As business students, you must practice professional standards in writing. To this end, all written assignments must meet minimal standards to be acceptable. These standards address spelling, punctuation, format and basic grammar. The term Fatal Errors refers to technical English errors and errors of form. Specifically, Fatal Errors include the following:
1. Each different word misspelled
2. Each sentence fragment
3. Each run-on sentence or comma splice
4. Each mistake in capitalization
5. Each serious error in punctuation
6. Each error in verb tense or subject/verb agreement
7. Lack of conformity with assignment format
8. Each improper citation
One way of avoiding some of these errors is to use the spelling and grammar software available on your laptop. These software packages will identify many (but not all) errors for you so that you may correct them. If you are not sure how to correct them, seek advice from the staff in the Writing Center. It is also essential to proofread the entire paper before submission.
Papers with more than three fatal errors marked by the instructor on any one page, or more than ten in the entire document are unacceptable. The instructor will stop reading when either figure is exceeded and will return the paper to the student without a grade.
If an individual paper is returned to you because of Fatal Errors, you must correct it and return it to the instructor by the next class meeting. Grades on all papers that are returned because of Fatal Errors will be reduced by one letter grade. It is in your best interest to use available help (ACE) before you submit the paper the first time. A paper that still has Fatal Errors after it is returned and resubmitted can receive a grade no higher than a “D”.
Common fatal errors:
Their, there, they’re
Loose, lose, losing, loosing
Company’s, companies, companies’
Plurals of acronyms and years do not have apostrophes (GPA, 1990s)
Paragraphs (Either indent first line of paragraphs OR skip a line between paragraphs) Use of multiple they/their/them in one sentence, especially when the pronouns refer to different objects.