Essay Writing Fundamentals: 10 Common Mistakes


There is a consistent way of writing essays that must be followed by all students. However, students have been making common mistakes that reduce the quality of their work. The mistakes listed below are compiled from the works of writers in different disciplines with the aim of helping them improve on the quality of their work.

  • Inconsistent Content
  • There must be consistency between your discipline and your content. This is common in instances where the content for two subjects or disciplines overlap. Identify content that leans more towards your discipline and use it in your work.

  • Poor Formatting
  • Formatting helps the reader to focus on the content instead of its presentation. An paper that is poorly formatted is difficult to understand. Follow a consistent formatting style to make the work easier to read and understand.

  • Poor Grammar
  • The best arguments will be overshadowed by poor grammar. It causes the loss of meaning which affects the strength of your points. Choose the tense that will help you deliver your message well. Seek assistance if you are not confident with your ability.

  • Spelling
  • Spelling mistakes will change the meaning and understanding of your work. Before handing over the work, correct any word to maintain the meaning of your sentences. Wrong spelling distorts your message.

  • Presentation Style
  • Presentation means the choice of words, sentences and phrasing. Sentences must be well structured with a combination of simple, compound and complex. Paragraphs must also make it easier to follow your arguments.

  • Wrong Structure
  • Each type of essay or paper has a unique structure. Understand the structure and ensure that you follow it to the letter. There are outlines, templates and samples to assist with this.

  • Individual Rules
  • Each teacher issues individual rules to his class. Such rules must be followed if the work is to be accepted. The rules regard reference materials, size of essays and formatting among others. They count in the overall grading.

  • Right Vocabulary
  • Disciplines have specific description and verb vocabularies. Failure to use the vocabularies will affect the meaning and strength of your points. It leaves the reader guessing the meaning of certain words and phrases.

  • Quotation
  • Quotations must be clearly marked to avoid the accusation of plagiarism. The marking depends on where it is positioned and its length. Representation of quotations depends on the formatting style.

  • References
  • You must provide a reference section for all the works cited. Ensure that you present the reference materials in a way that is consistent with your formatting style.