Top 10 Law School Application Grammar Blunders

Don’t do your best proofreading after you hit submit!

Over the years, I have seen many grammatical errors in applications.  We all make mistakes, but some of these are becoming so increasingly common that I want to share them with you so that you can avoid them.  Here are my top ten grammatical (or other) errors that I have seen in applications over the years:

10.          Improper use of to, two, and too.  Spell check won’t fix this; there is no substitute for proofreading.

9.            Using the word supposably when you mean supposedly.  You probably mean supposedly.

8.            Misuse of they’re, their, and there (similarly, misuse of your and you’re).

7.            The use of “revert back” or “irregardless.”  Both are redundant.

6.            The misuse of its (possessive form of it) and it’s (contraction for “it is”).

5.            Paragraphs that are one big, long, run-on sentence with an obscene amount of commas.  It’s OK to use a period.

  1.            Using “…and I” instead of “… and me” when you should use “… and me.”  Don’t make yourself the subject of everything.

3.            Misuse of than (used for comparison) and then (has an element of time).

2.            Misuse of affect (verb) and effect (noun).

  1.            The use of the apostrophe to pluralize a word.  This makes me cringe every time I see this.  I’ve seen some truly intelligent people make this mistake – and I see it almost every day. Please, for the love of all things grammatical, stop and think before you use an apostrophe. An “apostrophe s” should be used to show possession, not to make more than one of something (with the exception of the word it – see #6 above).  There is a new building near my house with a printed sign that reads: “Luxury condo’s for sale.”  I want to fix it every time I pass by that street.  It’s not vandalism if I’m correcting grammar, is it?

We all make mistakes – even people like Mike and me.  Regardless of how many times you’ve read your own work, you’re wise to have someone else proofread your writing.  It’s better than reverting to your grammar lessons from high school. Unpolished writing supposedly may affect how you are viewed to others.  You don’t want it to have an effect on your chances of getting in to law school, do you?(See what I did here?)

-Karen Buttenbaum

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