When you're writing, all you can think of is how far you're getting, and what you're trying to express through the act of writing itself. What you're not thinking about is whether your grammar is correct, or if your writing flows correctly. However, these simple mistakes mar otherwise great writing. Here's 7 of the most common editing mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
This is one of the most common errors, but one that can make a huge impact on your writing. Avoid them by proofreading your work carefully once you are finished, and correcting spelling errors as you go. Integrated spell checkers such as the spell check function on Microsoft Word can help, but don't rely on it entirely, as it can't pick up every error.
Online editing tools can help catch and correct this error, and more:
- Hemingway Editor: This is a visual app, that highlights all the errors in your word when you paste it in. It's colour coded too, so you can pick out all types of errors at a glance.
- Grammar Checker: This is a good app when you want to quickly check your grammar. Paste the work in, and you'll see all the errors at a glance.
- Custom Writing Service: The writers at BoomEssays will proofread work you send them, applying their expert eye. They'll send back a perfectly polished piece for you.
2. Sentence sprawl
This occurs when a sentence runs on for too long, with too many equally weighted clauses, making it tiresome to read. Instead, edit your sentence so you keep the main thoughts, but express them more concisely. You can separate them into three different sentences, use shorter words, or use one word instead of two or three word phrases.
3. Omitted commas
When reading a piece, it's clear a comma has been omitted when supporting information is presented in the same sentence as the main point, without any method of showing it's supporting information.
While proofreading, look out for the sentences that feel as if they need to be broken up to get their point across more clearly. Edit in the commas to make your text flow more easily.
Use the following tools to polish your writing:
Pro Writing Aid
Paste your work into this app and it will give you the readability of your writing, as well as highlighting any errors. It's a great all in one tool.
EssayRoo Australian writing service
If you don't feel you have the skills for editing, the aussie writers here can help. Send your work to them and they can proofread it expertly.
4. Unnecessary commas
On the other hand, too many commas in your work can visually trip up the reader, making the sentence difficult to read.
When editing, read through and pick out the sentences that are difficult to read because they are too segmented. You'll find that removing one or more commas will help it flow much better.
5. Apostrophe errors
Apostrophes are easily misplaced, but when they are, they can change the entire layout of a sentence. For example, see how the misplacement of an apostrophe changes this sentence:
'In the current conflict its uncertain who's borders their contesting.'
The correct sentence should read like so:
'In the current conflict it is uncertain whose borders they're contesting.'
When writing, remember that apostrophes indicate possession for nouns, such as 'Jim's hat', but not for personal pronouns. They also indicate a contraction, such as 'it's' for 'it is'.
6. Misused words
The English language is a wide and expressive language, but there are many words that sound like each other while meaning completely different things. For example, 'peak' and 'peek' are often interchanged by accident.
When editing, try using a glossary of usage to make sure the word you're using is the correct one in the context you're using it in.
Do not forget to use these tools to avoid misused words mistake:
Clarity Jargon Buster
This app will read your work for you, telling you where you've used jargon. Remove it for instantly better writing.
Readability Test Tool
Paste your work into this tool to see just how readable it is. Check either your raw work, or a URL.
7. Sentence fragments
A sentence fragment occurs when a sentence is constructed, yet the ideas within it cannot stand on their own as a complete thought.
'He really enjoyed watching sports. For example, football, rugby and cricket.'
The sentence should read:
'He really enjoyed watching sports, such as football, rugby, and cricket.'
When editing, check for any sentences that read like the top example. If the thought contained it cannot stand alone, consider merging it with another sentence, or editing it out altogether.
How to avoid these errors?
Online editing tools can help catch and correct all of these errors, and more.
These are just 7 of the most commonly made mistakes when it comes to writing. These errors go to show just how vital proofreading and editing are when it comes to publication, as even the smallest errors can change the way it reads drastically.
Gloria Kopp is a web content writer and an elearning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of a creative writer. She has recently launched her Studydemic educational website and is currently working as a freelance writer and editor.