Some particularly common errors to watch out for include:
- Verb tense: Jump, jumped, jumping, or will jump? Several verb tenses are acceptable depending on what kind of book is being written, but it is essential to keep your verb tense accurate and consistent.
- Apostrophes: Be sure to use apostrophes for contractions and possessives, and use no apostrophe for plurals (e.g. “Don’t eat Mary’s cookies.”) Also, remember that “its” is possessive, while “it’s” is a contraction for it is (e.g. “It’s great when a business honors its values”).
- Misspellings: Keep a dictionary handy. Most publishers use Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed. Or use the Internet, if you prefer.
- Sentence fragment: Any sentence that lacks both a subject and a predicate (i.e. an action). For example, “The marathon runner tied his shoes,” is a complete sentence, whereas “The marathon runner,” and “Tied his shoes,” are both sentence fragments.
- Comma splice: When two independent clauses are separated by a comma rather than a semicolon or a period.