Grammar Police: Top 2017 grammar and writing errors

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV)- As 2017 comes to a close, the grammar police are out in full force to identify and fix the top grammar and writing errors of students across the country.

NoRedInk, an online platform used to help 5th-12th grade students with English curriculum, released the top ten mistakes in their 2017 Grammar and Writing Year in Review. Over 3 million students were surveyed and answered over 1 billion questions.

Nationally, students struggled with choosing between similar words such as "lay" and "lie" as well as discrete vs. discreet and anyway vs. anyways.

When it came to critical thinking, kids need improvement in categories including eliminating extra words, paragraph flow, and strong topic sentences. According to NoRedInk, only 1 in 3 students can identify wordy, unnecessary, and redundant language.

Here in the Mountain State, students scored a 38% error rate, which falls near the middle of the national average. NoRedInk's survey indicates West Virginians have a "super power" of identifying appositive phrases.

5 News stopped by Bridgeport High School to speak with teachers and students about the common errors they see. Teachers say grammar is difficult for many students, so extra time is spent on the material. However, even with the added attention, students still struggle with basics including punctuation. Some teachers say outside elements are to blame.

"It is a very difficult subject given today's texting world and social media world," Bridgeport High School English teacher Suzanne Randolph said. "With trying to tweet things under 140 characters or trying to be quick and brief in a text, it becomes very difficult."

Students admitted they do often struggle with grammar and writing activities. However, we tested them on some of the common mistakes listed by NoRedInk. Students were able to answer each question correctly and describe why they chose their answer. They say teachers have helped them remember tricks over the years.