7 Common Errors in Writing You Should Always Avoid 

Learning from others cuts short your struggles and accelerates your growth. 

In writing, errors are common. Even seasoned writers’ first drafts are unpresentable, with typos, unintentional grammar or punctuation errors, and awkward sentences. But what differentiates them from novice writers is that they are well aware of these slip-ups and take time to refine their work. 

So, when you know what mistakes to look out for, you can significantly improve the quality of your write-ups. And if you are a student looking for help with assignments that involve writing, you can also use a reliable custom writing service and pay for papers, which you can use as professionally-written samples or for inspiration. 

7 Frequent Writing Mistakes 

Incorrect Use of Apostrophe 

An apostrophe either shows possession or indicates that a phrase has been shortened and some letters are omitted. People generally mix these two up and end up writing confusing terms. So, be sure that you are using this punctuation mark correctly. 

For example, John’s bag and dogs’ tails are correct ways of using the apostrophe to signify possession. 

On the other hand, in contractions, “you are” becomes “you’re,” “are not” is written as “aren’t,” “will not/would not” becomes “won’t,” and so on. 

Messed Up Sub-Verb Agreements 

It is probably one of the most genuine and common writing mistakes many writers are guilty of. There are many rules when it comes to keeping the subject and verb in agreement, and this is where writers mess up. This is why students trust the best essay writing services and hire professionals to deal with their assignments. 

The general rule of thumb is if your subject is singular, the verb should be singular, and when it is plural, you have to use a plural verb. 

In case of more than one subject, you must adhere to the varying rules. For example, for subjects connected by “and,” use a plural verb. And as for two subjects joined by “or,” you must use a verb according to the closest subject. 

Repetitiveness and Redundancy 

Many writers don’t recognize this mistake because self-editing needs one to be highly critical of one’s work. However, these writing issues kill the soul of a write-up and disengage readers, which is quite contrary to what you wish to achieve through your content. 

You must be careful not to repeat an idea or information more than once or twice throughout your work. Even if it is conveyed in a different way, it still qualifies for repetitiveness. Similarly, using two words with similar meanings in the same sentence is redundant and doesn’t make sense. For example, “revert back,” “each and every,” and “summarize briefly” are all redundant. 

Hyphen in Place of en Dash & em Dash 

Surprisingly many writers have no idea about how and when to use a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash. Know that these three punctuation marks are not interchangeable. 

You should use hyphens to join two or more words to make compound adjectives, as a prefix to nouns and verbs, and to show a broken flow of speech in dialogue writing. In contrast, en dash replaces “to” in ranges, such as 9:00–5:00, 2009–2020, and Manchester–Salford. An em dash is used for adding extra information to a sentence that does not interfere with the original sentence. 

Run-On Sentences 

Appropriate sentence length is crucial for good writing. Run-on sentences form when two or more independent clauses are not connected properly. You might either not use any punctuation at all, join two complete sentences with just a comma, or add too many conjunctions. 

It is best to use a period or a semicolon to connect two proper sentences or use a suitable conjunction for better clarity. Also, ensure using shorter sentences and convey your message as concisely as possible. Wordy writing looks messy and fails to keep your readers engaged. 

Wrong Word Choice 

Many times writers use thesaurus and synonyms to avoid repetition of words in their write-ups. Although reading the same words many times in a literary work gets annoying for the readers, you can’t just replace them with synonyms for the sake of it. Many words in the English language are contextual despite having similar meanings. 

Similarly, many are guilty of mixing up homonyms, such as using accept in place of except, then instead of than, affect in place of effect, etc. Make sure to check the meaning and context of a word before including it in your sentence. 

Not Proofreading 

Whether it is professional, academic, creative, or casual writing, not proofreading is a grave mistake you can’t afford to commit. Many people have admitted to having blunders just because they didn’t double-check their text before sending it forward. 

When you write in a flow, you might misspell, forget punctuation, or not realize whether or not a sentence makes sense. Hence, ensure proofreading your write-up thoroughly.

Final Thoughts 

Writing is an art that gets better with continuous practice. But when you learn some common mistakes, you can be wary of them while working on your piece and save a lot of time and energy. Besides, these common errors affect the quality of writing. Hence, keep the above pointers in mind while working on your next write-up.

 

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By Susan Barlow

Dr. Susan Barlow is retired from academia after teaching business administration, project management, and business writing courses for over 20 years.

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