Some Common Writing Mistakes Students Usually Do

It is 2 AM and your paper is due at 9 AM. Your perception is blurry from looking at your desktop. All you want to do is complete and go to sleep. So you turn your document in without proofreading.

Then you take your paper back: C+. C+? You browse your professor’s edits and find this:

“The standard point of this paper is to describe the affects of whether on gorilla warfare in Asian.”

Do not let this occur to you. Use these points to help avoid some general student writing errors.

  1. Missing a comma

Periods and commas are the two mainly used punctuation marks, but commas appear to cause the most puzzlement. Are you using commas accurately? Have you written any sentences holding items in a series? When three or more items come into a series, they would be separated from each other using commas.

Example: We are out of cheese, pizza, and wine.

Bonus tip: Always use commas to begin names or titles of some person when directly addressing someone.

  1. No comma after an introductory phrase

An introductory phrase gives background information and is generally followed by a comma.

Incorrect – While I was playing my roommate watched TV.

Correct – While I was playing, my roommate watched TV.

  1. Using the wrong word

Weather/whether. Effect/Affect. Too/To. All the words are similar or even pronounce similarly but their meaning has lot of difference. Watch your words in sentence and do not depend on spell checker alone. Spell checker may not observe words which are misused, but spelled properly!

  1. Run-on sentence

Run-on sentences happen when a sentence contains two complete views without the required punctuation to link them. Run-on sentences should be separated into split sentences or joined by adding punctuation or words.

Example: Mr. Smith sent all of his kids to college, thus, he has sacrificed his health working to pay for it.

Where the first comma seems, we should have used a period and started a new sentence.

  1. Watch your verb tenses

All the verb tenses must work together in harmony.

He caught(past tense) the ball and then throws(present tense) it to the catcher for the out

  1. Pronoun shift

This happens when an author switches pronouns for no obvious reason. I > you > one

Incorrect – If you eat prudently and watch your calories, most people will be able to keep their weight.

Correct – If you eat prudently and watch your calories, you should be able to keep your weight.

  1. Spelling Mistakes

Mistakes happen, but ensure you stop and review your writing for errors. Having someone else analysis your writing will also help make sure that all mistakes get corrected.

  1. Its vs It’s

For lot of people, this is one of the trickiest grammar rules. Use its to denote belonging to it; use it’s only when you signify it is or it has.

It’s is a contraction for it is or it has. “It’s approximately the weekend.” Its shows possessive. “Every dog has its day.”

Its’ is never correct. Ever.

  1. Double Negatives

You know the old adage ‘two wrongs do not make a right?’ Well two negatives words do make a positive.

Incorrect: I can’t hardly wait for my number.

Correct: I can hardly wait for my number.

  1. Mechanical error with a quotation

“I hope we were at the hotel”, Elizabeth says.

The comma would be placed within the quotation marks.

This list has some short example and clarifications for you to use as reminders while you edit papers. Have a paper you are struggling to format? Or just want one more set of eyes to assist you proofread? You can get help From Expertsmind.


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