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Common Errors

Staff helping studentsJust like a CSI investigator, you can frequently spot errors in writings if you can forget that you are the author and examine the work like a detective. Here are some of the most frequent suspects:

  1. Missing comma after an introductory element
  2. Vague pronoun reference
  3. Missing comma in a compound sentence
  4. Wrong word
  5. Missing comma(s) with a nonrestrictive element
  6. Wrong or missing verb ending
  7. Wrong or missing preposition
  8. Comma splice
  9. Missing or misplaced possessive apostrophe
  10. Unnecessary shift in tense
  11. Unnecessary shift in pronoun
  12. Sentence fragment
  13. Wrong tense or verb form
  14. Lack of subject-agreement
  15. Missing comma in a series
  16. Lack of agreement between pronoun and antecedent
  17. Unnecessary comma(s) with a restrictive element
  18. Fused sentence
  19. Misplaced or dangling modifier
  20. Its/It’s confusion

(Bedford-St.Martin’s Press)