These Are the 10 Most Common Writing Errors Students Make

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These Are the 10 Most Common Writing Errors Students Make

By Stephen Noonoo     Jan 8, 2018

These Are the 10 Most Common Writing Errors Students Make

It’s not everyday that we get a glimpse inside the minds (and Google Docs) of today’s students. But thanks to the all together immense power of big data, writing improvement tool NoRedInk analyzed responses and exercises from 3 million students in grades 5-12 to determine the most commonly made writing mistakes.

The amount of errors students make can be staggering. According to the analysis, only 30 percent of students in grades 5-12 can identify the subject of a sentence.

Teachers may need to lie down the law a little more forcefully when it comes to some of the most common usage errors, as students struggle choosing among lay vs. lie, farther vs. further and prejudice vs. prejudiced.

A separate, discreet analysis of critical thinking errors revealed that students most frequently need help eliminating wordiness and making paragraphs flow. They had less problems when it came to recognizing unsupportable claims and finding strong supporting evidence, but those topics made the top 10 list anyways.

The company crunched its data farther to come up with a “State Leaderboard” to determine where students made the least errors. North Dakota came out on top with its students making mistakes only about 32 percent of the time, followed by Alabama and New Jersey. (Then again, maybe we’re prejudice—our own state of California didn’t even crack the top ten). For more grammar facts from the analysis, check out the infographic below.

Now, pop quiz: How many grammatical errors have we been guilty of so far?

(The answer: Believe it or not, we crammed all ten errors into the article above!)

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