Things to Watch Out For When Writing Essays

Avoid essay mistakes

Common Omissions made by Students in Essays

1) No thesis

Although it may seem easy, a good number of people totally omit the thesis statement. This is what your entire essay will be based on. The thesis statement should come at the end of the introduction unless the rules state otherwise.

2) No conclusion

No conclusion

At times, people end their essay abruptly. Nothing special that needs to be in this paragraph; It should be just a simple summary of the entire essay.

3) No evidence

Everything you state in your essay needs to be backed up by facts. You should use the internet and the library in order to find concrete sources for the information you provide.

4) Plagiarism

This situation arises when you use other people’s ideas without giving due credit. Some people may do this by accident or on purpose. Ensure that you cite the source of all the data that you use in your essay.

5) Spelling errors/Typos

Using a computer’s spell checker is not sufficient. Read your essay to see if there is any error. This is an easy way to lose points in your essay.

6) Lack of transitional phrases

Whenever you start a new paragraph, there should be a transitional phrase. This helps maintain flow in your essay. Check the entire essay to ensure that these phrases exist.

7) Lack of structure

An essay is like any building. It needs to have a firm base and an ending. The mid-section of the essay needs to contain meaningful information. Follow the outline that you create for the essay.

8) Repetition

Avoid talking about one idea in each paragraph. It is boring and it is an easy way to lose marks on your essay. Tackle a new mini topic with each

Common Content Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Essays

1) Ambiguous structuring

Even with a good thesis and support, you still need to organize your ideas methodically. You need to ensure that your ideas are organized in a way that leads to logical conclusions. This will include things such as having a smooth flow in transitions between paragraphs.

2) Too much information

This is another common mistake in essay writing. Some people tend to go off topic. For instance, some people will cover a new topic in each paragraph. The common cause is either you are off topic or your thesis covers a very broad scope. Either way, remedy it before proceeding any further.

3) Failure to follow instructions

Read all instructions slowly with the aim of understanding them. If you fail to understand something, always ask questions.

4) Use of language that is too strong or inappropriate

This is as important as the content of the essay. If you find that the essay contains too many technical terms, try to use other simpler terms as often as possible.

5) Using the wrong POV

Some, not all assignments come with a specific point of view (POV). If this is the case you need to ensure that you clearly understand what the point of view needs to be. Check the instructions again and contact your instructor if anything is unclear.

Other Common Grammar Mistakes

1) Spelling mistakes

Students have a tendency to make spelling mistakes when using homophones. These words sound the same but mean different things. For instance, one should watch out for words like “write”, “rite” and “right”.

2) Run-on sentences

When using conjunctions to connect two sentences, one has to insert a comma after the conjunction. One should check if the two sentences could stand independently before inserting the conjunction. This rule does not apply if the sentences are too short.

3) Sentence fragments

This is the use of sentences without either a subject or a verb. Always insert a subject or a verb in a sentence.

4) Lack of a comma after the introductory phrase

This phrase gives a short background on the subject. It should always have a comma at the end. This does not apply if the entire sentence is very short.

5) Wordiness

This is the use of too many words in order to pass on a message. Try to replace long phrases in a sentence with a single word.

6) Comma splicing

This happens when a comma is used between two clauses that could stand on their own as sentences. The solution is to change the comma into a semicolon, period or colon. In addition, one may use a coordinating conjunction.

7) Using a comma within a compound subject.

The compound subject utilizes conjunction that connects two or more noun phrases. Comma use is not appropriate.

8) Lack of commas around interrupters

An interrupter offers additional information while breaking the flow of the sentence. This is how to use it

It will be, unfortunately, the start of winter.

9) Squinting modifiers

The squinting modifier modifies the word that comes after or before it. These are words like rarely, hardly, etc. These words need to be next to the word they modify.

10) Subject-verb agreements

A plural subject is used with a plural verb and singular subject is used with a singular verb. For instance, John eat at the dining room every day. Should be John eats at the dining room every day.

The 3 Ss of Essay Writing and How They Can Be Corrected


  • A common mistake in this area is using too many topics. This means that one write o too many irrelevant areas. Thus, you end up going off topic.

The solution to this is to carefully study the question and form a thesis question that should guide you. Try to concentrate on the answer you give and avoid talking about anything else other than what is in the thesis statement.

  • Another mistake people make is the tendency to focus on adjectives that you cannot substantiate. The solution to this is to avoid giving colourful descriptions about people. Do not focus on describing how things are done. Give evidence of how to do these things. This is done by siting dependable sources.


  • Some people have a tendency of using run-on sentences, and the use of too many or too few commas.

The solution to these is to stud a grammar book. You need to learn how to avoid combining two sentences. In addition, learn where to place a comma in a sentence.

  • The other common mistake is use of passive sentences. One should carefully study situations that require the use of passive sentences. However, if used too often, it might make the entire essay seem awkward.

The solution lies in trying to changing all passive sentences into active ones. This will involve learning how to identify the subject of the sentence. In addition, one should learn how to end a sentence with the person receiving the action.


  • Plagiarism is a common mistake that people make when writing essays. This will entail not giving credit to the right sources for information that you use.

The solution to this problem is to learn the different styles of quoting the sources of information. One should only use a single style of quoting sources as indicate in the instructions that come along with the question.

These tips should help you get a better grade. It is never too late to begin learning these tips in essay writing.

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