By Tyra Seldon
From my vantage point, most people either love writing or hate it—very rarely do I meet people who are ambivalent or indifferent about the topic. I can even remember some of my former students, who were optical engineering majors, asking me, “How is this relevant for my profession?”
Compounding this even further is the proliferation of social media and the acceptance of abbreviations, code words, acronyms and fragments. In fact, the English lexicon has morphed so much that words are constantly being added and meanings shifting. So, what’s a parent to do?
The reality is that our communication skills are a critical component of who we are, whether it is via our speaking or writing. What we say and how we say it can determine how effectively we are able to connect with other people. It literally can make the difference between not only a good grade in a class, but also a job, an internship, and even a promotion.
Having said that, there are tools and resources that you can use to help improve your linguistic skills and improve your various modes of communication. One such tool is a free web-based product called Grammarly. Instant Spelling And Grammar Checker is a free app that you can download to your smartphone or laptop. The installation process is relatively simple and before you know it, a demo pops up and you are able to participate in an interactive tutorial.
The software will help to identify any grammatical mistakes that it encounters. Similar to spelling and grammar check, it will highlight the mistakes and make suggestions. It will also provide you with a brief explanation of why the recommendation is being made (e.g. possibly confused word).
Because of its accessibility, this is a great tool that can be used by student writers and their parents. As with any resource tool, it is worth noting that even with the best software, it is very important that the writer takes the time to re-read, revise, and proofread one’s work.
For more information about grammarly, see: https://app.grammarly.com/
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