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5 Mistakes That You Should Avoid While Writing an Essay

by Louise W. Rice

Students often skip editing when they run out of time to submit their essays. However, spelling mistakes, poor vocabulary, and inefficient structure can make the assignment difficult to read and reduce the grades. We will discuss some of the most common mistakes made while writing an essay and how you can fix them.

Failing to Proofread

Students often think that they have already read the essay while they were writing it, and few occasional spelling errors will not make much of a difference. Unfortunately, failing to proofread results in critical spelling and grammatical mistakes that will slip through unchecked and end up making your entire work look poor and sloppy.

It is also wise to leave some time between writing the essay and proofreading. If you proofread your essay right after you have written it, you will end up overlooking the errors because your thoughts are still fresh.

It is also necessary to read word by word instead of quickly scanning through the essay. Some students also change the font style and size to make the text unfamiliar to spot their errors easily.

If you have often wondered, “I wish I had some help with my essay,” you can speak to online futures and professionals to help you write and proofread your essay. It could benefit you greatly to have a fresh pair of eyes scrutinize your work, especially if you do not have enough time to proofread it yourself.

Writing an Essay Without Structure

Some students feel that they do not need a plan since they know exactly what they want to say. It is a very common mistake that leads to students writing confusing essays that are difficult to follow. Therefore you should always take the time to plan out your essay and make sure that you follow a logical structure through its entirety.

You can organize your paper by dividing it into sections with appropriate headers. An essay should always start with an introduction, where you explain the subject matter you will be discussing in brief, including the arguments that you will present later. Always make sure that you finish an essay with a conclusion that summarizes the points you made. 

Inconsistent Formatting

Students often do not realize the importance of little details like spacing and paragraphs for an essay. Unfortunately, your teacher or professor can find such inconsistencies irritating as they make your assignment difficult to read.

It could also lead your teacher or professor to feel that you have copied and pasted parts of your essay from other sources. Therefore always make sure that you follow formatting details, such as:

  • Adequate line spacing
  • Appropriate bullet points or numbers for lists
  • Optimum text size
  • Easy to read font style
  • Indented paragraphs
  • Appropriate references

You can always check with your teacher or professor about the format you should follow in your article. Make sure that you are consistent throughout the essay with whichever format you choose to follow.

Long and Complicated Sentences

You may think that long and complicated sentences make you sound intelligent, but that is not always the case. The truth is, using simple sentences is a more effective form of writing because it makes it easier to understand.

Ernest Hemingway, who we all know to be a great author, believed in writing short and simple sentences in his books. So make sure that you break long and complicated sentences into smaller ones.

Also, try to keep your sentences to the point without filling your essay with too many conjunctions. You can use a readability checking tool like Grammarly or Hemingway editor so that your essay is free of errors and easy to read.

Refrain from using a lot of difficult and complicated words. Obviously, there are certain technical words that you would need to include in your essay. However, too many complex words in the essay do not display your language skills but make it difficult to read instead. It also increases the chances of using a word inappropriately, which can hurt your grades.

Using Too Many Quotations

You may think that putting a lot of quotations in your essay will show your teacher or professor how well researched you are. Quotations are necessary to display the use of multiple resources to compile your assignment. However, you should avoid stuffing them in every opportunity that you get.

Make sure that you only use quotations relevant to the subject and avoid using long ones unnecessarily. Too many quotations can also obstruct the flow of your essay, making it difficult to read. Therefore, sometimes you should try to paraphrase what the author wanted to say and mark references for that section.

Remember to focus on the readability of your essay more than anything else. Your teacher or professor will scrutinize that the most. Also, make sure that you make time to edit and proofread your assignment after you write it so that you can avoid common mistakes. We hope that this list proves useful to minimize your errors and maximize your grades.

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