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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde

Student Examples: Errors Classified

This week, students discussed and classified some of their common writing errors/problems. Here are some examples. How many of them do you share?

Getting started is a writing problem that has the quality of finding my brain is empty.

Finding the finishing point is a writing problem that has the quality of not knowing when enough is enough.

Preposition errors are errors where I find it difficult to choose which preposition to use. For example, the prepositions "by" and "with" or "in" and "of."

Deficiency in supporting information is a category many students find is a problem. One solution a student suggested is to brainstorm before writing; another is to use clustering as a tool. Ask the 5 W's of journalism: who, when, where, what, and WHY.

Improper punctuation is an error where I either use too much or too little punctuation.

I make two major errors: the first is word order in the sentence; the second is spelling. For example, I spell the word “spelling” with two p’s sometimes and only one l or the opposite.

Romanian has words that are very similar to English words, but spelled differently. So, I sometimes spell them in the Romanian way.

In Portuguese and other Romance languages, it is common to use many words to say a little.

In different languages the adjectives, for example, follow the nouns.

Another category is word transposition errors for words that sound similar to the ear of someone who speaks a different language. For example, “I’m gonna eat some kitchen tonight.” She means she will eat “chicken” tonight.

Another category is lack of logic connectors in my writing. "For example" is an example of a logic connector. Another logic connector is the word “but” which indicates a contrast is coming.


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