6 Popular Mistakes Students Make When Writing Essays

Essay writing is often underestimated, but the truth is – it is not a trivial task that only takes minutes of your time. Even with the best writing skills, every student encounters a certain level of difficulty when writing an essay. For this reason, learning what the most common mistakes in essay writing are is a real MUST if you want to submit a brilliant paper.

We have reviewed a variety of essays and other academic papers to collect all necessary data in selecting the most common types of mistakes students make in writing. To help you, we are presenting a complete list of the most common essay mistakes you should avoid:

1. Spelling

Most spelling mistakes occur when the student uses an incorrect homophone.

Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation, but different meaning.

The biggest mistake students do when proofreading their essays for such mistakes is using the spell-checker. This is not a bad idea to start with, but you must always read the paper yourself since the spell-check can easily miss homophones (they are spelled right, after all!)

2. Coordinating Conjunctions

Another common mistake is not putting a comma before a coordinating conjunction.

A coordinating conjunction connects two sentences that may or may not be sentences on their own.

As you probably know already, the most common conjunctions are: for, nor, and, or but, yet and so. Do not forget to add a comma before the conjunction because when you make this mistake, the sentence becomes a run-on sentence.

3. Introductory Phrase Comma

Experts who work at the best essay writing service report that the most common mistake in essays they have edited was not adding a comma after the introductory phrase.

An introductory phase serves to provide the reader with background information. It is usually followed by a comma.

There are exceptions to the comma rule, but this is optional only where the phrase is very short. Otherwise, you should always pay attention to the introductory phrase comma.

4. Wordiness

Students often use more words than the necessary to convey meaning. Wordiness can be very confusing and unclear to the reader. Therefore, you should identify all long phrases and see if these can be replaced with shorter ones.

Also, try to eliminate words that carry the same meaning and weak words, such as ‘sort of’ or ‘basically’.

5. Comma Misuse

The most common error with commas occurs inside a compound subject. Students place commas on places that do not require one, which can be considered comma misuse.

A compound subject is used with a conjunction with the goal of connecting more noun phrases.

6. Subject – Verb Agreement

We all know that singular subjects go with singular verbs, while plural subjects go with plural verbs. Still, students often mix these in essays, so try to pay special attention to this when proofreading.
These are the top 6 mistakes students make when writing essays. Use this list to improve the editing skills and identify common errors.