Breaking news from sss thirteen basic writing mistakes corrected today
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Breaking News from SSS: Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes Corrected Today!. SSS. An English/Reading Mini-workshop Student Support Services Troy University (Main Campus). Workshop Objectives. To teach students to identify and correct common writing flaws. To help students write more clearly.

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Breaking News from SSS: Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes Corrected Today!

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Breaking News from SSS:Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes Corrected Today!


An English/Reading Mini-workshop

Student Support Services

Troy University (Main Campus)

Workshop Objectives

  • To teach students to identify and correct common writing flaws.

  • To help students write more clearly.

  • To give students writing practice.

  • To help improve students’ writing confidence.

First, don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Do your best!

Determine to see a Mistake as . . .

  • An opportunity to improve.

  • A a challenge to overcome.

  • A reason to seek help or information

Mistakes . . .

That writers commonly make . . . can be corrected if you . . .

  • Stop telling yourself you can’t write or that you’re a bad writer and . . .

  • Start noticing the mistakes and

  • Start working to correct them.

Writing Mistake #1

Avoiding controversy


  • Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and present it as your thesis. Discuss what you have read and observed.

  • Don’t present facts as thesis statements. Facts make okay topic sentences or supports, but not okay thesis statements. Thesis = opinion.

  • Don’t be afraid to include counterarguments to an argument. Acknowledge your opponents’ views and then present your opposing views.

Writing Mistake #2

Failing to present evidence of assertions.


  • Use evidence that supports your opinion.

  • Use facts, statistics, and quotes from credible researchers or sources.

Writing Mistake #3

Hiding the thesis at end or middle of essay


  • Revise introduction to include a clearly stated thesis. Restate thesis in conclusion.

  • Blueprint your thesis statement and use each blueprinted point as a topic sentence.

Writing Mistake #4

Failing to revise thesis statement


  • Revise your thesis statement if your opinion changes or shifts as you do your research.

  • Your thesis statement needs to be a strong, clear expression of your opinion.

Writing Mistake #5

Problems unifying Paragraphs


  • Give enough information to make a real paragraph.

    (A Topic Sentence with supporting statements and details help build a paragraph)

  • Go into detail. Don’t just make a broad statement and then go on to another subject.

    (How would you feel if . . . )

  • Use transition words to link ideas and improve readability.

Writing Mistake # 6

Relying too much on sources

(Not enough discussion)


  • Let the reading audience know what is in your soul and spirit. Don’t just fixate on what others think, speak or write. Sound your voice.

  • Appeal to your audience’s . . .

    (A) intellects [logic – logos],

    (B) moral values [ethics – ethos] and

    (C) hearts [human passions – pathos].

Writing Mistake # 7

Failing to Synthesize (Combine)


  • Don’t just put in a lot of source material without discussing all of the materials and showing that they work together to form your whole theory or assertion.

  • (A) Cite a critic and document the source; (B) give the source information; and then (C) show how it relates to your topic.

Writing Mistake #8

Awkwardly wording sentences

Word (syntax) order and language problems


  • Read sentences aloud to hear if they make sense to you.

  • Use language that your audience understands. Respect readers.

  • Practice using Standard American English (SAE) when you speak and let your oral speech influence your writing.

  • Refer to a Grammar Handbook or dictionary often.

  • Review basic grammar rules a few times a year.

Breaking News Bulletin . . .

Every college writer should invest

in a College Dictionary and A Pocket Style Manual.


Writing Mistake #9

Fragmenting sentences



Complete Subject

+ Complete Predicate

Complete Sentence

Fragments do not express complete thoughts and often frustrate readers.

Writing Mistake #10

Failing to Pace Oneself

(Work smart and hard.)


  • As soon as you receive the assignment, start working on it so that you will have time to do at least two proofreads and one revision before submitting it.

  • Set some personal writing objectives. Question yourself: What do I want to accomplish and how hard am I willing to work to meet my objectives?

  • Begin doing a bibliographic search as soon as you know your assignment. This will help you refine your topic.

  • Put in for interlibrary loans early.

Procrastination – A Common Problem

Writing Mistake #10 (corrections continued)

  • Warning: Don’t procrastinate; do not delay the writing process.

  • Once the assignment is made, post the due date in several locations – Examples: car dashboard; bathroom mirror; cereal box .

    -- Create a timeline to help you stay on schedule.

    (A) Arrange appointments with interviewees that you may use as sources; (B) Write down due dates for the paper proposal, outline, and first draft; (C) write down due date for annotated bibliography, if one is required; (D) write down paper due date.

Breaking News Tip 2

Every college student should invest in a day planner.


Writing Mistake #11

Misunderstanding the

terms “revise” and “proofread”


  • Do not falsely assume that revising means changing a few words or adding some punctuation marks.

  • Revise for logic errors or errors that reduce the quality of your writing; proofread for physical errors or errors that reduce the readability of your writing.

Writing Mistake #12

Misunderstanding the Assignment


  • As soon as you receive the assignment, start asking questions. Seek clarification.

  • Ask what documentation and style format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) you are to follow.

  • Find out how your assignment will be evaluated: Ask about the grading rubric

Writing Mistake #13

Wrongly Submitting the assignment


  • If the assignment is to be submitted in phases, then make sure you follow submission timeline.

  • If the assignment is supposed to be submitted on blackboard or via e-mail, find out. Ask for clarity if you do not know how to electronically submit your assignments.

  • Find out if you are to submit source material along with the final draft.

Review List –

Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes

  • Avoiding controversy

  • Failing to present evidence of assertions

  • Hiding the thesis at end or middle of essay

  • Failing to revise thesis statement as needed

  • Problems unifying paragraphs

  • Relying too much on sources

  • Failing to Synthesize (unify information)

  • Awkwardly wording sentences (syntax and word choice)

  • Fragmenting sentences

  • Failing to Pace Oneself (Time management)

  • Misunderstanding the terms “revise” and “proofread”

  • Misunderstanding the Assignment

  • Wrongly Submitting the assignment

Practice Exercise

  • Please complete the Workshop Practice Exercise.

  • Once you have completed the Exercise, Print your name on it, date it, and then return it to SSS staff member. Thank you.

  • Please complete the Workshop Evaluation Form in order to receive your workshop credit. Thank you.


  • SSS hopes this presentation has given you some useful information concerning the task of choosing a subject about which to write.

  • Please complete a Seminar Evaluation form before you leave and stop by SSS to complete an online Academic Seminar Summary so that we may document your participation.

  • Also, please feel free to suggest any other topics that you would like to see presented. Phone: 334-670-5985.

  • Thank you, and have a great learning experience here at Troy University.

The End


Troy University

Troy, Alabama 36082

Student Support Services

Buffie Edwards, Coordinator

Eldridge Hall, Room 24; Troy University; Troy, AL 36082

Phone: 334-670-5985; [email protected]

Presentation developed by:

Rebecca C. Money, English/Reading Specialist

Student Support Services; Eldridge Hall, Room 24; Troy University; Troy, AL 36082

Phone: 334-670-5985; [email protected]

PPT dev: 2007/01-04

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