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In addition to writing, I also offer editing services. As an editor, I have found that many people make a lot of serious – but easy to fix – errors in their writing. Read on to learn about some of these surprisingly common errors.



WRITING ERRORS THAT MAKE YOU LOOK BAD


Do you have a hard time expressing yourself clearly in writing? If so, you’re in good company. Unfortunately, many writing errors not only confuse the reader, they can also make you look bad. Here are three common errors that you should avoid:

  • Making Vague Pronoun References – A pronoun (such as he, she, it, this or which) should clearly refer to the word or words it replaces.

Wrong: When Bob and Pete went for a walk, he got thirsty.

Problem: Who got thirsty – Bob or Pete?

Right: When Bob and Pete went for a walk, Bob got thirsty.

Also Right: Bob got thirsty when he went for a walk with Pete.

  • Misplacing Modifiers – Words that are meant to modify something else should be placed as close in the sentence as possible to the thing that they’re modifying. Putting the modifier in the wrong place can change the meaning of your sentence.

Wrong: Rebecca watched the sea lions out on the rocks wearing sun glasses.

Problem: Who was wearing the sun glasses – Rebecca or the sea lions?

Right:
While wearing sun glasses, Rebecca watched the sea lions out on the rocks.

  • Using Adjectives as Adverbs – An adjective is used to modify a noun; an adverb is used to modify a verb. It’s important not to mix the two up!

Wrong: Herb did good on his math test.

Problem: “Good” is an adjective, but it is being used to modify a verb, “did.”

Right: Herb did well on his math test.

Wrong: Leticia sings beautiful.

Problem: “Beautiful” is an adjective, but it is being used to modify a verb, “sings.”

Right: Leticia sings beautifully.

Another Possibility: Perhaps you were actually trying to describe what Leticia sings, not how she sings. In this case, you can write: Leticia sings beautiful music.





What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon