Things To Avoid When Writing Essays

Posted by Andrew Johnston on December 22, 2012


Writing good essays involves following necessary instructions and methodologies. You also need to mix your creative perception with the theme or topic so the essay can come out with a completely unique presentation. But there is one more thing; you need to avoid certain mistakes so that your essay can stand the chance of getting higher marks.

Irrelevant Topics

The greatest harm you can do to yourself or your essay is to construct a title that doesn’t fit with what is being explained in the body of the essay. This is the easiest way to get your recipient confused so that they don’t know what exactly you’re trying to talk about. Make sure your topic rhymes with what is in the body of the essay.

Spelling & Grammar Mistakes

The best essay with an excellent topic and amazing thesis is still a piece of rubbish if it’s full of spelling errors and grammar mistakes. It's not that the mistakes undermine the understanding of the message it’s just that people see such mistakes as avoidable and irritating. Make sure you check for grammar and spelling errors and correct as much as you can.

Long Sentences, Lengthy Paragraphs

Writing an essay is not just about passing across a message, argument or an idea, it's also about writing in a way that it is easy to read and understand. No matter how good your essay is you’ll make it difficult to read and comprehend if you present it in long sentences and paragraphs. Try writing short sentences and makes sure your paragraph is not more than five to seven lines.

Avoid Jargon & Slang

It is normal for slang and jargon to creep into your essay while you’re constructing your words and sentences. This happens because slang and jargon are part of everyday speech so it's natural for them to force themselves through your mind into your essay pages. Jargon and slang can best be eliminated during the final revisions once you’re through with the whole write-up.

Don’t Write On A Topic You Don’t Know Well

Unless you’ve been given a particular topic area to write about, it is safer for you to write on a topic you know very well. Writing on a topic you’re completely alien to will lower the value of your essay because you won’t have enough strong points to talk about. A good writer picking up the wrong topic is almost the same dilemma as a bad writer who doesn’t know what he/she is doing.

Avoid Controversial Topics

Controversial issues about religion and politics or any other major topics will only lead to frustrations and may create the wrong emotions with your readers. If you must do something that will raise eyebrows a little, you can pick on less controversial issues or topics in the domestic environment. People want to read a quality essay but without too much of your personal opinions littering every sentence and paragraph.

Don’t Go Off Topic

You’re often likely to get off topic as you pen down your essay mostly because of lack of knowing what to say at that particular point. Going off topic in your essay can cause your audience to lose direction so that the mental state they're using to follow your story or argument is suddenly distorted or interrupted. Try as much as possible to focus on the main topic, doing proper research can help you get cool points to write about.

Avoid writing too much or too little, find the perfect number of words that won’t make your essay boring or lack the essential points to make it perfect. If you’re writing a narrative essay about yourself avoid being arrogant and don’t pick on negative topics.


Andrew Johnston is a tutor who helps students from GCSE level right up to assisting with dissertation research methods. He knows a thing or two about what not to do in an essay.


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