I was born in Malaysia and up till the age of 7, I have no exposure to English whatsoever. It was only at the age of 7 when I migrated to Singapore then was I exposed to the English language. What’s worse is, I never listened in English classes. I was completely oblivious to grammar rules until I was at the age of 15. I winged all the tests and exams up till that point through arbitrary usage of word tenses. Pretty amazed by myself but definitely not proud of it 😂

Well let’s move on to the real deal shall we? Here’s an excerpt from the book, How to Succeed in your Social Science Degree:

“Colleagues also confess that they look less kindly on assignments that contain too many spelling or grammatical errors, even though…Given today’s word processing packages, other tutors expected high standards of typing and layout.” (Arksey, Harris, and Available, 2007)

This is a really worrying revelation for me because real English practice only started for me 4 years ago (at 15 y/o) and I’m still struggling to perfect grammar. Moreover, I intend to major in political science, which focuses almost singularily on essay writings. Well, that means I gotta do something about it yea? Here’s 2 workable solutions:

Firstly, this blog itself is a solution. 

The thing about blog is that it has this unusual power to make the author extremely conscious of his content. 

Grammatical errors are embarrassing, which is probably why I constantly check on my posts to see how it is presented. Occasionally I do find errors to correct and I also have my dearest love to help me be the grammar editor of this blog😂 

The underlying principle lies in the golden rule: Practice makes perfect.

Secondly, this is the final bastion, I would make use of the Grammarly to proof-read my work before submission. This is just a last check to ensure that there are no mistakes as I would like to be absolutely sure that my grades won’t be compromised by meager things like grammar.

Here’s another excerpt from the same book:

“…working to tight marking deadlines can add pressure which can affect our judgment. We hope you will not be shocked by this disclosure that we are sometimes less than perfect…One implication for you to think about is that students can help us by making their work as easy for us to read and grade as possible.” 

I think no matter which stage of life we are at, we ought to exercise empathy for our teachers and all those who are around us. Although grammar is indeed a meager thing to consider in academic assessment, it is the least we can do to help make our teachers’ lives easier.

The real society is unkind to the working class and we ought to help each other out. If you think that you are not obliged to do it, you are right; but sometimes we don’t need a beneficial reason to do things, we do it because it’s right.

Well that’s all for grammar and the unexpected insight on empathy. I hope this post is as meaningful and useful to you as it is to me. 

Signing off,

Arksey, H., Harris, D.E. and Available, N. (2007) How to succeed in your social science degree (Sage Study skills series). Los Angeles, Calif. [etc.]: Sage Publications.


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