Category Archives: Grammar

10 Common Writing Mistakes You Should Look out For

10 Common Writing Mistakes You Should Look out For

As a writer you want your work to stand out, To shine above its contemporaries. But this is easier said than done. This is because writing is a very complex and multifaceted art form.

There are so many ways that you can make your work great. There are also so many ways that you can make a mistake.

And with writing this can be very unfortunate because readers are quite finicky about mistakes. And this could damage your chances of getting readers in the future.

Which is why it is very important that your work is free of any mistakes. Be they grammatical or story wise.

Here are 10 common writing mistakes that you should really look out for and how to correct them.

1. Unfocused sentence composition

One of the most common mistakes committed by some writers is that their work tends to lose focus as the sentence goes on. This is usually committed during the middle of the sentence.

The starting sentence is on track with the main topic then as the paragraph continues the focus tends to veer from the main topic and becomes jumbled and distorted.

This usually happens when the writer wants to put too much content but does not take the time to fully explain every aspect of the sentence.

How to correct this:

Make your writing quick and concise. Making your work too superfluous would only make your work look unprofessional and cause you to veer off track.

Be straight to the point and avoid overly complicated sentence compositions. Flowery prose will only muck up your work and confuse the reader.

2. Misspelled words

This is by far one of the most embarrassing mistakes for any writer. With a lot of writing software nowadays having spellcheck features it is a very embarrassing thing to go through as a writer.

Sadly though this still remains the most common writing mistake committed by writers. This is mostly due to carelessness and the work being rushed.

How to correct this:

This is by far the easiest to correct. You should just double check your work every time you finish writing a sentence.

Although it is tempting to rely mostly on spellcheck you should at least have a secondary reference to check from. This could be an old fashioned dictionary or you can run a spell check through the internet just to make sure.

3. Wrong usage of words

This can be anything. You could have used compliment instead of complement while writing a letter to your boss or used adverse instead of averse in a term paper.

Whatever word you may have used they still have the same effect of making your work sound unprofessional and poorly written.

How to correct this:

Usually the reason why this mistake is committed in the first place is the fact that they sound alike and are almost spelled alike.

Thus with these types of words you will have to be wary and double check which ones are which. You can check a dictionary or better yet check it through the internet.

4. Overly long sentences

The use of overly long sentences is another example of mistakes committed by writers. They usually consist of sentences that contain too much information and end up convoluted and confusing. This mistake can be due to two reasons.

One reason is that the writer is trying to convey too much information to the reader but lacks the proper writing skills to properly write about it.

And the other reason is that the writers work lacks content and the author is trying to make the sentences longer with just filler words to cover it up.

How to correct this:

You should remember that it does not matter how long your sentences are. If your work lacks substance no amount of filler sentences will change that. Practice your writing style any chance you get. Practice is truly the only way to remedy this shortcoming.

5. Use of weak qualifiers

Using halfhearted words such as a little and almost weakens your sentence composition. It lessens the message of your writing and gives off a halfhearted feel to it.

This is detrimental to the sentence prose because it unconsciously stains your prose with timidity and lowers your credibility.

How to correct this:

When you write always remember that you are trying to convince readers that your book is worth reading.

Thus you should avoid using weak qualifiers because this make your prose sound weak and unconvincing. Try to make your prose sound strong and sure. This will make readers believe in your work.

6. Use of run on sentences

A run on sentence occurs when two independent clauses are connected improperly. Run on sentences usually contain too many ideas without proper punctuation.

Some writers make this mistake because they tend to forget proper punctuation use.

How to correct this:

You can correct a run-on sentence by connecting or separating its parts correctly. You can do this by adding a period and splitting the run on sentence into smaller sentences.

A semi-colon can also be added to intersect between two independent clauses to make the sentence a correct one.

You can also use a comma paired with a coordinating conjunction and subordinating conjunctions to make the sentence more grammatically correct.

7. Sentence fragments

Sentence fragments are a string of words that do not form a complete sentence. The missing part may be a predicate or a subject or when a sentence does not express a complete idea.

How to correct this:

The key to correcting sentence fragments is through revision. The important part of revising a sentence fragment is by distinguishing what is missing from the sentence.

Is it missing a subject? A verb? Is it a leftover phrase? An abandoned clause? Once you have identified what is missing you can revise it by adding what is missing or rewrite the whole sentence to make it more grammatically correct.

8. Improper use of Apostrophes

Apostrophes can be the bane of some writers. What may seem simple and easy to do for some is excruciating for others. But this mistake is one of the easiest to correct.

How to correct this:

The first thing you should understand is that the apostrophe is used for a reason. It is to either indicate a possession or a contraction. The only time that you don’t use an apostrophe is when the word used is plural.

9. Incomplete comparisons

This mistake entails the writer creating a sentence that compares something to nothing. For example you say that a boxer is faster, stronger, and quicker. But you don’t specify who he is better than. This could really frustrate readers because the sentence just sounds incomplete and awkward.

How to correct this:

The solution to this problem is pretty easy. Always make sure when you are comparing something to something else always state what that something is. This will save you from a lot of confusion.

10. Awkward sentence construction

These types of sentences are sentences that are confusing and difficult to read. Awkward sentences can usually be identified by certain characteristics.

These characteristics usually range from being too wordy, repetitive or having dangling modifiers. These factors tend to make the sentence appear nonsensical and can cause readers to judge that the book is badly written.

How to correct this:

If you think your sentence composition is awkward you should try to read it aloud. It is well known that you are more likely to spot a grammatical error if you read it aloud to yourself.

Another method is to minimize the number of words used. This will make the sentence more quick and concise.

One thing you should always remember when you write is to slow down. It is better to do things slow and steady and get the job done right. Rather than doing it fast and making mistakes in the long run.

Ensure vs. Insure vs. Assure: Difference and Examples

Ensure vs. Insure vs. Assure: Difference and Examples

When it comes to writing there are words that although they sound alike are quite different when they are used. Some great examples of this is ensure, insure and assure. Of course when it comes to these three words it is quite understandable why people are confused about them and their characteristics.

When you look at their spelling they are quite similar to each other where they are only different from one another due to a few letters. But for the sake of proper word usage it is best to clarify the differences between these three words.

First things first it is best to state that these words are quite different to one another in their usage and delivery. Through this article you will find out the characteristics of the three words, their respective functions, definitions, grammar and on what context to use them.

Source – When it comes to the source of the words it is good to point out that all three words are derived from the Latin word securus which means to make safe or secure. The source of the word is one of the reasons why the three words are so difficult to tell apart.

They are also quite similar when it comes down to the main definition of the word, which means to give certainty on a certain subject. In truth the greatest difference between the three words is the usage of the words.

Ensure

Let’s begin with the word Ensure. Even though it does sound similar to the other two the main usage for Ensure is for when you make sure or guarantee something. This can be used in a force full way to guarantee that something will or will not happen.

The main difference between the other two is the fact that it is predominantly used for events or states of being.

Here are some examples.

  1. To ensure that his blade cuts efficiently, he had the weapon sharpened by the blacksmith.
  2. You must tape up the cord, so that you will not get electrocuted.
  3. To ensure his fealty to the lord, his children were held hostage.
  4. To ensure here good nature, the children brought a great number of candies.
  5. To ensure that they would be safe, the children were instructed to wear helmets.
  6. He goes for a jog every day to ensure the best weight loss possible.
  7. She goes to the hair salon every week to ensure she is as pretty as possible.
  8. He closed the airlocks on the plane to ensure the safety of the passengers.
  9. I gave him the package to ensure payment for the order.
  10. I will ensure your safety by going on this journey with you.

Insure

When you use the word Insure, it means to protect oneself financially by insurance. This word is quite common when you read insurance policies. Unlike ensure, which applies to events or states of being the word insure is used for things.

Here are some examples.

  1. The company insured his car. So should any damage befall his car, he is still covered.
  2. He is insured by the company. So he need not worry about his family if anything should ever happen to him.
  3. Are you insured by the company? If not you should ask your supervisor.
  4. My house is insured by a well-known insurance company so I should not really worry about property damage.
  5. I feel so secure now that I am insured by the company.
  6. I am so lucky that my son was insured before he was injured.
  7. I better get myself insured before I go abroad.
  8. I hope the company will insure me as soon as I get hired.
  9. Be sure to have yourself insured, just to be safe.
  10. Thank goodness you’re already insured by a good insurance company!

Assure

When you use the word Assure, it means to inform positively or remove doubt. This word is usually used when you want to assuage the doubts of someone over something. This can also be described as something that you do with another person or an animal to remove any doubt on their minds. It is also important to remember that assure can only be used on living things.

Here are some examples.

  1. I was assured that I would get paid by the end of the month.
  2. I assure you, I did not take your book.
  3. I assure you this movie is great. I could barely take my eyes off the movie screen.
  4. Can you assure me that I won’t get hurt if I take the job?
  5. Please assure the judge that you will not do this anymore.
  6. I assure you this is the best hamburger I have ever tasted.
  7. Can you assure the client that we can get the job done on time?
  8. I assure you, this special soap will make your skin so smooth.
  9. Can you assure me of victory in this battle?
  10. I assure you of the sincerity of my affections!

All in all the words are quite different from one another and should be used for scenarios that they were specified for.