Common errors to avoid in writing

Here's an Internet scavenger hunt that takes you in search of some of the most common errors to avoid in writing, grammar, and punctuation.

I’m not sure I can argue for a single worst writing mistake. I have a pet peeve or two, but overall, I’m simply on a mission to educate my readers. From popular blogs to tweets and Facebook comments, the web is littered with bad grammar and punctuation. In schools and workplaces, student and employee writing skills are called into question every day. Errors are pervasive enough to inspire  articles and websites intent upon shedding light on grammar, writing, and punctuation.

Today, let’s go on a little Internet scavenger hunt to see what others claim are the most common errors to avoid in writing.

At each stop, take time to read about those errors and their solutions. While you’re there, look for the answers to the five questions or problems below.

1. Maniacal Rage

Maniacal Rage lists eight common errors. For example:

He reminds us not to ____________ after periods.

2. Pasnau’s Top Ten

Robert Pasnau, PhD (Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado) brings us Pasnau’s Top Ten.  Almost every paper he receives has at least one grammatical error from his list.

Dr. Pasnau says: “You will be judged, for your entire life, on the basis of ___________________.”

3. Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb

Brian Clark at Copyblogger gives us Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb. Among them, Brian includes four pairs of words writers often confuse.

Name one pair: _______ vs. _______Remove featured image

4. Common Punctuation Errors

Even though this article is called Six Common Punctuation Errors That Bedevil Bloggers, it’s not just bloggers who have trouble with punctuation. According to the article, which one of these sentences is correctly punctuated?

a. On Friday, Sam is coming home from boot camp!!!
b. Kayla said, “Put it in the small box.”
c. Grandma will serve “breakfast” on the patio.
d. None of the above is punctuated correctly.
e. All of the above are punctuated correctly.

5. The Comma Splice

The comma splice is a common punctuation error. According to this article, which of the following solutions will not fix a comma splice?

a. Replacing the comma with a period
b. Replacing  the comma with a semicolon
c. Removing the comma
d. Following the comma with a conjunction

If you’re serious about brushing up on your grammar, here are a few other articles you can explore:

Answers: (1) double-space; (2) how well you write; (3) answers will vary; (4) b; (5) c

Here's an Internet scavenger hunt that takes you in search of some of the most common errors to avoid in writing, grammar, and punctuation.

Photo: Clemens V. Vogelsang, courtesy of Creative Commons

Leave a Reply