10 Common Blog Writing Mistakes


Mistakes are part of life; we’re human and it’s inevitable. When writing for the web, specifically for blogs, sometimes errors are easy to stumble across due to the fast paced environment.

Luckily, this  article from The Entrepreneur provides an infographic a quick, visual guide on the top ten most common mistakes bloggers make, ranging from fragments and run on sentences to comma usage. If you have a blog or are thinking of starting, definitely check it out! Just keeping this common mistakes in the back of your mind might be a great preventive measure. Or simply look before you post!



Who Are You Writing To?


As a writer, when I saw a headline that read, “The Source of Bad Writing” I was immediately drawn and afraid at the same time; I wanted to know, but I was afraid some of it would apply to my own writing! But, alas, I clicked the link. The expectation of accruing some writing knowledge was too tempting.

According to the author of the piece, Steven Pinker, his take on where all this bad writing was stemming from was a disregard of an audience’s knowledge on the topic on which someone is writing.

As a professional writing major, I have it routinely reminded to me the importance of remembering my audience. Your audience, after all, in a way gives breath to your work. And a lot of writers are forgetting this vital fact. Pinker referenced a term by economists called “The Curse of Knowledge.” This phenomenon occurs when one has “a difficulty in imagining what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know.” This, he says, it what’s happening with writers and why “good people are writing bad prose.”

So, okay, we get the issue and that’s great; now how do we fix it? Pinker offers a variety of insights, but also acknowledges how difficult audience acknowledgment can be. After all, we don’t know every pair of eyes that will view our work and it’s unrealistic to expect that everyone will understand what we’re saying. But, to get a better grasp on audience, definitely check out Pinker’s advice.


A Scientist on Writing and Style


When you think about writing, you probably don’t think about the visual aspects, per se, do you? I know I didn’t. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker points out that writing is a very visual experience. He says:

“Good writing is actually written for the eye, it’s not just that vowels and consonants just pour into your ear, but as you understand language, you should be able to imagine what it is the writer is experiencing. The overuse of clichés turns readers’ visual brains off, and it makes writing dull and turgid. As they say, avoid clichés like the plague.”

For more on his take on style in writing, read this.



Cultural Rhetorics Conference

Photo credit: Kellogg Center

MSU is hosting the 2014 Cultural Rhetorics Conference from Friday, October 30 – Saturday, November 1 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.

Cultural Rhetorics scholars study meaning-making practices and, sometimes, the things produced through those practices like baskets, books, dances, poems, websites, buildings, and landscapes.

We use the term “cultural rhetorics” to emphasize an orientation to a set of constellating methodological and theoretical frames we engage in our scholarly and teaching practices. Those frames draw from and across Rhetoric & Composition Studies, various Ethnic Studies fields, Postcolonial Studies, Decolonial Studies, Gender Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, and others.

This is mainly an event for graduate students, but undergraduates are encouraged to attend, especially those who are interested in grad school.

For more information: http://culturalrhetorics.org/crconf/