The 10 Most Common Mistakes Students Make When Writing Essays

Common Mistakes Students


A student’s academic life isn’t complete until they write essays. Although they know the basic guidelines for writing essays, many students still have something to learn about the process. Even though there’s not yet a set format for writing a good essay, students need to be aware of the pitfalls.

The standard of the essay can be raised considerably by becoming aware of the most typical writing mistakes and avoiding them.

Here are the 10 most common essay writing mistakes and strategies on how to avoid them.

Poor grammar

The use of grammar is crucial when writing an academic essay. Without proper grammar, spelling and punctuation, your essay will be boring and ambiguous. Therefore, students should revise their essays several times before submitting them. You can check the grammar of your essay not only by hand, but also quickly with an online grammar checker. A good grammar checker will point out any grammatical errors in your essay and give you recommendations for improving punctuation, correcting spelling mistakes and increasing vocabulary.


Students often repeat the same ideas and arguments in different parts of the essay in order to reach the required word count. This shows that you’ve no background knowledge of the topic and aren’t able to formulate your point of view. Another common behaviour of students is to repeat words and phrases. This makes your essay airy and you risk losing points because you’re unable to write an essay that follows a clear structure. Be sure to read your essay several times to make sure there are no repetitions of any kind. You can also use an online grammar checker to find redundant terms and phrases and replace them with more appropriate alternatives.

 Use of the passive voice

Many students use the passive voice in their writing. It’s easy to understand the passive voice, but it can also be more conspicuous. This leads to very long sentences that could be clearer for the reader. Use a stronger, more assertive active voice instead of the passive. Using the passive voice in a few sentences here and there’s fine. But try to keep it to a minimum. Read through your text again and think about how you can make it more interesting, direct and without the passive voice.

Lack of originality

If you present information in your essay without providing adequate context, it may be easier for readers to understand what you’re trying to say. Remember to support any data, facts, quotes or hypotheses you use in your essay with a brief analysis. When presenting and analysing information, be consistent. This makes it easier for the reader to understand the information. Giving your interpretation of the available facts can make your essay even more interesting.

Inadequate introduction

The thesis and critical issues of the essay should be introduced in the first paragraph. The first paragraph of the essay helps the reader to make this decision. Write a concise and persuasive thesis statement to draw attention to your essay. Your thesis statement should come at the end of the introduction. This allows for a smooth transition from the introduction to the main body of the essay.

A repetition of the conclusion

Repeating your introduction in the last paragraph can cost you points. In the following sentence, you can explain your results in more detail. You could repeat your findings so that readers can compare them with the thesis. A compelling conclusion could leave readers with unanswered questions, additional ramifications or intriguing information.

A lack of examination and critical thinking

One of the most typical essay writing errors is the absence of critical analysis and assessment. Students need to engage in a critical evaluation of the data in the essay. This produces skewed results and lowers the essay’s quality. Add ambiguous concepts and supporting details to your essay and consider the content from several angles to prevent this. A simple technique to include critical thinking is to get information from several sources and analyse the supporting documentation.

Lack of editing

You could skip editing if you spend a lot of time researching and writing your essay. You risk a lower grade if you hand in an essay that’s not been edited, revised or proofread. Before you start revising, you should take a short break when you’ve finished writing the essay. It’ll be easier for you to find the mistakes in your essay if you work on it from a new perspective. You can evaluate your material with the editor to make sure it’s well written and organised.

Disregard advice from professors

Academic essay writing requirements vary from university to university. While most of these are common sense, it’s important that you follow your university’s guidelines closely. These guidelines instruct students on proper word count, formatting, organisation and font.

If you don’t follow the instructions, you show that you cannot follow the university’s guidelines. Therefore, read your instructor’s instructions carefully and follow them in your essay. In comparison, read the content, take notes, refer to the criteria and brainstorm before writing the essay. This will help you to come up with original ideas for an essay.


The most important mistake in writing an essay that can affect the credibility of your work is plagiarism. Universities are strict about plagiarism and impose sanctions depending on the severity of the plagiarism. Remember to give proper citations and references when using someone else’s work. Don’t just copy and paste sentences from the internet. Make sure you fully understand the topic to avoid plagiarism. Consult relevant books, journals or academic papers while writing your own work. Use this knowledge to convey your thoughts creatively.


Students often feel overwhelmed when writing an academic essay. Therefore, it’s important that you follow the rules and principles when writing an essay. You can write your essay error-free by avoiding the mistakes mentioned above. Moreover, you can develop your writing skills and write an exciting essay with the right practise.

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