It takes a lot of practice to perfect the art of writing effective essays. Thus, to avoid making common mistakes when writing class essays is to practice writing them as much as your schedule allows you to. The following are some mistakes you should always be looking out for when writing a class essay, otherwise they can cost you a good grade.
- Inappropriate quoting
It seems that many students are not aware of when it is appropriate to quote something someone else said, and when it is just better to paraphrase the statement. When writing in the English language, the rules allow quoting in two distinct occasions. These occasions are when the original author said the statement so well that there is no way you could say it better, or when you are quoting a phrase from a fictional piece to correctly portray the tone of the story without it losing its pinch. If the situation does not fall within these two instances, then it is best to simply paraphrase the author’s words.
In addition, when you do quote, then you should be the one introducing the quotation. You should not copy another person’s words in a bid to introduce the quotation.
- Incomplete sentences
It is important to always remember that a complete sentence contains a verb and a subject. This seems like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many students usually have several incomplete sentences in their essays. Ensure that every sentence you write in your essay contains a subject and a verb in order for them to be complete, and to make reading the essay enjoyable.
- Use of contractions
This is another common mistake that students make while writing their essays. This mistake is common probably because most students use contractions when they are texting their friends and colleagues, which is a daily occurrence. When it comes to formal academic writing, the writer should avoid using contractions unless they are quoting directly from another text, and the text contains contractions.
- Dangling participles
The improper use of dangling participles is also another common mistake that majority of students make in their essays. These are words that end in –ing, and they lack a proper connection with the subjects that they are supposed to be modifying. If you are not sure of how to use these participles then it is best to avoid them completely in your essay.
- Poor spelling
This is one of the most annoying mistakes that one can find while going through an essay written by a college level student. Students need to take the necessary time to go through their work and ensure that there are no spelling mistakes. Word processors also come with in-built spell checkers making it easier for you to spell check your work before submitting.
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