The thought of writing an essay can be strenuous sometimes. The fact that you need to get your writing correctly means that you might feel a bit anxious about even starting. If the essay is a college essay, the need to deliver top-quality writing is even greater.

But you will realize that once you get a topic and start writing, things will begin to fall in place. Starting an essay can be one of the most difficult things students have to do but it will get better along the way.

Now that you have started, you do need to deliver a good essay. If you aiming for high marks or a good review from your teacher, then this article is just what you need. We have compiled a list of things you should avoid in your essay. Avoiding these common errors would help you write better and get that good grades you want so much.

Here are the most common things which you should avoid in the essay;


The first thing you need to avoid is plagiarism. There is no way to justify you taking the work of someone else and putting it off as yours. There is no room for copy and paste within the academics. Anyone who is supposed to grade your essay would be unimpressed by the fact that you were not original.

There is the issue of accidental plagiarism – where a student copies the work of another person due to confusion in citation or paraphrasing. It also arises when a student fails to properly reference the source material of the content of their essay.

Avoid all of these as much as possible. Before submitting your work, run your work through a plagiarism checker. There are many free options for you to use for it. There are also writing sites where you can find more information, but you need to be careful.

The use of complicated sentences to sound academic and professional

The whole point of an essay is to convey your opinion or your side of the story to someone and impress them. However, the part where you need to impress makes many students over-complicate things.

They make use of complex sentences and big words to sound academic – mostly out of proportion and without need. It is important to show the reader that you did some research, and you know the words in the register of that field. But your reader shouldn’t have to read two-three times to get your point or have a dictionary near them.

Keep your essay simple.

Avoid being vague and ambiguous

Whenever you are writing an essay, you should try as much as possible to avoid being vague and ambiguous. Avoid sentences that are too general that don’t convey the specific meaning you intended.

One of the keys to writing a good essay is to research widely. However, writing in a general sense (unless you are asked to) is never a good idea. Keep to the point and focus on the topic at hand squarely. Nothing more.

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Proofread – avoid not proofreading

Do not avoid the stage of proofreading in essay writing. Yes, that’s right – don’t avoid this. Proofreading is one of the most essential ingredients for writing a good essay, allowing you to notice all of your mistakes.

You will be doing yourself a favor by giving your essay another read through. Students usually get the urge to write an essay as fast as possible, making them forget that they need to proofread before submitting it.

If possible, give someone you consider to be a better writer than yourself to proofread. This is a wise decision.

Follow the Instructions and Specifications

Do whatever is asked of you; nothing more, nothing less. Don’t think for one moment that you need to show the reader how much information or knowledge you have. This is not a contest to test your level of knowledge. This is to test your skill of writing what is asked of you.

Follow all the instructions given to you, do them according to specifications. If you are given a particular word count limit, keep your essay within that limit. Read and understand the instructions before you even start writing.

Avoid the urge to not conduct proper research

This is another mistake that is borne out of the need to deliver essays quickly. Do the research you need to get the full scope of the topic. Read as many books as possible on the subject matter. Go online and read extensively on the topic you have been given.

If you are truly going to impress whoever is reading your work, this is the only way to ensure you have all you need to impress.

Forgetting Your Thesis Statement

You need to have an outline. It is very important to have a clear and easy-to-understand outline that presents your idea to the reader. Most students tend to forget this part of an essay. In most academic essays, you will come across; you will be required to have this.

Also, let the content of the essay follow the thesis statement. It will be poor judgment on your part to have an essay that doesn’t follow the thesis statement. It is not a good look for you and the reader will not appreciate that.

Try as much as possible to avoid this particular error.

Avoid poor grammar

You will be judged on your grammar in any academic essay. Try as much as possible to ensure that your grammar is good. You can do this by using some grammar check software and platform.

Also, avoid the use of wrong tenses; use past tense when you are talking about the past, use present tense when talking about current events. Know when to use singular and plural verbs.

Final Words

Avoiding all of these common mistakes will ensure that you have a good and quality essay. You will impress the reader and will effectively pass across your idea. Do not get intimidated by the thought of writing a good essay.

Most of the mistakes readers and examiners look out of for are avoidable – we do hope this would help you avoid making errors you have made in previous essays you have written.