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Write it right: seven common writing mistakes

Updated Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Tutors told us that students make several of the same common writing mistakes which can impact the grades they receive for their Open University assignments.

Find out more about The Open University's English language courses and qualifications.              

This handy animation has been produced to act as a refresher for those occasions when you might want to check your use of apostrophes and your there, their and they’re. We also look at the use of fewer or less and why we never write should of!

It’s very easy to get these things wrong. The key is to learn to spot your mistakes and correct them before your marks are affected. This can also help with your written communication in other areas of life and give you confidence that you are expressing yourself in the best way you can.

Watch the animation below to see seven common writing mistakes and how to avoid them.

PDF document Transcript 59.9 KB

John Butcher is a Professor of Inclusive Teaching in Higher Education and started his career as an English teacher 40 years ago. John notes, over that period, many students struggle with the same common mistakes in written English. This is a great shame, and is avoidable. Writing it right matters, and it is possible to learn (or even re-learn) the correct way to mitigate seven of the most common errors in written English. 

This brief animated resource is not an advanced grammar course. Rather, it offers accessible advice. Watching it takes five minutes (and it can be replayed as necessary to help understanding).

This animation will provide some simple, accessible guidance to help students with their writing.

A helpful refresher

If you know that you struggle with these common writing mistakes, the time invested in viewing this animation will be valuable. You might want to bookmark this page and come back to this animation as and when you need a refresher on this topic.



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