The most common writing errors in the papers of college freshmen are faults that high school students are capable of overcoming before high school graduation.



(word choice)
  • sentence fragments
  • fused sentences
  • comma splices
  • incorrect verb use
  • incorrect pronoun use
  • incorrect apostrophe use
  • faulty agreement between subject and verb
  • faulty agreement between pronoun and antecedent
  • misspelled basic vocabulary
Categories of words thoughtlessly used:
racist, sexist, ageist usage; cliche, vulgarity

Words frequently confused with one another
Unidiomatic use of prepositions

  • lack of clear beginning, middle, and end
  • lack of coherent transition between ideas
  • lack of support for general statements
  • illegible or extremely difficult-to-read handwriting
  • confusing layout of handwritten work
  • inattention to directions for computer formatting

separate, friend, receiving, immediately, all right, minute, forty, fourteen, a lot, old-fashioned, could have

Contextually inappropriate words:
kid, guy,  cop, female (as a noun)
mom, human (as a noun), dad

Faddish words and phrases:
proactive, enthuse