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TOEFL Tips #176: Flor Wins 2 Free Hours Of TOEFL Tutoring!

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on November 2, 2012

 Strictly English is excited to announce that Flor has won our contest! Last week’s entry was filled with errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Readers who emailed us the corrected errors were entered in the contest; the prize is 2 free hours of tutoring with Strictly English. Congratulations, Flor!

Here is the post again, with the errors highlighted and a brief explanation of the problem.

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 [misspelled word] 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; [use a comma before a phrase, not a semicolon] such as the one after “green” in this example: red, green, and blue). Whatever your particular circumstances, students often has [subject-verb agreement – should be “have”] “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 [misspelled word] 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 [parallel structure – should be “to practice”] 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 [misspelled word] score. Its [contraction for “it is” – missing apostrophe] worth taking the time to improve this skill.

 

How many did you get right?