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Tips for Writing Good

Each of the following sentences has a grammar problem. Can you find the error and correct it?  Click on Tips for Writing Well for the solutions.

  1. Every pronoun should agree with their antecedent.
  2. Sentence fragments. Watch out for them.
  3. It is advised that the passive voice of verbs be employed sparingly, and only when no better alternative is seen.
  4. Proofread every sentence for misspellings amd typos.
  5. Its essential to use apostrophe’s correctly.
  6. Ordinarily, you shouldn’t abbrev.
  7. As a rule, never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
  8. When writing, participles ought not to be dangled.
  9. People like you and I should have no problems with grammatical case.
  10. Take care to never split infinitives.
  11. Do not write run-on sentences since it is bad style and people will not think well of you and who can remember what you said at the beginning of your sentence if you just keep going on and on and on and on?
  12. Avoid redundant phrases that say the same thing over and over again, endlessly repeating a point without adding a single new idea or coming up with anything different.
  13. In letters themes reports and the like use commas to separate items in a list.
  14. Don’t be someone whom people realize confuses who and whom.
  15. In constructing the ideal rhetorical building, if you do not mix metaphors, the fruit of your labors well be a well-tuned sentence.
  16. I never write non-sequiturs; therefore I need to study harder.
  17. A good writer does not shift tenses back and forth randomly, since it will be bad form and often caused confusion on the part of the reader.
  18. Verbs in any essay has to agree with their subject.
  19. If teachers have ever told you, that you don’t put a comma before "that", they were right.

[Some of these tips originally appeared in The Journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English (1979).]