of Mr. J. Nerf
List of Detestable Writing Errors
1. Use of second
person: YOU. Do not directly address me in your essays. We are not pen pals. Do you understand?
the author’s name. Shakespear did not write Hamlet. Look on the book cover
if you become suddenly confused.
3. Pronoun and
Antecedent Dis-Agreement: Everyone has
their own opinion of this rule. Singular pronouns match singular antecedents. Remember:
Everyone and Everybody are singular; always
use “his” or “her” (choose one ) when referring back to these pronouns. Everyone has his own opinion. Everybody
forgot her manners.
NEVER USE everyone/their
that singular subjects use singular verbs and plural subjects use plural verbs. These kinds
of mistakes makes me mad.
5. Using “alot”
instead of “a lot” Alot ain’t a word!
6. Using unparallel
form when listing items in a sentence.
YUCK: His hobbies
include reading, surfing the Internet, and to go to the beach.
His hobbies include reading, surfing the Internet, and going to the
shift in verb tense. When writing your essays, remember that you were choosing what tense you are writing in.
Do not have been changing your tenses unnecessarily.
8. Lack of transitions
between ideas. The author uses transitions between her ideas. Don’t eat
uncooked hamburger meat. Huh? See what I mean? You must have a transition between your ideas so that your reader will understand
how you got from point A to point B.
9. Failure to
use the FULL NAME (usually first and last) of an author on the INITIAL reference. You may switch to the last name upon subsequent
references. You are not William Shakespeare’s buddy, so don’t refer to him as William, Bill, or Big Willy!
10. Run-on sentences.
I do not like them Sam-I-Am! There is no excuse for them in an AP student’s writing. Either write compound sentences
by using a coordinating conjunction and a comma, by using a semi-colon, or by dividing your sentence into two or more shorter
fragments. AAAARRGGGH! I detest these even more than run-ons. I am fully aware that Hemingway and other authors use frags
and r/o’s. When I am teaching one of your novels or short stories in my AP class, I will no longer require that your
writing be free from the little buggers.