SPaG: Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar
Knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar will help you to properly arrange words in sentences and add the correct punctuation. This will allow you to communicate effectively with others.
In the short term, the ability to spell, punctuate and produce grammatically-correct sentences in assessment is important. However, it is also a life-long skill that is well worth practicing and improving.
It’s always worth aiming for the best standard of writing in any assessment as it helps to convey your meaning.
Spelling and grammar checkers on computers are not always correct! They sometimes suggest changing words that are perfectly correct and often miss glaring errors. Unlike you, they are not concerned with the meaning of the sentence and are simply following a predefined set of rules. While there is no doubt that they are useful, relying on them completely is not sensible and can lead to confusion or embarrassing mistakes.
At college or university, poor spelling, punctuation and grammar will cause you to lose marks in essays. Good punctuation and grammar will not only improve your marks, but, used skillfully, can make your work easier to read and the points you make more persuasive and engaging.
If you re-read your draft, and then your completed work, thoroughly you will usually spot and be able to correct most mistakes in spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is also an opportunity to ensure that what you want to say is clear to understand. This is known as proofreading.
If you don’t already do so, get into the habit of having a good dictionary and thesaurus by your side – or use an online version – when you are drafting your work. Try restructuring a sentence to see if a few changes make it easier for the reader to understand. Or, if you are unsure of the spelling of a word, use a different one.
Proofreading is important for businesses because it ensures that communication with the public, suppliers and customers is clear, accurate and professional. Many businesses employ proofreaders for this very purpose.
Almost all employers view effective written communication as an important skill for employability. It is also a skill, which many potential candidates lack. So, improving your understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar could help you into the career of your choice. Failure to demonstrate good quality written communication may imply a lack of professionalism – or that you don’t pay attention to detail.
As your career progresses, the amount of written communication that you produce is likely to increase. Clearly-written, grammatically-correct and properly-punctuated letters and reports and other written communication will be important for carrying out your role professionally and effectively.
Ultimately, improving your understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar is a wise investment of your time.