I’m putting my English teacher hat on today, one of my favorite things as a writing coach and editor.
Certain errors can make your writing look amateurish and unprofessional.
Here are a few common errors to avoid.
Incorrect: We’re heading to the mountains this weekend, we’re hoping to ski.
That’s technically called a comma splice. Basically, this is two separate sentences joined together with a comma. To correct this mistake, make this two separate sentences, like this:
Correct: We’re heading to the mountains this weekend. We’re hoping to ski.
Another way to correct this is to join the two sentences by using a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Coordinating conjunctions include for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (remember these by using the acronym FANBOYS).
Correct: We’re heading to the mountains this weekend, and we’re hoping to ski.
Now notice the punctuation in the following sentence:
We’re heading to the mountains this weekend and are hoping to ski.
This is also correct. When you take out the “we’re” in the second part of the sentence, you no longer need the comma.
So and so that
So is a coordinating conjunction, so when you use it to join two sentences, you need to use a comma.
Correct: We want to get a good seat, so we need to leave early.
But when you use so in the sense of so that, you do NOT need a comma.
Incorrect: We’re leaving early, so that we can get a good seat.
Correct: We’re leaving early so that we can get a good seat. (Or you can leave out the that, and write like this: We’re leaving early so we can get a good seat.)
Single space after period
A long time ago, some of us (yep, that’s me) learned to use a double space after a period. That’s no longer the standard. Now, the standard is a single space.
The good new is that you don’t have to manually fix that error. You can use Word’s Replace function. In the dialogue box:
Find what: type two spaces
Replace with: type a single space
And then replace all. Voila!
After you’ve written your rough draft, be sure to do some revising and/or editing to correct mistakes like these.
Next Step Coaching Services will be having a devotion writing contest, and we’ll be announcing the contest rules mid July. For just $11.99, you can purchase my How to Write a Devotion Workbook. This workbook will serve as a guide for the structure we’ll expect for our devotion contest entries.