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Common Errors in Writing
Transcript of Common Errors in Writing
Identification and Correction
Subject/Verb Agreement (Disagreement)
Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Commonly Misused/Confused Words
lacks a subject, verb, or complete thought
many begin with "Because," "That," or an "-ing" word
Because Steve had not applied for the summer job.
Because Steve had not applied for the summer job, he missed an opportunity to earn additional income.
two complete thoughts (independent clauses) combined with
Comma Splice Example:
Jim couldn't relax, he shut off the radio.
Jim couldn't relax, so he shut off the radio.
Jim couldn't relax; therefore, he shut off the radio.
Jim couldn't relax. He shut off the radio.
Remember The Following:
FANBOYS, semicolons, and periods
For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, & So
parts of sentences or parts of a series that are not "balanced"
Parallelism (faulty) Example:
Sheila created her poetry, sings songs, and writing journal articles.
Sheila created her poetry, sang songs, and wrote journal articles.
sentences (two or more) combined with no punctuation between them
not just long sentences
Fused Sentence Example:
I was in a band two years ago now I play solo gigs at local clubs.
I was in a band two years ago. Now I play solo gigs at local clubs.
"of" v. "have"
I could of gone to.
I could have gone too.
"noone" = no one
"theirselves" = themselves
* "supposably" = supposedly
separate two complete sentences (must be related)
similar to using a period between the two sentences
Misplaced Modifier - modifies wrong word or phrase
Dangling Modifier - the word or subject being modified is not in the sentence (needs a word or subject to modify)
Misplaced Modifier Example:
After attacking the pedestrians, the police captured and destroyed the cougar.
After attacking the pedestrians, the cougar was captured and destroyed by the police.
Dangling Modifier Example:
Peering out of the window, the rain fell rapidly through the sky.
Peering out of the window, Julius saw that the rain fell rapidly through the sky.
an "argument" between the subject and verb
Incorrect Subject/Verb Agreement:
One of my parents are working until midnight.
One of my parents is working until midnight.
"One . . . is . . . "
"Two . . . are . . ."
Visit the Academic Support Center in D208 for additional assistance regarding grammar and punctuation concerns.
Many thanks to Randy Rambo and Illinois Valley Community College. Mr. Rambo's English Composition 1001 outline describing common writing errors is an exceptional resource. Please visit his website:
Incorrect Semicolon Example:
Joe sprinted from the store to his home; ran cautiously across the railroad tracks.
Joe sprinted from the store to his home; he ran cautiously across the railroad tracks.
More Fragment Examples:
Running through the woods.
That the dog was outside.
Fishing on Knife Lake last year.
Running through the woods, Timmy fell into an abandoned well.
It was fortunate that the dog was outside.
Fishing on Knife Lake last year, I caught the biggest sunfish of my life.
More Comma Splice Examples:
The dog ran away, he was lost in the city.
Chili-lime chicken is excellent, I eat it regularly with Spanish rice.
English 1121 is difficult, I will pass it by the end of Spring semester.
The dog ran away, and he was lost in the city.
Chili-lime chicken is excellent; I eat it regularly with Spanish rice.
English 1121 is difficult; however, I will pass it by the end of Spring semester.
More Fused Sentence Examples:
There are only five days left until vacation we will have fun at Disneyworld.
Ford trucks are much better than Dodge pickups the dealer in Mora wants to sell me one for half-price.
The Minnesota Twins are one of the worst teams in baseball right now the Houston Astros are gaining an edge on them.
There are only five days left until vacation; we will have fun at Disneyworld.
Ford trucks are much better than Dodge pickups; furthermore, the dealer in Mora wants to sell me one for half-price.
The Minnesota Twins are one the worst teams in baseball right now, and the Houston Astros are gaining an edge on them.
is actually a word meaning able to
conceive or conceivably whereas
what others assume or believe.
receive my refund in two weeks, but that is not likely since the IRS is behind schedule.
, people receive refunds within two weeks.
One Type of Run-On
Another Type of Run-On
Semicolons are also used with
; however, they are to be used cautiously.
The students in FYE classes have excessive amounts of homework
they have to listen to an English tutor lecture them on the finer points of grammar and punctuation.
Most gas stations sell knives, beef jerky, and fidget spinners
; in addition,
customers can also purchase lottery tickets, air fresheners, and nachos.
At this time, I should be handing out the "Option Sheet."
Colons: Expanding and Clarifying
used to separate preceding information (an independent clause) from that which follows while also providing clarification
Minivans are the greatest vehicles ever created: roomy, wide wheel base, substantial hauling capacity, and a treat for the eyes.
Campers will need to furnish these items: sleeping bags, cookware, towels, extra socks, and toothbrushes.
Thomas Jefferson expressed his thoughts with these words: "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."