If you want to write like a pro, you need to avoid these common mistakes. This list will help you do just that!
Use commas to separate items in a series, to set off nonessential clauses and phrases, to separate adjectives that are not joined by “and” or “or”, and to set off direct address: Mary, I’d like you here now!
Use fewer words. Be concise, don’t use unnecessary words. Avoid overusing the word “that” or any other word that can be removed without changing the meaning of your sentence (e.g., “it,” “is,” etc.). This will help you avoid passive voice as well. Be specific in your writing; avoid wordy phrases such as “in order to.” Instead, use a more direct approach: “I’m going to go jogging tomorrow.”
A run-on sentence is two or more independent clauses that are not separated by a comma or conjunction. This can be the result of poor punctuation, and it’s easy to correct by adding one. Run-on sentences often occur because writers think that they need only one period at the end of a sentence (or lack any other form of punctuation). However, periods should be used only when they mark a complete thought; otherwise, commas or semicolons should be used instead. For example: “I love my family and my friends.” This is an independent clause; therefore we need either commas or semicolons before and after it! The best way to avoid run-ons is simply by paying attention while you write–if you notice that there’s no punctuation separating two ideas in your sentence, add one!
Passive voice is a grammatical structure that puts the focus on the action rather than the actor. It’s often used to hide the actor of an action, which can make your writing seem more formal and less direct. For example:
In this case, Joe is driving his own car so it makes sense for him to be in active voice; however if you were talking about someone else’s vehicle or something else entirely then passive might be better suited for your purpose!
Parallel structure is an important writing and grammar concept. It involves using the same grammatical structure for all items in a series. For example:
Use words that are appropriate for the context. Avoid using a word that is overly formal, or too informal. Avoid using a word that is not specific enough, or too technical. Avoid using a word that’s overly vague, or too specific (unless it’s in an academic setting).
Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences. They can make you look unprofessional, and they’re easy to fix. A sentence fragment is a group of words that doesn’t form a complete thought. For example: “I love my dog.” This is not actually a sentence because it doesn’t have both an independent clause (the main idea) and a dependent clause (the supporting information). It needs another part to start with “because,” which would make it sound like this: “Because I love my dog.”
Vague pronouns are those that don’t refer to anything specific. The most common vague pronoun is “it,” which can be used to refer to an idea, an object or even a person. For example:
When writing dialogue in fiction or nonfiction, your characters should always use nouns and proper pronouns when referring to people or things–not vague ones like “it” or “them.” If there are multiple people involved in a conversation, then use plural nouns like “we” instead of singular ones such as “I” or even plural ones like “you guys” (which sounds informal).
Ellipses and em dashes are both used to show a break in thought, or a pause. Ellipses are used more often than em dashes because they’re easier to type. However, they’re also used too frequently by writers who don’t know how else to break up long sentences or add emphasis–and sometimes they’re just plain overused. Em Dashes (–) should only be used once per sentence; otherwise it can get confusing for readers as they try to figure out if everything after them is part of one long thought or not!
What to do:
As you can see, there are many ways to improve your writing. And while we all make mistakes, it’s important to remember that they don’t have to be the end of the world. With some careful editing and a little bit of self-awareness, you can fix most issues on your own!