The Flinders University School of Humanities Style Guide

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Spelling

There is no excuse whatsoever for inaccurate spelling at university level, and a slapdash approach to spelling will downgrade the quality of your work, annoy your reader, and cost you marks.

Use a dictionary to check both the meanings and spellings of words of which you are uncertain. Spell-checkers in word-processing software packages can be useful, but remember that they will recognise only misspellings; they cannot help you if you type, say, “causal” for “casual”.

Any reasonably large (i.e. more than 1000 pages), reasonably recent dictionary will be a great asset in your academic work. It is important to note that the School of Humanities expects the Anglo-Australian spelling of words, as opposed to the American, and thus an American dictionary might cause you some trouble. Examples include the use of ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ in ‘recognise’‘formalise’, and ‘ou’ instead of ‘o’ in labour.

Good quality Australian dictionaries include:

The Macquarie Dictionary, rev. 3rd edn (Sydney: Macquarie Library, 2001).

The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, 4th edn (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2003).


 

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Flinders University Library

Professor Graham Tulloch of the English Department has written a booklet entitled English Grammar: A Short Guide. This text covers fundamental aspects of English grammar, such as parts of a word, parts of a sentence, and parts of speech.


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