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Common 2 and 3-Star Errors That Should Be Avoided

Learn how to avoid common 2 and 3-star mistakes at Textbroker. It can be difficult to catch every mistake, but following these tips should help.

Meagan Riggs

Q&A Editor

Here’s your dilemma: You want to improve your rating but don’t know where to begin. When you’re at the 2- or 3-star level, your best option is to look at your common grammar mistakes and at your writing process.
 

Common Errors at the 2-star Level

 
What separates 2-star writing from that of a 3-star author? Clarity is the top factor. Across the board, 2-star writing tends to contain awkwardly phrased sentences, missing words, misspellings, odd punctuation and illogical arguments that detract from the reader’s understanding.
 

Spelling, Spacing and Punctuation

 
Example: To indulge his love of sience,he went to the libary to gind books about biology,geology and psychics.

Correction: To indulge his love of science, he went to the library to find books about biology, geology and physics.

The way your order looks is apparent before the first word is read. Typos are expected in 2-star orders, but they shouldn’t take away from the meaning of a sentence, as in the example above where reading about psychics would not fit in with a love of science, or the overall theme of the order. Running your article through the spelling and grammar checker in Microsoft Word or a similar program will pick up many errors while any words you are unsure of deserve a quick check in the dictionary or at Merriam-Webster. Also, watch out for colloquialisms and slang terms in formal writing as using them can add confusion to a broad audience of readers.

As for punctuation and spacing, always place a period at the end of a complete sentence, and add a space after commas, semicolons, periods and other punctuation marks. Most Textbroker orders call for multiple paragraphs or sections. A paragraph is generally about three to five sentences, and leaving a blank space between paragraphs helps the overall presentation to the reader.
 

Fused Sentences, Sentence Fragments and Comma Splices

 
Example: I walked my dog yesterday the dog park is really fun, we go there all the time. Especially when it’s sunny.

Correction: I walked my dog yesterday. The dog park is really fun, and we go there all the time, especially when it’s sunny.

When a sentence is a fragment, an incomplete sentence, or combines multiple complete sentences without punctuation as in a fused or run-on sentence, it creates confusion for the reader and diminishes the point you are making within the article. Comma splices, which are similar to fused sentences but with commas, are also common among 2-star writing.
 

Awkward Sentence Structure

 
Example: Wanting to play outside, the broccoli on her plate needed to be finished first.

Correction: She wanted to play outside but needed to finish the broccoli on her plate first.

Sometimes, awkward sentences come from misplaced phrases. It makes sense. You’re trying to get the information on the page, and not every sentence will come out right the first time as in the above example. This is where proofreading, going back over your work to check for errors, helps you make corrections and create logical thoughts. If you find yourself having trouble with clear sentences, this site offers tips on sentence structure and mechanics.
 

Errors at the 3-star Level

 
When you’re at the 3-star level, your argument might be clear, but it’s still hindered from rising to the level of 4-star writing by grammar obstacles like homonym errors, comma mistakes and filler—a writing style that presents its own set of issues with passive voice, redundancy and leading the article off-topic.
 

Homonyms and Common Misspellings

 
Example: You’re decision to drop out of school defiantly doesn’t effect me.

Correction: Your decision to drop out of school definitely doesn’t affect me.
In addition to missing typos that actually spell other words correctly, like “defiantly” and “definitely,” 3-star level misspellings often come in the form of homonym errors. These words sound alike but have different meanings and are not spelled the same. Two of the most common might be “your,” as in something that belongs to you, and “you’re,” which is a contraction of “you are.” Here’s a list of other easily confused words like “their,” “there,” and “they’re.”
 

Comma Use and Parts of Speech—Sometimes

 
Example: If she had listened to the traffic report, she would have taken side streets, and arrived on time to work.

Correction: If she had listened to the traffic report, she wouldn’t have taken the freeway and arrived on time to work.

Typically, 3-star writing shows understanding of comma usage about half the time. In the above sentence, the introductory comma is correct, but a comma that appears before a coordinating conjunction is only used when both clauses are independent. A basic grasp of grammar, such as proper article use (a/an/the) and consistent subject/verb agreement, help make the writing clear at this level, although more complex punctuation like semicolons, colons and hyphens are more of a challenge.
 

Filler

 
Example: This incredible product makes a variety of foods that suit your needs.

Correction: This toaster oven not only perfectly heats your toast in the morning but warms up last night’s pizza for lunch, making it practical for any meal.
Filler is anything that does not add value to your article. This can be in the form of repetitive phrasing or ideas, being vague as in the example above or making obvious or irrelevant statements. The last of these often takes the article off-topic. Another characteristic of filler is the use of passive voice, which takes the action out of a sentence and often distances the reader from your argument or topic.
 

Examine Your Writing Process

 
How you approach your article will make a difference in the quality of your content. Since making a clear statement to your audience is at the heart of all writing, try making these three things part of your process on the path to improvement.

1. Comprehension: When you start writing, check that you understand your topic. Read and research thoroughly, and then, summarize what you’ve learned. This will help not only prevent plagiarism but clarify that you know your subject. If you have time, don’t be afraid to walk away from your summary or a first draft, even if only for five minutes, so that you return to your writing with fresh eyes.

2. Reading out loud: If you’re working somewhere that it’s permitted, read your article out loud to catch awkward sentence construction and ensure logical flow. You’re more likely to gloss over something if you’re reading it silently.

3. Spell check: Before you hit submit, give your text one last run through a spelling and grammar checker. It’s worth it.

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Comments

Chelsea 24. May 2019 - 1:39

For $0.007 per word I find myself hard-pressed to care about minor little stuff! Pay your writers more than slave wages and you’ll get better work and more attention to detail from it!

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Brit 28. May 2019 - 3:26

I find myself frustrated by the pay scale as a new writer here. However, I view it as survival money until I’m honed for bigger things. I’ve only been working here for four days and have had to make myself more versatile. This gig is giving the experience I need to later apply for real positions at other companies. If you try to get any writing, they will demand you have multiple years of professional writing experience. Upwork leaves it all in your hands. Textbroker hands you professional experience on a platter.

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Kelly 19. June 2019 - 20:57

I have been using Textbroker for almost a year. I considered the initial pay to be my “learning curve.” By continuing to give my best work even though the pay wasn’t great, I’ve been able to join higher-paying teams. I also receive a lot of direct orders where I name my own price. It’s definitely worth it to stick it out and always do your best work. I’ve written over 300 articles now, and it’s been an amazing stepping stone to more work.

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corteznapue 26. June 2019 - 19:35

Hi Kelly! I’m so glad that you’ve been successful with writing. I’m also glad that Textbroker provided you with the opportunity to excel. Way to go!

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Kyoshingo 19. June 2019 - 22:45

I like your view on our compensation rates with Textbroker. Looking at it in that light gives me hope for better pay in the future. Thank you for brightening my day.

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Nancy Shockey 19. June 2019 - 20:02

It doesn’t take very long to proof and correct any article you have written for a Textbroker assignment. I have developed the following system for myself. After finishing the article, I go back and review it with the speller/grammar checker in Word software. After making any corrections necessary, I post it to the Textbroker site and then go through it again for any other errors. After that’s done, and I’ve checked for plagiarism, submit the article. What I have found for myself is that the number of errors I make is declining.

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Melody Johnson 19. June 2019 - 21:18

I like these types of tips articles. I feel that it is helping me to become a better writer.

Reply

Michelle Horvath 20. June 2019 - 7:48

I actually have two questions…

I thought we are to use the Oxford comma? Even my spell checker agrees and is underlining the "and" in this sentence.

Correction: To indulge his love of science, he went to the library to find books about biology, geology and physics.

Also, something about this sentence doesn’t seem right to me…

This will help not only prevent plagiarism but clarify that you know your subject.

Shouldn’t it be …

This will help not only to prevent plagiarism but clarify that you know your subject. as well.
or
This will not only help prevent plagiarism but to also clarify that you know your subject.

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