6 Most Common Mistakes Students Commit While Writing an Essay

Writing is one of the vital skills you must gain during your college years. You need it for your essays, research papers, assignments, and various other academic projects, all of which are prerequisites to your graduation. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be the most exceptional student to turn in the best essay. Instead, you must invest in compelling content and a solid structure. Oftentimes, students are oblivious to writing mistakes in essay that cause them to lose marks on their papers. Let us show you six common mistakes you can avoid, to improve the quality of your work.

One common essay writing mistake students make is fitting too many arguments into a piece. Although most professors allow you to come up with your arguments, many writers don’t know how to capture their ideas in a simplistic and minimalistic way. With so much information on their mind, they attempt to shove everything down the reader’s throat.

Students that are guilty of this include many facts, quotes, statistics, and information in their arguments and end up complicating what should otherwise be a simple essay. One way to avoid this is to hire high-quality writers in a few clicks by choosing to do my essay online with a reputable writing service. Alternatively, you can do your best to keep things simple. For example, if the instruction is to write a 5-paragraph essay (introduction, 3-body paragraph, and conclusion), you should only attempt to discuss three main arguments in each paragraph.

  • Plagiarism

How often do you give credit to someone for using their work? Plagiarism is one of the most common errors and a serious offense in academics. In case you didn’t know, it is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them as yours. Depending on the institution and severity, it could lead to a lower grade, failing a course, suspension, or expulsion in the worst case.

Although your professor expects you to consult different sources for writing essays, you must give credit through proper referencing. To ensure compliance, instructors use different plagiarism search engines. Therefore, when writing an essay, don’t copy another text without reference. If it is impossible to reference, think of a unique approach to create a personal spin around the subject. 

  • Spelling mistakes

Spelling and punctuation mistakes are avoidable errors in essays, yet they often go unnoticed. It occurs when you use words with the same pronunciation in a sentence. For example, using “rite” instead of “right”. Luckily, you can spot spelling mistakes and inappropriate punctuation marks by proofreading your paper before submission. Not only this but spell checkers and various other technologies can pick up many misspellings. Therefore, don’t be in a hurry to submit your paper without reviewing it with technology and proofreading manually yourself.

  • Wordiness

Wordy sentences or wordiness occurs when you use more words than necessary in a sentence, especially if the verb and subject don’t express the focal point of the sentence. Put differently, when you say something twice to fill space. For example, “Daniel came in order to talk to me about business.” Instead of “in order to talk to me”, you could switch it with “to discuss.” Therefore, you have, “Daniel came to discuss business.”

The secret to avoiding wordiness in writing is identifying long phrases and replacing them with a single word that conveys the same meaning. You can learn how to write short essays by restricting your sentence length. Instead of long sentences, you can use transition words to shift between ideas and maintain your structure.

  • Faulty sentence structure

All sentences should follow subject–verb – and object-word order. Most times, we use one sentence to communicate an idea. But when you attempt to use it to pass different information at once, you will confuse your readers. A faulty sentence structure starts with one and switches to another. When there is no parallelism, your reader won’t see the relationship between your ideas and will be unable to connect with your essay.

Apart from sentence patterns, you must watch out for sentence fragments and run-on sentences. Fragments don’t express a complete thought, as they don’t have independent clauses. In contrast, run-on sentences occur when you join or more main clauses without the right punctuation. When you write, maintain a grammatical pattern, and when you notice a fragment, expand it into a complete sentence.

  • Inadequate academic referencing and improper use of citation

As mentioned above, referencing is one of the ways to avoid plagiarism. However, improper referencing and citation will damage your paper. Referencing acknowledges the sources used by the authors you mentioned in your paper. On the other hand, citation acknowledges the work you and the other referred to so that the readers can locate the work cited.

Referencing gives credit to the source information used in your essay by connecting citations to the list of works cited. A proper citation shows that you are not the first person to reference the author, and since you used various sources, readers can track all the references for more information about a particular point.

College professors often ask students to use a particular citation style. They include The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual, Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago/Turabian Style, etc. The APA style is the most widely-used citation style. Regardless, we recommend you always check with your instructor to know which style to use.  

Wrap up

There are more ways your college essay can go wrong than you know. Sadly, some of these common essay mistakes are self-inflicted. Essay writing can be daunting with help. Therefore, don’t be shy to ask for help from your professor, friend, technology, and writing professionals. If you pay attention to these six mistakes, you will do much better. 

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