Nine Common Errors to Avoid in Writing

Understanding the common errors in writing can help you avoid…

Understanding the common errors in writing can help you avoid them. Recognizing such errors makes it easier to become your proofreader and editor. Below are the common mistakes you should avoid in writing for improved and better content.

Common Errors in Writing

There are several writing mistakes that even experienced writers make. The most important thing to remember is that good writing has no hard and fast rules. It’s all about consistency and cultivating your unique voice through criticism and practice.

You can avoid these errors with practice and increased awareness. Remaining consistent with the rules will benefit you in the long run and keep your readers interested and engaged!

1. Grammar and spelling errors

Grammar and spelling errors are perhaps the most common and frequent among writers. Compelling writing doesn’t include typos, grammatical errors, or too much passive voice usage. These errors should be avoided at all costs, whether or not anyone can tell you were making the error. One of the easiest ways to catch a grammatical error is to use an editor or proofreader.

2. Capitalization Errors

Incorrect use of capitalization is one of the common writing mistakes. Many people make the mistake of incorrect capitalization. Capitalization errors can result in reading difficulties and comprehension errors. Always capitalize proper nouns, the first word in a sentence, and titles.

3. Incorrect use of the apostrophe

Commonly, writers make the error of misusing an apostrophe. An apostrophe should not be used in the pronouns like hers, ours, and yours. However, it is used correctly with an ‘s’ to make a noun possessive. (e.g., Ed’s phone). An apostrophe is also used to indicate a contraction. For example, we’re, shouldn’t, wouldn’t.

4. Colon mistakes

Incorrect use of the colon is another punctuation error in writing. A colon should only be used to introduce a word, clause, list, phrase, or quotation. The colon is used to explain a preceding statement. For example, I fell in love with my husband for three reasons: his honesty, care, and dedication.

5. Missing comma

Misuse of punctuation marks like a comma are pretty common. The correct use of commas prevents confusion and indicates relationships between ideas and sentence parts. A comma should be used when a sentence contains several items and after an introductory word, clause or phrase. For example, Jerry, Johnson, Eddy, and Samuel were at my party yesterday.

6. Sentence fragments

A sentence fragment is part of a sentence that is presented as if it were a complete sentence. This can happen when a sentence doesn’t have a subject, a verb, or both. A sentence fragment can be a phrase that doesn’t make grammatically complete sense or an incomplete thought. To avoid sentence fragments, ensure that each statement contains a grammatically complete and independent expression that can stand alone. For example,

Fragment: Where we sang songs and danced.

Complete Sentence: We visited the church where we sang songs and danced.

7. Word Omission and Wrong word usage

Several words are commonly confused and misused in sentences. Misusing such words can change the meaning of a sentence.

For example, accept and except,there and their, breathe and breathe. This mistake can be avoided by using a dictionary to check the word’s meaning when in doubt.

Omitting a word from a sentence can make the sentence difficult to understand. Always proofread to detect this common error in writing.

8. Subject-verb agreement errors

When writing a sentence, the subject and verb in that sentence must agree in number. If the subject of the sentence is singular, its verb must also be distinct. Also, if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural.

Incorrect: These souvenirs is good enough for the guests.

Correct: These souvenirs are good enough for the guests.

9. Vague pronoun reference

A pronoun is used in place of a noun, and its antecedent should be the person, place, or thing to which the pronoun refers. A pronoun without a clear antecedent is vague and ambiguous.

An undefined pronoun reference can leave the reader confused about what or to whom the pronoun refers. Always ensure pronouns used in writing refer to specific antecedents. For example,

Incorrect: When James finally found his cat, he was elated (Who was elated, The cat or James?)

Correct: James was elated when he finally found his cat.

person holding on red pen while writing on book
Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

It is essential to have a good understanding of the common errors in writing in order to avoid them.

Most writing errors stem from a lack of knowledge of the English language rules. By being conscious of the essential components of the English language, you can cut down on the number of writing mistakes.

Frequently asked questions

What should you avoid in writing an academic paper?

  • Not enough evidence, facts, or facts to support the thesis statement.
  • They are not included in their original ideas and analyses.
  • Essay writing
  • They aren’t revising or editing their essays.
  • Too many long and confusing sentences to write.

What are five of the 10 common mistakes to avoid in writing?

  • Confusion between the Comma and Semicolon.
  • Misused Words
  • Heed the Homophones. “They’re,” “they,” and “there” are examples of homophones – words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings.
  • Repetitive Words Repeat
  • Apostrophe Catastrophes

What are the 10 common errors in English?

  • 3) How to Avoid Overuse of Adverbs.
  • 6) Similar spellings and words are confused.
  • 3) Your/You’re
  • 8) I’m confused with adjectives and adverbs.
  • 4) Misplacing Apostrophes
  • 5) There / Their /They’re
  • 7) Using incomplete comparisons
  • Present and past

Why is it important to avoid errors in writing?

Grammar and spelling errors also give your reader the impression that you didn’t take your time. Your letter can appear sloppy and less sincere than if you had stopped to check your writing.

What should one avoid in good writing?

  • Don’t write sporadically
  • No flat characters created.
  • Be smart about abandoning your first novel.
  • Don’t pigeonhole your process.
  • Don’t switch POV
  • Keep your options open.
  • Don’t ignore the story structure.
  • Start slowly

What are the ten most common errors made in research papers?

  • Misformatting the paper
  • Uninformed/unbalanced floating elements.
  • Ineffective keywords
  • Incomplete, uncited, and outdated references.
  • Asking a complex research question and not thinking about it.
  • Unexpanded abbreviations
  • Using complex language
  • Poor abstract

How can we avoid errors in our writing?

  • Keep it simple. Keep it simple and brief.
  • Write less. Quality is the key to successful writing.
  • Make sure your word order is correct. Remember the abbreviation SVOMPT: subject, verb, object, manner, place, and time.
  • Edit your page
  • Make a print of your writing.

What are the common mistakes that students make while writing sentences?

  • 7 Common misuse (inside a compound subject).
  • 1 Spelling mistakes
  • 5 Wordiness
  • 2 Run-on sentences (without a comma before a complement).
  • 3 Sentence fragments
  • There are no commas around interrupters.
  • 4 No comma after introductory phrase.
  • 6 Comma splicing

What are four things you avoid in your writing?

  • 2 Subject-verb disagreement — 20%
  • 5 Pronoun-antecedent disagreement — 5%
  • 1 Incorrect verb forms — 51%
  • 4 Comma splices — 6%
  • 3 Run-on sentences — 10%

What are some common errors you should avoid when writing reports?

  • Short and boring reports.
  • Too little time spent on research.
  • Start with a very brief introduction.
  • Report writing without a clear structure.
  • Grammar & styling errors in recommendations.

What are the common errors in writing?

  • Vague Pronoun Reference
  • Unnecessary Comma
  • An error with a quote.
  • Wrong Word. Here are some common ways to correct word errors.
  • Capitalization is unnecessary or lost.
  • Spelling
  • Missing a Command after an intro.
  • Documentation that is incomplete or missing.

What is the most common grammar error?

Many of the most common grammar errors are pronoun errors. A pronoun’s number does not match that of the noun it refers to. Nouns must be singular if their pronouns are singular. If the noun is plural, then the pronoun also needs to be plural.

How do you find common errors in English sentences?

  • Compare the sentence with a list or comparison; they often create errors when they are mentioned.
  • A faulty comparison is often referred to as “any”.
  • A longer phrase is less likely to contain errors.

What is common mistakes in English?

WrongMy mother wanted that I be doctor.
RightMy mother wanted me to be a doctor.

What are the 4 most serious writing errors?

“Four Most Serious Errors” illustrated four common mistakes in english writing, including fragments, run-ons, subject-verb agreement issues, and problems with verb form and tense.

Nine Common Errors to Avoid in Writing

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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