Consistency in essay writing

The proof reading of work will often result in finding inconsistencies in writing. The following are examples of common mistakes that can occur:

Singular and Plural – ‘The horses trotted along and he jumped over the hedge’ should read ‘The horse trotted along and he jumped over the hedge’ or ‘The horses trotted along and they jumped over the hedge.’

Matching Words – Words used in a list should match for example, ‘sociability, amusement and…’ should be accompanied by ‘companionship’ rather than ‘companions’. There are some words which have partners ‘either… or’, neither… nor’ and ‘not only… but also’ (The Open University, 2012).

Tenses – The tense that is used with the verb must be consistent throughout the whole sentence for example ‘The child displayed good co-ordination as he juggles with the balls’ should read ‘The child displayed good co-ordination as he juggled with the balls’ or ‘The child displays good co-ordination as he juggles with the balls.’

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