Common Errors: Sports autobiography

Here are the Common Errors across the set of sports autobiography stories you each wrote:

  • One full grade will be deducted for failure to turn in any assignment type-written and double-spaced. That includes your speaker questions.
  • One full grade will be deducted for failure to set up assignments correctly. That includes your class information in the upper left-hand corner of the assignment (name, class, date, assignment slug) and STAPLING multiple pages together (no paper clips, no fold overs).
  • One full grade will be deducted for factual errors. There was only one in this assignment: Pittsburg instead of Pittsburgh.
  • Comma faults, as usual, dominated as the most common error. This is very disappointing given that this is an advanced Journalism writing course and many of you have already taken Comm203 and the required 303.
  • When you start a sentence with the dependent clause, it must be followed by a comma.
  • When you use a non-essesntial phrase, like this, you must set it off with commas.
  • The second-most common error, as usual, involved compound adjectives. To recognize a compound adjective, you must know what an adjective and noun are. Compound adjectives include 3-point shot, 12-years old, higher-level class, game-winning shot.
  • Paragraphs should be no longer than 4-to-5 typewritten lines. Usually, they are shorter than that.
  • There were far too many typos, which means you aren’t rereading and proofreading your work.
  • My mantra remains: reread, revise, rewrite, proofread. Good writing is rewriting.
  • Poor word choice is a result of a lack of rewriting.
  • Wordiness is a result of a lack of rereading.
  • AP Style is generally lower case. Only proper nouns are capitalized.
  • Single quotes only appear inside quotations.
  • Reread your AP Stylebook on ages (it’s at the age of 3, at the age of 12; always use a numeral), heights and weights.
  • There is a separate Sports section in the AP Stylebook. You should know it cold.
  • On attribution tags: They provide valuable real estate for context. When you provide context, it’s …said Smith, who was playing his 12th-straight game in goal. When you don’t provide any context (a wasted opportunity), it’s …Smith said.
  • Use said or say when quoting someone. Use stated or state for quoting from documents or reports.
  • Don’t write I believe or I feel. What you write IS what you believe or feel.
  • Don’t write for this class like you text. You’ll flunk.
  • Don’t talk about being a journalist someday. Start a blog. Now! I have a sample blog I just created: On Red Wings.
  • Please staple this assignment to your next one. Don’t repeat the mistakes you made on your first assignment. I will be looking for patterns in your writing.
  • Want to learn more about Common Errors?


2 Responses to “Common Errors: Sports autobiography”

  1.   ryanharty Says:

    The Common Errors link goes to NHL hockey standings.

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