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5 common mistakes students make in an essay

Essays are a major part of any student’s academic career. If you’re not careful, though, mistakes you make on your essays can cause your grade to plummet – effectively undoing all of the hard work you did throughout the semester. These mistakes are often made by even the strongest students, because when you’re overwhelmed with work, it’s tempting to cut corners.

However, if you know what to look for, you can hopefully avoid some of the more common mistakes students make in an essay and turn in a top-notch high-quality paper. Keep these things in mind as you sit down to write your next dissertation.

  1. No clear thesis statement.

This statement is the main argument that forms the basis of your entire essay. All of your research and opinions should be summarized in a concise statement at the end of your paper’s introductory paragraph, so that readers will know exactly what to look for as they read on. Without this, your paper will lack structure and makes an immediate negative impression.

Sometimes, it’s easier to write your thesis statement after you’ve written the body of your essay – but don’t forget to go back in and add it before you hand in the completed paper.

  1. Not enough research.

An essay needs to have sufficient evidence to support your argument, and if you haven’t conducted thorough research, you won’t be able to present a solid case. You also need to properly cite all your resources to accurately provide validation for the findings you include in your essay.

Take notes while you’re researching to refer to later for your bibliography – and make sure your final list has a variety of different, reliable sources.

  1. Repeating yourself.

If you find yourself consistently using the same words or the same information over and over again, you’ll end up with a paper that is incredibly dull for your readers – and your instructor. Not only that, but this gives the impression that you didn’t sufficiently research your subject, even if you have plenty of sources listed.

Read your paper out loud, or to a friend, to make sure you don’t sound redundant. It’s also a great way to make sure your paper has a good flow.

  1. Skipping revision.

Leaving spelling mistakes, typos, and grammatical errors in your paper shows your instructor that you either don’t care about the quality of your paper, or you wrote it quickly the night before the assignment was due. Spend some time checking over your paper to make sure it’s clean – don’t rely on spell-check software. You’ll be surprised how many marks will be taken off for misspelled words.

  1. Leaving out the conclusion.

This seems like an unimportant section, but it’s essential that you include a paragraph at the end of your essay that summarizes the main points you made throughout the paper. Don’t just repeat the same phrasing – cut it down to a concise recap of the information you provided. This is vital part of your paper, and leaving it out will detract from the structure of your essay.

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