Here are the most common grammar mistakes I saw in student writing in my history courses this summer. Each one is linked to the page I referenced in my comments in each paper that contained such an error. The first four links lead to the amazing OWL at Purdue, and the last one leads to an article on this blog.
- Run-on sentences
- Sentence fragments
- Parallel structure
- Mixed verb tenses and confusion about the differences between the simple past, past perfect, and present perfect
- Paragraph structure, transition sentences, and introductory and concluding paragraphs.
Native and non-native speakers alike make these mistakes. Some non-native speakers also had trouble with definite and indefinite articles. I always thought that the lack of articles was a peculiarity of Slavic languages, but I found the issue come up with some Korean students too. Some native speakers of Spanish also ran into trouble with the because they use this article differently in their own language.