College-level writing is one of the most important yet challenging skills to master. Students are expected to create different types of assignments with differing instructions and diverse levels of complexity.
Most students get to college with a decent understanding of the basic rules of academic writing. However, most fail to impress due to some common and avoidable mistakes. This article gives insights on how you can improve your essay writing by avoiding a few essay mistakes students often make. Here are some to take note of.
Failing to Recognize the Need for Help
Students face numerous challenges as they work on their assignments. Some have jobs forcing them to juggle hectic schedules, while others have yet to master their time-management skills. Others have yet to master the art of college-level writing. Although we are sure that you will have things figured out, there is no harm in getting assistance.
As you work on sprucing up your writing skills, allow others to help you. Fellow students and tutors can help you work on some tasks and beat deadlines. It may also be wise to consider an essay writing service as you continue to fine-tune your skills.
Failing to Outline
Failing to outline is one of the most common essay mistakes students make. Seasoned writers understand that outlining is one of the most important, yet mostly ignored elements of essay writing. Here, an outline is a direct map of your essay that simplifies what each paragraph of your work will contain. An outline allows you to determine in what order your paragraphs will appear and how your different points will merge to work toward the thesis.
While creating an outline may seem a chore at first, it ends up saving you time as it directs the research and writing processes. When you have the main points informing your paper figured out and organized, you can see which areas require more evidence. The outline also ensures that you don’t digress to less important points. Most importantly, the outline allows you space to manipulate your ideas and come up with coherent arguments without having to write complete paragraphs.
It is crucial to understand that outlining is an important skill that takes time and practice to perfect. By this stage, you should have already created your working thesis and general idea of your essay. Use the thesis to brainstorm ideas for your text.
Ignoring a Thesis Statement
Ignoring the thesis is another common mistake in essay writing. Thesis statements are central to your success when it comes to effective academic essay writing. A thesis is a sentence or two at the end of the introductory paragraph that clarifies your main argument and gets the audience ready for what is to follow. A common problem that weakens essays is when students forget to include the thesis statement. Without a good thesis, readers won’t be able to tell what your writing is about.
To avoid this mistake, make sure to include a clear and engaging thesis statement at the end of your introduction. The thesis should be arguable, enticing your readers to continue with the rest of the essay. It should signal what is to come in the rest of the essay.
Failing to Cite Sources Accurately
One of the most common mistakes when writing an essay is failing to accurately cite your sources. This weakens the quality of your arguments and may expose you to plagiarism. Citing your sources shows your readers that you have conducted meticulous research and can account for the material from where you obtained your information.
Citing sources also shows that you are responsible as a scholar and are capable of giving credit to what other researchers have contributed to the field. Most importantly, it allows you to avoid plagiarism by giving credit where it is due. Those who wish to track the validity of your research can do so from your footnotes and bibliography.
When it comes to citations, understand that the style you use will depend on the assignment type and the instructions provided by your professor. Citing sources means showing, within the body of your text that you obtained information, ideas, words, figures, and images from another source. Citations, therefore, are a tool for uniquely identifying published work used to create an essay.
The Bottom Line
This article covers how to check mistakes in essay documents. Essay writing is a detailed process that requires planning, outlining, research, editing, and proofreading. Students need to create original work, avoiding plagiarism and citing all the sources of the information they use to support their arguments. Before you start writing, spend some time going through the prompt to make sure you understand what your instructor expects. Most importantly, use the right format and ensure that you edit and proofread your work.