Essay Writing Mistakes

The Top 5 Most Common Essay Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

What are the top 5 most common essay writing mistakes, and how can they be avoided? The top 5 most common essay writing mistakes are: not following the essay prompt or question, lack of clear thesis statement, poor organization and structure, weak supporting evidence and examples, and improper citations and referencing. To avoid these mistakes, students should carefully read and understand the essay prompt, conduct sufficient research, and create an outline before commencing their writing.

Not following the essay prompt or question

Following instructions is a critical component of our everyday life. It makes life easier and eliminates common mistakes, especially when carrying out routine tasks. In essay writing, failure to follow instructions often leads to poor grades or missed steps. Imagine working on an essay about the effects of noise pollution on the human body. This prompt is specific about the body, and including any other impacts would be considered unnecessary. If a student includes the effects of noise pollution in the workplace, the teacher may find the essay out of topic and award the least possible points.

Essay instructions specify the necessary details that the teacher will inspect. In most cases, the instructor may include the length of the essay, font, submission details, and document type. Failing to follow these instructions will make the review process daunting and ruin the professor’s perception of the students. Some instructors may not read an assignment if it exceeds the word limit or has the wrong format. This mistake often leads to failure and other hefty consequences for the students.

How to avoid this mistake

I do my essays when I have clarity of mind and minimal pressure. This approach gives me time to assess and comprehend the instructors’ expectations. Always read the instructions several times before you start working on an essay. Use the grading rubric to generate a working outline and a template if possible. Clarify any missing, incomplete, or ambiguous details early enough to show responsibility and interest in the task. Make a checklist from the instructions to guide you through the preparation stage. After finishing the assignment, take a final look at the rubric to ensure all necessary details are included.

Lack of clear thesis statement

One of the hardest things to master as a student is writing a thesis statement. Consequently, most students ignore or fail to include a clear thesis statement in their essays. To a reader, a document without a thesis statement lacks organization and clarity. It becomes difficult to read and, at times, annoying. Remember, a thesis statement introduces your audience to the topic, giving them a hint at your argument and the conclusion you derived from critically analyzing the issues involved. Failing to include one or having an ambiguous one often spells doom. The reader gets confused as they must search for clarity in the document. Instead of analyzing your reasoning, they end up assessing your personality. The reader becomes more attentive to other mistakes, typos, and disorganizations. In the end, your paper is rated based on the degree of badness.

Without a thesis, an essay becomes a collection of words, statements, and sentences. The reader becomes more interested in grammar and correction. They pay less attention to your ability to respond to the question since they have minimal guidance on your line of thought. If the professor is busy, they become bored and distracted. One is more likely to employ a stricter assessment criterion.

How to avoid this mistake

When preparing to write my essay, I begin with a tentative argument before conducting any research on the topic. This approach helps create a standpoint based on the most basic information available. Here, you don’t need to be specific about the arguments and sections within the paper. You just document your perspective in a single sentence. You should then reread the instructions or prompt to understand the specific details based on the rubric. With this information, you can do additional research on the topic noting different people’s arguments and evidence. At this point, you have sufficient knowledge to amend your initial thesis and create a comprehensive one that will guide your essay.

I usually start with an outline, with specific subsections marking the issues I want to address. Writing a thesis statement using your essay structure and guidelines is easier. Remember, a thesis statement should be specific, with a hint of issues you will address in different sections of your paper. It should also include evidence to support your argument, suggesting that you understand the topic and are ready to take a stand.

Poor organization and structure

Another common cause of failure in essay writing is poor organization. A good essay should follow a basic structure with an introduction, body, and conclusion. If the body has several sections, they should be appropriately labeled and contain unique information. Students often think essay writing is just about responding to the prompt. Nothing could be further from the truth. Essay writing goes beyond the instructions. Your instructor wants to see your writing skills, critical thinking abilities, and confidence. Anyone can find answers to a question and document them in a word document. In modern education systems, you must demonstrate skills beyond reading and writing or typing. Poor organization and structure often hint at a lack of interest, preparedness, and commitment.

How to avoid this mistake

I ensure my outline aligns with the grading rubric before I write my essays. My assignments have specific sections and topic sentences as the essential inputs. This way, I never miss a piece of instruction. Most importantly, your document must be attractive. Well, I am not talking about color and pomp here. Attractiveness in essay writing is about the utilization of white space. Making sure that your paragraphs are almost similar in size and your sections are identifiable. An attractive document is easy to read. Make sure you design a predictable flow and order from the beginning to the end. For instance, if you are discussing the pros and cons of a given subject, separate the advantages from the disadvantages. Use correct sentence structures without fragments or hanging phrases. Review your essay for typos, spelling mistakes, and punctuation errors.

Weak supporting evidence and examples

An essay should communicate the writer’s argument about a specific topic. The writer should demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the topic with appropriate evidence to justify their perspective. However, the evidence should be verifiable or at least identifiable. In that case, the authenticity of an argument is based on the credibility of the evidence. In academic writing, the basic structure of an argument should incorporate ethos, logos, and pathos. However, most students rush to respond to essay prompts without considering available evidence. They end up making unjustifiable comments.

How to avoid this mistake

Research is a critical source of input for academic writing. Even when I hire expert writers to do my essay online, I ensure I participate in the process. I take time to understand the topic and supporting evidence, especially from experts and peer-reviewed studies. Always find relatable articles about your topic before you start writing. This strategy improves your writing skills and ability to cite sources effectively. Besides, reading is the best source of writing ideas.

Improper citations and referencing

With the 21st century’s technological advancement, citation and referencing should not be a major problem. It’s no wonder custom writing services offer these services freely. Most academic writing styles are easy to master and replicate since major rules rarely change. However, most students fail due to improper citations and references. Institutions of higher learning have their preferred writing style with specific font, structure, citations, and reference guidelines. Some of these rules are repetitive and arduous, but you can always find help online with this step. Some experts in academic writing can create references in minutes and help you organize your citations. Despite the availability of such services, students take this step for granted in their writing. They use improper methods or ignore the basic rules. In the end, they lose critical points or fail.

How to avoid this mistake

Citation and referencing are easy to master but may take most of your time since they require a lot of reading and practice. One of the reasons I would hire custom writers to do my essay for me is referencing. Learning academic writing styles is tedious due to the repetitive rules and detailed steps, not to mention the more than seven different referencing and citation styles used in essay writing. It took me years to master the most common academic writing languages, and now it takes only a few steps to complete these steps. Always include citations as part of your essay. Document your references in a separate document to avoid confusion. Proofread your referencing using the guidebook to check for mistakes before submitting your essay.

Perfecting your essay writing skills

Although academic writing requires years of training and practice to perfect, you can improve your essay writing skills by avoiding these mistakes. By carefully reading the prompt, researching the topic sufficiently, and creating a thesis statement when developing an outline, you are guaranteed an almost perfect paper. Besides, writing is all about communicating previously obtained information.

About Jessica Dong

Jessica Dong is a 21-year-old student from Beijing. She studies business development in the USA and dreams of running her own company. Jessica is a socially active student with interest in traveling, social media and entertainment.