Grammar Mistakes: How To Avoid Looking Like A Greenhorn

Whether you’re just setting pen to paper or honing your masterpiece for imminent publication, good grammar is essential. All too often, sneaky mistakes make it past even the most conscientious writers.

I’ve been there. Sometimes I’m cranking out a first draft, intent on cramming in countless ideas, only to find that every sentence is a fragment or run-on. Not a problem: I just need to go back through and mop up the grammar. Now the text is finished but grammar problems strike again! I’m reading my millionth draft of something that I practically know by heart, and…how did that mistake get in there?!

The writer’s craft is never done. We’re constantly tweaking our phrasing, eliminating filler, streamlining ideas, organizing paragraphs, and spending way too long coming up with a decent title or headline.

The infographic by The Expert Editor below is designed to make your job a little bit easier. It starts out with grammar: 6 common mistakes that afflict even seasoned writers. Mop up messy storytelling by removing dangling modifiers, fixing run-ons, and turning any sentence fragments into complete thoughts.

Next, this visual guide covers commonly confused words. It supplies a quick review on than vs. then, much vs. many, affect vs. effect, and other frequently misused words. You’ll never again fall into the trap of a rogue “alot” or “irregardless” (neither of which are real words).

So now that you’ve fixed grammar and usage errors, what’s next? Add a little personality to your writing! Do you find that you use the same vocabulary repeatedly? One easy way to enliven your text is to make bolder, more evocative word choices. There’s no need to go overboard, but if you find yourself constantly using words like “happy,” it’s time to mix things up and consider “jubilant” or “euphoric” instead.

Finally, always proofread your work! This infographic lists 10 excellent proofreading tips to help you catch all errors before hitting submit. For instance, read your text aloud. Are you drowning in dozens of long sentences that barely let you draw breath? Or are your sentences short, choppy, and jarring? You’ll also get a better sense of whether your text has solid internal logic. Does it flow smoothly? Do your arguments or plotlines make sense?

And now you’re done: congratulations! Don’t bask in success for too long though. It’s time to start your next draft.

Grammar- Mistakes: Infographic

Image courtesy of Pixabay

What’s your ‘favorite’ grammar mistake? Let me know in the comments

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About The Author

Amelia Kennedy

Amelia Kennedy is a PhD student in History and content manager for The Expert Editor blog.

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