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Bookhooks Style Guide

Using our Word template, you can annotate student work, adding comments for the 30 Common Errors listed in this style guide. The template facilitates mark up by teachers, and generates comments with links to these resource pages!

   Vague Pronoun Reference

30 Common Writing Errors and Their Solutions

Sentence Fragment
Run On/Comma Splice

Parenthetic Expression
Series
Comma Before Independent Clause
Semi-Colon
Colon
Punctuation at end of Quotation
Single Quote Marks
Dialogue
Titles
Possession
Its/It's
Dangling Modifier
Misplaced Modifier
Vague Pronoun Reference
Me/Like
Number Agreement
Parallel Structure
Verb Tenses
Fused Words
Spelling
Passive Voice

Negative Form
Cliches
Choppy Sentences
Wordiness
Qualifiers and Intensifiers
Hedging
Vague, Stilted or Flowery Language

This listing of 30 common writing errors was compiled by The Pingry School and is used with permission.

A pronoun should refer clearly to a noun. In the first example, it is unclear whether he refers to Carter or Clinton. In the second and third, the pronouns which and this refer to clauses rather than nouns.

Carter and Clinton are recent Democratic presidents. He plays the saxophone to relax.

It was brutally hot, which resulted in a short meeting.

Congress was sharply divided on the issue; this resulted in a delayed vote.

Carter and Clinton are recent Democratic presidents. Clinton plays the saxophone to relax.

The brutal heat resulted in a short meeting.

Congress was sharply divided on the issue; the controversy resulted in a delayed vote.