Spelling Guide

The skill of spelling words correctly can benefit a person's everyday writing in many ways. For one, the use of correct spelling lends credibility to a piece of writing. A reader pays more attention to the message contained in the writing material if there are no distracting spelling errors. Another reason a writer should be careful about his or her spelling is that some words when misspelled will change the meaning of a sentence. For instance, a writer using the word their when he or she meant they're could create confusion for the reader. The precise spelling of the intended word is significant to the reader's understanding of the material.

One of the simplest ways to learn how to spell with accuracy is to sound out a word and spell it the way it sounds. However, there are words in the English language that sound differently from the way they appear on paper. Mnemonic is a good example of a word that isn't spelled the way it sounds because the first m is silent. Memorize is another example of a word that doesn't sound the way it's spelled. The z in memorize can easily be mistaken for an s. In fact, there are many examples of words that may be spelled incorrectly if sounded out. A way to avoid getting caught in this trap is to commit these words to memory. Eventually, you will have a mental list of the correct spellings for these particular types of words that you can refer to.

There are several tricks that a person can use when trying to improve spelling skills. The first trick is to break a word into parts and spell each part of it instead of looking at the word as a whole. This spelling technique is helpful in making words with several syllables more manageable to spell. Another way to improve spelling is to study the meanings of root words and prefixes. For example, the word perimeter has the prefix peri which means around. The knowledge of prefix meanings could be the difference between a slight misspelling and a correctly written word. Any reliable list of suggestions on how to improve spelling includes the use of a, "..memory device.." One such memory trick is used with the homonyms principle and principal. The words sound the same but have different meanings. One definition of principle is that it is a truth. Principal refers to the head of a school. The trick with the word principal is to connect it in your mind with the thought that your principal is your pal. Now you'll remember that this particular spelling refers to the person.

A collection of general spelling rules is an excellent guide for the correct spelling of many words. Rule number one: Use i before e except after c. A second rule is if a word has a silent letter e at its end, drop it in order to add a suffix beginning with a vowel. For example, cause would become causing. A third rule to adhere to is when adding a suffix to a word that ends in y, first change the y to an i. An illustration of that rule would be the change of cry to cried.

Commonly Misspelled Words

1. attendance

2. believe

3. conscious

4. dependent

5. dispensable

6. embarrass

7. existence

8. February

9. government

10. irresistible

11. necessary

12. occurrence

13. privilege

14. rhythm

15. separate

More Spelling Resources

Whether it's a group of students in pursuit of online degrees or a single person who'd like to improve the quality of his writing, accurate spelling is a valuable skill to nurture.


Published: 2010-01-20