatical errors. Most commonly and sometimes I use the wrong word. Like I can occasionally mess up with “there, their, they’re,” or similar sets of words. Another thing I do which seems odd is typing “form” when I want to use the word “from.” That’s freaking annoying! I can’t count the times I have had to go back and type the right word.
While spelling mistakes are fairly easy to fix thanks to spellcheck, grammatical errors are not as easy. As effective Microsoft Word’s grammar-checker can be, sometimes it points out a false error. And it doesn’t take into account dialogue. It’s perfectly fine to use poor grammar for a character that does not speak good. 😉 And of course, spellcheck doesn’t tell you if you are using the wrong word.
All in all, I hope that I’m getting better in my writing, especially my grammar. That’s my initial goal. Then there is also the matter of writing stories that grip readers and make them wanting more. I can come up with a good basic story, but I still need help refining it. If I keep working at it, who knows where I’ll end up?