Editing is a process of finding errors in your writing and fixing those errors. It's a damn sight easier to edit when you know what to look for. The following common errors have been proven to be among the top culprits in in secondary and college writing, so it should apply to you guys as well:) Keep these errors in mind when, writing, proofreading and revising.
Pay special attention to the explanation of independent and dependent clauses and phrases.
1. Missing Comma after an Introductory Element:
An introductory element is a word, clause, or phrase that "introduces the main clause--of the sentence.
2. Vague Pronoun Reference:
"When you come to a fork in the road take it." ~Yogi Berra
A Vague Pronoun occurs when a reader is unclear exactly to whom or what or where the pronoun refers.
Here it is helpful know the difference between a pronoun and an antecedent. An antecedent is the noun to which a pronoun refers. The antecedent always comes "before" (which is the root meaning of "ante) the pronoun.
3. Missing comma in compound sentence:
Soyet Andor Norforbut (spoken with a heavy slavic accent)
*Anytime you see a conjunction, stop and ask yourself if there is an "independent clause" after it; if so, use a comma.
4. Wrong word:
Over they're their putting on there clothes.
Writers use wrong words when they are confused by homonyms (words that sound the same, but have different meanings) or words that are easily confused with another word. The only way to avoid these problems is to either know the word--and the spelling and usage of that word when you are writing--or to proofread carefully when editing.
5. Commas with Parenthetical Elements:
If you need it, then you don't need it!
*Any phrase or clause that could go in parentheses, could also be enclosed within commas or within double dashes.
Here you need to figure out if the information you are adding to a sentence is essential or non-essential. If the sentence "makes sense" without the phrase or clause then it is non-essential, and so it needs a comma to separate it from the essential part of the sentence. However, if the phrase or clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence, you should not use commas
6. Comma Splice:
This is one of the easiest mistakes to make as a writers because it is so easy and natural to do! If you become a fanatic about your use of commas with conjunctions between independent clauses, then you will go a long way towards avoiding this common mistake.
A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined only with a comma. To fix a comma splice, replace the comma with a semi-colon, a period, or a comma and conjunction.
I love English class, I never miss class.
To repair this:
• I love English class; I never miss class.
• I love English class. I never miss class.
• I love English class, so I never miss class.
A comma splice also occurs when a comma is used to divide a subject from its verb.
My students are engaged in my class, and never want to leave. [The subject "my students" is separated from one of its verbs "want." Also, "never want to leave" is not an independent clause, which should trigger an alarm in your head!]
7. Possessive Apostrophe Error:
~It's a sad day for little bunny when its coat is lost.~
Sometimes apostrophes are incorrectly left out; other times, they are incorrectly put in (her's, their's, etc.).
Don't forget one of the biggies of all time: "Its" is a possessive pronoun. "It's" is a contraction for "it is."
8. Sentence fragment:
If it doesn't sound like a sentence, it probably isn't!
Sentences always have subjects and verbs. If they don't, the sentence sounds a bit wacky. Exceptions to this rule might be using a sentence fragment for dramatic effect (and it won't be dramatic if you do that too often), or when the subject is implied; for example, "Shoot!"
9. Missing comma in a series
Whenever you list things, use a comma to separate the different elements in the series. You'll find a difference of opinion whether the next-to-last noun (the noun before the "and") requires a comma. ("Apples, oranges, pears, and bananas...") The best advice is to use the comma because sometimes your list will include pairs of things: "For Christmas she wanted books and tapes, peace and love, and for all the world to be happy." If you are in the habit of using a comma before the "and," you'll avoid confusion in sentences like this one.
10. Run-on sentences
Run-on sentences are sentences that run on forever, they are sentences that ought to have been two or even three sentences but the writer didn't stop to sort them out, leaving the reader feeling exhausted by the sentence's end which is too long in coming. (Get the picture?)
Fused sentences occur when two independent clauses are put together without a comma, semi-colon, or conjunction. For example: "Researchers investigated several possible vaccines for the virus then they settled on one"
A Word Slinging, Song Singing, Story Swapping, Poet, Raconteur, Teacher, & Craftsman