Most Common Freshman Errors

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


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