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English Composition I
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• Writers tend to think that they spell horribly

• But English is a difficult language to spell

• English is a combination of many different languages – Spanish, German, Latin, etc.

• All of these have their OWN spelling standards

• When English borrows a word (and it borrows a lot), it also borrows the spelling

• Once basics are learned Spelling in school focuses on exceptions – false impression of true difficulty


• Most people would agree that 10 misspelled words in an essay is a serious problem

• Typical word count on a college level essay is 500 words (app. 5 pages)

• 10 misspellings is only 2% of total

• That means 98% of words are spelled right

• We have HIGH standards for spelling!!!

• Remember as you edit for spelling that MOST of the words in the essay are spelled correctly


• Most spelling errors occur because of poor time-management

• Writer procrastinates and has to rush the draft

• Does not pay attention to spelling/grammar

• Does not have time to properly edit/proofread

• Writer who uses the writing process and is in control does not have this time pressure

• Writer who organizes before drafting doesn’t make as many mistakes


• Most writers don’t have an overall spelling problem

• Most have SPECIFIC spelling problems

• Commonly read or used words are almost always spelled correctly

• Successful writers know their problem words

• Keep Spelling Demon list nearby

• Check carefully for your specific demons

• Pay attention to new or specialized words


• Spell-check is NOT the answer

• Or at least not a complete answer

• Computers only know how to spell what is in their dictionary

• Their dictionary tends to be small

• Kosmicki, like other uncommon words, is always caught as misspelled

• Spell check can be taught new words— but it is time consuming

• Spell-check can be corrupted as easily as well