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It is usually said that the best way to practice and produce good quality content is by making sure you avoid common mistakes that can crop up when writing your blog post or website article. Taking this into discussion we introduce you to five common mistakes that often trip up writers when creating content.

The run-on sentence also known as fused sentence – This is known as the weak use of grammar when a writer joins two or more independent clauses without a conjunction or appropriate punctuation.

To avoid fused sentencing you need to make sure you properly apply the FANBOYS guideline. This stands for seven common conjunctions, which include for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. When you use these conjunctions a sentence is moved from being independent to dependent.

Apostrophe Catastrophe – Writers often tend to use the apostrophe incorrectly. This is a punctuation mark that is used to indicate omissions or abbreviations and possession.

The best use of it is to emphasise omissions and assists in making possessives of nouns and some pronouns. Writers must ensure they use apostrophes correctly when contracting words or indicating singular versus plural possession e.g. David’s car has been sold | The applicants’ cars have all been sold.

The misuse of Your and You’re – A very common mistake that people tend to make is interchanging the words “your” and “you’re.” The good news is that both these words are acceptable in the English language. The bad news, however, is that they differ in context of course. In essence:

  • Your = you own it
  • You’re = you are

The RIGHT way to use these:

  • You have finished your lunch.
  • You’re having a snack.

…whereas the WRONG way is:

  • Your all great readers.

The correct way to write the above statement is: You’re all great readers. So with that being said, you don’t need an apostrophe if something is yours. Nothing is ever “your’s.” Sounds simple enough, but it is remarkable how often the mind can blank when writing, so it is really handy to make a mental note of these simple, best practices for being Grammar-Proof.

Where to put punctuation marks in a quoted sentence? Punctuation marks, almost all the time, go INSIDE the quotes. Think of it this way “Man, I’ve got to watch tonight’s match!” Below are more notes and examples.

  • Although not “perfect,” the website looks good.
  • This doesn’t seem to be “a ton of work.”

There are exceptional cases of the above, where punctuation marks need to be outside the quotes, notably the question mark. The norm is that a question mark always surpasses the other punctuation marks, regardless of whether it is inside or outside the quotes. If the quoted part is a question, the question mark goes inside the quote. For example:

  • I wondered, “Where do I even begin with this?”

If the non-quoted part is a question but the quote ends the sentence, then the question mark goes outside the quote. For example:

  • Did he just say, “I don’t like the way it looks”?

If both quoted and unquoted are questions, the question mark goes inside. For example:

  • Are you wondering, “Where do I begin?”

In the case of colons (:) or semicolons (;) put them outside of the quotes

The confusion between That and Which – “That” COMPLETES YOUR THOUGHT. It provides crucial info to what you’re saying. For instance:

Take the pen that is on the desk.

“Which” is an AFTERTHOUGHT. It adds extra info that is NOT crucial or primary to what you’re saying. Remember to ALWAYS use a comma before the word which. For instance:

  • He chose the first design, which happens to be my favorite.

Whether you are a blogger or simply just drafting a simple email message, it gives the reader the right impression when your grammar and use of the English language is perfectly sound. Written communication is a vital pillar of marketing, branding, advertising and so much more. Hence, it is vital that you set the highest benchmark possible in order to reflect excellence, attention to detail and ultimately develop your competitive edge.

For professional copywriting services to distinguish your business or personal brand communications from the crowd, simply contact our team of highly experienced wordsmiths today.