Grammar in essays

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1. Grammar in essays (and elsewhere) is the system of rules which govern the formal use of written language. You should follow these conventions as closely as possible. In writing, poor grammar creates a bad effect.

2. Don’t try to remember lots of grammatical ‘rules’ (many of which are anyway not absolute). Instead, you should simply take care with your choice of vocabulary, your construction of sentences, and the use of simple syntax.

3. You can usually improve your grammar by writing in short, clear sentences. These should follow the syntax of a normal statement in English:

Subject — Verb — Object

The man — was — very tall

4. Double check the following guidance notes. They will help you to create a clear and trouble-free style.

grammar in essays Sentences

grammar in essays Punctuation

grammar in essays Case agreement

grammar in essays Paragraphs


  • Avoid a casual or a chatty tone
  • Avoid very long sentences
  • Develop a simple and clear style
  • Be consistent in use of tenses
  • Check for full case agreement in your sentences
  • Punctuate your writing clearly and simply
  • Take special care with the apostrophe
  • Be careful with the semicolon and the colon
  • Re-write and edit your work
  • Eliminate anything vague or over-complex
  • Use a spelling-checker and a grammar-checker

© Roy Johnson 2003

Essay writing links

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Grammar in essays Writing Essays 3.0

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