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15 Typical Mistakes in Essay Writing

Message Lauren Bradshaw

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To write your best possible essay, you have to take into account many things: structure, word choice, the length of a paper. It can be challenging to keep all of these things in mind, especially when it comes to small details. But often those details are the ones that prevent your essay from being perfect.

Essay writing requires attention and knowledge of grammar, and it is not uncommon for mistakes to be made. The most effective approach is to pay careful attention to what we write and try to avoid any errors. We asked a group of academic experts from a professional essay writing service to share some information about the most common grammar, spelling, word usage, and punctuation mistakes you should avoid and eliminate from your writing.

Common spelling mistakes in essays

Often, students, when working on an essay, will use the right structure and write expressing clear thoughts. But spelling often slips past their attention. Here are some of the most common spelling mistakes:

  • Definitely. Often people replace the second "I" with an "A" and say it "definately". Remember that definitely has the same root as finite.

  • A lot. There are many words that many mistakes for being one word instead of two. Remember, that there is no such word as "alot".

  • Separate. Some say that this is the most commonly misspelled word in the word: many people write "seperate" instead of "separate".

  • Truly. Sometimes there is a strong wish to put an additional "l" in this word, but don't be fooled: there is only one "l" in "truly'.

Even an intelligent person can make a spelling mistake. English is a complicated language, and it is hard to memorize all of the rules and nuances. To avoid such mistakes, check the spelling of every word which you are not sure of. Here's a WIkipediaresource of commonly misspelled words

Word usage mistakes writers make

Many words are confused with other terms and expressions. It is very easy to make such a mistake. Here are some word usage errors everyone can make:

  1. Effect and affect. When you discuss the influence of one thing on another, you can use both of these words, but the effect is a noun, and affect is a verb.

  2. Accept and except. Often except is used instead of both words. Accept is to receive something or admit, while except is to leave out.

  3. Cite and site. This problem has arisen when people started using words like sites and websites. To cite means to reference or quote something, and site is a web page. Don't use the word site as a verb.

  4. Some time and sometime. "Some time" is used when you are talking about an amount of time. 'Sometime' means one point in time.

When using words that might seem confusing, stop and think for a minute if you are using the term correctly. If you have doubts, check out the right word usage in the dictionary or the internet.

Punctuation errors you should avoid

Punctuation rules are often confusing not only to students but others as well. Here are the top 3 punctuation mistakes everyone made at least once:

  1. Oxford or serial comma. This one has inspired many discussions among linguists. It is the comma used after a list, before the conjunction (like "and") and can be used in any way you prefer. But remember, if you choose to use it or not, be consistent.

  2. Redundant quotation marks. If you are not quoting something, it's best to avoid quotation marks. If you want to highlight any part of the text, use a bold font.

  3. Missing or too many commas. If you are not sure whether or not you should insert a comma, read the sentence out loud. If you feel like there are too many commas in your sentence, split it into a few sentences.

It's impossible to know all of the punctuational rules, but at the least you should pay attention to the usage of the abovementioned punctuation marks.

Find and fix these grammar mistakes in your essay

When you are working on an essay, be sure to read and re-read it a few times to eliminate all of the possible mistakes. Here are the grammar errors that are often made in essays:

  1. You're and your. This mistake can often be found on social media. It should be obvious when it's right or wrong to use both cases, still it's best to pay attention to this one, since spell checkers can also cause the wrong usage.

  2. Passive voice. Avoid passive voice, since it often sounds unnatural. Use active voice to make your reading more vivid.

  3. Who or that. Often both are mistaken and used in a wrong way. "Who" should be applied to a case when we are talking about a person, while "that" should be used for objects.

  4. Title capitalization. No matter what kind of essay you are working on, there are always special rules for titles. Find out from your assignment or writers guidelines instructions which style is required from you, and use it in your essay.

Write flawless essays No person knows English grammar perfectly. Writing skills take some time and effort, but if you try hard, you will achieve your goals. Every time you work on any kind of writing assignment, spend some time editing your paper. Look through it a couple of times to make sure you delete all the unnecessary sentences and check to be sure there are any errors you might have not noticed. This is how you will be sure your essay stays on top.

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Lauren Bradshaw started writing in 2003. Since then she tried her hand in SEO and website copywriting, writing for blogs, and working as an academic writer. Her major interests lie in content marketing, developing communication skills, (more...)

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15 Typical Mistakes in Essay Writing

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