Some writing pitfalls

Pitfalls are some dangerous areas that most people could stuck in when they write their words. Keep them in mind could be a good way to avoid meeting them, and also you can use these pitfalls to test or valid your exsiting words/sentences to see if you are in or out of them.

Absence of emphasis

If your sentence carries no emphasis the message reads like a futile message. Try to change the order of the messages or words in the sentence so emphasis gets back in.


Notably writers from Asia forget to use articles which are not present in their own language. Please mark articles in a newspaper text and become more aware of them in your own writing


Information between brackets is best avoided, unless it is a definition of an abbreviation.


Commas are ideally placed where you reader should breathe. If this is in your list of pitfalls you do not use them enough, or too often or at the wrong place.


Excessive Endings: If you use double emphasis at the end of a sentence, the movement of the text disappears. If it is completely gone when the text should move on, it is an excessive ending [ee]. If the loss of movement is less severe we tend to add [end] in the text. The question is then if you wanted it to end or not. We doubt that it is the case.


If this is added in your text we wonder whether the sentence is grammatically correct. In that case expert help on grammar is a good idea, or you can use Grammarly to help you out.


Long Sentences. Sentences longer than 24 words are difficult to read. Try to make a chain of shorter sentences and play with sentence length for sake of variation.


Many Messages: We can read one or two messages per sentence. If you have many messages in your sentence you overwhelm the reader. Try to make a chain of simple sentences instead of one complicated sentence.

[OB]/strong beginning

Obnoxious Beginnings: Sentences that begin with big emphasis do not read naturally. In that case you use an obnoxious beginning [OB]. Playing with the order of the messages in the sentence can solve the problem. If the effect is less pronounced we speak of [strong beginning]. In that case it is not a big problem, but it is something to be aware of.


In English ‘one thing makes’ and ‘two things make’. This is sometimes written in the other way around.

Simpler structure

Simpler sentence structure: If your sentences are too complex, the complexity obstructs the communication. Try to make a chain of simple sentences instead of one complicated sentence.

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Simpler words

If you use simpler words the message reaches the mind of the reader more easily.[Simpler]

More direct

This is a combination of simpler structure and simpler words.


Staccato: Irregular beats in a sentence are called staccato


Subclauses: Subclauses distract the reader. Please give the information a separate sentence or leave it out. You can also reshuffle the information within the sentence so the subclause disappears.

Subclause like structure

The same as subclauses but then more subtly shaped in the sentence.


Tail in the middle of the dog: This is double emphasis in the middle of a sentence

Variation in sentence length

Your text needs more variation in sentence length to prevent the reader from losing attention over sentence length monotony. Please also use very short sentences!

Variation in sentence structure

If this is in your pitfall list, your sentence use the same build up. Become aware of that form and try to vary more.

Xmas diner paragraphs

If you have a paragraph that covers half a page or more you write Xmas diner paragraphs. For psychological reasons it is best to use lines of white make the reading hurdles doable.

Try to explain the projections. Summary of 2020 - Part B


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