Section 7: Patterns of Error

All writers should be reflective enough to understand their strengths and weaknesses as writers, including style and punctuation. This same sentiment should apply to teachers of writing, as well. In this respect, everyone should develop their reflective skills for determining if they make certain errors consistently. In other words, you should recognize patterns of error that you make in order to fix them more effectively.

As a teacher, this means that rather than being a copy editor on student drafts and marking every, single error, take a broader perspective to see if you can recognize patterns of error in your students' writing, both as individuals and as a whole class. This will provide you with more effective opportunities for addressing the biggest or most common punctuation problems that your students might have.

In this sub-section, we will discuss some of the more common patterns of punctuation errors at the sentence, clause, phrase, and word levels:

Sentence-Level Errors

Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Misuse of Pronouns