The 6 Most Common Mistakes in Essay Writing
You have probably had an experience where you spent time writing a paper and submitted it with confidence, only to receive a bad grade. Chances are that one of the most common essay writing mistakes led to your poor performance.
Many of these flaws are easy to correct. However, you need to manage each aspect of the essay creation process, from coming up with a topic and thesis to writing to making final edits. Here is what you need to know about avoiding common essay writing mistakes.
How Mistakes Affect Your Writing
Ultimately, essay writing mistakes can lower your grade. Even if you have a solid idea and argument for your paper, misspellings, poor sources, and other problems can detract from the positive elements and make you seem like you do not know what you are talking about.
These problems can also affect you if you are writing a professional essay. Even if you are an expert in the subject, simple mistakes can make your readers question your expertise. The secret to fixing many common essay writing mistakes is editing.
Why You Want to Fix Mistakes in Your Editing
What are some common mistakes students make when writing? Spelling and grammar errors are extremely common, as is the problem of selecting poor sources. Sometimes, the writer simply does not explain a point clearly or uses poor sources.
It is hard to get everything right on the first try, but proofreading and editing can help you catch these common essay writing mistakes before submitting your work. Editing actually takes the pressure off — you do not have to stress about getting everything right when you write.
The Top Mistakes to Avoid
When you write and edit your work, you should be aware of the most common essay writing mistakes. Depending on the word processing software you are using, the program may be able to catch grammatical and spelling errors, such as incomplete sentences or the overuse of passive verbs.
However, you should still read over your work yourself to ensure that it does not include any of these common essay writing mistakes:
1. Spelling and Punctuation Errors
Again, many apps can help you with your grammar and spelling. Even if you use them, it is important to still read through your work to be sure the program has caught everything. Also, you should be sure that the spelling dictionary on your word processor is set to the correct language. Most programs have separate dictionaries for American, British, and Australian English, so you need to set the system to the correct country.
2. The Thesis Isn’t Clear
A poor thesis can ruin your entire essay. However, a good thesis makes the subject of the paper very clear. Not only will the reader know what you are going to write about in the essay, but it also leads you to focus on a specific topic, which will help you decide what to include in the body of the paper. A good thesis expresses one main idea. After you state this idea, you should summarize the argument you plan to make to prove your thesis.
3. Plagiarism or Quoting Without Attribution
Plagiarism is when a writer takes another person's original work and uses it as their own without proper citation. Even if you plagiarize inadvertently, it can ruin your essay. Many teachers and professors have an automatic fail policy for anyone caught copying work. If you directly quote a source, you need to use quotation marks and provide details about the source in a bibliography.
4. Using the Wrong Sources
In any type of academic writing, you need to use reliable and credible sources. Academic journals, scholarly articles and books, and information from respected publications are credible sources. However, articles on social media, blogs, and other self-published work typically do not meet the threshold for credibility.
5. Your Essay Didn’t Follow Assignment Directions
One of the most common essay writing mistakes is simply failing to follow the assignment guidelines. If the teacher provides details about the topic or specific directions, you need to follow them when writing your essay. Some directions could include the use of specific types of sources, addressing a particular question, or meeting a pre-specified word count.
6. Not Following the Proper Essay Format
Academic essays require a specific format, and not following the proper progression, from introduction to body to conclusion, is a common essay writing mistake. The introduction explains the topic and thesis and outlines how you plan to prove the thesis. You then progress to the body, where you explain the evidence that supports your thesis. The most common essay format requires three paragraphs, each with a different piece of supporting evidence. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the argument and reminds the reader about the thesis. If any information in your essay does not relate to the thesis, you should consider editing it out of the paper.
When Should You Get Help Editing Your Essay?
If you aren't sure about the format, thesis, or other aspects of your essay, you can get professional help. Editor World's experts can help you correct errors and enhance the format and thesis of your essay. If your grade depends on the quality of your writing, then this type of editing assistance can give you the confidence that your work is worthy of a high grade. You can also check out our resources page for more information.