Top 10 Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Top 10 Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


The world today requires people who are skilled in the art of writing. The practice is carried out from an early age where young children first learn how to use the alphabet. Writing then goes on to dictate 99% of a student’s life. In later stages of life that are after education, some people opt to concentrate on the practice through jobs such as journalism, editorial work, publishing, and report writing. However, like any other issue, writers go through varying degree of challenges. We will examine some of the common errors experienced in writing.

Common Errors in Writing

Word Repetition

Repetitive use of the same words is a problem that faces most students of the current generation. It is true that each and every one of us has little words that we use a lot, regardless of whether we’re beginners or expert writers. It is necessary to avoid overusing words as it creates redundancy and boredom for the reader.

Avoid Using Too Many Filler Words

Search for and eliminate the constant use of filler words, for example, ‘that’. Professionals in the field of writing advice that if the sentence bears meaning without the use of such a word, then that is a clear sign that you should do away with it.

Extra Prepositions

Extra Prepositions

If your writing appears to be somewhat choppy, determine the number of propositions placed within a sentence and then go on to subtract the number from half the original count. Researchers add that the effects of prepositions are weakening the quality of speech, and the more they pile up in a given sentence, the duller it becomes to read. At this point, note that keeping your reader interested and captivated is the key factor in ensuring your success in writing.

Confusing Words

Confusing Words

Most writers confuse words which are pronounced the same. Such words include:

  • Affect/Effect
  • Like/Such
  • Your/You’re
  • Baby’s or Babies
  • Their/There
  • His/He’s

The words mentioned above are just but a few commonly misused words. If you aren’t sure on the word to use, avoid using it all the same. These small mistakes lower an author’s credibility by showing the editor that you are not a professional.

Fake Quotes

Use of quotes is an essential factor in improving the quality of an author’s blog content. They help the reader relate to real life occurrences and challenges. However, use of fake quotations is slowly becoming rampant. Such quotes appear in phrases where they otherwise do not belong. For example, then it turned to be “hot and heavy”.

Semicolons and Parentheses

These punctuation techniques do not serve their intended purpose, especially if you are an online writer. Sentences, in this case, should be short and straight to the point. They should not be placed together with colons and semicolons, which many fail in understanding their use. Therefore, if you are a writer and get the urge of using such punctuation marks, maybe you should consider laying down until the urge fades away. Similarly, if you use a parenthetical phrase, remember to open and close it appropriately.

Confusion While Using Commas

Surprisingly, many writers fall short of the knowledge on how to apply commas. Some will, split two sentences with one comma, or place them where they don’t belong. In so doing the resulting factor is that the sentence changes its meaning, confusing the reader. Similarly, others fail to use commas where they are needed. Research conducted proves that most writers often rely on their gut instinct of when and if it feels appropriate to use a comma or not. Such a practice is not applicable and in most cases, it does not work.

Using Prepositions at the Beginning and the End of Sentences

Well, such a use of prepositions in current times is a little bit more acceptable as compared to the past. The problem is that most writers tend to overuse prepositions in sentences (as previously mentioned). Also, it is rather unwise to use a comma after using a preposition at the beginning of the sentence.

Subject/Verb Disagreement

Writers should always bear in mind that a singular noun requires going hand in hand with a single verb. It is essential that such modifying clauses be set to clear for all to understand. For example, it is wrong to say that, “a bucket of worms were on top of the bench.”


Use of Bold, Italics and Underline should also be kept to a minimum. It would be more beneficial to emphasize and build on your prose if you need to highlight a certain point. Using bold should only apply to headings and sub-headings. For online writers, using underline applies to hyperlinks and should not be used for other purposes, lest you end up confusing your reader.

Solving These Problems

  • Create a culture of reading magazines and books. By doing so, you get to learn a lot about writing from published work as well as borrowing necessary techniques.
  • Go through your written work after completion. For example, once you are through writing a given article, proofread it to ensure it has met all the required aspects. Remove overused verbiage and eliminate word usage and punctuation challenges.
  • Look up the meaning of confusing words before deciding on their application
  • Avoid relying too much on spell-check as it may often create errors or ignore wrong words.
  • Learn to use short, clear sentences and avoid wordiness – long sentences increase the chances of grammatical mistakes and create a state of redundancy.
  • Make use of a style guide, for example, the Associated Press Stylebook – the most popularly used guide for newspapers and magazines. It greatly assists writers who are not sure if they should: spell out the word ‘percent’, applying the same name or choosing an abbreviation.


It is said that writing requires passion, dedication, and loads of commitment. Like art, music, and sports, writing falls within the bracket of activities which require skill and precision. Avoiding such errors will ensure that you emerge as a professional and qualified writer.