Six common mistakes people make when writing essays and how to avoid them


Several students have failed essay writing assignments, tests and exams because of little and sometimes not so little errors on their part. Sometimes they don’t even know where they got it wrong or where  they went astray to deserve such poor results on their essays. I used to be one of those students, it got so bad I was even scared to do presentations and had someone do my PowerPoint for me, so one day I thought I’d had enough, so I did some research and discovered my flaws and ever since I have been a much better writer. So in this post I will be making known some common mistakes in essay writing and how to avoid them.

  1. Choosing a bad topic

You may wonder how it may be possible to choose a bad topic, but you will be surprised that this in fact is a thing, a mistake from which many other mistakes stem from. Let me clarify, a topic may not be bad in its own right, but it may be bad for you. How so, you may ask. But sometimes students in excitement, ignorance or confusion choose topics that in the long run won’t favour them. You might choose a topic that you have little or no idea about or a topic that has a really narrow scope.

How do you avoid this? Make sure that you have a broad knowledge of your topic, if you don’t, do some research. It is always advisable to pick a topic you are genuinely interested in.

2. No or poor thesis statement

For those that do not know what a thesis is, it is a single sentence statement that lets the reader know your position on a topic. It summarises the main point of the essay. It is usually placed at the end of the introduction as it leads into the body and will be later be expanded and elaborated upon. The mistake people make here is that they come up with a poorly constructed thesis or totally forget to include it. That is not good at all.

 Never forget to include your thesis statement, it is the spine of your essay.  Also do not come with a subpar statement, think it over and come up with something truly intelligent.

3. Lack of essay structure

There is a reason people are always advised to have an essay outline before they set out to write an essay and that is to guarantee a well structured essay with paragraphs that flow seamlessly into each other. Lack of organisation and transition is one of the mistakes people make.

In order to avoid this, begin your essay by planning first and creating an outline. Create your body paragraphs and make sure that they flow properly. Be reminded that each paragraph should be dedicated to a single point.

4. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors

This is perhaps the most common type of mistake in that everyone makes it. Nobody is perfect and we are all guilty of making spelling mistakes no matter how little.

How do we avoid this? The truth is that spelling mistakes cannot be avoided, that is why revising and editing your work after you have finished is essential. This will help you spot these mistakes for correction. Also beware of homophones, they are the downfall of many, words like there and their, here and hear, am and I’m, must not be used interchangeably. Do some reading and brush up on your vocabulary skills.

5. Too many words

People are often guilty of repetition, using words over and over again trying to convey the same message. This makes for a boring paper and the reader will eventually get tired. Try to switch things up, if you are not that good, get a dictionary or a thesaurus. I remembered when I patronised an essay writing service to do my PowerPoint for me, I observed how articulate they were with the use of words, you should strive to maintain a relevant write up using as few words as possible to deliver a point.

6. Wrong essay type

As hard as it is to believe, people end up writing an entirely wrong type of essay. I have seen cases where a person writes on a topic which is supposed to be a persuasive essay and goes in hard with arguments and what not, or what about the guy that writes an entire expository essay when it is supposed to be descriptive.

The best way to avoid this is to look out for keywords. Some of them are quite obvious, for example, ‘prove that…’, ‘narrate….’, ‘what are the causes and effects of….?’, and so on. If you still can’t find them or understand the topic, simply ask.



  1. kennedy stewar says

    thank you

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