Top Five Writing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

  1. You aren’t capitalizing verbs (like am, is, are) in titles or subtitles. Articles, conjunctions, and most prepositions aren’t capitalized in titles, but verbs (even little ones) always are.
  2. You are ignoring the squiggly lines under words in your document. Spell check and grammar check aren’t always right, but most of the time they are. At least right-click to check.
  3. You aren’t including enough information when you cite a source. For books, you need the title, author, publisher, year published, place published, and the page number the quote is on. For websites, you need the title, site address, and date accessed. Check out more examples from The Chicago Manual of Style site.
  4. You are using too many being verbs. “He walked” is clearer than “He was walking.”
  5. You aren’t putting periods and commas inside the quotation marks. Remember, they are little and need protection.

Top Five Writing Mistakes You're Probably Making - nextstepediting.com

You may also like:

Comments

  1. Dawn says:

    Love this!

    Can you do a post about the “My mom and I” v. “My mom and me” issue? As in, “My mom and I enjoy eating French food” v. “Here is a picture of my mom and me eating French food.” 🙂 When ppl use these incorrectly, it drives me CRAZY!

    Also, the fewer than/less than mistake. It wasn’t until my twenties that I finally learned this rule, and once I did, I can’t UN-learn it! Such a common error!

    You’re my editing guru. 🙂

    • Sandra says:

      I do need to do a post on that! Great idea! I like the fewer than/less than difference too. Makes so much sense. 🙂