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Typical Essay Mistakes Made by Most Students

  • Written by Lucy Adams

Alas, but making a mistake with the content ruins all your essay efforts. Students all over the world write hundreds and thousands of essays daily while only a small part of them can claim to be called good, let alone perfect.

We all make mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with it. At the same time, everyone can warn himself from the obvious blunders by tracking and analyzing the most common fails of others. So if you have a burning desire to improve your writing skills, the information below is just for you!

#1 Too Boring/Too Personal

A dull essay is like a banal comedy or a film without a specific storyline. Get rid of banality by:

  • Introspection.

  • Specific features, examples and appropriate jokes.

  • Sharing personal thoughts and feelings.

Begin the writing process with self-knowledge. You do not need to search for anything on the Internet or spending hours in the library. Analyze your experience and goals. Believe me, all the answers are already in your head! Look for what you need inside yourself, and you’ll find it!

At the same time, don’t overdo since an essay that consists of purely personal stories and examples does not show your thinking process and, as a rule, too superficial. Try to maintain a balance between introspection and profundity. And please avoid lyrics. Finally, who cares about the sunset on your native land and how you came to such a life? Please less old epithets, metaphors, and similes.

#2 Undisclosed Thesis

Applicants often ask about what the members of the committee want to see in a perfect essay? The answer is simple: they want to see the answer to the specified question. Alas, too often applicants do not meet this requirement.

If you were asked to give reasons for entering the university or program, you have to identify all the benefits of the course and how they relate to your life interests and goals. Try not to give a general answer, as well as not to tell why you suit this program better than someone else. These are both bad tactics. Just answer the question.

#3 Clichés

Do not hide a sensible answer behind meaningless verbosity and clichés abuse. Surely, you are very intelligent, but do not overload your essay with grandiloquent words. Write clearly so that the "stupid" commission can understand your message.

#4 Lack of Facts and Arguments or Abuse with Facts

Fill essay with facts, but with only those that will improve the understanding or prove your point of view. Names, dates, research – all these are at your service. However, you don’t write for academics capable to find the logic and summarize by themselves, do you? Don’t turn your essay into a set of statistics.

#5 Too Long Sentences

Remember the classics with half-page sentences, huh? Don’t abuse with long-winded sentences – it will rather spoil the perception than make you seem cleverer in the eyes of readers.

In the Oxford Guide to Plain English, Martin Cutts suggests 15–20 words as the average length of a sentence. At 25 words, sentences become difficult, even if it’s made up of simple words.

#6 Unproofread

To write is human, to edit is divine.” — Stephen King.

If you’re a pure talent that does not require proofreading and editing, you may release your paper without any editing. In all other cases, be sure to use automated tools and manually check the text for consistence, misprints, and grammar mistakes.

Moreover, there’s no other chance to write an in-depth essay than to use drafts. Even if you have lack of time, I recommend you to outline your thoughts and arguments in the form of short abstracts. This will allow you to remember important ideas when writing a clean copy.

#7 Unclear Introduction or Conclusion

To set the stage for your thesis, you have to provide necessary background information. If the reader is unsure about what he is about to read, there’s a great chance he won’t even start reading.

The same is true for the conclusion. At the end of the paper, the reader expects to have a general look at the problem and the solutions. If you deprive him of the possibility, he may remain unsatisfied and confused

Dear reader, now you’re familiar with the proper structure, rules, and common mistakes made by students when writing essays. The one thing left is to check the best examples of essays and apply the gained knowledge to practice!

Bio: Lucy Adams is a blogger and essay writer from She is a generalist, so you never know whether the topic you have in mind is in the field of Lucy’s interests. Thus, just share it with the blogger and get a reply very soon. By the way, blog posts are free-of-charge.

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