All humans make mistakes from time to time, and those mistakes appear in different spheres. Thus, students make mistakes in writing, and they cost them a lot of vital grades. As a result, youngsters spoil the average academic score. The issue seems to be hopeless, but it’s not so!
Lauren Bradshaw, a skilled blogger, and a professional essay writer from CustomWritings, a writing service, knows a lot about making mistakes and how to avoid them. “Errors during writing are inevitable, and even the best of the best make errors. Fortunately, this issue can be helped. It’s necessary to define the typical errors, memorize them, work them out, and thus to avoid.” The solution is actually smart and simple. Therefore, our guide highlights 10 common errors in writing to help students deal with them for good.
One of the most typical errors is called sentence fragments. It occurs when students do not follow grammar and punctuation rules. A lack of a single comma may spoil everything. Let’s check it on a good example:
- Incorrect: Scientists report no human death due to the consumption of marijuana. Although it affects and alters our minds.
- Correct: Scientists report no human death due to the consumption of marijuana, although it affects and alters our minds.
The wrong placement of modifiers is another typical error. If you want to modify the sentence correctly, be sure to place modifiers right near the words they describe. Take a look at the examples:
- Incorrect: When writing a scientific article, the prime task is set for research.
- Correct: When writing a scientific article, a scientist sets the prime task for research.
Oftentimes, students mess up the main message of their sentences because they choose an inappropriate word. Students are inattentive or simply do not know the meaning of the word. Here is a good example:
“Did you catch my illusion of the movie in my essay?” The context of this sentence means that the author made a reference to a certain movie in an essay. However, the word “illusion” means a perception of reality in the wrong way. In the meanwhile, the word “allusion” will perfectly suit this case because it means a “reference.” As you can see, a change of only one letter may negatively affect the entire message.
The use of commas is one of the greatest challenges and headaches of many people. Even famous writers frequently use the help of skilled editors to check the comma placement. The overuse or a lack of a comma may spoil the sentence. It is hard and long to provide examples related to this error. Therefore, we will simply mention that some students place unnecessary commas, and some forget to place them when they were needed. Always reread the rules of comma placement to avoid this error.
At times, students forget to add a word when it’s required in the sentence. Perhaps they simply write the lacking words in their minds. The lack of certain words may fully change the meaning of the sentence. However, it commonly makes the sentence grammatically incorrect. Check the examples:
- Incorrect: Students the globe has to write various essays.
- Correct: Students from all around the globe have to write various essays.
Unclear Pronoun Reference and Case
Many students mess up the meaning of pronouns and so apply them incorrectly. People frequently mess up – they, this, that, and other pronouns. For example, take a look at the next examples:
- Incorrect: Due to his is less interested in education than in finance, he sometimes overlooks it.
- Correct: Due to his interest in financial aspects, he sometimes overlooks education issues.
Now, let’s check the examples of pronoun case:
- Incorrect: The differences in Joe’s and Mark’s worldviews frequently lead to the confrontation between he and Mark.
- Correct: The differences in Joe’s and Mark’s worldviews frequently lead to the confrontation between him and Mark.
Some folks do not understand when an apostrophe is applicable. The most typical mistake is related to “it’s” and “its.”
- Incorrect: It’s time to have some tea.
- Correct: It’s time to have some tea.
Confusion of Words
Oftentimes, students confuse certain pairs of words. They may be pronounced in the same way, but they are written differently and surely have a different meaning. We’ll provide a few examples of such pairs:
- Write and right;
- Two and too;
- Affect and effect;
- Lead and led;
- Accept and except;
- Effort and afford, etc.
Incorrect Shift of the Verb Tense
Some students do not control the change of the verb tense in their sentences. Due to unknown reasons, they tend to change the tense in the next sentence. Here is an example of the incorrect use of the verb tense:
- He looked for a chinchilla. He takes photos of such exotic animals he sights.
Poorly Integrated Quotes
The tenth common error is related to the use of quotes in essays and other academic papers. Students integrate them incorrectly in several ways. Make allowances for them:
- Non-logical use. Some writers implement quotes abruptly. It’s a mistake! You should prepare your readers with the lead-on sentences that logically lead to the use of a quote.
- Rule issues. Students forget about the differences between writing formats. There are MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, and others. Each format has different rules of placing quotes. Learn and follow them!
- Too many quotes. Many students overuse quotes in their papers. It’s recommended to use no more than 1 quote per 500 words.
These are 10 common errors in academic writing. Make sure you memorize them all. Thus, you will easily avoid them and won’t lose many important grades. We also recommend looking for other common errors in writing. If you identify other weak places, you will be armed with the necessary warnings. Afterward, work out the troublesome issues. Remember – err is human, but correction is divine!