June 24, 2021


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15 Common Mistakes in Academic Essay Writing College Students Make

The academic essay is the writing genre that every college student must be a pro in. Writing a decent essay takes good skills in thesis formulation, valid arguments, obvious proofs, and being fluent enough in the language you are writing. And while for those who have been attending tutors or have writing at their fingertips it might be easy, for others this task may seem impossible. Still, it is not a reason to despair, – people who learn on their own mistakes often appreciate this skill more than those who are just talented. 

Therefore, in today’s article, we are going to look through the 15 most widespread mishaps in essay writing. Let’s go!

  1. Not mentioning the names of people whose ideas you take. Yes, there are places when your opinion should be given, justified, and proved. Essays are, in fact, created for this! However, your ideas can not possibly be born out of nothing, – they should rely on some previous events, other people’s investigations, evidence, and proofs. Every time you refer to a famous person or a less renowned writer, use links or just show with words that the idea doesn’t originally belong to you. 
  2. The overuse of clichès. The balance is of paramount importance, especially in writing. Cliches are good when they help people to understand you better, not hinder it, right? For this reason, try not to be too enthusiastic about it, – let the thoughts flow naturally. Professionals from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say that cliches lack specificity and complexity; therefore, they do not make distinctive or memorable contributions to your writing. Thus, try to limit their usage to the cases only when it’s needed. 
  3. Trying to sound more academic. As a 16 or 19 year old, you are not expected to write a mini master’s degree paper in your essay. Do not get us wrong – it’s great when you can provide much evidence, delve into science, observe the current processes in the society. But it is definitely wrong to sound too formal to be understood well. More than that, using too many complicated words or terms will have a comic effect.
  4. Including personal pronouns. On the one hand, it’s not good to sound too formal, but on the other hand, an essay is not a story to tell to a friend. The subject of discussion should be in the center of attention, not the one who tells everything. Thus, try to limit the usage of pronouns. And when it’s really necessary, replace ‘I’ with the more formal variant ‘we’.
  5. Adding irrelevant details. Basically, if the topic of your essay is about global warming, tell people about global warming, its results, progress, reasons, and ways to evade the catastrophe. Who cares when the first astronaut was born if you don’t make the main topic unfold?
  6. Being several years behind in language development. While writing an academic essay, you should be well aware of what happens in the world right now, what words are being used and which are fading away. Phrases ‘hasten’, meaning ‘hurry up’ or ‘pharmaceuticals’, standing for ‘medicines’ can be bright illustrations of these two processes. English is heading towards greater informality, and you should follow it!
  7. Neglecting the opportunities for getting help. As a common misconception, receiving help from online services has been judged and avoided for some time (by diligent students). What for? In our opinion, if a service doesn’t plagiarise and violate other laws, it’s okay to get quality essays when you’re too busy to do it yourself. A professional essay writing website like AdvancedWriters.com is one of such services, – total authenticity, timely support, editing, and delivery, and many more advantages are available to you right now.
  8. The usage of incomplete sentences. Creativity is great (but not for grammar). We would advise you to avoid using incomplete or ambivalent structures that make the text sound unnecessarily mysterious; better leave them for fiction stories. 
  9. Grammar mistakes. As obvious as it seems, grammar plays a huge role in what impression a writer makes. Good grammar – good understanding. In addition, 
  10. Being too lazy (or naive) to check all the facts. Today nothing should be taken at face value. If you are writing about serious topical issues and make the mistake taking the unchecked data, you’re going to fall flat. Foster a habit of checking every piece of data in several sources, to be sure that it is not some imaginary or fake information.
  11. Not paying enough attention to formatting. Spacing, intervals, margins, font type and size, formatting type, – all of this matters for one reason – it makes your text reader friendly. You should also be mindful of the academic demands of your mentor and stick to them all the time.  
  12. Leaving behind referencing. Good and clear bibliography pages, understandable footnotes, precise names and numbers of pages should be a rule of thumb if you’re motivated to be an outstanding essay writer. 
  13. Swaying away from the topic. Okay, maybe this advice concerns more girls, but the issue can also be universal. If you recognize it as your mistake when you ‘start with a merry note and finish on a sad one’. To evade this crucial mistake, try making up plans of essays.
  14. Violation of the basic essay structure. In short words, your essay should be in apple pie order. If you come up with a paragraph consisting of examples only and will ignore the thesis statement, you will be a loser. Learning the structure isn’t as difficult as it seems to be, believe us! It is practice that makes it possible.
  15. Using slang words. Formal writing presupposes the emotionally neutral vocabulary that renders the universally accepted meaning. 

P.S. In some essays, you could use slang with the proper explanation (if it is relevant to the topic and situation). In such a way, you will make the text more interactive and up-to-date. 

Finding yourself in any of these mistakes? Hopefully, there is still time to improve, so start doing it right now.