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Ghost Writing : Article Writing Services : Article Writing Mistakes



Article writing errors are commonly made by people who are not used to writing, and decide to write their own articles. While some of the errors described below may not alter the sense of the text, they may deplete the confidence of the reader in the writer.

The prime purpose of an article is to impart information to the reader, and many writers tend to forget this. They allow their own objective, the supply of content for search engine listings or adoption by article directories, to supersede their commitment to their customers. That commitment, for any website, should be to impart information and solve a problem that the visitor to the site has. When people searching the web click to visit your site they are hoping that you will be answer the question they have.

This may be a direct question, such as how to write an article, or an obtuse one such as whether or not you can provide them with the product they are looking to purchase or suggest a suitable alternative. In order to provide information in a concise and easily understood way, your grammar and spelling should be correct. Grammatical errors can change the meaning of a piece of text, and spelling mistakes display a degree of ignorance, indifference and carelessness that can rapidly lose you potential customers.


Common spelling errors are:

  • The use of ei and ie: A thief is not a theif. Remember the rule, ‘I before E except after C’. Hence, receive and conceive, but relieve and believe. This rule does not always apply, however, and the confusion with IE and EI is a common one. Why is it weird but not weild? In fact wield is only one of many words which are exceptions to this spelling rule, and lead to many common writing errors. The rule is true for most words, and if have not been taught where it does not apply, or the word does not ‘look wrong’ to you, you will not be able guess. This type of writing error is very common.
  • Double letters: Is it accomodation or accommodation and is it commision or commission? The use of double letters is confusing to many people (in each of the above cases it the second alternative that is correct). Generally, experience in reading and writing in the English language allows you to see that the word does not visually look right. This is another case where it is difficult to apply rules, though generally any word ending in the sound ‘ishun’ has a double ‘ss’ and ending in ‘ijjun’, such as in collision contains on one ‘s’.
  • Miscellaneous: Other common spelling errors common in article writing are changeable or changeable, aquaintance or acquaintance, rarify or rarefy, liquify or liquefy, dessicated or desiccated, grammer or grammar, heros or heroes, liason or liaison, licence or license, and hundreds of others.Spelling is learned through teaching and experience, mostly the latter. You can learn so much at school, but only a very small number of the words of that are in the English language. The rest comes through experience in reading and writing, and the ability to recognize the pattern of a word, rather than whether it follows a rule or not.

American Vs UK Spelling

An important factor in writing articles is the difference between and American and UK spelling. Some say the Brits invented the language so they are right, while others claim that the American way is more phonetically correct. In fact, although neither are of these views are accurate, this is still a source of writing errors. 

Spelling is a mixture of Latin, Greek and French along with many other languages used in the country over the last several hundred years. American spelling is only phonetic when they want it to be. It’s not fonetic, is it!

The writing mistake made is when Americans write articles for British based websites, and vice versa. However, I can set my spell checker for both versions of English, as most people can.  I  am writing this article using American spelling.  

This is the crux of the matter.  Use your spell checker as much as you need and you will avoid many of these common spelling mistakes.  Personally I hate such mistakes, and it displays to me that the writer is lazy and incompetent, so why should I continue reading the article and staying on the website since its accuracy may also be in question.


A homonym is a word that sounds the same as another, but has a different meaning. These are very common sources of writing errors, and I even see them in the writings of self-confessed content and advertising writing gurus. In some cases t

hey might make no difference to the meaning, but sometimes they do, and in any case, unless we retain some conformity in word usage, the written language will become increasingly less understandable. For this reason writing mistakes should be accepted as normal.

Common examples are to and too, there and their, here and hear and farther and further. I am sure you can think of many more. The last example is a very common misuse. In fact, farther is used where there is a sense of distance, such as in you can park farther up the road, and further when this is not the case, such as in I have nothing further to say.   

They are exceptionally common in articles written in English by writers who were not raised with the English language.  While grammar and punctuation might be accurate, though this is frequently not the case, spelling and homonyms are a problem. Once again, the natural use of these words in the correct context comes with experience.

Grammar and spelling will become increasingly important with the adoption of LSI by Google and the other search engines.  Meaning is dependent on context and spelling, and if these are wrong, the content might be down listed.  No one can say one way or the other, but the correct usage and spelling of words will not be punished. Writing mistakes will be if the errors are gross.


The Comma

Poor use of punctuation is common on the internet, and insufficient, or too much, use of the comma is one of the more common writing errors. In many cases commas should be replaced with periods, semi-colons or even colons.  Most writers of English are unsure as to the use of the colon and semi-colon; nevertheless they insist on using them wrongly.

The final sentence of the above paragraph above contains an example of the correct use of the semi-colon – between two clauses separated by a conjunctive adverb nevertheless). If this is meaningless to you check out the link at the end of this article – after you finish reading the article of course!

There are several rules covering the use of the comma in the English written language.  If do not have a clue when to use it, then if it seems right to pause slightly somewhere in the spoken version of a sentence, put in a comma at the pause. This is very general, but is often correct, or at least looks better than having no comma. People who read internet articles are not purists and are happy if the sentence looks right and reads right. They don’t want to have to have to work to make sense of your text, but if you avoid most of the common writing errors in your articles, then you probably won't suffer.

Therefore, a comma seems right in this sentence you are reading now.

It should also be used where a number of items are contained in a sentence. Perhaps I am not explaining this well, so I shall provide an example:
I bought some apples, pears, bananas and plums today. This is correct punctuation. Do not separate each item with the word and, and it is also wrong to use a comma between the penultimate and final item – separate them with and without a comma.

The Apostrophe

I read in an internet article by a self-professed pundit on writing that if you do not know if you should be using an apostrophe with a certain word, then leave it out.  It will still make sense and it is better to leave it out than to look ignorant by making a mistake.  If the reader knows that the apostrophe should be there, leaving it out makes it look like a typo, and if the reader doesn’t know, then who cares!

What nonsense and laziness.  If you are unsure whether an apostrophe should be used or not, then learn the rules! They are easy.  An apostrophe is used in two major cases.

The Apostrophe Used in The Possessives of Nouns

If you can turn the phrase in question around and phrase it using ‘of the’, then you should use an apostrophe.

For example: John’s book can be phrased as the book of John so it gets an apostrophe.

Two days ago would be ago of two days which makes no sense, so there is no apostrophe

The possessives of singular nouns not ending in ‘S’ – add ‘s to the noun, thus:  the earth’s core, Adam’s apple, the horse’s mouth.

If the singular ends in ‘s’, you still add ‘s for the possessive such as in James’s mother.

If the word is plural, and ends in ‘s’, add the apostrophe to the end of the word with an added ‘s’. Thus: all the cats’ eyes were shining in the dark.

If the plural does not add in ‘s’, add it: the children’s clothes.

Where an object belongs to more than one noun, add the apostrophe ‘s’ to the last item only, thus:

Ian, Mark and Mary’s birthdays are all on the same day.

Please note that the apostrophe is not used with possessive pronouns such as his or hers. For example:

The pen is his, the pencil is hers and the crayon is yours are correct.

The pen is his’, the pencil is her’s and the crayon is your’s are incorrect.

The Apostrophe in place of Missing Letters

If a word is contracted to a shortened form, the apostrophe indicates where the missing letter or letters are. Examples are:

Isn’t    -   is not

Can’t   -   cannot

Who’s  -   who is  (do not confuse with whose – belonging to whom or of whom) 

He’s     -     he is

One confusion which frequently occurs is the use of the apostrophe in the word its. An apostrophe is only used in this case where it’s is short for it is.

This is the exception to the possessive, or ‘belonging to’ rule.  If its means ‘belonging to it’, there is no apostrophe. Thus: The tiger bared its teeth.

It’s only ever means it is. Its is a possessive pronoun, the same as hers, his and yours, where an apostrophe is not used either. Remember that and the general confusion that there appears to be with this word will be gone – at least for you. You will not make the article writing mistakes that many will make.

There is one addition circumstance in which you would use an apostrophe: when a single lower case letter is used such as in the case of mind your p’s and q’s

It does not apply to upper case letters as in the As stand over there and the Bs over here and also not with numbers and symbols.

Misuse or omission of the comma and the apostrophe are the two main aspects of punctuation errors with internet articles. Cure these two faults and, though your article might not be perfect, it will be readable with less chance of it being misconstrued.

Grammatical Writing Errors

Grammatical errors are very numerous and subject of complete books in themselves. It is a subject beyond the scope of this website, but the following is an excellent website on the subject: http://www.englishplus.com/grammar

It explains English grammar, including use of the apostrophe and comma, far better than I can.

Being Colloquial

Finally, if it suits the context of your page, it is perfectly acceptable to be colloquial.  You can write words as they are spoken and use slang and terms and the vernacular. I do it frequently when writing articles requiring a high degree of familiarity between the writer and the reader.

So not all has to follow the rule, but if you are writing standard English, get it right.  It is worth the effort.  Article writing errors can result in visitors prematurely leaving your website. If you prefer to not write your own have someone else do it for you.  That is why we are here! 

If you want more information on article writing errors and how to avoid them, then chech out my 72-page eBook titled:

Content Writing and Article Marketing

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