5 writing traps to avoid

Homophone confusion. Hyphen traps. Errors in parallel construction. We may feel we know them all, but why do communications pros keep goofing up?

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Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan Communications’ distance-learning portal, Ragan Training. The site contains hundreds of hours of case studies, video presentations and interactive courses.

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of writing, we professional wordsmiths often feel we’ve heard it all before.

Yet it takes only a quick review by an editor or a colleague to reveal blind spots: typos, passive verbs, apostrophe abuse and other transgressions.

In a Ragan Training session, two experts reveal “How to avoid the 10 cardinal sins of bad writing—and prevent your copy from ending up in the trash.”

Scott Leff, owner of Leff Communication, and Brittany Petersen, the company’s editorial manager, offer a review that will prove useful even to experts.

“These are things you probably know already but are going to be good reminders,” Petersen says.

Here are a few tips:

1. Watch for homophone confusion.

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