It is not so easy to create a proper essay on a particular subject. Plenty of students think that writing an essay is their educational routine and don’t try very hard. Unfortunately, such position leads to numerous terrible essays that don’t satisfy the requirements of the school system. The truth is that anyone can improve his writing just if he doesn’t make some standard errors. We want to help you to avoid regular and widespread mistakes in essay writing and bring your academic papers to the higher level.
Subject and text are crucial for any written essay or article. You should carefully search for a proper information, relevant data and good sources to write an upscale essay and satisfy even demanding professors. Moreover, you should avoid some widespread content mistakes.
- Content doesn’t match the topic. When you pick up a theme, make sure that it is actual and interesting for readers. First of all, start with your own research and read enough books and online sources. You should understand the major idea and be able to express your opinion about it. Write relevant vocabulary with principle words and expressions on topic and try to use them in your essay. Show the readers that you have knowledge in this field and your writing piece is worth of their attention.
- Wrong essay type. There are different types of essays, each having its peculiarities. You will not get a good mark for your opinion essay, no matter how great it is, if the task was to write a classification essay. You will waste your time and a professor will not be able to evaluate your skills. Thus, make sure to check the assignment details before you start writing.
- Wrong structure. Any proper essay has to include an introduction, main part, and conclusion. If you miss any component, it will have an insufficient look and won’t create a good impression. An introduction helps you to highlight the main point of your work and show its value to others. Don’t miss a chance to engage your readers and use appropriate phrases for it. The body of your essay has to be comprehensive and concept. Try to mention the research of the main subject, show different expert opinions if needed and explain your own viewpoint. Don’t forget about a conclusion. It helps readers to summarize the information they’ve just read, draw an inference and evaluate your writing piece. Learn more about decent essay structure.
- An absence of a strong thesis statement. An essay without a thesis can’t express your ideas and arguments accurately. It helps readers to understand the major aim of your writing. But it is crucial to be sure that you have enough ideas to support and develop a thesis. Otherwise, your teacher and other readers won’t appreciate your efforts and value it at a low rate. Remember that you have to convince everyone of your rightness. Read some top-notch essays examples in different niches here.
- Repetitive ideas or sentences. When choosing a topic, make sure that you have something to say. Repetitive ideas are a sign of a poor essay and that you are not well versed in the issue. To avoid such cases, make a research on the topic to be able to provide some background information and important facts. You may create an outline, which presents all the main ideas. It will serve as a plan and help you avoid repetitions.
- Contradicting ideas. Thesis statement expresses the main idea of the essay. Ideas in the whole paper should support it. Avoid providing contradicting ideas in your paper, especially the conclusion part. Also, do not introduce new ideas in the concluding paragraph, as this part of your paper should summarize the ideas discussed in essay.
- Lack of examples and evidence. When discussing an issue, providing examples demonstrates your understanding of the topic and help the reader to understand it. Thus, always support your claims with evidence, facts, and examples.
- Too broad or too narrow topic. Make sure that the topic you have chosen can be discussed within the word limit of your assignment. If the topic is too broad, you may make it more specific or choose some particular aspect. If too narrow, you also may broaden it by discussing several aspects of the issue.
Aside from good ideas, proper research and conclusions, you should pay close attention to your writing style and avoid a making of common mistakes.
- Repetitive words and expressions. This error is highly popular among students. You can repeat some words and phrases over and over again because you can’t find a clear way of speaking to express your thoughts. Word repetition makes any essay tiring and monotonous. Try to find correct words for each idea you want to explain and use synonyms with pertinent meaning . Thesaurus lets you find a proper term or expression and vary any writing piece.
- Informal or too formal writing. Don’t forget that academic writing requires for a specific glossary, especially if the subject is specialized and assumes plenty of terms. Slang expressions, such as wanna, gotta are forbidden for any academic paper. Try to explore particular vocabularies for your essay, but don’t go overboard and try to observe the necessary balance between formal and informal language.
- Improper sentence structure and length. You should pay attention to sentence type and structure. For example, a passive voice sounds good to emphasize an action or result, but it also can lower the readability of your text. These sentences are more complicated in understanding and can reduce the overall value of your paper. Try to use no more than 20% of such sentences. Don’t forget to regulate a sentence length. Long and bulky sentences are not the best choices for the readable and exciting essay. But too compact size can give a false impression that you have not enough knowledge and can’t explain your ideas. Rotate short and long sentences and read your text aloud twice or thrice. You will feel if it sounds wrong.
- Lack of transitions. To ensure smooth transition of the ideas and make your essay coherent, use transitional elements and linking devices. They help make your essay better and improve your grade. However, do not start every sentence with a linking word, it looks awkward.
- Wordiness. Sometimes less is more. This is the case with the essays. Avoid wordy sentences. Make them clear, specific, and concise. Sentences should be succinct and the idea implied clear and specific.
Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation Mistakes
These types of errors are very popular among students. They try to write an engaging content, create a proper structure, make a deep research of the subject and convince readers of their rightness, but sometimes they forget about grammatical correctness. Even if you gave your professor comprehended and thorough essay, he wouldn’t value it highly if there are plenty of fundamental errors. It means that you have to edit your writing piece carefully. You can use effective professional services or be patient and learn some writing rules. Take a look at standard mistakes and try to avoid them in your academic paper.
- An introductory phrase is not separated with a comma.
- No comma before coordinating conjunction, such as nor, and, for, or, yet, but, if two parts could be sentences on their own.
- Missing Oxford comma when introducing a list of homogeneous components.
- Missing punctuation mark between parts of complex or compound sentence
- Interrupters without commas.
- The absence of agreement between verb and subject also referred to as subject-predicate disagreement
- Missing a subject resulting in sentence fragments instead of complete sentences.
- Dangling modifiers
- Wrong tense choice or tense disagreement
- Lack of proofreading
Format and PlagiarismProper format and original ideas is another key to a good essay. Below you can see the most common mistakes related to these issues:
- Wrong formatting. Sometimes students think that only the content matters, but the format is important too. Make sure to check the format assigned by your professor. The most common formatting styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago, with all having their peculiarities in terms of title page, in-text citations, headings, and references.
- Too many direct quotes. While providing quotes is a good way to support or explain your arguments, providing too many quotes might mean you have no original ideas. Thus, do not add too many direct quotes. When providing a direct quote, make sure to explain your point.
- Lack of in-text citations. When you present someone else's ideas without mentioning the author's name, it is considered plagiarism. Thus, make sure to always properly cite all the borrowed ideas.
- No plagiarism check. Plagiarism is a serious issue that should be avoided in academic papers. There are different types of plagiarism, and unintentional is one of them. Thus, we recommend to check your paper for plagiarism before submission. You can find numerous services online offering free plag checkers.
We tried to write about the most popular and weighty mistakes. If you make everything to minimize your writing blunders, your essay will rise to the higher level, and professors will evaluate it preferably. You should pay close attention to every aspect of the writing because essay content is as important as grammatical correctness. You have to learn plenty of rules and standards related to academic writing in case if you want to succeed in this field. Excellent essays are readable, engaging and can grab the attention of readers from the first words.
Follow these rules and try to strike a happy medium. Avoid too formal or too informal writing. Don’t forget about emotional part. You may tell about your experience, but don’t be too personal. Try to present all facts and actual data about the main subject. Moreover, content, stylish, spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes must be kept as small as possible. We hope our suggestions will improve your essays and help you to avoid common mistakes that can spoil a good work.