Don’t Get Caught Making These 10 Common Writing Mistakes, Or Else

Most of us think that storyline matters more than anything else. This is especially true when writing a novel or preparing an audiobook. We try so hard to impress editors and readers with a great story that we neglect to get rid of distracting mistakes. 

Take time to avoid these ten most common writing mistakes because only through recognizing your mistakes that you are able to correct them.   

1. Misspelled words are messy. 
Every time you're confused or doubtful about a spelling, look it up in the dictionary. Always be on the lookout. Remember that one misspelled word can make a big difference.

2. Catastrophes on apostrophes are common too.

When we hear the word apostrophe, hesitation slowly caves in. Use these simple rules, along with some exceptions, to make sure your use of an apostrophe is correct.

3. There’s a need to slice the comma splice. 
Keep these in mind:
  • Use a period when writing two sentences.
  • Use a semicolon when you think it's appropriate.
  • Use the combo: comma + coordinating conjunctions (and, or, nor, but, for, so, and yet).
  • Make the subordinate clause dependent and then use a subordinating conjunction (while, after, although, before, if, because, since, unless, where, when, until, and though).
  • Reduce one of the independent clauses into a word or a phrase.

4. Lack of parallelism is a shame.

Comparing parallel elements is like making the words rhyme (without the sound, of course). It makes the write-up more elegant and clearer to read. Therefore, you need to be careful when you try to employ this technique. You wouldn’t want to die from the shame of employing faulty parallelism.

5. Word choice errors aren’t cool.

Just because a word sounds fancy doesn’t mean you can use it any way you want. Your word choice shouldn’t compromise the quality of your writing. 


6. Misplaced and dangling modifiers can be a horror.
A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that provides a description in a sentence. It can be an adjective, adverb, absolute phrase, infinitive phrase, a participle phrase, or a prepositional phrase.  Without these modifiers, your sentences will be boring and no fun to read, but make sure they are in the right place.

7. Misuse of the semicolon should be put off.

If you're using a semicolon, it should join independent clauses you wish to bring more connection to.

8. Double constructions should be demolished, metaphorically.

An overkill that is not forgivable in the eyes of a grammar nazi—this is the definition of a double construction. It’s a form of grammar error where a part of speech is unnecessarily duplicated.

9. Faulty agreement will never win. 
Be careful about subject-verb agreement. Remember the basics:
  • Subjects and verbs must agree in number.
  • Nouns and pronouns must agree in number.
  • Pronouns must agree with each other.
10. Sentence fragments can be confusing.
A fragment is not a complete sentence. With appropriate punctuation, a fragment can be connected to the previous sentence. However, if you think it limits your creativity, you can use a fragment in times of dire needs. For instance, if you're writing a marketing copy, you can use a fragment if it strengthens the campaign material.
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It’s no doubt that English is one confusing language, and that it can also be downright bizarre. Take note that most grammar and spelling checkers will not pick up all mistyped words and may sometimes fail to differentiate one word variation from the other. Your best bet here is to read your writing out loud or get someone to check your writing for you.

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