Grammatical Errors in Secondary School Student English Essay

Grammatical Errors in Secondary School Student English Essay

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This research was carried out to identify grammatical errors in secondary school student English essay: A case study of some selected schools. Using a sample population of two hundred (200) students in the senior secondary category. The major aim of the work was to draw the attention of the secondary school students to some of the grammatical errors found among them and mostly on the major English parts of speech and other areas in the English language.

However, findings from the study indicated that most of these grammatical errors occur as a wrong use of the noun, the verb, the adjective the adverb, the omission/ the wrong use of the determiners and the wrong insertion of the punctuation marks/capitalization in sentences. Above all, the study discovered that the learning environment and the quality of teachers employed to teach the English language contribute immensely to the poor learning and writing of the English language.




One of the aims of the English language syllabus by the ministry of education is to enable pupils, students and the undergraduates to speak, write and make presentations internationally acceptable grammatically correct and appropriate for the audience. Teacher’s knowledge of grammar and how it functions is acknowledge to contribute to effective language use (Ibid: 6).

However, Corder (1967) in his writing highlighted the important of considering errors in the language learning process. There has been a shift in emphasis towards an understanding of the problems learner face in their study of language. (Selinker 1992: 150).

Indeed, as carter (1997:35) notes, knowing more about how grammar works is to understand more about how grammar is used and misused. There is need for students to recognize the significance of errors. Which occur in their writing to fully grasp and understand the nature of the errors made.

To this end, knowing the Standard English usage enriches our understanding of the way words work and constructed, thus enabling us to vary the ways we can employ language either writers.

In the same vein, writers who intend to use non-standard English cause their readers to stop and wonder. What they are much more often than those who know and use the Standard English. It should however be noted that a text with a lot of errors is full of verbal ‘road bumps’. Everyone makes a usage mistake now and then but a text with many usage errors will be much less ambiguous than the one that has few or no usage errors.

In this regard, the research work shall however, distinguish ‘mistakes’ from ‘errors’ where the former refers to unsystematic errors of learners from which we are able to reconstruct the knowledge of the language to do (corder, 1978). The underlying assumption is that students’ errors made in grammar are systematic and classifiable.


Grammatical Errors in Secondary School Student English Essay


Statement of the Problem

It is sometimes very embarrassing that the majority of our dear students in various schools find it difficult to construct simple sentences. As such, they write the way they speak.

Students frequently neglect the use of determiners, definite and indefinite articles while writing letters and other essays, which may result in this writing mistake.

In some of the compositions written by students, some of the sentences are mere fragment. That is lacking the major ingredients of a sentence which is the subject and at times, a predicate. Some of the participles/modifiers in sentences tend to be dangling.

The incorrect use of language is also a part of this issue. Here, students tend to impress themselves rather than the examiner and the reader. They lack the idea and the understanding that not all the similar words may be appropriate.

In this regard, it is a sin to an academic carrier for a student to graduate with these flaws. Knowing that he or she is going out to face the outside world in one way or the other. These problems mentioned above are the ugly feelings of the researcher. Which has compelled her to conduct a study on why students commit the blunders in their daily English expressions.


Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out the major causes of the grammatical mistakes and errors found among students. Mostly in secondary school level in particular reference to students of  senior secondary schools.


The Significance of the Study

This study is significance in the sense that it will expose and point out the grammatical errors. Which some of our students make in their daily written compositions. It is also important in the sense that students after discovering where the errors and the mistakes come in various writings and other English expressions, will be able to correct some of the grammatical flaws they make when writing.

Apart from this, the study will be of great importance to both the researcher, educationists and to the public in general. This study will at the same time serve as a reference material to the future researchers.


Research Questions

Some of the research questions underlying the study are;

  1. Does the wrong use of the parts of speech in sentences affect or alter the meaning of sentences while writing?
  2. Does the wrong use of nouns in a sentence affect the meaning?
  3. Does the mother-tongue interference affect the students when writing the English language?
  4. Does the learning environment contribute to the poor learning of the English language?


Delimitation of the Study

The researcher concentrated the study on senior secondary schools in Ogun State with a look at the grammatical analysis of errors students make in writing in the school.

Scope/Limitation of the Study

In the research work, the researcher encountered some short falls that affected the study. Some of these short falls were: financial constraint, poor responses by the respondents.


Definition of Terms

Grammar: This has to do with the rules in a language for changing the form of words and joining them into sentences.

Error: An error is a deviation from accepted rules of a language made by a learner of a second language.

Essay: An essay is generally a short piece of writing outlining the writer’s perspective or story. It is often considered synonymous with a story or a paper or an article. Essays can be formal as well as informal. Formal essays are generally academic in nature and tackle serious topics.

Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email:

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