Undеrstаnding Lаnguаgе аnd Litеrасy Essay Example

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Undеrstаnding Lаnguаgе аnd Litеrасy

My understanding of language and literacy is based on the need to write in a way that communicates ideas to the reader appropriately. Grellier and Goerke (2014) advise that incorrect or poor grammar may prevent readers from understanding what the writer is saying. I also understand the importance of keeping my writing simple by using simple and direct language. I am aware of the need to avoid words that would keep the reader scratching his or her head and looking for the meanings of words in the dictionary. The same applies to the use of redundant phrases – phrases that contain two or more words that have the same meaning (Hegde, 2003). For instance, instead of saying “advance planning”, one would just say “planning”. Another way to keep writing simple and short is to avoid clichés (words that have been used so frequently that they lose meaning) (Grellier & Goerke, 2014). For instance, instead of saying “in this day and age”, it is preferable to just say “today”.

Academic Writing

What I do well

What I need to improve

Principle 1

Keeping your writing simple

I use simple, direct language

Principle 2

Making it formal

I use lucid, succinct discipline-specific vocabulary

Grammar and Mechanics

I avoid the of slangs and colloquial language


I am well-versed in punctuation


I have a good grasp of word spellings

Sentence Structure

I write clear and straightforward sentences

Sometimes I tend to use very long sentences. I need to improve on this by using shorter, well connected sentences


I can write a concise introduction and conclusion for my essay

Content Development

I know how to develop and connect ideas to communicate my content to the reader

Word Choice

I well-versed in vocabulary and using different words where they fit appropriately.


). These include “however”, “furthermore”, “in addition”, “another”, “notwithstanding” and so on.Gordon, 2010I know how to use transition (words that help show the relationship between one idea and another) (

Use of resources

I know how to use different resources – including print and online resources – to get content to support my work.


I am able to organise my written work in a way that communicates the content appropriately

I need to put more effort in proofreading in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes that would be captured through proofreading.

Repeatedly, my writing work has received feedback denoting that I need read my work before submitting it. Oftentimes, after writing the work that I need to write, I usually read through it in a hurry or sometimes submit it without proofreading. Hence, I fail to correct even the most obvious mistakes that I would have detected before submitting my completed work. According to Cooper, Kiger, Robinson and Slansky (2012), proofreading is an important process in writing, and it needs to be done after the writer has made all content changes that are necessary. During proofreading, the writer gets the work in order for the final copy by scrutinising spelling, sentence structure and writing mechanics (Cooper et al. 2006). This means that through proofreading, I can be in a position to identify any spelling errors, appropriate use of words, grammatical mistakes, sentence structure and general content of the work. However, for some reason, I often fail to be careful when proofreading my work. It has been argued that students often have proofreading skills but do not always use them (Nees, 2006). This is because in their haste to attend to other things, students often think that writing is over once they have put their content on paper. I must admit that I seem to be one of such students.

Because of failing to proofread my work, I often fail to notice some common mistakes in my work. These include very long sentences, too much use of passive voice, spelling errors, inappropriate use of some words because of reliance on the computer’s spellchecker, and sometimes having essays that are longer than the recommended word count. Failure to proofread my work also makes me unable to find areas in which I have not used punctuation marks such as full stops, commas, colons and semi-colons properly. Also, there are countless times that I have not checked the use of spacing in my writing, such as putting a space after a colon, a full stop or a comma. Doing so ends up putting some sentences in disarray or even making some sentences difficult to read or understand. Therefore, I can say that all the feedbacks that I have received requiring me to proofread my work have been on point.

My plan henceforth is to be proofreading my work every time before I submit it. I have identified a very good resource that will help me improve my proofreading skills: a book titled Business Skills Exercises. The author of this book recommends that after writing, one should allow some time to pass before reading the work (Barker, 2013). This ensures that the person reads what is actually written rather than what they think they should be reading. Another point from Barker (2013) is that proofreading should involve double-checking all content by reading it aloud or reading it with another person. Along this line, I would like to work with my colleagues in class such that after reading my own work, I can as well exchange it with them so that they can read and identify any mistakes as I also read theirs. Barker (2013) notes that asking another person to proofread a document makes the fresh eyes more likely to spot errors that the writer may have missed. I believe that this will help reduce the errors that I have been making before submitting my work.


Barker, L. (2013). Business skills exercises (5th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Cooper, J. D., Kiger, N. D., Robinson, M. D., & Slansky, J. A. (2012). Literacy: helping students construct meaning (8th ed.). Belmong, CA: Wadsworth.

Gordon, A. (2010). MBA admissions strategy: From profile building to essay writing (2nd ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press.

Grellier, J., & Goerke, V. (2014). Communications toolkit. South Melbourne: Cengage.

Hegde, M. N. (2003). A coursebook on scientific and professional writing for speech-language pathology (3d ed.). New York: Delmar.

Nees, D. L. (2006). Lessons using learning bags for writing, grades 3-4. Westminster, CA. Teacher Created Resources, Inc.