Common Mistakes in Student Papers

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.

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.

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1 comment
  1. Anne said:

    Parallel structures are a topic I focus on with my German EFL students, as this is a source of much confusion. Some German idioms translate into the same sort of structures in English, and others don’t.
    Er sieht zwar, dass ich früher komme -> He sees that I come in earlier.
    So they think they can continue:
    Aber er möchte, dass ich noch früher komme -> He wants that I come in even earlier.

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