Typos: How One Small Thing Can Affect Your Writing in a Big Way

There’s a lot of great writing advice on the internet. From writing a good hook to having a strong conclusion, these pieces of advice have really helped writers hone their craft and improve their writing

However, there is one piece of advice that I feel is underrated and is paramount to keeping your audiences attention.

Avoid typos.

Typos are small mistakes where either the writer misspells the word or presses the wrong key while typing too fast. You might think that they are small and insignificant, but they can make a big difference. I see typos all the time, even in published books and professional websites.

I found this example while surfing through Amazon on my phone:

I found this while surfing through the Amazon.ca app

I found this while surfing through the Amazon.ca app

Not only do you need to worry about typos, but you should also consider these:

Having two spaces after a period or any other punctuation mark (although this isn’t always so noticeable).

  • “My nephew is coming over for dinner.  He is so kind. He is such a wonderful person.”

Having no spaces after a period or punctuation mark.

  • “I love chocolate,icecream, and cake.I would eat desert for the rest of my life if I could.”

So, how do you fix these? 

The only thing you can do is carefully edit your writing and look specifically for these kinds of mistakes. Especially if you’re writing academic papers for University or College or even a cover letter for a job, having a quick look over your work can really make a difference. Don’t worry too much if you let one or two slip through, but make sure it’s no more than that.

If you find that it’s tough to find mistakes, don’t worry. Ask a friend or someone you trust to look over your writing for you. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can spot mistakes that we missed.

Just a few more things…

Having one or two of these mistakes is okay, but having more can be incredibly distracting to the reader and can take away any credibility you have as a writer. Every time I see a typo or a punctuation related mistake, it distracts me from what the author is trying to say. My attention is focused on the mistake.

Although Microsoft Word, Google Documents and iWork Pages should detect these, don’t rely on them. For some strange reason, they sometimes miss them. 

You can use applications like Grammarly to help you, but it’s also good to be familiar with this yourself.