Top Writing Mistakes Made by Many Business Students (in random order)*

  1. Assuming that it is easier to write a short paper. It is hard to summarize a lot of information in a short space.
  1. Improper use of apostrophe.
  1. Referring to a single company as “they”. However, it is correct to use the word “they” when referring to companies in plural. For example, Nike and Reebok have both reduced their prices. They know what they are doing.

  1. Not rewriting a report. All good writing is rewritten.
  1. Long paragraphs. Note: If you have a paragraph that is longer than a page, rewrite.
  1. Not organizing reports into sections. For example, Introduction, Background, Analysis and Recommendations. The exact type (and number) of sections depends on the particular project being submitted.
  1. Assuming that Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check will solve all writing problems.
  1. Not re-reading the report before submission.
  1. Mistaking Internet sources (e.g., company propaganda) for the truth.
  1. Long sentences.

Last updated January 16, 2004
*Thanks to Sandeep Krishnamurthy, UW, Bothell