Advice to correct your writings

Some aspects to take into account when correcting your writings:

  1. a) Basic aspects: The written language, regardless of whether or not it is a “representation” of the spoken language, is a code that follows certain rules that make its graphic materiality. These rules must be respected by all types of written text; follow them allows to avoid misunderstandings and facilitates the understanding of text. Therefore, it is necessary to handle correctly:
  2. The spelling, that is, the letters with which a word is written. There are certain rules in written English that should be remembered. It is also very useful to always have a dictionary at hand to dispel doubts.
  3. The rating of English, that is, the graphic accentuation rules.
  4. Other graphic conventions: in addition, we must bear in mind, for example, the conventions referring to the use of capital letters and abbreviations, among others. One of the rules referred to the use of capital letters.
  5. b) Syntactic aspects: Syntax is the way in which words are combined to form meaningful sentences. Each language has its own syntactic rules or combination of words. Some of these syntactic rules, which refer to the meaning expressed, refer to:
  6. The concordance: person and number of the verb must coincide with those of the subject, as well as the gender and the number of the pronoun with function of object must coincide with those of the noun they replace. Likewise, the noun and the adjective must agree on gender and number. For example, it is wrong to write: All people know that dolphins are mammals.
  7. The correlation of verb tenses: verb tenses must be used respecting a certain time perspective. For example, such perspective is not respected in: * The Senate voted the law that the previous week presented the Executive Power.
  8. The intra-regional connectors (coordination and subordination): the coordinators of words or propositions, as well as the subordinators, must correspond to the type of relationship that is established between the ideas or the facts referred to. For example, it is not correct to say: * Even though this student is very good, he got an excellent mark on the exam.
  9. The pronominal reference: pronouns are used, on the one hand, to refer to the words previously (or later) mentioned in the text and, on the other, to indicate an element of the communication situation. An error in the reference produces ambiguities or indeterminations, for example in: * Juan and Pedro study journalism; a journalist invited him to work on a radio.
  10. Other syntactic questions: the correct formation of sentences has to do, besides, with rules referred to the use of prepositions, gerund, fixed phrases, etc. For example, it must be borne in mind that certain verbs require the use of a certain preposition; thus, the verb consist governs the preposition in.
  11. c) Semantic aspects: Semantics is the scope of the meaning of words, and their combinations. They are, then, the words (and their combinations) that transmit the meaning in a verbal message. Therefore, accuracy in a text is achieved, in principle, by selecting the right words to convey the meaning of what you want to express. To achieve a precise text, it is advisable to avoid:
  12. The use of words of very vague or very general meaning. For example: * In one place, Peter met a person.
  13. The unnecessary repetition of words: it is convenient to look for suitable synonyms that favor the lexical precision. For example, repetition is unnecessary in the phrase: He bought a house to have a larger house.
  14. The use of a word that “sounds” to us but that, in reality, means something different from what we want to express. For example: The assignment of teachers is done through a resolution of the rectorship. (By “designation”)
  15. The use of a word that can not be combined with those that follow it, that is, a word located in an inadequate sentence context. For example: The book talks about the relationships between the community and government agencies. (By “the book deals with / refers to” since the verbs like “to speak” demand that the subject be an animate being, that is to say, a person or animal).
  16. The use of the synonym of a word when said synonym is only for one of the meanings of that word, which is not the one that corresponds in that context. For example: The oil spill has permission to produce pollution. (By “can”) In this case, although “have permission to” is synonymous with “power”, you should have used “be able to”, “it is possible”, also synonymous phrases of “power”.
  17. d) Discursive / textual aspects: A correctly written text is one that, on the one hand, is appropriate to the corresponding communication situation and, on the other hand, is clear in the information it provides. The fundamental elements to take into account in this regard are:
  18. Punctuation: punctuation marks are decisive for organizing the meaning of sentences and text, and to rank information. For example, given the same sentence, the location of the comma can give rise to different senses: Juan, Pedro is not the same as Juan came, Pedro.
  19. Cohesion: the connectors and other procedures that give unity to the text determine relations between the ideas or the facts referred to. (see discursive markers)
  20. The organization of information: the information provided by the text must be progressively exposed, that is, we must avoid “gaps” in information. On the other hand, it is also convenient to avoid redundancy, that is, the unnecessary repetition of ideas or the explicitation of information that is understood or that is obvious.
  21. The relevance or relevance of the information: the information provided in a text must be appropriate to the requirements of the communicative situation. For example, it is not pertinent that a pool regulation of a club describe the characteristics of the heating system of its changing rooms. Likewise, it is not relevant that in a job application letter the author specifies the good or bad relationship he has with his children.
  22. Registration: registration is the variety of the language linked to the communicative situation. A job interview, usually, requires a formal record. Therefore, we must select the vocabulary and the syntactic constructions that suit the communicative situation, the subject and the type of text.