Bunce Hall
American Studies
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The Compass: The Newsletter of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences
To download past issues of CHSS newsletters, please visit our publications section.

Tips for Success in ...

Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid


to be used only to designate possession
"That is Susan's dog."
"It is a boys' team."


To indicate a missing letter, e.g., "Wasn't".

But NEVER in a simple plural:
"Those are pretty flower's." <= That is WRONG!!

Wrong use of similar sounding word:

1. your = belongs to you
2. you're = you are
3. they're = they are
4. their = belongs to them
5. there = a place not here
6. over time = indicates duration spanning a period of time
7. overtime = extra pay for working past usual work hours
8. apart = not together
9. a part = belong to, being a piece of the whole