Friday, September 12, 2008

Four Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

And How to Avoid Common Mistakes

Below are some basic writing rules, along with an example of the rule being broken. Learn how to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Be Consistent

Sequence of Tenses

After he broke his arm, he is home for two weeks.

Shift of Pronoun

If one is tense, they should try to relax.

Parallelism

She skis, plays tennis, and flying hang gliders.

Noun Agreement

Eric and James want to be a pilot.

Pronoun Reference

Several people wanted the job, and he or she filled out the required applications.

Subject-Verb Agreement

There is eight people on the shore.

2. Express Ideas Logically

Coordination and Subordination

Jen has a rash, and she is probably allergic to something.

Logical Comparison

Joey grew more vegetables than his neighbor's garden.

Modification and Word Order

Barking loudly, the tree had the dog's leash wrapped around it.

3. Be Clear and Precise

Ambiguous and Vague Pronouns

In the newspaper they say that few people voted.

Diction

He circumvented the globe on his trip.

Wordiness

There are many problems in the contemporary world in which we live.

Improper Modification

If your car is parked here while not eating in the restaurant, it will be towed away.

4. Follow Conventions

Pronoun Case

He sat between you and I at the stadium.

Idiom

Jack had a different opinion towards him.

Comparison of Modifiers

Of the sixteen executives, Gretchen makes more money.

Sentence Fragment

Abby having to go home early.

Double Negative

Andie has scarcely no free time.


If you're not sure whether you're following the rules of writing correctly, be sure to ask your teachers or parents for help.

Source : http://www.collegeboard.com/

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