Composing a college essay: using spell checkers

Rid Your Papers of Spelling Errors Before You Turn Them In

Nothing gets on a professor or writing instructor’s nerves quite like a paper that is filled with small, easily fixable errors. A paper that is full of typos and misspellings looks sloppy and reflects poorly on the writer who created it. If you turn in a low quality paper that has not been edited in any real way, you run the risk of earning low grades on your assignment. These days, it is very easy to quickly and effortlessly review a paper and correct errors, so there is no excuse for submitting an unedited essay with tons of spelling mistakes.

Not All Spell Checkers Are Equal

You have probably used a spell checking software in the past to review your papers and correct mistakes. Most computer’s document editors and word processors come with spell checking as a standard add on, these days; in fact, most web browsers are also equipped with spell checking programs as well, so you have multiple opportunities and methods to review your prose and scan for mistakes.

However, not every spell checking program is created equal, Some are far more thorough than others, and can detect homophonic errors, word misuses, double words, typos, and other mistakes. Some other, more basic spell checkers simply review your text for straightforward mispellings. Finally, there are many old, less advanced editing programs that have out of date dictionaries. You do not want your spell checker to incorrectly identify new words or unusual terms as incorrect spellings when they are, in fact, correct. You should keep all these distinctions in mind when running a spell check on your essays and other writing assignments.

How Can You Use a Spell Check Program to Improve Your Papers?

When you have finished writing a draft of your paper, run your text editor’s default spell checker. Go through word by word, reviewing the highlighted or identified errors, and make absolutely certain that they are in fact mistakes. If your program identifies real words as nonexistent words or spelling errors, simply add those new words to the spell checker’s dictionary. From there, you should copy and paste your text in a web browser or browser based text editor, such as Google Drive, Evernote, Scribd, or something else. Run your browser’s spell checker by right clicking the text. Pay close attention to any anomalies in spell check results.