Students and scholars have to write a range of essays as a part of their education and research. It may be your assignment or term paper on a topic that is crucial to progress to the next semester.
Most of us know how to write. However, we still make common slips in writing that are best avoided. Errors make your assignment look poor and result in lower grades.
So, you should make every effort to write an accurate and error-free paper. In this blog, we will explore the common errors in writing essays. You will walk away with valuable insights to write a fantastic article to delight your teachers.
So, let’s dive in without any more delay!
Common Types of Writing Errors
You can avoid several common mistakes in writing by being careful. Moreover, brush up on your English and grammar skills to avoid common writing issues.
Below is a look at some of the most common writing mistakes:
1. Grammatical Writing Errors
Grammar consists of the most common essay slips. Some of the top issues include:
- Mistaking homophones — you’re/your, their/there/they’re
- Incomplete comparison — it is hotter (hotter than what?)
- Wrong tenses — confusing past and present tenses
- Overuse of adverbs — really, gently
- Mixing singular and plural pronouns
- Wrong subject-predicate agreement — neither, either, both
2. Spelling Errors
Spelling mistakes are the most common essay mistakes. Some words in English are confusing, like “way” and “weigh.”
As a result, students often misspell words, which leads to lower grades. Some of the top types of mistakes in spelling are:
|Incorrect Spelling||Correct Spelling|
There is no way to avoid these slips other than memorizing the spelling. Moreover, when it comes to writing you can use a dictionary to maintain accuracy.
3. Stylistic Errors
Every language has a certain way of presentation. Therefore, you should follow cultural and linguistic forms to make your paper sound correct.
If you do not follow them, your sentences may appear artificial or clumsy. Stylistic inaccuracies are also common errors in writing.
Some of them are:
- Wordiness or fluff
- Writing the same words instead of using synonyms
- Using passive voice too much
- Writing lengthy sentences of over 20 words
- Writing too short sentences
- Incorrect comparisons like “more sadder” or “ more larger”
- Poor word choice
4. Vocabulary Flaws
Wrong vocabulary is among the top mistakes writers make in their articles. It can include using the wrong words or slang in your text.
Some of the common writing errors related to vocabulary are:
- Using the wrong form of words — disable people vs. disabled people
- Confusing terms such as — loose/lose, quiet/quite, fare/fair
- Using the wrong spelling — US vs. UK
- Misusing terms such — me/I, who/which, still/till
- Inappropriate implementation of apostrophes — it’s/its, teachers’/teacher’s
- Missing opportunity to use fewer words — all the people in the class vs. the entire class
To avoid such errors, proofread your text several times. You can also use a dictionary to ensure you don’t go wrong.
5. Wrong Structure
Oftentimes, students experience difficulties in ensuring a well-formed structure. It can ruin the logical flow of your ideas and make your text look awkward.
An academic paper should have the following sections:
- An introduction explains what you’re going to discuss and contains your thesis statement
- The main body presents your arguments and ideas
- A conclusion wraps up everything and presents your
The main body should contain at least three paragraphs if your limit is 500 - 700 words. You can use one paragraph to present and explain each argument.
You can break up your text into more paragraphs to reveal more arguments. It may also be necessary to create a new paragraph for a new idea or point you want to discuss.
5 Common Errors in Writing Essays
Students make different types of errors in writing that bottom their grades. We will discuss the five most common essay mistakes you must avoid to write an excellent paper.
1. An Unclear or Weak Thesis Statement
It is common knowledge that academic writing needs a thesis statement. You try to prove or disprove your statement in your essay.
Students should be careful while choosing their theses. It is challenging to write an excellent essay if your thesis is unclear or invalid.
Let’s take an example to illustrate the point. We are going to write an essay on the negative impact of social media on the mental well-being of teens.
A few examples of poor theses would be:
- Social media is bad for the mental health of teens
- How social media harms the mental well-being of teens
- Why avoid social media at a young age
Instead, you can write good essays with a thesis such as:
- Depression trends in teens due to social media
- Online bullying in social media causes self-harm in teens
- Are teens driven by peer pressure on social media?
Think of a catchy thesis statement after doing your research on your essay topic. Weigh all the information and facts to choose a clear and strong statement.
2. Too Many or Too Few Arguments
A good essay contains valid arguments to prove or disprove your thesis. You provide evidence to back up your claims and drive your point home.
It is necessary to use adequate arguments to create a sound paper. You cannot expect to impress your professor by arguing your thesis based on one fact.
Therefore, provide enough facts to build up a solid case. You should use at least three arguments if your article contains five or more paragraphs.
However, refrain from using too many assertions. It looks unnatural and overloaded.
3. Your Writing is Not Convincing Enough
An essay gives you an opportunity to craft a paper based on your opinion. However, you cannot expect to make a strong case by providing dry facts.
It is necessary to connect the dots and link different claims. Try to evaluate your thesis from different perspectives. With an all-encompassing approach, you can write a competitive paper.
Let’s say you decide to write on “Are teens driven by peer pressure on social media?” You can refer to studies that prove the answer is yes.
Your aim is to explain how social media drives teens to irresponsible or impulsive behaviors.
You can quote research where it proves social media leads to harmful actions in young populations, such as:
- Risky decisions
- Drug abuse
- Abnormal sexual behavior
Insights like these help you build a solid case to support your thesis. It is the right way to write an essay.
4. You Don’t Follow Your Professor’s Instructions
Every educational institution has different writing guidelines for students. It is a must to follow what your professor instructed for your assignment.
Unfortunately, many even the most outstanding essays do not get good grades. The reason is the unwillingness or inability to follow the requirements for work.
Let’s say your professor told you to use only up to three sources for your project. However, you decide to cite five sources to reinforce your point of view for sure.
It is one of the most common writing mistakes. No matter how much you want to show your expertise, do it carefully.
Many students do not follow word counting at all. Let’s say your limit is 700 words, but you decide to write 1,500 words. You think you will get good grades since you provided more information.
However, the professor is unlikely to appreciate it. It turns out that you did not follow the recommendations and wasted their time. More doesn't always mean better.
5. Your Text is Missing Citations
Academic writing means using information from different scholarly articles. You may refer to different authoritative sources like magazines and industry publications.
One of the top mistakes in writing is not citing your sources in your text. You just write the information without crediting the author or publication.
This is a serious problem as your paper can not be considered credible. There is no way for your professor to determine the validity of what you wrote.
Moreover, your essay can fall victim to plagiarism as you are quoting others’ ideas. It is completely unethical and leads to a decline in academic achievement.
So, always cite your sources in your essay. Don’t forget to include a bibliography at the end of your text.
Moreover, stick to the format prescribed by your university, such as:
Words to Not Use in an Essay
Good essay writing means using the right words and vocabulary. You should also be aware of certain words to avoid in academic writing, like formal words.
Below is a list of words to avoid in essays and what to use instead:
- “Increase” instead of “go up”
- “Complete” instead of “whole”
- “Nevertheless” instead of “anyway”
- “Acceptable” instead of “all right”
- “Postpone” instead of “put off”
- “Damage” instead of “hurt”
Moreover, words to avoid in an essay include short forms like “can’t” or “shouldn’t.” Write the full forms and avoid using abbreviations.
How to Write an Error-Free Essay
We have analyzed countless sample student essays to pick the top ones. Next, we will provide a few tips on writing a good essay to avoid any possible errors.
Use a Dictionary
A dictionary can help you avoid many spelling and vocabulary errors. You can use an online service to look up spellings and the right words and synonyms.
Rely on a Writing Tool
You can use free tools like Google Docs to write your essays. It identifies any spelling or grammatical mistakes as you write.
Therefore, you can correct your mistakes quickly and make your essay error-free.
Proofread Your Essay
Always proofread your academic project after you finish it. Use a tool like Grammarly to discover any spelling or grammar issues.
A paid tool can even improve your writing and add more appeal.
Write Your Introduction Last
Write your entire paper and then focus on the introduction. It allows you to have a thorough understanding of what you just wrote.
As a result, you can sum up everything in your introduction without any challenges.
Create a Strong Thesis Statement
Identify key gaps or areas of research after doing your literature review. It will help you create a strong statement that stands out from your peers.
Students can easily avoid essay mistakes by focusing on grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. You should also create a sound structure and use enough arguments. Keep a balance between your opinion and grounded facts. Always stick to your professor’s instructions and proofread your work. These simple rules will help you write a flawless essay and avoid revisions to the paper.