Wordsmith Essay’s Pet Peeves, Part II

We here at Wordsmith Essays read dozens upon dozens of essays, correcting grammatical mistakes, adjusting spelling and phrasing, fixing punctuation, and generally giving advice as how to improve writing.

While doing so, we’ve come across the same errors made time after time.  It doesn’t seem to matter the grade level of the writer, or whether they’re a native English speaker or not—some mistakes just seem to reoccur time and again.  Here are a few of our recurring pet peeves:

Padding

We know that you have a word count or page count to meet most of the time, but padding your essay is never going to go by unnoticed.  Repeating words (“Never, never, never do this…”), or busting out the old thesaurus to create a no-good, very bad, terrible, horrible, awful, disgusting, unwieldy list of repetitive adjectives, or using too many modifiers in general (“very, so much, entirely”) may pad your word count, but they make your writing worse.  It’s generally not worth the tradeoff.

Brevity is the soul of wit.  You should be looking to remove excess chaff from your writing, not to put it in.

Poorly Used Comparative Modifiers

We can’t make this sentence wonderfuller more wonderful than it is.

Comparatives in English generally follow a pattern.  Most words add a –er for a comparative and an ­–est for a superlative.  As words get longer, however, that pattern breaks down—many two-syllable adjectives prefer “more” and “most”, and all there-syllable words do, as well.

So, nothing is importanter than anything else, it’s “more important”.  Nothing is expensivist, it’s “most expensive”.  For long comparatives, “more” and “most” make words easier to understand than –er or –est endings; English isn’t designed for the super-long words that would create.

 

Noun-Verb Agreements

The calculations indicates indicate the correct word to use.

Your verb and nouns need to refer to the same number of things.  If you’re using a plural noun, you need a plural verb, and if you’re using a singular noun, you need a singular verb.

A good rule of thumb is the “one s” rule.  Most nouns that are plural end in “s”, and most verbs that are plural do not.  That means, for nouns and verbs that conjugate normally, there should be one s, and only one s, in your noun-verb phrase.

As always, if you want to ensure that everything in your essay is correct and flows well, stop by Wordsmith Essays’ order page today.  Our team of international editors will help you get the most out of your writing.

 

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