News

Browse All News Topics

Reminder: Spell Check Isn't Always Correct

Aug 29, 2008

by Scholarships.com Staff

An article that appeared yesterday in the UK's Times Higher Education carries an important reminder for students attending college on both sides of the pond: don't trust spell check to always suggest the right word.  The publication's recently revived contest for the best college exam bloopers asked professors to submit anonymous examples of some of their students' worst for-credit writing.  Most of the entries highlighted in the article are a case of students accidentally using a different word than what they meant.

If you're not the best speller, you may want to take these examples to heart and remember to use the dictionary to look up the meanings and spellings of words you're not sure of, rather than simply relying on a spell checker or guessing. For example, "academic" and "epidemic" may sound similar, but they carry very different meanings.  And don't think these mistakes are something that only the stereotypical stuffy tweed-clad British professor will notice--anyone in the business of evaluating writing is likely to pick up on errors of meaning in essay writing.

This advice applies not only to essays you'll write for introductory college courses, but also to college applications and scholarship application essays, as well.  Many students run their entries for scholarship essay contests through a spellchecker of some sort (though some don't even do that), but a surprising number of students fail to take the next step and make sure that the words they're using mean what they think they mean.  Over-reliance on the thesaurus can produce a similar effect.  While the denotative meanings of two words may appear to be closely related, their connotations could be worlds apart.

While using the wrong word in your essays can produce unintentionally hilarious effects, it probably won't help your chances of winning scholarships.  So before you seal that envelope or press that submit button, pull out the dictionary and read back through your scholarship application.  If you are not 100% sure you're using the right word in any place, double-check.  It might make the difference between winning a scholarship award and having your work entered in a different contest like the one mentioned above.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Posted Under : Back to School , Scholarships , Tips

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 

Most Shared Articles

What do spring college scholarships bring? Potentially thousands of dollars in free college money to help foot your college tuition bill! Whether you are relaxing over spring break or heavy into spring cleaning, don't forget to do your academic and financial aid housekeeping. Explore these spring-centric awards, as well as college scholarships with spring 2017 deadlines. Or if you prefer, conduct your own free college scholarship search here: [...]

0 months ago 1 comments Read More

March is National Women's History Month, and while we observe and celebrate the many females that brought forth change and exemplary contributions to our society, we want to give you some opportunities to pursue your dreams - without the financial burden. Ladies, check out these scholarship opportunities reserved for women only: [...]

0 months ago 0 comments Read More

Hundreds of Middlebury College students turned their backs on, and shouted down a prominent and controversial writer and scholar, Dr. Charles Murray, preventing him from giving a public lecture. The violent attack on free speech left one college professor injured and Middlebury’s President disappointed with the "deep and troubling divisions that were on display [that] night." [...]

0 months ago 19 comments Read More

Two University of Washington professors are calling out "fake news" and "alternative facts" in defense of the scientific community with their new course "Calling Bullshit In The Age of Big Data." Students, as well as the general public will have the opportunity to learn how to "detect and defuse" bullshit. [...]

1 months ago 2 comments Read More

One Faculty Master is keeping his free cookie tradition strong for College House residents, even while he's on sabbatical. Every Wednesday at 10 p.m., freshman line up Master Dennis DeTurck's apartment for a sweet snack and the singing of show tunes. This is only one example of the many food-centric traditions found at the university. [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

Fighting crime is no easy task and is not meant for everyone. Careers in criminal justice aren't limited to police officers. You can study to be a criminal law paralegal, a crime lab analyst or even work for homeland security. If you plan to take this route, don't forget to apply for these solid scholarships to reduce debt while also doing your part to reduce crime: [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

Due to Oregon's $1.8 billion budget crisis, public university leaders want funding reallocated from the Promise program to the state's need-based grant, which is awarded to low-income students who attend Oregon's public universities. [...]

1 months ago 1 comments Read More