At this phase in your English language education, it can be reliably assumed that you have likely had hundreds and hundreds of hours using and practicing English grammar, that you have some refined skills, and some consistent problems. However, there are two things to keep in mind: (1) your skills and problems are likely different from your classmates since you each have different linguistic and educational backgrounds, and (2) literally everyone has problems with grammar in basically everything they write. This again is not a problem only for “non-native” English users. The best thing you can do is learn to be self-aware and review carefully. The simplest thing the authors can recommend is that when you review a text, try reading it aloud. When you read aloud, you are involving more of your linguistic faculties than when you are simply writing, as you see it, say it, and hear it all at once. Generally, if it sounds off, it probably is. Or, more pressingly, it may or may not be grammatical, but is there a clearer way to write what you are trying to say? If you have the luxury of co-authors, classmates, or editors, a second mind is an excellent resource–even if you do not think they are as qualified, they represent part of your potential readership, and you can consider writing for their greater understanding. There is, after all, no “correct” writing: the only kind of effective writing that exists is writing which communicates with the reader. That is all. Neither more nor less. In terms of grammar and otherwise, write and edit for clarity. On a related note, consider making confusing sentences more simple, as no one in academia will give you extra points for writing sentences readers have to go back to more than once to understand.
Empowering International Graduate Students through Writing by Zhenjie Weng & Mark McGuire is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.