Common writing mistakes
I have gathered 8 common writing mistakes Ann Handley talks about in her book, Everybody Writes. These are all mistakes that I have made (and still do sometimes), so I thought it could be useful to share them. In the book, there's many more great writing tips mentioned. Everybody Writes is truly for everyone who wants to write better: from beginners to professional writers.
1. Sacrificing clarity in order to sound professional.
- Instead of writing: ways by which, write: ways. Instead of writing: there are times when, write: sometimes or at times.
2. Using “should of” instead of “should have”.
3. Using I and me incorrectly.
If you eliminate the other person’s name, does the sentence still make sense?
-Incorrect: Colin went for a walk with Corey and I.
-Correct: Colin went for a walk with Corey and me.
(Example of when me is incorrect: me went for a walk)
4. Switching verb tenses .
Especially confusing to read when switched within the same sentence.
5. Using the not only-but sentence structure incorrectly.
-Incorrect: Not only will your writing educate readers, but it will also entertain them.
-Correct: Your writing will not only educate readers but also entertain them.
6. Using “In terms of”.
If you find yourself using in terms of, it’s likely you’re not thinking clearly. You should try to eliminate this phrase.
7. Using this, that, these or those when the antecedent is not clear to the reader.
-Incorrect: Are there examples, data, real-world stories, or relevant anecdotes you can cite? Those are crucial for building your argument.
-Correct: Are there examples, data, real-world stories, or relevant anecdotes you can cite? Those questions are crucial for building your argument.
8. Hyphens after adverbs ending in ly.
-Incorrect: This is an extremely-simple rule to understand
-Correct: This is an extremely simple rule to understand
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley – Chapter 36: Avoid these mistakes marketers make