11 Writing Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

11 Writing Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

Don't worry, they're all easy to fix.

Whether you're in middle school, college, the workforce or just wanting to brush up on your skills, these are things you need to know. These 11 easy fixes can be the key to your success!

1. Your vs. You're

If you take anything from this article make it this: "your" shows possession of an object; "you're" is the contraction of the words "you" and "are." The two are not interchangeable!

Here is your pen. vs. You're very handsome.

2. Putting punctuation on the outside of your quotation marks

When writing something in quotation marks the punctuation goes on the inside of the quote. This is mostly for informal writing (like a personal narrative or a fictional piece). This rule can change when you write in formats like MLA, APA, or Chicago.

She screamed, "You must use proper grammar!"

3. There vs. Their vs. They're

I get it. Even though we learned about homophones in elementary school they can get a little jumbled up in our minds. "There" refers to the physical position of an object. "Their" infers that someone has possession of the object in reference. "They're" is the contraction of the words "they" and "are."

The book is right there. vs. That is their car. vs. They're coming home tomorrow.

4. I vs. Me

This one is SUPER confusing when you explain it technically, so I'll just give you the gist. Remove the other person or people out of the sentence and see how you would say the sentence if you were the only person doing the action. For example, if you drove to work you would say, "I went to work." If you went to work with your brother you would say, "My brother and I went to work." Alternatively, if you showed someone a photo of yourself you would say, "This is a photo of me." If the photo was of you and your roommate you would say, "This is a photo of me and my roommate."

My dad and I saw the new Star Wars movie together. vs. Do you want to come to Sonic with me, Preet, and Drake?

5. Two vs. Too vs. To

Again with the homophones! Here's a little refresher on these: "two" is the number 2, "too" means "also," and "to" gives reference to a position.

There are two high schools in this town. vs. I love pineapple on my pizza too! vs. Let's go to the beach tomorrow.

6. It's "could've," NOT "could of"

This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. The word "could've" is a contraction of the words "could" and "have." The phrase "could of" has absolutely no proper linguistic meaning. Don't EVER write "could of." It doesn't make sense!

I'm glad I read that article about grammar, I could've made a huge mistake in that final draft of my essay! Thank God I didn't write "could of" again.

7. It's vs. Its

This may be the hardest rule to keep straight in your mind, mostly because it doesn't make much sense. Simply, "it's" is either the contraction of the words "it" and "is" or "it" and "has," while "its" implies possession to the object that is "it."

It's going to snow tomorrow! vs. The university lost all credibility after its latest scandal.

8. Affect vs. Effect

To make this simple, the "affect" is the action, which is almost always the verb. This is easy to remember because "affect" and "action" both start with the letter A, a verb is an action, therefore an affect is a verb. The "effect" is the consequence, which is almost always a noun.

Thousands of people were affected by the snowstorm. vs. Be careful, this medicine has many side effects.

9. Double Negatives

A double negative occurs when two words are used that negate each other in a sentence. Sometimes these can be used on purpose in informal writing to make a point. For example, "He is not unattractive" implies that he is attractive and the person saying this is making this implication purposely. However, this is not always the case. The sentence, "She didn't see nothing" implies that she did see something because the words "didn't" and "nothing" negate each other, or cancel each other out.

Correct: I don't know anything about spaceships. Incorrect: I don't know nothing about spaceships.

10. Then vs. Than

Although this may be the rule that most people seem to forget, it's really simple. "Then" references a time that something is done. "Than" is used to compare one thing to another.

I got home, then I made dinner. vs. This is easier than anything I've ever done before!

11. Who vs. Whom

Use "who" when referring to the subject of a sentence. Use "whom" when referring to the object on a sentence. This may easily be the hardest rule to keep straight in your mind, but I'll give you a trick: use the He/Him method. If you can replace the word or answer the question with "he," use "who." If you can replace the word or answer the question with "him," use "whom."

Who baked this cake? (He baked this cake.) vs. Whom should I listen to? (You should listen to him.)

Now you know! This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to common grammatical errors, and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Be conscious of what you write and always double check your work. If it sounds wrong it probably is and remember that writing is creative! If you're writing informally, any rule can be broken to fit a character or voice that you are trying to create, but stick to the rules when you write formally! Information on grammar rules is infinite online, and if you're really struggling, just find an English major to help you out.

Cover Image Credit: picjumbo.com

Popular Right Now

Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating


Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

Related Content

Facebook Comments