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Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid. Mistake #1: Not using Standard edited English and a professional tone. We don’t always use correct grammar when we speak

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mistake 1 not using standard edited english and a professional tone
Mistake #1: Not using Standard edited English and a professional tone
  • We don’t always use correct grammar when we speak
    • My friend Alex said he failed his English class and I was like duh how did you fail that class and he was like well I didn’t ever show up to class.
    • LEARN THE RULES OF STANDARD ENGLISH GRAMMAR!
  • Casual/conversational tone is not professional enough for academic writing
    • And then my friend was like, “oh my God, that is crazy!” And I was like, “I know. It’s whack!”

DON’T WRITE HOW YOU TALK!

mistake 2 not being clear and or concise enough
Mistake #2: Not being clear and/or concise enough
  • Don’t use 24 words to say something that should only take 6.
      • In my opinion, these days, every so often, students fail to apply the rules of proper correct grammar that are needed for good writing.
      • Students don’t always use correct grammar.
  • Would mom understand your writing? Write clearly for your average, everyday reader.

Cut 25% of the fluff

mistake 3 making capitalization errors
Mistake #3:Making capitalization errors
  • Capital letters are needed for:
    • The first letter of a sentence
    • Names and the personal pronoun “I”
    • Proper nouns such as places, businesses, and Brand names (Carneys Point, McDonnald’s, Pampers)
  • Don’t capitalize words unnecessarily
    • I don’t know which College Courses to take next Fall Semester.
mistake 4 making punctuation errors
Mistake #4: Making punctuation errors
  • Missing/misused commasare the biggest punctuation mistake
  • Also, learn how to correctly use the semicolon(;), the dash(--), the colon(:), quotation marks (“hi”), and parentheses ( )

Let’s eat children!

mistake 5 run ons comma splices
Mistake #5: Run-ons & Comma Splices

How to fix run-ons:

Use a period (make it two sentences)

My friends went to the party. They didn’t wait for me.

Use a semi-colon

My friends went to the party; they didn’t wait for me.

Use a comma and FANBOY word.

My friends went to the party, but they didn’t wait for me.

Make one clause dependent on the other.

My friends went to the party since they didn’t want to wait for me.

Since my friends didn’t want to wait for me, they went to the party.

  • Run-on: My friends went to the party they didn’t wait for me.
  • Comma splice: My friends went to the party, they didn’t wait for me.

In either case, two or more independent clauses run together without correct punctuation to separate them.

mistake 6 fragments
Mistake #6: Fragments

A sentence fragment begins with a capital letter and ends with a period (or question mark or exclamation point), but does not contain an independent clause--consequently, it does not make sense on its own.

  • The rock star with many fans. (no verb—did what?)
  • Traveled across America. (no subject—who?)
  • Through the night. (phrase with no subject or verb)
  • Because the bus rolled along smoothly. (dependent clause)

How to correct fragments:

  • Add the missing subject and/or verb.
  • Connect it to the sentence that comes right before it or right after it.
    • The rock star with many fans traveled across America.
  • Delete the subordinating conjunction (dependent word)
    • The tour bus rolled along smoothly.
mistake 7 switching point of view
Mistake #7: Switching point-of-view
  • Don’t switch from first-person or third-person perspective to second-person. This usually results in a pronoun error and causes confusion for your readers.
  • I don’t like studying my English textbook because no matter how many times you read the section on MLA citations, it’s still confusing.
mistake 8 using passive voice
Mistake #8: Using Passive Voice
  • In general, the PASSIVE VOICE is less concise and lively than the ACTIVE VOICE.
  • The passive voice often creates wordy, awkward sentences, suggesting that a writer hasn’t carefully revised.
mistake 9 overusing words especially so and that
Mistake #9: Overusing words (especially, “so” and “that”)
  • Look for words that you use over and over again. These overused words can be monotonous and distracting to your readers.
      • So, then I looked up the meaning of that word in the dictionary that I had on my desk.
      • I looked up the meaning of the word in the dictionary I had on my desk.
  • Use “Ctrl F” to search for overused words.

You have the entire dictionary at your disposal. Don’t use the same words over and over. Expand your vocabulary!

mistake 10 not proofreading
Mistake #10:Not PROOFREADING!

The more you read, the better you write. Be sure to look up words you don’t know the definition of or don’t know how to spell!

final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Take your time to craft each sentence; select your words carefully.
  • Revise sentences that are awkward or not well-written (or get rid of those sentences all together and start over).
  • In many ways, writing is an art. Each of your sentences should be a beautiful piece of art.