Writing assignments are among the worst and most hated tasks that students experience during their education. This is the objective belief of most of them since not a lot of students enjoy writing critical essays and analysis other works for credit. Understandably then, many mistakes occur in an average essay that could easily have been avoided.
Writing mistakes come in numerous different shapes and forms, but what is unique for most of them is how little additional work it takes to make sure they no longer happen to you. You already know that there is no escaping your essay assignments, so why try to rush it and get a bad grade if you can do a little extra work and have things go your way?
If writing better essay and doing it easier is what you need right now, you have come to the right place. In this article you will learn how to correct essay writing mistakes that many students regularly make. You were probably a victim of at least a few of these so pay close attention to what we have to tell you.
1. Starting with a Quote
Perhaps the best, most professional and efficient way of starting the essay on the right foot is with an effective quote. The kind of quote you may use greatly depends on the type of essay you are writing. These serve as attention grabbers and hooks, something that will immediately get and then hold the attention of the readers. Most people go with the classic and famous quotes by the great leaders, writers, and politicians, while others opt for a more modern approach and quote athletes or even people from their life they know. Several quote types exist, including paraphrasing, summation, or direct quotations. Feel free to pick any you like for your work as long as it makes sense and is appropriate. To learn more about writing essays and using quotes to start one, click here.
2. Spelling Mistakes
The worst mistakes you can make as well as the easiest ones to avoid include spelling mistakes. There is simply no place for them in academic and school work because your points will be redacted for the simple lack of attention. If you are careful and if you proofread enough after you have already written the essay, you will ensure that no spelling mistakes exist in the text. Therefore, you will score maximum points in this section. Some spell check software may be in order, by a human touch is still needed because algorithms tend to miss some important words that are similar in spelling or pronunciation.
3. Run-on Sentences
Not using commas before another conjunction sentence begins is a very big style error that can often cause the readers to misunderstand your essay and not read it in the way you imagined. Whenever you are using conjunctions like for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so, you have to know where to use commas. Forgetting to do so results in run-on sentences, long sentences that never seem to stop despite multiple things going on in them. It feels out of place and not right, so make sure to put a comma in the right place. For example, the second sentence clearly states the opposing scenarios and makes more sense.
My cat likes to sleep in our bed but she does not like to nap there.
My cat likes to sleep in our bed, but she does not like to nap there.
As someone who is writing, you have to pay attention to your future readers and whether or not they will be able to understand the meaning behind the words you used. Commas are one of the best ways to do so.
4. Introductory Phrase Commas
Continuing the topic of the right comma use, every introductory phrase to a paragraph should have a comma right after it. These act as short pauses, both in the thinking process and for the reader to take a breath after a long phrase. For example, consider these two sentences.
Although they lost the game by a dozen points the team was happy with how they performed.
Although they lost the game by a dozen points, the team was happy with how they performed.
It simply makes more sense and allows more clarity when you put a comma after one finished phrase in a sentence like this one. If the phrases are short, the comma is optional. The introductory piece of the sentence ads background information and elaborates on the matter, and since it is a finite piece of info important for the next part it is only natural to mark it with a comma.
It is very easy to get carried away once you get a long sentence going. Your thoughts continue pouring in new information and it all looks like it makes perfect sense while you are writing. However, once you go back, it may seem strange what you have just written. Despite the sentence being rather lengthy and wordy, you ended up saying little with too much effort. This is not efficient writing so try to use as little words as possible to say the usual, everyday things. You do not always need to go out of your way and use extra words. Instead of saying that somebody “ended up having to do it all over again,” simply say they “had to do it again.” “Because” is enough so do not use “due to the fact that” every time.
6. Additional Advice
If you think the comma problem ended with the two aforementioned issues, you are wrong. Comma misuse like when you splice sentence without any reason is a bad habit. Connecting more than one nouns requires a comma only when there are at least three things to list. If there are two things to list, you do not need to put a comma before the “and” you are using. With interrupters, like this exact thing we are writing here between the two commas, you have to use commas. See what we did there? They interrupt the sentence and have to be marked with commas on both sides. Last but not least, the subject and the verb have to be in agreement, as well as the number. If you make sure to pay attention to these things and correct your bad essay writing habits, you will score more points every time and have better final grades.