Saturday, October 1, 2016

Set Yourself Apart: Avoid Common Writing Mistakes

In the age of blogs and social media, bad writing is all too common. Thus, the person who writes well stands out from the crowd.  You can be such a person, as it is not difficult to avoid common writing mistakes. The following are some common mistakes, along with a suggested essay checker to make sure your formal writing is original as well as excellent in form.

Homonyms
In English there are a number of words which are spelled differently, yet pronounced the same (or nearly the same.)  Automatic spelling checkers will not catch homonym errors if you correctly spelled the wrong word.  Be sure to proofread your work carefully to avoid mistakes in commonly confused words such as: affect/effect, there/their/they’re, its/it’s, to/two/too, sow/sew/so.

Style
Avoid the use of slang and other elements common in casual communication.  Because of the abundance of media and the decline in formal dress and language, most writers today tend to be too casual in their more serious writing.  Writing for work or for school should be more formal.  At the same time, avoid the use of ostentatious language. Using big words when a smaller one will do impresses nobody.  Be yourself, but on your best behavior. Your writing may be read by strangers rather than your closest friends, so use a tone appropriate to meeting someone important (your reader) for the first time.  Show the reader you are polite, intelligent, and articulate.

Punctuation and Capitalization
Because people spend much time typing short text messages or casual email responses, they tend to forget about the attributes of a complete sentence.  Formal writing requires the use of complete sentences with subject and verb. Consult a good English composition textbook for a complete treatment of sentence structure.  Begin every sentence with a capital letter and end each sentence with a period, question mark, or, rarely, an exclamation point.  Be sure each sentence is a single complete thought.  Several different thoughts require several separate sentences.

Plagiarism
Of all possible writing mistakes, plagiarism is the most serious of all. Plagiarism is the use of another’s words as your own.  In other words, plagiarism is intellectual theft.  Whether inadvertent or deliberate, it is an offense taken seriously by teachers, professors, and the writers who have their words taken without permission.  If you have relied heavily on a particular resource for your essay or term paper, it is important to check your work to be sure you have properly cited the resources you used and have expressed ideas from that source in your own words, not merely copied the source while changing a few words.  Free essay checkers are available online to help you avoid plagiarism.

Using a free essay plagiarism checker is quick and easy. Just paste your essay or other writing into the checker.  It then uses algorithms to check word frequency and other variables against the internet and common databases.  If anything is flagged, you will be able to correct your work and be confident your finished writing is original.