You should have one clean copy of your
revised draft for these exercises.
Common Writing Errors
Review; MLA review
This error can be corrected by
careful reading. Turn on your
• Several qualities will mark
competence-- and desire.
This error too can be corrected
by careful reading, especially
• An example: "I would happy
to meet you," which is
missing the verb "be."
Common Writing Errors
1. Read your work backwards, starting with the last sentence and
working your way in reverse order to the beginning. Supposedly
this works better than reading through from the beginning
because your brain knows what you meant to write, so you tend
to skip over errors when you're reading forwards.
1. Read your work out loud. This forces you to read each word
individually and increases the odds that you'll find a typo.
1. Always proofread a final printed version of your work.
Proofreading on a computer monitor is more difficult than going
over it on paper.
2. Give yourself some time. If possible, let your work sit for a
while before you proofread it. When you clear your mind and
approach the writing anew, your brain is more able to focus on
the actual words, rather than seeing the words you think you
Eliminate Redundant Words
1. absolutely certain: Certainty has no room for doubt; it's absolute.
2. absolutely never: Never is always absolute.
3. ask a question: It's impossible to ask anything except a question.
4. ATM machine: The M in ATM means machine.
5. basic essentials: If they are essentials, they must be basic.
6. close proximity: You cannot have far proximity. Delete close
7. combined together: If you combine things, they have to be together
8. completely finish: Can you partly finish? Delete completely.
9. continue on: Can you continue off? Delete on.
10. month of July: Everybody knows July is a month.
• Another common occurrence in writing is
repetitive sentences. Although they may seem
necessary for effect or emphasis, they actually
attribute to wordiness.
• Consider the sentences, “The oven had quit
working. It was broken.” The second sentence,
while it may corroborate the first, is repetitive.
Removing it unclutters the writing without
altering or diminishing the meaning.
How to Eliminate
• Rule 1 - Words beginning sentences
• Never start two consecutive sentences with the same word.
• I have seen instances of six sentence paragraphs with each sentence starting
with the same word. Fixing this will immediately elevate your writing
• Rule 2 - Words beginning paragraphs
• There should be at least four (4) paragraphs starting with different
words before you use the same paragraph starting word again.
• This provides the reader with a smoother ride through your essay
• Rule 3 - Do focused page scans for other repetitions
• Scan each page for extensive repetitive use of particular words. The
time you take to find all instances of repetitions in your work will
be time well spent.
• Rule 4 - Never repeat a descriptive phrase
• Some writers get a bit carried away when they devise a great
phrase. They start to use it every few pages - or several times on
the same page. Don't turn your own brilliance into a cliché or an
• Rule 5 - Make finding repetitions a separate editing
run on your essay
• Because eliminating repetition is such an important part of
producing high quality work, make this a separate editing run
on your essay.
Check for Repetition in your
• Look for redundancies.
• Small little; perfectly clear
• Look for repetitive sentences.
• I went to the store. At the store I bought
• Look to see if you are using the same words
to begin sentences or paragraphs.
• There are; Later; At the ranch; Mary
• Last name and page number in header, on right side, .5
inches from the top.
• Heading double-spaced and correct. Check the date
• Title is original, centered, not bolded or underlined.
• Margins are 1” all around
• Quotations, summaries, and paraphrases are cited
• A Works Cited page contains a complete list of sources
used in the preparation of the essay.
Read: SMG p684 "Logical Fallacies”
Post #35 Edited introduction and
conclusion of Essay #3
Study: Vocabulary chapters 19-23
Test next Tuesday: Class 32
Due: Submit essay #3 Electronically before
our next class: