Writing an academic essay is never easy although it may seem different. Sometimes, students think their essay is perfect. However, their grades tell the opposite. In such moments, it is impossible to convey the disappointment students experience. You can always use services like to get some help with educational papers. The work you tried to do so hard was so underestimated. What was wrong with your essay then? Becoming an easy essay writer is a challenging task. It is possible though. The truth is students always make very common mistakes while crafting their essays.

If you know what to avoid in writing an essay, you will cope with your assignment much better. Keep reading this and find what the common errors in writing essays are.

These top 5 mistakes in essay writing are very frequent. You will definitely recognize yours on that list. Just try to pay attention to these common essay mistakes and avoid them by all means. It will help you succeed with your research and increase your writing skills and grades a lot. You will also make the writing process automatic instead of struggling each time.

1. Too “broad” topics

Do not be too disappointed when you are assigned a topic for your essay. As a rule, professors do not assign “losing” themes. Normally, you are given a very good topic that will not allow you to bring up arcane stuff. The situation is much worse when you need to think of your topic on your own.

In this case, it is crucial to pick the topic that will not “sink” you. If you browse a good research paper exampleyou will see that they are quite focused on one subtopic only. This is the right strategy. The first mistake to avoid when writing your essay is not to pick too generalized topics.


For example: Obesity in the modern world – No

The causes of obesity in modern children – Yes

In both cases, the topic is the same. However, in the first option, it is too generic. While writing, you will be simply lost. Your research papers will have to be focused on everything and nothing at a time. There are causes of obesity, effects of it, its effect on relationships, life in general, obesity in different countries, and many other subtopics. If you try to cover all of them, you risk writing an essay that is much longer than necessary or not covering anything at all. Therefore, always opt for a more specific topic. Here is how to do that:

  • Brainstorm the topic
  • Pick a generalized theme
  • Divide it into subtopics
  • Choose the subtopic that is the easiest to research

2. Wordiness

Wordiness is one of the most common mistakes that students make while writing sentences. Yes, everyone knows about word count. However, adding as many words as possible is not the way to reach it. Too many unnecessary words and phrases do not make a good impression on your reader. Moreover, they make the text less readable.

Here are the best scholarly writing tips to follow to avoid excessive wordiness:

  • Use the active voice. No, not everywhere. The passive voice helps keep an objective tone. But don’t overuse it. Otherwise, your text will be very difficult to read.
  • Use one word instead of many where possible. If the meaning of a sentence doesn’t really change when removing certain words, it is better to remove those extra words.

For example: Due to the fact that… – No

Because… – Yes

  • Reduce modifiers. Some words do not render any sense, so you can remove them without changing the meaning of the whole sentence.

For example: Absolutely impossible… – No

Impossible… – Yes

Instead of adding unnecessary words, it is better to expand the text differently. For instance, you can add extra research of evidence. Just expand the explanation of your conclusion, after all.


3. Informality

Academic writing requires academic language. Your everyday English might be excellent but you cannot apply it in your essay. Academic writing requires formal vocabulary. Avoid informal vocabulary. The words to avoid in academic writing are as follows:

  • Contractions: can’t → cannot, won’t → will not
  • Informal language: do → carry out, perform, etc.
  • Too personal tone: no first person like he/she → they, etc.
  • Colloquial language/slang: buddies → friends, cops → police

There are always exceptions. When working on a book report, you include a lot of quotes from informal language. Here, we are talking about the general tone of your essay.

4. Too long and complex sentences

Long sentences are confusing for readers. Do not create too many complex ones. Try to use short and precise sentences. The reader can simply lose the idea while reading your essay. It is much easier to perceive all information when it is presented accurately. This mistake will also cause too much wordiness you should also avoid by all means.

For example: The death penalty has to be avoided by all countries because it is not right from the point of view of humanity, after all, we have no right to take anyone’s life. – No

Countries should consider abandoning the death penalty. This contradicts humanity. Taking other people’s lives is morally wrong.

5. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is one of the biggest problems in writing essays. It does not mean you are copy-pasting someone else’s thoughts even. You may not do that but still plagiarize unintentionally.


To avoid plagiarism, you should:

  • Paraphrase instead of copy-pasting
  • Refer to scholars’ thoughts
  • Cite appropriately
  • Check your essay in one of the plagiarism-checking tools

These are very simple rules to remember when writing your essay. Checking your content for plagiarism is very efficient. Even if you wrote everything yourself, the program may show many coincidences. In this case, you should rewrite the marked sentences and check the sources. Maybe the ideas you used were already used by someone else and posted online. Citations and references are a must. Never neglect them.

These are the main mistakes students make when writing their essays. Of course, you should never forget about proofreading your essay. It would be great to do it more than once and take a break in a few days. If you are not sure you can do that, you can always use some professional homework help and be sure that everything is edited and proofread appropriately.