Grammar & Mechanics
Grammar Help & Plagiarism Prevention Resources
Grammarly is a free, online writing assistant that checks your paper for grammar and punctuation errors. You can visit the Grammarly website and create a free account and/or download Grammarly's Google Chrome Extension.
It is also very important to avoid plagiarism in your writing (see the Plagiarism section of UACCM's Code of Conduct), and there are online tools to check your paper for plagiarism as well. Grammarly offers a Plagiarism Checker, but there are multiple online resources for this, including:
Properly citing the sources used in our work and properly formatting the information and ideas we state in those works prevents us from committing plagiarism and consequently being removed from the university and/or facing additional repercussions. Further information regarding what is considered "common knowledge," or in other words, what does and does not require a citation, can be found here.
Common Grammar Mistakes
Affect vs. Effect
Use the acronym RAVEN to help you remember which one to use.
Affect is a
Effect is a
Who vs. Whom
Who and whom are not always taken into account in academic writing anymore, so this is something that is generally only considered depending on the instructor.
They're, Their, & There
Your & You're
To, Two, & Too
Except, Expect, & Accept
Definitely & Defiantly
Weather vs. Whether
Fewer vs. Less
It is important to maintain a consistent verb tense throughout an essay. Inconsistent verb tense can confuse your readers.
Verb tense is broken down by one of three times using:
And again by one of four forms using:
The following table breaks down the verb tenses using the verb "study" as an example.
|is studying||was studying||will be studying|
|has studied||had studied||will have studied|
|has been studying||had been studying||will have been studying|
Similarly to verb tense, it is important to keep a consistent perspective throughout your paper.
Varying sentence structure can strengthen an essay by allowing a writer to avoid sounding too monotonous.
There are four main sentence structures, including simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.
Word choice, order, and punctuation matter!
Your word choice, word order, and punctuation play a crucial role in the way your sentences are interpreted.
The first sentence implies that a child is telling their grandma that they should eat something.
The second sentence is implying that the family should eat grandma!
The only difference: a comma.
More examples of why punctuation matters: Why Punctuation Matters
Pay attention to what you write because we don't want to encourage cannibalism.
Word order also matters!
The placement of the words in the sentence places emphasis in different ways, therefore altering the meaning of the sentence. The first sentence emphasizes that "he" just really needs to do something, but the second sentence emphasizes how he needs to something - he needs to do it genuinely.
Italics and underlining are often used interchangeably. If you are using a word-processing program, it is advised to use italics; however, whichever method you choose, be consistent.