Twitter killed the spelling gold star
We live in a world where the pressure on students to succeed is ever increasing. With the vast majority of graduate schemes and postgraduate courses requiring a minimum grade of 2.1 to even be considered, achieving high marks has never been more important. However, as modern technology is proving so very detrimental to English language proficiency, it is becoming difficult for students to separate their two ‘written lives’.
On the one hand students are taught correct grammar, punctuation and spelling at primary school and then continue to work on these core scholarly attributes as they progress through their academic careers. However, as well as these correct teachings, students spend much of their free time actively avoiding correct grammar and spelling, whether it be in the form of social media, automatic spell checks or texting. This double life is leading students to forget many of the simplest grammatical rules as well as dampening an individual’s vocabulary.
Most universities set aside 10% of marks for spelling and grammar which is clearly very damaging for many students. In addition to this 10%, bad grammar and spelling can erode a reader’s confidence in an author and weaken arguments. Therefore, the overall damage to a student’s work can potentially be up to 40% or even 50% depending on the severity of the errors. It is vital that students recognise that their hardest efforts can be grossly undermined in this manner and their grades damaged significantly.
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