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

Apostrophe:

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

Or

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