Most Common Writing Errors

Most Common Writing Errors
Graduate students often ask how they can improve their writing. Here is a list of the most
common writing errors cited by our faculty. This list is just intended as a general guide and is
not specific to the writing assignments or requirements of any individual course or professor.
•Not following assignment guidelines
•Incorrectly formatted reference page (or
citations and reference page don’t match) –
APA 6.22
•Not following APA formatting –APA Manual
• Missing or poorly written paper abstract –
APA 2.04
•Missing required elements (cover page,
reference page, abstract, etc.) –APA manual
•Incorrectly formatted seriation (when to use
letters, numbers, bullets, etc.) - APA 3.04
•Missing section headings or incorrect paper
headings – APA Manual Chapter 2 & 3.03
• Colloquial Expressions (everyday common
language and/or slang) – APA 3.09
•Lack of proper in-text citations (failing to
give credit for your work) – APA Manual
Chapter 6
•Anthropomorphism (attributing human
characteristics to inanimate sources) – APA
• Incorrectly formatted in-text citations
(missing dates, page numbers, etc.) – APA
Manual Chapter 6
• Poor writing quality (lack of clarity,
organization, professionalism, etc.)
Gustafson 7/16/2012

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