Help Writing a Research Paper: Avoiding Spelling Mistakes

Nothing can derail a well-written, highly researched paper like a few spelling errors. Typos and spelling mistakes make essays look shoddily written and imply that the writer was not paying attention to their work, and can lead to severe grade penalties. However, there is never any reason that a student should have to incur lost points due to spelling mistakes in their writing assignments. Spelling errors are completely detectable and avoidable! Here are some of the best ways to locate such flaws in your essay assignments and correct them before it’s too late.

Update Your Word Processor

Whether you writer your papers in Microsoft Word, Open Office, or Apple Pages, you have probably noticed that your processor’s spell check dictionary is not perfect. It may flag many correct words as spelling errors and may neglect other mistakes entirely. This can cause a few typos to end up in your final draft if you aren’t careful.

This can be prevented by updating the dictionary in your word processor. Go to the website for your word processing software of choice and look for an updated version of the software or of the spell check dictionary. Alternatively, you can update your computer’s office suite or your operating system, as this will often improve the quality of the spell check.

Use Multiple Spell Checks

After you have run an updated spell check in your favorite writing software, switch to an alternate program. If possible, switch to a completely different computer and operating system, paste your essay into the text editor, and run another spell check. You can use your college library or computer lab to attempt this on several computers. This new system will probably locate a few additional errors because of differences in its dictionary.

Use a Web Based Spell Check

It may also be advantageous to paste your writing assignment into a web-based text editor, such as Google Documents or Evernote, and running a final spell check. These online text editing systems frequently have dictionaries that are updated on a regular basis. Rare words and pieces of jargon are more likely to be recognized by these systems.

Print Your Essay and Check it Manually

After you have allowed several software spell checks to analyze and correct your work, it’s time to go over it one final time yourself. It is recommended that you print your essay out and go over it with a red pen; this method has been proven to make error-detection easier, compared to editing on your computer. After you have gone through the whole document, make the final edits in your text editor and turn the essay in!