12 Typical Mistakes in Writing College Essays

12 Typical Mistakes in Writing College Essays

Essay writing doesn’t look like a real challenge. You need to focus on one topic, gather information and references, write several pages of text and make formatting according to the required citing style. Doesn’t sound exceptionally hard, especially if you were not that bad with compositions in high school. However, every year students get caught by the same typical mistakes in writing college essays. We don’t say you would do all of them, but it won’t hurt to look through the list provided by online essay writing service and make sure you avoid the most common pitfalls on your way to a graduation day.

  1. Badly Chosen Topic. This is the first and arguably one of the worst mistakes you can make when writing a college essay. A lot depends on the chosen topic, so you should choose the one that answers your interests. At some point of essay writing you will get stuck, and to keep writing you need your topic to motivate you the same as your deadline does. It is not only possible, but when you are allowed to choose a topic yourself, make sure to spend time and efforts doing so.
  2. Boring Title. Even if you choose an amazing, engaging, relevant topic, you can spoil the first impression of your essay coming up with some boring shallow title. Your title should include a novelty, a conflict, a paradox. Of course, you should not copy some scandalous blog titles, which attract readers just to click on them no matter what, but you need to make your professor distinguish your paper among others (in a good sense!) even by the title.
  3. Missed or Shallow Thesis Statement. No matter what you think about essays, you should remember that a thesis statement is a must. It is not only for dissertations and research papers, but it should also be a part of every assignment you write at some point. A thesis statement is the major argument of your essay, it is both the starting point and the conclusion. Without a clear thesis statement, your essay is just a diary entry.
  4. Weak Research Background. First of all, stop using a simple Google Search and start using a Google Scholar search. It is much more efficient when it comes to academic papers. Second, limit the time you allocate for research. Note down all the sources you find valuable not to lose time for a double search later and use only valid, up-to-date academic sources to support your argument.
  5. Spelling Mistakes. Needless to say that it is a no-go when it comes to academic writing and that many students get bad grades allowing those mistakes to crawl into their papers. We can’t give you some silver-bullet advice to avoid grammar mistakes, especially if you are not experienced in writing enough. The best choice is to use a paid version of some professional grammar checker and proofreader every text meticulously.
  6. Overused Passive Voice. Passive voice was inherent to academic writing for years. It was used widely, and it was close to mandatory as passive voice makes any text look more heavy with importance. However, the latest trends are just reverse - passive voice goes down, and even the most serious academic studies become much lighter, entertaining, and easy for the reader.
  7. Wordiness. An essay is not a voluminous paper. It is not supposed to be too long, you definitely shouldn’t put much water in it. What is truly important is to keep a balance between stating dry facts and writing long stories about the subject no one likes or wants to read.
  8. Punctuation mistakes. Punctuation mistakes in college essays are rather often because you don’t have enough writing experience, and you can’t learn all the rules, so often you just skip proofreading punctuation. Not the best decision, because even if the professor truly likes your work, he or she won't be able to assess it at the needed level because they have to “punish” you for not following the punctuation rules. Wrongly used punctuation can also harm the meaning of the sentence greatly.
  9. Careless Formatting. When you receive your assignment, it always states which style you are required to use. It can be APA, MLA, Harvard, etc. Each of them has drawbacks and advantages, but one they have in common - neat and careful formatting is required for any paper.
  10. Citation Disaster. This point is strongly connected with formatting, but at the same time, it is even more serious and potentially disastrous. If you fail to deal with in-text citations and bibliography entries at the required level it can even be the case for a plagiarism accusation. Use the latest updates of the citation manuals and find the most suitable citation generator to make your work faster and easier.
  11. Problems with Structure. An essay has a classic structure, and it is not very difficult to follow. Reading your paper, every reader, not only your professor, should be able to understand where the Introduction ends, which arguments you use and how you support them, where starts the conclusion. Of course, the beginning of every paragraph should be a logical continuation of the end of the previous one.
  12. Late Submission. Not too much, we can say here. Late submission can kill any essay, even the most quality one. Be careful with the deadlines and work according to the plan.
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If you manage to avoid at least 8-9 mistakes from this list, you will have almost no problem with your papers.

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