Article writing can be one of the most fulfilling tasks you can tackle as a writer, yet it’s also one of the most difficult things to get right. Whether you’re writing an article for your own blog or another company’s website, there are certain rules that must be followed to make sure the content reads smoothly and doesn’t confuse or lose your readers in any way. One set of rules that must be followed is grammar. This article will tell you about five of the most common grammar mistakes in article writing and why to avoid them.
Proper Grammar Builds Credibility
Readers want to trust what they’re reading and proper grammar shows that you are an organized and responsible writer. Inconsistent grammar can distract readers from your message and make them wonder about your credibility as a source of information. Using correct grammar also shows respect for readers.
When you fail to use proper grammar, it comes across as if you are assuming that readers will have trouble understanding or won’t care if you don’t take enough time to proofread properly. If a company fails to provide clear instructions or follow proper protocols, we often say their lack of attention to detail shows. The same can be said of writing—if there are errors, it probably means there is a larger problem with how you handle projects and assignments.
Improper Punctuation Can Change the Meaning of Words
We’ve all seen the meme of a sign with a typo: “Missing Cat. Has been spotted nearby. Reward!” The reality is, punctuation matters. Missing punctuation marks can change the meaning of words and misplacing a comma could change the meaning of your sentence. For example, if you swap out “I do not like grapefruit” for “I do not like, grapefruit” completely changes the meaning of your sentence. At first glance, it appears that a grapefruit is being addressed with an incomplete thought! Punctuation is important and without it we would be even more lost than we already are as English speakers.
There’s very little excuse for these obvious grammar mistakes to happen. So many free grammar checkers exist online, and most word processor programs can catch the obvious punctuation omissions or inaccurate additions. So, before you ever publish a written piece, check that your punctuation is correct.
People Tend to Believe What They Read
People tend to believe what they read. Whether it’s a fact, story or personal account, people seem to naturally gravitate toward believing whatever it is they read. That’s why grammar and punctuation errors can be so problematic when you’re writing an article. While some readers may be willing to forgive minor typos, others will get frustrated and stop reading altogether if they encounter too many grammar mistakes within a given piece of writing.
Even errors as simple as using the wrong form of a verb can throw off the flow of an entire article. Content is an important touchpoint with both new and regular members of your content’s audience. So, being clear with your writing’s message should always be your first priority.
Professionalism Builds Trust
No matter what you do, professionalism builds trust. Your readers may not even realize they are making decisions based on their perceptions of your professionalism, but trust-building doesn’t happen with poor grammar and spelling. Articles that are well written and formatted correctly tell your readers you care about your work and value their attention. A good reputation will allow you to make money revenue from your writing as it shows potential advertisers and collaborators that others have already given you their trust.
Why so many legitimate websites allow content to go live with improper grammar, especially in feature articles, is mind-boggling. Yet, it happens. Some people even find poor grammar and slang being used in online content to be offensive. Let’s be fair: most readers aren’t that judgmental about grammar. But, that doesn’t mean that the article is written clearly enough for the reader to get the most value from it.
Consistency Lends Credibility to Your Content
Not only can bad grammar slipping into your content make you look sloppy, some readers will automatically assume your content isn’t credible. This can also hurt your Google search engine rankings; yes, Google puts a lot of emphasis on grammatical integrity when it comes to quality content. For example, subject and verb agreement improperly used in a sentence could confuse readers about the number of subjects involved. The harder a reader has to work to understand what the article says, the more likely they will leave frustrated.
So if you want to write a high-quality piece of content that ranks well, make sure to proofread your work. If possible, have someone else do it for you as well so that they can pick up on any mistakes you might have missed while writing or editing. The most common readability issues include fragmented sentences, run-on sentences, and awkward use of commas and other punctuation. Not only do these problems make articles harder to read for humans, but the search engines will often have trouble understanding the context of the written text. If you’re writing for online venues, it’s important to fix these readability issues as soon as possible and learn how to avoid them.
Remember: You may not notice typos or grammatical errors, but someone else will.
Of course, correct grammar helps readers to perceive the writer as a well educated and knowledgeable person. On the other hand, improper grammar causes poor perceptions of not just you as a writer, but whatever brand, business, or niche you represent with your writing. Most people would agree that it’s not acceptable to use text lingo on a business website or even on a personal blog. Yet, we daily come across websites and blogs that don’t read well, and not understanding proper grammar rules in writing is partly why.
Consistently improving your grammar and word usage is the key to great article writing. There are many grammar tools and courses on the internet you can use to discover and overcome your short-comings. Even if you need to hire a writing coach or copy-editor, the investment in one or both can be invaluable in becoming a better writer.
Even if you need help proofreading before you hit publish, make sure that it gets done. Remember that a single grammar issue can make an effective piece into one that can hurt your content’s credibility. Invest in your writing skills and polish up your grammar, and you will find your article writing will vastly improve.