When you’re finished, you’re not finished yet. So many students end their writing and click ‘save’ before even reading their work through. This makes essays hard to read which gets teachers despondent about getting to your assignment.
Eliminate by... Your essay should be proofread and edited at least twice. Put yourself in your teacher’s shoes and imagine reading your essay. Have you taken punctuation seriously? Are there spelling errors that need to be corrected? How’s the grammar? If you punish your teacher with bad syntax, they may in turn punish you with a bad grade.
Common mistake: Haphazard flow
When students write essays that don’t follow a logical direction, it’s enough to turn any essay—no matter how good the language is—into an empty series of words that go nowhere.
Three things to take note of in your writing are:
- Logical order of events/arguments
- Paragraphs should connect with each other
- Your introduction shouldn’t give the plot/spoilers away
- Your conclusion should have an element of finality
Common mistake: A bad understanding of word usage
There are lots of words that sound the same, but have different meanings. For your teacher who understands the differences between these words and knows how important it is to distinguish between them, seeing such errors can make the blood boil.
Eliminate by... Grab a list of same-sounding words from the internet and keep a copy on your homework desk. Every time you write an essay, keep a good eye out for these common errors and avoid them at all costs.