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Importance of running spell/grammar check

Wait! Don’t submit your manuscript just yet.

You have conducted your experiments, you have gathered your data, you have completed your analysis, and you have typed your document. Think you are ready to submit your manuscript? Think again.

There is one final (and in many cases crucial) step that many authors forget. Be sure to run a spell/grammar check of your document. That’s so obvious, you say. Indeed, it is, but this one step can mean the difference between “C-creative protein” and “C-reactive protein,” “Fugure” and “Figure,” and “Disscussion” and “Discussion.” (Yes, these are actual examples that were discovered in recent papers.) These minor errors can make a big difference in the reviewers’ approach to the paper and their resulting comments.

While spell check will not flag the misuse of certain words, for example, “trails” instead of “trials,” “exits” in place of “exists,” and “does” instead of “dose” (yes, these are more real life examples), in most cases it will point out where letters have been transposed or extra letters have been added in specific scientific terms and everyday words, such as “yeasr” in place of “years” and “irradiantion” instead of “irradiation.” Grammar check will help with many potential issues as well, including indicating where subjects and verbs do not agree, but please note that there are always exceptions in the English language (please refer to Accdon’s other articles here for guidance), so proceed with caution.

Now, go run that spell/grammar check and know that, while not perfect, it does offer a degree of reassurance that your document is in good shape for submission.


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