S

Sentence-Building Problems

W

Word Choice Problems

C

Problems with Conventions

M, V, O, &P

Other Problems

Major sentence-building errors
S1 Write with a sentence structure that is easy to understand.  See more

S2 Don't clutter up a sentence with unnecessary words and phrases.  See more

S3 A sentence must contain a complete thought.  See more
X a) The subject is missing.
X b) The verb is missing.
X c) This is only a prepositional phrase.
X d-e) participles and appositive phrases
X f) This is half of an if-then sentence.

S4 Limit the length of the sentence.  (Use a period once in a while!) 
See more

Moderate sentence-building errors
S5
Write sentences that are consistent.  See more.
XX a) parallelism 
XX b) plural-singular 
XX c) verb tense 

Minor sentence-building errors:
S6 Use variety in sentence length
XX and structure.
XXa) Avoid a series of short, choppy sentences.   
XXb) Avoid repetitive sentence beginnings. 

S7  Don't begin sentences with
XX conjunctions such as and, but, or,
XX or so.   These words should be used to
XX connect things within the sentence. 

S8 Avoid placing words between the
XX word to and the verb that follows it. 
XX (a split infinitive)
XX See more.

Major word choice errors
W1 Use strong, specific language.  See more.
a) Replace weak verbs with action verbs. 
b) Move beyond that got a lot of stuff writing. 
c) Pronouns must be clear. 
d) Avoid all-inclusive or all-exclusive words. 
e-g) Other problems.  See more.


W2 Know the elementary-level homophones.  See more.
a) are our or                b) because cause     
c) have of                   d) knew new now know
e) then than                f) too, to, two 
g) there their they're      h) your you're   
i) were wear where

W3 Match the verb and its subject.  See more.

W4 Use the correct word.  See more.

W5 Don't switch verb tense without a reason.  See more.

XXXX Moderate word choice errors:
W6 Use variety in word choice. 

W7  Use the correct pronoun at the end of a sentence. 
XX a) predicate pronoun
XX b) in comparisons
XX c) object of a preposition
XX d) accusative

XXXX Minor word choice errors:

W8 A pronoun before an ING verb should be possessive. 

W9 When describing a wish or an imaginary situation, use "were" instead of "was".   
(subjunctive) 

Major Errors in Conventions
C1 Place the correct end punctuation at the end of the sentence.
(Should it be a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark?)

C2  Don't use unneeded apostrophes.  See more.

C3 Capitalize correctly.  See more.

C4 Don't join two sentences with just a comma (or worse, no punctuation at all).  See more.

C5 Don't break a sentence in two by placing a period where a comma belongs.  See more

Moderate errors in conventions:
C6
Avoid unnecessary punctuation and formatting.   See more.
Xxa) !!!! and ???
Xxb) by: 
Xxc) Avoid the slash /
Xxd) prefer the comma to fancier punctuation
Xxe) no comma between subject and verb
Xxf) no comma betwn verb & predicate noun or adj
Xxg) A list must have three items to need commas.

C7 Use apostrophes when needed.  See More.

C8 Use commas when needed.  See more.
XX a) in pairs like parentheses 
XX b) in a compound sentence 
XX c) with multiple adjectives or adverbs 
XX d) after an introduction 
XX e) with a direct quote 
XX f) in a list 
XX g) separating end elements

C9 Use quotation marks correctly.  See more.

C10 Use correct spelling See more.
XX a) Do not split compound words.  Do not
XX combine into compounds words that shouldn't be. 
XX b) Use hyphens when needed.  

Minor errors in conventions:
C11 Write titles correctly.

C12 Periods and parentheses.

C13 If a sentence introduces a list, use a colon. video

C14 Use semicolons in a list containing lists.

C15 Leave out the conjunction when linking a compound sentence with semicolon.

C16A writer may need to use a long dash to join a long appositive to the end of a sentence.

C17 When using numbers,  know when to spell or use numerals.   

Voice
V1 Write in the third person, except in fiction or autobiography.  (Avoid words like you and I.) 

V2 Write in a consistent voice.

V3 Place the person or thing doing the action toward the front of the sentence
XX (Use the active voice, not the passive voice).

V4 Use Standard English in an essay.  (Dialect and slang are for fiction; shorthand English is for texting or a sticky-note.) 

Organization
O1 Organize material into paragraphs

O2 Organize with a three-part structure: Begin with an introduction; develop with a body; end with a conclusion.

O3 Use transitions. Don't just jump from one topic to another. 

O4 Information that is not appropriate should be moved or deleted. 

O5 Find a strong opening line.

O6 Don't cut a good paragraph in two. 

Message, Content
M1 Stay focused on a specific topic.

M2 Use specific examples.

M3 Develop deeper detail

Presentation
P1
Double space everything except a works cited.

P2 Use reasonable fonts.


P3 Use one-inch margins all around.

P4 Align text appropriately. 

P5 Use two spaces after end punctuation (. ! ? ).  Use one space after interior punctuation (, ; :). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Index for Teachers

Acronyms, capitalization C2-f
active Voice V3
Agreement, other than subject-verb 
agreement, subject-verb W3
Alignment (centering, left-align, etc.)
Apostrophe
XXX in a contraction C6-a
XXX in a plural C1
XXX in a possessive C6
XXX unneeded.C1
Appositive, as a sentence fragment
Capitalization  C2
XXX first letter of sentence  C2-c
XXX proper nouns C2-a
XXX titles  C10
Clarity 
Colon, unnecessary C5-b
colon introducing a list C12
Commas C7
XXX with compound sentence halves C7-b
XXX with direct quote and tag C7-e
XXX with end-of-sentence elements C7-g
XXX with a list C7-f
XXX with multiple modifiers  C7-c
XXX parenthetical use C7-a
XXX splice  C3
XXX unnecessary C5
Compound sentence, comma use  C7-b
Compound sentence, repairing comma splice 
Compound words, split  C9-a
conjunctions beginning sentences S8
Contractions, apostrophe use  C6-a
Dialect avoiding in an essay V4
Direct quote and tag, comma use  C7-
Double negative V4-c

end-punctuation, correct C4
End punctuation, with direct quotes C8-c
End-punctuation and parentheses C11
focus, lack of M1
Fonts  P2
Fragments S3
XXX missing subject S3-a
XXX missing verb S3-b
XXX only a prepositional phrase S3-c
XXX only a participles phrase S3-d
XXX only an appositive phrases S3-e
XXX half an if-then compound S3-f
Gerund and possessive pronoun W8
Hanging Modifier
homophones W2
Hyphenation 
If-Then sentence fragment
Infinitive, split
List, comma use 
Lists, with semicolons
long dash C15
Margins P3
Modifiers
XXX Hanging S1-c
XXX intensifier with a weak word W1-e
XXX misplaced S1-
XXX commas with multiple C7-c
numbers, to spell or not to spell   C16  
Numerals, Roman C16-c
Omitted words
Paragraph structure in organizing 
Paragraphing with dialogue
Parallelism S5
Parentheses and end-punctuation
Paragraphing failure to use O1   
Participle Phrase, as a sentence fragment

passive Voice V3
Periods and parentheses.C11
Plurals, misapplied apostrophe  C1
Plural-singular Mix-up 
Point Of View Shift 
Possessive pronoun and gerund
Possessive, apostrophe use C8
Predicate pronoun, case of
Prepositional phrase, as a sentence fragment 
Prepositional phrase, too many S2-d
Pronouns
XXX of deities, capitalization C2-g
XXX case as predicate noun W9-a
XXX case after a preposition W9-c
XXX case in a comparison W9-b
XXX case, possessive before a gerund W8
XXX unclear antecedent W1-c
XXX you and I V1
Punctuation, unnecessary C5
quotation marks C8 
repetitive content M4
Roman numerals needed C16-c
Run-on sentences S4
Semicolons
XXX conjunction in compound sentence C14
XXX repairing comma splice C3
XXX  in a list C13
Sentence, broken S7
Sentence Fragment S3
XXX missing subject S3-a
XXX missing verb S3-b
XXX only a prepositional phrase S3-c
XXX only a participles phrase S3-d
XXX only an appositive phrases S3-e
XXX half an if-then compound S3-f

Sentence, passive Voice V3
sentence run-on, length S4  
sentence splice C3 
sentence, split.  S7
sentence variety  S6
Slang, avoiding in an essay V4-d
Slash, avoiding C5-c
Spacing, line (double or single) P1
spelling C9
Split infinitive S9
Standard English V4
Subject, doubled V4-f
Subject, omitted S3-a
subjunctive mood  W7 
Third person verbs, adding S
Titles, capitalization  C10-c
Titles, formatting  C10
Topic
Transitions O
Vagueness
Verbs
XXX agreement W3
XXX Tense, Unnecessary change in S5-c
XXX omitted S3-b
XXX Weak W1-a
Voice, using a consistent  V2
Word order confusion S1-d
Wordiness  S2
Words, commonly misused W4
Words, omitted
Word Choice, Weak
word correct choice W4
You V1