Syllabus Errorum

Some of the most common rhetorical, composition and communication errors  (Check off errors )

  • 1. Style too low—inappropriate use of contractions in academic writing.

  • 2. Style too low—slang, online lingo, vulgarities, street language.

  • 3. Inappropriate use of  2nd person ("you") in academic writing.

  • 4. Calling people “that” in academic writing.

  • 5. English fluency / ESOL problems—have text checked over!

  • 6. Verb tense formation problems—get a verb book!

  • 7. Problems with formation and use of plurals, missing "s" for plurals.

  • 8. Switching person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) unnecessarily in a paragraph.

  • 9. Lack of or weak thesis statement or standpoint.

  • 10. Excess use of passive verbs and constructions.

  • 11. Concluding with “In conclusion,” or similar.

  • 12. Failure to clearly establish your “right to write” on subject.

  • 13. Lack of your own voice in writing, parroting others.

  • 14. Works Cited problems, failure to cite sources in text, plagiarism.

  • 15. Lack of coherence, babbling, unclear or nonsense writing, changes of standpoint. .

  • 16. Trying for too high a style, using “fancy” thesaurus words inappropriately.

  • 17. Writing fails the “Who cares?” test, boring, lacks visible purpose or interest.

  • 18. No audience is evident, or fails to serve intended audience, tries for "universal audience.".

  • 19. Text includes fallacies or relies on unreliable sources or arguments.

  • 20. Verbal “fat,” excess wordiness, contains unnecessary repetition.


O.W. rev 1/10

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