Content is the most important element of any copy, be it an academic write-up, a newspaper article, or a blog post. A novel idea or a unique writing style always attracts readers. However, all your hard work will be pointless if the grammar in your writing is not up to par. It is essential that you avoid making grammatical mistakes, both large and small. Siliconchips Services Ltd. is a publishing company that understands the importance of grammar in a write-up. Consider these grammar tips that will ensure your copy or write-up is perfect.
Opt for Active Voice
Most content writers and grammar gurus advise that you use active voice. The reason for this is that an active voice gives a strong and clear tone. For instance, the sentence: “The audience cheered the orchestra during their performance,” sounds better than “the orchestra was cheered by the audience during their performance.”
However, there are some who believe that one must choose between active and passive voice depending on the context. While active voice is preferable, use passive voice if you feel that it fits the context better.
Use the Right Pronouns
Pronouns can get tricky, especially when you have to use them for a group. A group of people is referred to as ‘they’. However, the same cannot be said about an organization or an institution. Although a company or an organization is made of multiple people, the pronoun used is usually singular. For example:
“Google has announced its brand new application”. OR “The staff is extremely efficient.”
Always double-check the pronouns you use in your article.
Choose the Right Words
During your initial draft, you should let the words flow without stopping. However, once you have finished writing, it is important to go back and check the words that you have written. Are the words that you have used relevant and correct? Have you used a fancy word just because it sounds good? In this case, always check again. Give special focus on words like definitely, stationery, their, etc. which can be easily be confused with defiantly, stationary, there, etc. respectively. You should choose words that are simple and easy to understand.
Be Careful with the Apostrophes
An apostrophe is a small punctuation mark but can create havoc in your write-up if not used correctly. Here are three situations that require a person to use apostrophe:
It is used to mark a possessive noun: “This is Samuel’s car.”
Apostrophe is used at the end of the noun, if the word ends with s: “This is James’ house.”
In case the plural of the word ends with s, the apostrophe comes at the end of the word: “This is my parents’ gift.”
Apostrophes are also used in contractions: “Does not” becomes “doesn’t” and “will not” becomes “won’t”.
Do Not Get Confused with Comma and Semi Colon
A comma is mainly used to list items and to connect two clauses in a sentence. For instance:
“You must buy milk, bread, cheese, and jam.”
“I wanted to go, but I was not invited.”
On the other hand, semi colons separate two independent sentences that relate to the same idea. For instance:
“Please call him tomorrow; you can talk to him about it then.”
Semi colons can also be used to list phrases that may or may not contain commas in a sentence. For instance:
“Our team members are from Mumbai, Maharashtra; Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Panaji, Goa, Bangalore, Karnataka; Jaipur, Rajasthan; and Cochin, Kerala.”
Spending time editing and proofreading is necessary if you want your copy to be error-free. It will not only enhance the quality of your article but also establish your credibility as a writer and give your copy a professional edge.