If you are pausing too often or not enough, you will need to look at your commas again. Avoid the Overuse of Pronouns OR Incorrect Pronouns Overusing pronouns can cause confusion, as your reader may lose track of whom you are referring to.
Additionally, you will want to be sure that your pronoun matches the word it is replacing. Re-read your sentences to ensure that you can directly identify the person a pronoun is referring to. When you find yourself with a split infinitive, review your sentence to see if the splitting word helps improve the sentence, or if you can go without it or move it either before or after the infinitive. If you can go without it or move it, do so.
When writing on a typewriter, the author needed to insert two spaces between a period and the beginning of the next sentence to enhance the readability of the document.
Once the computer became the main tool used for writing, it brought with it a variety of fonts, many of which allow the author to enhance the readability of the document by simply changing the font, thus eliminating the need for the extra space.
Avoid Disorganization When you are writing your document, you should always be sure to include organizational tools such as headings, subheadings, bullet points, numbering, and other formatting tools to help guide your reader through your outline and the organization of your document.
If you are in doubt as to which version to use, try replacing the word with "it is" or "it has". Otherwise, and if not a number, then use to. Frequently Misused Words Decimate Strictly, decimate means to reduce by one-tenth and not to reduce to one-tenth. However, this usage is now increasingly common, and seems likely to become accepted. Countable nouns have both a singular and plural form and may be preceded by an article, e.
Uncountable nouns have only a singular form and should not have an indefinite article, e. Generally, "a" precedes words starting with a consonant, while "an" should appear before words that begin with a vowel. There are exceptions to this, however. Words that begin with a silent "h" should be preceded by "an", e.
The definite article "the" should be used in front of singular and plural nouns and adjectives when referring to something that both the author and reader are familiar with. If you select a word from a thesaurus without knowing its precise meaning or allow a spell checker to correct spelling automatically, you may make wrong-word errors.
If prepositions and idioms are tricky for you, look up the standard usage. Here are a couple of wrong word examples: Did you catch my illusion to the Bible?
A spell checker replaced allegory with allergy. Missing Comma after an Introductory Element Use a comma after every introductory element—whether word, phrase or clause—to clarify where it ends and the rest of the sentence begins. When the introductory element is very short, you can skip the comma, but including it is never wrong.
Incomplete or Missing Documentation Documentation practices vary from discipline to discipline. The examples below follow MLA style. In this example, the page number of the print source for this quotation must be included. Cite each source you refer to in the text, following the guidelines of the documentation style you are using. Vague Pronoun Reference A pronoun e. If more than one word could be the antecedent, or if no specific antecedent is present, edit to make the meaning clear.
In this sentence, it possibly refers to more than one word: If you put this handout in your binder, it may remind you of important tutoring strategies. In some pronoun usage, the reference is implied but not stated. Here, for example, you might wonder what which refers to: The authoritarian school changed its cell phone policy, which many students resisted. To improve this sentence, the writer needs to make explicit what students resisted.
Spelling Even though technology now reviews much of our spelling for us, one of the top 20 most common errors is a spelling error. After you run the spell checker, proofread carefully for errors such as these: Vladmir Putin is the controversial leader of Russia.
Every where she walked, she was reminded of him. Mechanical Error with a Quotation When we quote other writers, we bring their voices into our arguments. Quotation marks crucially show where their words end and our own begin. In most documentation styles e. Follow conventions when using quotation marks with other punctuation.
She has taught ESL and lived in three different countries. They usually need to be introduced with a signal phrase rather than dropped abruptly into the writing.
When writing on a typewriter, the author needed to insert two spaces between a period and the beginning of the next sentence to enhance the readability of the document. With a little bit of skill, those uncomfortable moments can turn into opportunities for learning, humor and maybe even friendship. Do not use a comma between a subject and verb.
She has taught ESL and lived in three different countries. Apostrophes are used to show possession and to show that a word is a contraction.
You can determine whether you should write in past or present tense, but you will need to be sure that it is consistent throughout your document. He wondered what the decision meant he thought about it all night. Maintain the grammatical pattern within a sentence. Do not use an apostrophe in the possessive pronouns ours, yours, and hers. Misunderstandings and confusions occur when English mistakes prevent clear communication. Every guest left their shoes at the door.
The helping verb 'did' is followed by the present tense of the verb and not the past tense form. If prepositions and idioms are tricky for you, look up the standard usage. Correct: My sisters and I love to go shopping.
Correct: My sisters and I love to go shopping.
Changing between verb tenses within a sentence can make it difficult for the reader to follow a piece of writing and should be avoided.