In honor of the end of the semester, and as a way to procrastinate grading papers, here are a few of my writing pet peeves. Sadly, although I remind my students over, and over, and over (and over), I still see them turn up in papers.
- Punctuation not correctly placed inside quotation marks (this is rampant internet behavior as well)
- Unnecessary modifiers, e.g., very little, very critical (read that in the NYT last night!) What is the difference between critical and very critical? Yeah, that's what I thought.
- No page numbers! Really? On a 35-page paper?
- No running head - this could be forgiven, except I clearly state it is required
- Not using headers in a major research paper
- Not following the basics of APA
- Forgetting a reference
- Poor organization
- Misspellings or wrong word (as in, yes you used spell check, but it doesn't check for the correct right, rite, or write)
- Placing papers in folders or binder-type things when I've made it clear that I just want the papers without your fancy folder thingy
Okay....rant done, back to grading.