Has it ever happened that you labored days for an essay but still received a low grade? You must have wondered what went wrong. Well, there is a good chance you made some mistakes that went unnoticed.
Students often commit errors that weaken the impact of their writing. Even if you have worked on your paper for weeks, a single typo can spoil all your efforts. So, you must be careful not to make mistakes.
This article lists the seven common mistakes all students make while writing their essays. Pay close attention to each and avoid them in your next paper. This will make your writing 10x better and will impress your professor. And if you are still fearful, you can ask an expert to do homework online and seek professional help with your assignments.
7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Essay
- A Weak Thesis Statement
The thesis statement sums up the main idea of your paper and entices the reviewer to read your essay. Since this one sentence is the foundation of your writing, a weak thesis statement would damage your paper. The essay would be vague and fail to show the importance of your argument.
In contrast, a strong thesis conveys a single idea in a specific and concise way. Its claim challenges the readers with an argument that can be debated and supported by evidence. Here is an example of a weak vs. strong thesis statement:
Weak: Digital literacy is essential for students.
Strong: Because cyber crimes like data theft, scholarship scams, and camfecting are on the rise, schools should prioritize digital literacy for students.
- Lack of Evidence
Students often don’t present sufficient evidence in the essay body to support their thesis statement. This may be because they are writing on a topic that doesn’t have enough resources to research or they have focused more on their thoughts and opinions. Either way, it leads to an essay that stinks of a rotten potato.
Luckily, you can avoid this mistake. Before you commit to writing an essay, ensure there is enough credible evidence to support your claims. Hence if you have multiple topics, pick the one for which you can present relevant and impactful facts. You must back your thesis with strong evidence like data, case studies, experiments, and examples.
Ensure that the sources you are taking these facts and evidence from are trustworthy and acceptable. It is also highly likely to find a variety of studies and research in favor and against your argument, be careful to pick the relevant ones.
- Having an Informal Tone
Writing “climate change is really a big deal, and it’s freaking me out” in an academic essay isn’t a good idea. This informal language decreases the persuasiveness of your writing. The reviewer would conclude that you have relied on emotions rather than evidence to prove your argument.
Hence you need to be formal and objective in your academic essays. Here are some tips you can utilize:
- Avoid contractions. For example, replace ‘isn’t’ with ‘is not,’ ‘won’t’ with ‘will not,’ and so on.
- Don’t overuse the first person pronouns, like “I, me, my, we, and us.”
- Avoid addressing the reader as “you.” Instead, use “one,” “the reader,” or “the viewer.”
- Avoid slang and colloquialisms like “yeah,” “stuff,” “kind of,” “guys,” and “big deal.”
- Avoid using modifiers like “very,” “quite,” “really,” “totally,” and “actually.”
- Writing Complex Sentences
It’s easy to show off your English knowledge by writing complex sentences and using lengthy words.
But your readers should not be scratching their heads trying to figure out the meaning. If they don’t understand your arguments in a go, your essay would fail to convince them of your claim, which would defeat the purpose of your essay.
Hence you must ensure the readability of your writing.
You can compose short sentences using the least words to convey an idea. Instead of using only the smaller or larger words, use the right word that properly explains the point. Try to write sentences of varying lengths to keep your readers engaged.
You can use the Hemingway app to quickly increase the clarity and boldness of your writing.
- Composing a Weak Conclusion
Sometimes students restate the introduction of their essays in the conclusion. This weakens the last paragraph and makes the reader unconvinced about your arguments.
The conclusion is an essential part of your essay that should present your final perspective on the topic. You can summarize your main idea and restate the thesis to show its significance. Try to end your essay with an impactful sentence to leave the audience with a lasting positive impression.
- Not Editing the Essay
Once the first draft is complete, students submit their essays without editing or proofreading. It results in errors that make them lose precious points.
Hence you must revise your first draft to ensure all the evidence and data are correct. Make sure that the content supports your thesis statement and isn’t deviating from the topic. There should be a smooth flow between paragraphs, and the content should be well-structured.
Also, locate and fix all the grammar and spelling errors, missing words, punctuation mistakes, and awkward phrasing. Reduce passive voice and adverbs to make your writing more concise.
You can use Grammarly software to make your editing fast and effective.
- Not Checking for Plagiarism
When you write an essay, you research others’ work to understand the topic and collect evidence for the paper. It may lead to unintentional plagiarism, which is a serious offense.
Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and presenting them as yours. If you copy and paste a section of another’s write-up, you are committing a crime that may lead to the cancellation of your application.
Hence always run your final draft through plagiarism checker software. The tool would match your writing with millions of articles on the web and let you know which sections would need modifications.
Also, cite the sources you have used for collecting information, and avoid using a quote as your own sentence.
Mistakes can kill an essay. Students often commit the above writing mistakes that impact their grades. You can keep them in mind and avoid them in your upcoming paper to significantly enhance your writing. This would help you compose an essay you would be proud of and feel confident to hand it over to your professor.