Top Writing Mistakes Made by My Business Students (in random order)

Sandeep Krishnamurthy



1.       Assuming that it is easier to write a short paper.  It is hard to summarize a lot of information in a short space.


2.       Improper use of apostrophe.  Do not use apostrophe for plural.  The plural of CD is CDs, not CD’s.


3.       Referring to a single company as “they”.  This is incorrect usage-


Nike reduced its price to $90.  They did not know what they were doing. 


The correct usage is-


Nike reduced its price to $90.  It did not know what it was doing. 


However, it is correct to use the word “they” when referring to companies in plural.  E.g. Nike and Reebok have both reduced their prices.  They know what they are doing.


4.       Not rewriting a report.  All good writing is rewritten. 


5.       Using an improper abbreviation for advertisement.  The correct abbreviation is “ad”- not “add”.


6.       Calling a web site a web sight.


7.       Not capitalizing the word- Internet.  It is not “internet”.


8.       Long paragraphs.  Note:  If you have a paragraph that is longer than a page, rewrite. 


9.       Not organizing reports into sections such as Introduction, Background, Analysis and Recommendations.


10.   Not running Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check.


11.   Assuming that Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check will solve all writing problems.


12.   Not re-reading the report before submission.


13.   Quaint usage- e.g. excessive usage of the word “thusly”.


14.   Mistaking company propaganda for the truth.


15.   Ending a powerpoint presentation with a “Questions?” slide.  (Pet peeve alert)


16.   Unorthodox abbreviation- e.g. abbreviating collaboration as “collabo”.


17.   Using all capitals in a presentation or writeup.


18.   Assuming that everyone can read 9 pt font.


19.   Lack of font standardization.


20.   Long sentences.