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Home » Module 1 Unit 6: Apostrophes » Common mistakes - page 1/8
Unit 1: Sentence fragmentsUnit 2: Run-on sentences Unit 3: Subject-verb agreementUnit 4: TensesUnit 5: PassiveUnit 6: ApostrophesUnit 7: Articles

Common mistakes

This section looks at a range of common errors in the use of apostrophes.

Have you got a piece of your own writing handy? Check it to see if you are making any of these common mistakes with using apostrophes.

Mistake 1 - You use contractions in academic writing.

Contractions are not acceptable in academic writing. In fact, they are not valued in formal writing in general, including most forms of professional writing. They make your writing sound more spoken and conversational rather than academic and analytical. Avoid them altogether in formal writing and use the full forms of all words.

This sentence is not acceptable in academic writing as it contains a contraction (haven't):

These theories haven't been proved and the scientific world must accept this.

It should be written like this:

These theories have not been proved and the scientific world must accept this.

Select the sentence that is suitable for an academic context.