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writing guides for creating a strong essay

Some common mistakes to avoid when writing essays

A topic that is too broad or too narrow

Your topic is more important than you think—especially in terms of where it directs your essay. A topic that is too narrow will not allow for enough research material to create a decent, comprehensive paper.

On the other hand, a topic that is too broad will fail to focus in on any one point. Students who loathe writing assignments often pick broad topics to ensure that they never run out of material, but in fact this proves to be more detrimental in the final paper. Pick your topics carefully if you want your essay to shine.

Research is more than just ‘Googling’

The lazy way out of research is to default to a search engine. Although the internet is full of helpful resources, your teachers will expect you to go out in the field and do some legwork. Frequent your library and academic writing center and your efforts will show in your essay.

Too much time on writing

On the same note as point 2, students also make the mistake of not researching enough. Researching for an essay is actually the majority of the assignment. Writing should always take a backseat to:

  • Taking notes
  • Reading up on the topic
  • Planning the thesis of your essay

Look at writing as the result of your work, not the actual work. You are aiming to tell your teacher in a structured way exactly what you learnt.

Bad or no structure

Structure and organization are more than just where to put which paragraph. Your essay must follow a systematic argument. Different types of essays will have minor differences, but in general, all essays must follow the same flow.

Remember that introductions and conclusions also have their own structures within their respective selves. Learn how to properly construct each one so that no stone is left unturned.

The body of your essay should always give the reader the arguments and descriptions needed to convey your desired message. NEVER start an essay without an introduction and NEVER end it without a proper conclusion.

Neglecting your thesis

A failure to properly develop the argument is one mistake that will always lower an essay score. Quotations from experts, historical background, and test results are all tools that should be used to convince your reader of your viewpoint.

Repetition

Essay word counts are always given for a good reason. Your argument must be made within a given limit and any extra space should be used for expanding the argument. Students who find themselves at the end of their essay with leftover space will often go back and fill in repetitive information. Rather use that space to your advantage by adding more developmental steps which can win you points.

Contractions

Unless your teacher allows otherwise, always remember that the proper way to write academic articles is without contractions. This is a common mistake among students so always check with your teacher before you commence.

Trying too hard and not trying hard enough

There are two extreme types of students and both do badly at essay assignments.

  • The first will disregard the formalities of scholarly writing. Their tone is way too casual and they write their essays as if they’re writing an email to a friend.
  • The second category is the student who overdoes it and tries too hard to sound “scholarly”. These individuals use unnecessarily big words, as well as an overly formal style. Try to find a balance between these two extremes. Be conversational; not sloppy. Be formal; but don’t overdo it.

Writing Tips

Essay Topics

In case when you ran out with ideas, try refresh your mind by using next expert's advice.

Resources

If writing an essay is still a big issue, you may find some help on these credible resources.

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