showing articles for: Mistake of the Month

Top 10 Student Writing Mistakes: Finals Edition

by • November 27, 2013

The Grammarly Editor has reviewed thousands of essays, term papers, and short stories from students of all ages. As a result, we’ve been able to collect data on the most common types of mistakes that student writers are making. As finals season approaches, take a look at some of these errors from the list below to brush up on your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Good writing habits will not only serve you well in school, but written accuracy benefits professionals throughout their careers. 1.     Spelling mistakes Many spelling mistakes occur when… MORE →

Mistake of the Month: Missing Commas

by • October 01, 2013

There are two types of writers in this world: those who use too many commas and those who use too few. While unnecessary commas can turn straightforward sentences into twisting labyrinths of syntactical confusion, missing a critical comma can change the entire meaning of your sentence. Consider the headline from the now-infamous Rachael Ray cover of Tails magazine: “Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.” While the line breaks of the original cover make it apparent what the editors meant to say, the lack of commas between… MORE →

Mistake of the Month—Unnecessary Modifiers

by • August 27, 2013

As Mark Twain once wrote, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” Unnecessary modifiers make your writing weak and bloated, burying your message in a deluge of quites and rathers. These modifiers add no value to the sentences in which they appear. The first step to fixing the problem is identifying the filler words in your writing. These words, also called intensifiers or qualifiers, are almost always adverbs. Here’s a list of the most commonly abused modifiers: Actually… MORE →

Mistake of the Month: Sentence Fragments

by • July 29, 2013

The flipside of June’s mistake of the month, run-on sentences, is sentence fragments – which are snippets of words that don’t quite add up to a complete thought. Without a subject and a predicate, a string of words and punctuation does not a sentence make. There are several common types of sentence fragments, including: • Subordinate clause fragments • Participle phrase fragments • Infinitive phrase fragments Let’s take a look at each of them. To understand sentence fragments, we must first know what a complete sentence looks like. In its most… MORE →

Mistake of the Month: Run-on sentences

by • June 25, 2013

According to Grammarly’s research, run-on sentences are among the top grammar mistakes made by writers worldwide. A run-on sentence contains two or more independent clauses (a group of words with a subject and a verb that can stand alone as a sentence) that are not connected with correct punctuation. Though there are different kinds of run-on sentence errors, most often writers neglect to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, etc.). Correct usage: I enjoy writing immensely, and my deadline is looming. Incorrect usage: I enjoy writing immensely and my deadline is looming…. MORE →