Grammar

  • Grammar is more than just a set of rules to follow when constructing sentences; it is an agreed code and structure for writing that helps us communicate ideas clearly to avoid misunderstanding. Clear and accurate communication is needed when writing about complex ideas in our academic work.

    Our top tips

    Know the basics

    When should I use an apostrophe? Having a good overview of the main points of grammar is very useful. English may be your first language but you might not have been taught grammar formally at school.

    Test yourself

    Identify your common errors and practice applying the main grammatical rules. This guide has clear explanations of common confusions and short multiple choice questions to test yourself.

    Grammar checkers

    It can be helpful to use grammar checkers thoughtfully to see where you have made errors so you can correct them. However, trusting them completely and making changes without being aware of why it is an error can cause problems. This is because it is hard to automate grammar checking, and no program is 100% accurate. Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have inbuilt grammar checkers which add a blue line under potential mistakes. Using this feature to spot errors is a good start, but it is also good to understand why it is grammatically incorrect.

    Academic writing

    Correct grammar is a part of appropriately formal academic writing. See our page on Academic Writing for more:

    Academic English

    If you would like to develop your use of English further, see our Academic English courses and our page on English Language.