Simple Grammatical Mistakes You Need to Avoid

College papers, even ones assigned from an online professor, are expected to be flawless. While some professor’s are a little bit more lenient about structure and organization, there are some professors who are drill sergeants when it comes to making grammatical mistakes, especially simple ones. To make sure that your online professor doesn’t take off a hefty amount of points because you made a simple grammatical mistake, make sure you scan your paper and look for these typical mistakes made below.

While students should have learned about the differences between possessive and contraction words in grade school, it still seems to confuse some college students. It’s no surprise that there is still some confusion, especially with younger students who are immersed in social media and are too familiar with "netspeak." This is because those students are used to just simply writing "ur" for both the possessive and the contraction. But there is a huge difference between "your" the possessive and "you’re" the contraction. "You’re" is short for "you are" such as in "You are going with me." Without the apostrophe, it should suggest ownership, as in "Your car is parked in the garage." Students also fub on other possessive and contraction words such as "their," "there" and "they’re," and "it’s" and "its." A good way to avoid this mishap is to skip contractions all together—just so there is no confusion.

Students also have a tendency to use commas incorrectly. Typically commas represent a pause, but they should be used with a conjunction. Conjunctions are words such as "but," "so," and "therefore." However, generally students think a sentence needs a pause but they add no conjunction. For example, they may write "I went to the mall, I was running late." This particular example can be fixed in two ways. The first is to remove the comma and separate it into two complete sentences. The trick is that if the portion before and after the comma can stand as their own individual sentences then there is no need for a comma. So it should read: "I went to the mall. I was running late." Or you can use a semicolon: "I went to the mall; I was running late." You can also add a conjunction to fix the issues: "I went to the mall, but I was running late."

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