Lucid writing- 11 key things to avoid while writing

Basically, the objective of this article, although not tagged like a rocket science project, is built upon the singular reason of teaching you how to write an understandable piece for publication or self-appreciation.  This collectively brackets all forms of writing- from letter writing to story writing to research work etc.

There is no such thing as “a beggared writer” every writer has his/her unique style there is also no such thing as an original work only a work written originally- this is achieved when a piece is free of castigating errors. The idea of a bad writer or an individual with poor writing prowess emanates when seemingly avoidable errors become a parcel and can be commonly identified in a third per cent of all his/her work.

Over the year I have worked in major places and on major writing sites and platforms and I have been able to piece together 12 possible writers’ Achilles heels, these are the major things that must be avoided while writing.

1.       Avoid the improper use of commas

Commas are one of the handiest tools used to give a sentence an objective meaning. When this comma is applied inappropriately it results in miscommunication, misunderstanding, and utter confusion about what is to be perceived from your content.

It has reached the utmost part of understanding that several people aren’t still certain of how a comma is to be applied; a common is a sigil for a pause. To know if you have correctly used it, go through your piece again and pause upon approaching a comma, if this happens consecutively without an extended interference of words you would most likely want to cross-check.

2.  Avoid the excessive use of spacing amid a full stop and the beginning of the next sentence

This error deep roots all the way back to the past when the most formal means of writing was with the use of a typewriter, back then a double space after a sentence-ending was strictly to enhance the comprehension skills of a reader to evade confusion.

Recommended:  GENETICS

Presently the use of a computer for writing purposes has abolished the double/excessive spacing to enhance readability. A collection of fonts embedded in major writing programs and applications has made it easy for the heightened understanding of the reader thereby making the double-spacing more of an erroneous act than an initial attempt to promote readability. Avoid this at all costs; it would serve no purpose other than stain your screen with the green corrective lining.

3.       Avoid whatever would lead to disorganization

For example, if you are writing an article, there would be a compelling need, by default, to capitalize all headings and subheadings, this is a format for organization of the content. It separates the topic to be explained from the explanation itself. Failure to do so would once more leave your work in a horrible state of disarrangement and it would be agreed upon by readers that your piece is presented in a less captivating manner.  Use bullet points, Dash, and numbering to guide your reader through the outline and the organization of your piece.

4.       Avoid the misuse of the quotation mark (“ “) for word emphasis

The over-excessive use of the quotation mark does enough to make your work appear grungy, disorganized, and rather irritating to observe this would plunge readers into confusion upon reading a sentence. They are other tools that can help show an expression or quote other than the quotation mark. As an alternative, you can simply select a vocabulary that accurately expresses what you mean on its own.

5.       Avoid the improper use of apostrophes

While writing, be sure to use the apostrophe mark correctly, it signifies possession and contraction. So you should know that “my fathers” is incorrect and should be written like this “my father’s” instead. Do you understand?


6.       Avoid splitting infinitives

If you haven’t attentively harkened unto the English grammar rules concerning the construction, begin now by bridging ignorance with what split infinitives connote.

A split infinitive is a phrase containing an infinitive with an adverb inserted between “to” and a verb. An infinitive is the basic form of a verb without an inflexion binding it to a particular subject or tense. (e.g. to walk, to see, to eat, to read). An example of splitting infinitives:  he seems to really love board games.

Why is this not appropriate?

The word splitting infinitives is redundant and so makes the whole sentence wordy, when a sentence becomes too wordy it disrupts the logical flow and makes the successful delivery into the next sentence hectic. When there is a case of split infinitive endeavour to see if it enhances the state of your sentence or paragraph if it doesn’t It is best to do away with it.

7.       Avoid the use of incorrect subjects- subjects must agree with verbs.

Your verb at all cost must agree with the subject and vice versa, if this agreement can’t manifest the sentence can otherwise be considered as an English blooper but many don’t know of this.

Ensuring your subject and verb agree is essential and for you to make sure it is like that, try brushing through it outside of the sentence.

8.       Avoid the misuse of pronouns-especially incorrect ones

This can lose to writing mishaps and confusion overusing pronouns can easily make readers less informed on who you are referring to. Be sure that your pronoun relates with the word you are replacing e.g. her for Ada, a female, he for John a male. They shouldn’t be a switch for any arising reason.

Be sure to reread all that you have written after concluding just to be sure you can pinpoint who you are referring to.

9.       Avoid sentence fragments

A consecution of never-ending sentence flow would eventually lose all meaning, either that or the reader would get tired before reaching the purpose of that write-up. Whenever a case in which you feel you are repeating a particular sentence arises, break it into simple thoughts while doing so be sure that each sentence is complete to avoid a case of too many pieces leading into sentence fragments.


10.   Avoid the use of inconsistent verb tense

Before starting a write-up, select the type of tense you would want to use, should it be past or present tense? Elect one for use and stick to it to avoid conflict of events.

Take for example you want to foreshadow an event or tell a story that has the title “most memorable event” you would for sure want to begin with a past tense, coming in midway with the present tense wouldn’t lead to confusion and a conflict of time arrangement?

The most memorable day of my life started with a heavy knock on my door, the guy at the other end of the door is…

Do you understand the point I am trying to make out?

11.   Avoid dangling modifiers

A modifier is responsible for describing or qualifying another section of a sentence. Dangling modifiers are modifiers that don’t exactly describe any phrase. This is a case where the intended subject to be qualified becomes missing and is replaced by another, dangling modifiers are constantly in form of introductory phrase that is linked with the wrong thing when this happens the sentence is always presented as unclear and incomprehensible e.g.

As adapted from scribbr

  • Hungry after two hours of hiking, the packed sandwich was quickly devoured upon reaching the peak-Wrong
  • Hungry after two hours of hiking, I quickly devoured my packed sandwich upon reaching the peak- Right.

With any luck, the above tips would help embolden you as a writer and hone your skills to perfection.


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