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English Writing: The Importance of Word Capitalization

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Dec 02, 2017 | #1
Words CapitalizationThe English language is unique in the sense that the writing rules are stringent and unbending. The rules have practically been set in stone for centuries. English as a Second Language learners have some difficulty when it comes to adhering to these rules. Due to the advent of Spellcheck in the document programs, the students become lax and truly careless when they write because the program will automatically correct any spelling or capitalization errors they might make during their writing. That is why I was not surprised when I received the following inquiry from one of my students:

I heard that it is not important to capitalize letters in IELTS exam, is that wrong?

The reason this student was asking me about this was because he had written all his essay in lower case letters. Yes, even the proper nouns were written in lower case. I was astonished at his question because it showed how lacking the formal IELTS and TOEFL exam review centers are when it comes to accurately training their students for the test.

In response to his question, I ended up having to give him a grammar lesson regarding English words. While it is easier, in the age of text messaging and made up spelling of words to simply tap on the keys to get the words out as fast as possible, that also makes the words difficult to read and the sentences, more difficult to follow. That is why the punctuation marks and capitalization rules were set into place.

Sure, the period signifies the end of a sentence. So, it should not be important to capitalize the next letter. Wrong. The period and the capital letter work hand in hand to trigger visual signals to the reader regarding the end and start of presentations. If you neglect to see the period, you will not miss the capital letter that kicks off the next sentence. It makes it easier to keep track of the conversation. That is why it is a conventional rule. The grammar rule still stands today even though some people cannot be bothered with capitalizing the letters in the manner required.

Think of it this way, in a civilized society, we know that people can choose not to wear clothes when they are out in public. However, as a sign of being an urbanized population, we all wear clothes no matter where we go. It is the respectful thing to do. It is what is expected of you as a writer. As a literate person, it is best for you to follow the norms set forth by those who helped create the language. It doesn't hurt to follow the rules in this instance. If you don't, then expect major points deductions in the Grammar Range and Accuracy scoring portion of the IELTS test.

Forum / Research Tutorial / English Writing: The Importance of Word Capitalization

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