While it may be acceptable in friendly e-mails and chat rooms, a major pitfall that has been bringing down the quality of formal, written text is the use of excessive colloquialism. Here are some steps/tips you can follow to help your overall writing.
Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Each homophone has a unique function within a sentence; using the wrong one can change the meaning of the sentence, or make it nonsensical. What’s more, spell-check won’t always detect an incorrectly used homophone, so it is important to have a reliable method to select the right homophone within a sentence. This handout covers common homophones such as there/their/they're.
Run-ons are sentences packed with too many ideas; the writer is “running on” from one idea to the next without punctuating correctly, so the reader doesn’t know how one idea relates to the next. Check out this guide to learn about the several ways to identify and correct run-ons.