Don’t let spelling bring you down

Like it or not, spelling actually matters! For some of us it doesn’t come easily but every written assessment you submit will be marked for English expression which includes grammar, spelling and puntuation. If you want to express yourself clearly and achieve the highest possible grades it’s important to take the time to proofread assignments for spelling errors.

A good starting point is to select English(Australia) in Word before you start working on your document and make sure you use Microsoft Editor. If you need help to set up editing for Microsoft Word have a look at this quick guide or check out the free training on LinkedIn Learning (requires QUT sign-in).

Another strategy to improve your writing is to learn more about it. There are literally thousands of websites dedicated to writing and language use but Oxford English Dictionary has a great section on its site, Lexico, which contains lots of quick-reference spelling tips. For example, if you can’t remember whether the plural of tomato is spelled tomatoes or tomatos, then you can jump straight to plurals of nouns post to get some advice. There’s also a handy list of common misspellings, arranged in alphabetical order and a guide to the differences between British and American spelling.

No matter how you go about it the important thing to remember is that poor spelling leaves an impression so it’s worth taking the time to get it right!

Putting wordy writing on a diet

One common piece of feedback from lecturers and tutors is that student writing can often be very wordy!
That is, the writer uses more words than necessary to present describe, explain, illustrate and argue the main points in a paper. This wordiness is obviously a problem when you need to keep to the word limit for an assessment but it also affects the overall quality of your writing. Wordy sentences can be difficult to navigate which means that the reader has to work harder to understand your point.

Have a look at these resources from The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to help make your writing more concise.