Essay Writing: The Seven Biggest Mistakes

It can be quite a struggle for a lot of first-year students to adjust to life at college or university. All of a sudden, writing something that vaguely looks like an argument is no longer sufficient. Your professors really expect you to know how to write an essay – to submit a highly polished piece that is actually enjoyable to read. Think about what it is like for instructors when they sit down to mark a batch of assignments. Most will not deliberately set out to knock your attempts, but a lot of the time, they end up trying to stem the flow of blood. There are always some papers that make it and others that do not. This article is an attempt to help you get it right. To do this, we describe the seven worst mistakes an essay writer can make.

Not Meeting the Required Word Count

It is not a good idea to shortchange a professor by submitting an essay with too low a word count. This is the first rule in learning how to write essay papers. Think of an essay word count as you would your credit card. Like your card, if you essay gets rejected, your credibility will take a bashing.

Being Neglectful About Paragraph Breaks

An essay without paragraphs is a painful experience. Without a break or a clear division between different points, readers can feel lost and abandoned. In fact, you could liken an essay with no breaks to a long-haul flight with no stop-overs. By the time you get to the end of the journey, you are exhausted and irritable. Consider the effect on your reader’s brain. In the circumstances, you can hardly expect your professor to happily give you a good grade.


Paragraphs without Focus

This is a situation where the essay writer tries to cram every idea they can think of into a page and hope that at least one will appeal to their professor. Therefore, essentially, disjointed sentences are splattered everywhere, meaning your professor would have to be a genius to work out what you mean. To avoid this scenario when writing an essay, make sure each individual paragraph is precise and has a clear focus. Do not allow yourself to become disengaged or to stray from your topic or the point you are trying to make.

Convoluted and Badly Structured Sentences

Essays like these are commonplace and often use the type of gigantic words and convoluted sentences you might find in a high-tech movie. The unravelling of every sentence simply knocks the reader out. No matter what type of essay you are writing, not least if you want to know how to write an essay about yourself, there is one golden rule you should always adhere to. That is to keep your work and methods of communication simple. Not only will this demonstrate you are master of your subject matter, but it will also prevent you from becoming confused.

Neglecting to Include Quotes

An essay without quotes can make soulless reading. Quotes and other supporting material add substance to a written piece. It makes the reading more meaty and calorific. Any attempt to make a credible argument without backing it up with valid evidence is nonsensical and it will not earn you the admiration of your tutor. It certainly will not earn you a good grade!

Rewriting or Retelling a Story

As far as essay writing tips go, this is important. An essay that is totally lacking in analysis is simply the retelling or rewriting of a story. It is as if you are saying another writer needs to put more effort into their style and you are offering a revised version with your own suggested improvements.

Making a Great Start but Failing to Deliver

This essay is the one that gets off to a great start but then the writer loses momentum. This is definitely a good example of how to write an essay badly! The text looks as if it has been cut in half midway. By the time the writer reaches the end, they can hardly put together a conclusion. This leaves the writer feeling baffled, contemplating what might have been.