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TOEFL Tip #175: Enter Our Editing Contest!

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on October 26, 2012

Win 2 FREE HOURS of tutoring! Correct all 7 mistakes in this blog article (they could be spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors), and you will be entered in a drawing for 2 FREE HOURS of TOEFL Tutoring! The winner will be announced in our blog post next week, on November 2nd.

To enter the contest, please email us your corrections highlighted in RED at before 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 31st. Then write a comment on this blog article that says “I think I corrected all the mistakes!” Be sure to do *both* steps for your entry to count. Good luck!



Misspellings and grammar errors are often the trickiest part of the Writing Section to correct. Perhaps you’re used to working with programs like Microsoft Word which identify speling errors with red squiggly lines under misspelled words, and green squiggly lines under ungrammatical phrases. Perhaps your software even autocorrects typos, so you never even realize you’ve made them. Perhaps you’re working on the basics of English grammar, so you’re not thinking about whether or not to use the Oxford comma (that’s the comma that comes before the “and” in a list of items; such as the one after “green” in this example: red, green, and blue). Whatever your particular circumstances, students often has “blind spots” that make it hard for them to recognize and fix grammar errors.

What can you do?

Use your software to help learn what kinds of mistakes you make most often. Rather than simply letting hte software correct mistakes, turn off autocorrect. Write down every word identified by red squiggles and every phrase identified by green ones, and fix them yourself in the document. Use sites like the Purdue Online Writing Lab to learn about the particular grammar mistakes you keep making and practicing correcting them. You could even ask a native speaker of English to take a paragraph from the newspaper, purposely change it to include mistakes, and give it to you as a quiz. The more you practice spotting these sorts of mistakes in other people’s writing, the easier it will be to identify them in your own writing.

Numerous spelling and grammar errors can make a significant difference to your TEOFL score. Its worth taking the time to improve this skill.