Spelling, punctuation, grammar and style are often
the primary concern of many writers—that's a
holdover from school days where teachers emphasized "correctness".
In actual fact, a writer's first concern should be fluency—developing
the ideas of any piece of writing. The second concern
then becomes clarity—making
the writing make sense to others. Finally comes correctness—making
the text conform to the conventions of standard written
In other words, the developmental sequence for any
piece of writing ought to be:
These three dimensions, of course, continually overlap;
even experienced writers can have problems with fluency—particularly
when writing on a new topic or in a new genre. Under
those circumstances, focusing on correctness won't
help with the problem; what you have to do is focus
on invention and shaping ideas.
Once you have your ideas sorted out, the writing
more or less clear, it does become appropriate, even
mandatory, to think about the conventions of standard
written English—to proofread to make sure spelling
is correct, that grammar is conventional, that punctuation
aids in making meaning, that word usage (or style)
There are a ton of resources online to assist
you with spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style.
One of the most comprehensive is:
As well check
out other URLS:
Are you sure you have a handle on spelling, punctuation,
Try the online quizzes below! Some of them
are quite challenging. Answers are provided for all
of them, explanations are provided with some.
This last quiz is an example of the GMAT - Verbal Assessment
Test. Try the sentence correction portions. This
quiz is challenging.