Anyone can master the art of essay writing if they follow the process. For college students and working professionals, it is all the more important to be good at writing essays because their academic and work careers depend on their writing, researching, and referencing skills. While you may already know the essential tips and tricks to write an effective essay, you may still be unknowingly making some mistakes. Avoiding them can make your essay a lot better and you an authority in essay writing.
9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Essay Writing
Go through these mistakes that people make and see how you can stop them from destroying your work.
Writing in Second Person
Your essay should not be written like how this article has been written. This is written in the second voice where the reader is being addressed as “you”, which makes sense in casual writing. Essay writing is a formal affair and addressing your readers (professors) as “you” is a silly mistake that students make. Instead, address them as “one”, or go full formal and write in the third voice.
Not addressing the reader makes your essay look analytical and objective.
This is one of the most common mistakes, and yet people fail to correct it. Proofreading your final copy is as important as writing it. To strain how important checking the spellings of your words are, consider this: not submitting an essay is way better than submitting an essay which has not been proofread.
There is no bigger turnoff than a typo in the introductory statement of your essay. So, once your writing is complete, you should invest enough time in editing and proofreading. You can use online apps like Grammarly or Hemingway App for assistance.
In the essay writing world, there’s a better and more sinister word for it: plagiarism. The single best mantra on this is to never copy content from internet sources. If you have used Wikipedia for your essay writing, make sure that you have rewritten the content and not blindly copy-pasted entire sentences.
If you cannot find time for researching or writing, you can take advantage of websites like MyEssayWriting where you can buy professionally written and plagiarism-free research papers and essays.
Using Negative Language
Never do the mistake of using negative words (that you use colloquially) in your formal essay. Negative language does not necessarily mean words like “heck” or “damn”, but can also relate to the meaning of the words. Words like “painless” may seem neutral, but using them can instill a negative thought in the reader. Make use of a thesaurus to come up with positive words.
Use of slangs and expletives are also highly frowned upon.
Not Using Enough Sources
You have an idea in your mind, so you write an essay about it. Very good. But, are you backing it up with research and facts? Are you referencing enough? Are you showing why your idea should be considered by your readers? If not, then there’s no point in writing your essay.
For every sentence that you write, you must provide credible source that backs it up. However, don’t overdo it, as teachers do not like an essay that has more references than original material.
This is very common if you are new to essay writing. Straying off-topic is a fair mistake and one that can be easily avoided while editing. You should not worry about straying off when writing your first draft; it will come to your attention when you sit down for the revision and editing phase.
Reread what you have written multiple times and omit content that does not belong. It’s as simple as that.
Not Following the Brief
If you did not pay attention to what your professor was saying when he assigned you the task of essay writing in class, chances are you missed key points of the brief. The length of the essay, themes to choose from, the type of essay, deadline, flow, structure – all sorts of guidelines. While most professors leave the writing to the students, they sometimes give specific guidelines for students to follow. And if they don’t, they end up losing precious marks.
So, it is better to pay attention when you are being assigned an essay.
Not Writing an Effective Title
Title is one of the first elements that teachers use to judge an essay. So, it is your job to make it as effective and to-the-point as you can. The perfect title does not exist, but you should make sure that your essay title encapsulates everything that you want to say. For example, if your essay is about postcolonialism in the third world, an apt title would be “Discourse, Disparity, and Decadence – A Brief Study of Third World Realism and Postcolonialism”.
Not Writing a Powerful Conclusion
The conclusion of your essay is as important as the introduction. You ought to make it powerful so that readers can fully understand the meaning of your essay and can take the arguments with them. A conclusion should not only summarize the main theme of the essay, but also reiterate its key points, and give the reader something to ponder upon as he/she ends reading the essay.
These mistakes were collated after studying hundreds of student essays and talking with different teachers. Some of these may not be common, but it is up to you, as a student, to ensure that none of them are found in your work. The mark of a brilliant essay is not just good writing but also the absence of mistakes.