Common Errors in English

Proofreading is an essential skill for writers, editors and publishers! Errors in grammar, punctuation, style, and consistency are glaring indicators of unprofessionalism, and far too common in self-published manuscripts!

We could reinvent the wheel and plagiarise other's great work, but we would rather here are five dedicated websites that focus on the most common errors in English. These will tell you how to identify those errors and (more importantly) how to correct them.

1. The Effective Writing Marking Guide

The Department of English at the University of Calgary has prepared an alphabetical index of common writing errors with links to a series of excellent grammar tutorials. The explanations are straightforward, and the examples are clear and concise. Useful for teachers and students alike.

2. Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation Exercises

Our favorite OWL--the Purdue University Online Writing Lab--hosts this comprehensive collection of exercises.

3. 20 Most Common Errors

This site (a companion to Andrea Lunsford's textbook The Everyday Writer) not only explains and illustrates the "most common surface student writing problems" but also provides exercises to help us correct those problems.

4. Big Dog's Grammar: A Bare Bones Guide to English

According to Big Dog's buddy, Doc Scott, this site offers "a list of the bare essentials of grammar. These are the things that English teachers love to comment on in your papers." Particularly helpful are the self-tests at the bottom of each page.

5. Rules at Grammar Bytes

Convinced that language should be enjoyed, college instructor Robin L. Simmons has created the most delightful grammar site on the Web. "The goal of the site," she says, "is to cover each type of sentence error in real depth."

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