Written communication skills are so important for students to learn. As a social work instructor for nearly 10 years, I often gave students feedback and guidance to improve their writing. The following list contains the most common writing mistakes I encountered and suggestions for how to fix them. This list is geared toward social science writing and use of APA Style.
Most Common APA Style Errors
- General APA advice
- APA In-Text Citations
- APA In-Text Citations: Author Format
- APA Reference Lists: Basic Rules
- APA Reference List: Articles in Periodical
- How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style
- How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style: What to Do When Information Is Missing
- APA Tables, Appendices, Footnotes and Endnotes
- APA Style Quick Answers—Formatting
Properly Using the Work of Others
- How Not to Plagiarize
- Decide when to Quote, Paraphrase and Summarize
- Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
- Floating Quotations
- Writing Tip: Use active, not passive sentences
- Fused/Run-On Sentences
- Rules for Finding and Fixing Fragments
- 1st vs. 3rd person
- Using “By Zombies” to Help You Identify Passive Voice
Writing Research and Other Scientific Papers
- Tips & Tricks: Try “Writer’s Math”, Dr. Greer’s More-or-Less Formula for Better First Drafts
- Using Topic Sentences to Write Stronger, Better-Organized Scientific Manuscripts
- Writing the Empirical Social Science Research Paper: A Guide for the Perplexed
- Common Errors in Student Research Papers
- 10 Rules for Writing Numbers and Numerals
What is missing? What would you add to this list?
For additional back to school tips for social workers, check out my eBook: Back to School Guide for Social Work Students.
Wishing all the new and returning students (myself included!) much success in the coming year!