Avoiding common essay writing mistakes and pitfalls

Writing an essay can be a daunting task, but with proper preparation and good writing habits, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we will discuss five common essay writing mistakes and pitfalls that you should avoid to make sure your essays are clear, concise, and effective.

We will discuss grammar and spelling errors, rambling sentences, poorly structured arguments, repetition and wordiness, and plagiarism. With this information in hand, you will be better equipped to write quality essays that impress your teachers and peers.

1. Grammar and Spelling Errors

Grammatical and spelling errors can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your essay. And this is not just limited to essays. Whether you’re writing an academic paper, a blog post, or an email, errors can make it difficult for the reader to understand what you’re trying to say.

Grammar and Spelling Errors

Grammar errors involve the misuse of words, phrases, and sentences. It may be incorrect verb agreement, the wrong usage of prepositions, or incorrect punctuation. To avoid grammar and spelling errors, it’s important to read and re-read your essay. Take your time and double-check for mistakes.

If you’re still having difficulty spotting mistakes, consider giving your essay to a family member or friend to review. They may find any error that has been missed by you.

It’s also a good idea to use a spell-checker, like the one in Microsoft Word, to help you identify any spelling errors. It’s also a good idea to take a break from your essay before you start proofreading it. This could help you to see things that you may have missed while you were writing it.

2. Rambling sentences

rambling sentences

Rambling sentences can be a common problem for essay writers. They are long, convoluted, and complex sentences that lack clear direction and often contain unrelated or unnecessary information.

This can be confusing for the reader and can cause your essay to lose focus. However, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid rambling sentences in your writing.

  • First, it’s important to plan out your essay structure before you start writing.
  • This will help you keep your ideas organized and ensure that each sentence has a purpose.
  • Try to avoid adding too many details or unnecessary words to your sentences.
  • Instead, focus on conveying your ideas in the fewest words possible.
  • If your writing still doesn’t satisfy you, you might try using an online paraphrasing tool to create phrases that are engaging, clear, and interesting.
  • Finally, take the time to edit and proofread your essay.

This will help you identify any rambling sentences and make sure your essay flows logically.

As an example, you could combine two sentences to form a more concise sentence. For instance, “I am a student at the University of California. I am majoring in English Literature” could be changed to “I am a student majoring in English Literature at the University of California.”

Consider another example:

rambling sentences example
Tool: https://www.editpad.org/tool/paraphrasing-tool

3. Poorly Structured Arguments

Poorly structured arguments in essay writing are arguments that are disorganized, illogical, or unclear. They are arguments that lack evidence, contain illogical statements, and are difficult to follow.

Poorly Structured Arguments

Poorly structured arguments can make it difficult for the reader to understand and appreciate your point of view. To avoid poorly structured arguments in essay writing:

  • It is important to ensure that the arguments are well-structured and organized.
  • You should make sure to include evidence to support their claims and to ensure that their arguments are logical and coherent.
  • It is also important to follow a logical flow of ideas, making sure that one point logically leads to the next.

In addition, it is important to be concise and to provide relevant information. By avoiding unnecessary and irrelevant details, you can ensure that their arguments are presented and easy to follow.

4. Repetition and Wordiness

Repetition and wordiness in essay writing are two of the most common mistakes made by writers. Repetition occurs when a writer uses the same word or phrase multiple times in a single sentence or paragraph.

Repetition and Wordiness

Wordiness is when an author uses more words than necessary to convey a thought or idea. Both of these errors make it difficult for a reader to understand the main point of your essay.

To avoid repetition and wordiness in essay writing, try to use different words or phrases to express the same idea. For example, if you want to express the idea of “arriving on time,” you can use phrases such as “being punctual,” “on schedule,” or “in a timely manner.”

Try to use concise language that gets to the point quickly. Long-winded sentences with multiple clauses can confuse the reader and make it difficult to understand your main point.  And just as paraphrasing tools can be helpful in dealing with rambling sentences, they can also be helpful in reducing repetitiveness and wordiness.

Consider an example:

repetition example
Tool: www.rephrase.info

5. Plagiarism

Plagiarism in essay writing is a serious issue that can lead to dire consequences for students. Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own without giving them credit. It’s important to note that plagiarism doesn’t just refer to using someone else’s words, it also applies to ideas, images, and data.


To avoid plagiarism in essay writing, it’s important to always properly cite and reference sources. This means that you should give credit to the original author or creator whenever you use a direct quotation or paraphrase from their work.

In addition to properly citing sources, it’s a good idea to use quotation marks whenever you use a direct quotation from someone else’s work. This will make it much easier to differentiate between your words and the original author’s words.

Finally, it’s a good idea to use an online plagiarism checker before submitting your essay. This will help to ensure that your essay is free of plagiarism and will also help you to identify any areas in which you may have accidentally plagiarized.

Final Words

Essay writing can be a daunting task for some, but it doesn’t have to be. By avoiding the common mistakes and pitfalls outlined above, you will be better equipped to write an effective and well-structured essay that conveys your thoughts and ideas.

By carefully following these tips, you can make sure your essay stands out from the crowd and that you get the best grade possible. With practice, you can write an essay to get high grades.

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