Writing is very hard. So much goes into just a simple paragraph, never mind a full essay. Your writing can be done much better simply by paying attention to the smaller details. Things like spelling and proper grammar can make a huge difference. This article is here to help you.
Check Word Usage
The first thing you need to do when you write an essay is check your word usage. This is particularly important for anybody who is writing about science. Subjects that have lots of jargon in them can easily become confusing to outsiders. Are you writing an essay that uses a lot of these words? Then you need to make sure that you account for this. This might be through defining the jargon you are going to use. It might be through finding another way to talk about the subject. Whatever the method, you need to find a way to handle the problem.
The point of an essay is to persuade people over to your point of view. You can’t do that if they don’t understand what you are talking about! Jargon can get in the way of explaining what you mean. You might find that you have no choice but to use the jargon. If that is the case, you should try and find a way to explain it.
Making Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
This is honestly one of the most common essay mistakes out there. Spelling and grammar are so easy to get wrong. It can be so easy to simply press the wrong button or miss out on an important comma. All of a sudden, your sentence has a completely different meaning! What makes matters worse is the dependence on spell checkers when using a computer. Yes, these programs are a huge help. Yes, they can flag up some mistakes. But spell checkers aren’t infallible. Think of how many words there have the same sound but different spellings. Be and bee are both correct. A spell-checker won’t flag either of them up because they are both the correct spellings. Spell checkers don‘t take context into consideration, which is where problems can occur.
Many spelling and grammar problems can be solved by simply paying attention. Go over your work by eye when you have finished it. You will pick up a lot of small spelling mistakes that way.
Using Too Many Quotes in an Essay
You may not think so, but using too many quotes is a very common error in writing essays. Essays are a funny thing, which is probably why many people make this mistake. Essays need to be your work. At the same time, they need to be supported by other people’s work. Properly balancing everything can be difficult, which is where quotes come in.
You might think that the more quotes, the better since that shows that there is a basis for your ideas. Unfortunately, you can reach quote overload very quickly. This is a point where people don’t see your work – they just see all the quotes from other people. At this point, people may very well assume that you have nothing to say for yourself. They will instead see that you are covering yourself by using quotes from others. To avoid this, you need to limit the number of quotes you use. Most essay sites recommend only one block quote per page of your essay. They also recommend only two to three short quotes per paragraph. This should be enough to back up your arguments without being overwhelming.
Plagiarism is the one essay mistake out of all the essay mistakes possible that you need to avoid. Plagiarism is a very serious issue – it can have huge consequences for you and anybody else caught doing it. People define plagiarism as passing somebody else’s work off as your own. This can be done either deliberately or accidentally.
Accidental plagiarism is a very common mistake to make. All it takes is one forgotten reference and ta-da! You have committed plagiarism. This is why it’s so important to keep your eye on your sources at all times. The best way to try and avoid plagiarism is to make sure that all your references are accounted for. Whenever you quote something in your essay, write the corresponding reference in your bibliography. This is a lot easier than writing your bibliography at the end. You can keep track of your references as you go along. It’s almost a visual cue for you to do so.
Using Non-Relevant Sources
Sources are a huge part of writing essays. You can write about a topic that has a lot of sources or a topic that doesn’t. Either way, you need to avoid non-relevant sources. Always keep your list of sources nearby. You will need to check it and recheck while doing research. If you find that a new book covers what you want to say more accurately than another, replace it! You will need to be quite ruthless for this to work properly.
Non-relevant sources can get in the way of what you want to say. If you use sources that don’t fit your narrative, you run the risk of people being turned away. Their thought process will go something like this ‘if they can’t find any sources more accurate than this, their argument can’t be worth much!’ You want to avoid this at all costs, so make sure that you use the most relevant sources you can get your hands on.
Short and Repetitive Sentences
You want to make sure that everybody reading your essay is engaged at all times. To this end, you want to make sure that you avoid repeating yourself time and time again. In addition to this, there are many words to avoid in essays, such as thereof, heretofore, and so on. Your ultimate aim with an essay is to make sure that people agree with your opinion. They can’t do that if they can’t get into your writing! This is why you should avoid certain words and sentences.
Repetition will make people wonder if you have anything of substance to say. You repeating sentences makes it seem as though you have nothing to say. Always make sure that you don’t repeat yourself!
Avoid These Mistakes
If you avoid the mistakes in this article, you will see your writing improve. So much of essay writing is small details that can get lost in a rush. Our article will hopefully take you through the process of improving your essays step by step. You just have to try.