Although you have no doubt been taught this, here is a list of the most common MECHANICAL errors I run across in high school papers:
- Never start a sentence with the word “Which,” unless you are asking a question.
Agreement: subject/verb; pronoun/antecedent
- The tallest buildings in the city was built over 25 years ago. (were)
- The professor told their class about the upcoming exam. (his or her)
- your, you’re
- there, they’re, their
- to, too, two
- effect vs. affect
- past vs. passed
- less vs. fewer
- Alot = a lot
- Allright = all right or alright
Mechanics, of rubrics I've worked on and used, usually includes: grammar, formatting, and language usage. For comparison and contrast papers, specifically, it should have the language of juxtaposition: "similar," "different," "comparable," "equivalent," "analogous," etc...
Good writing mechanics reveals a paper free of most errors in grammar and usage; its sentence variety is implemented with rich vocabulary; transitions are present; it includes project elements as assigned; it is properly formatted (MLA – margins, etc).
Here's what our state standards have to say about Mechanics:
1. Use Standard English conventions in all writing, such as sentence structure, grammar and usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.