Typical Mistakes of Essay Writing
January 3, 2008
In essay writing, there are some mistakes that would usually go unnoticed on the part of the essay writer but which an experienced examiner will automatically detect. The most predominant of all these Typical Mistakes of Essay Writing is misspelled words. This mistake is indeed typical to those who must submit handwritten essays. Even those who use software such as MS Word will experience these instances although the program usually tries to underline the errors. The best way to deal with this Typical Mistakes is by Proofreading the essay once the work is through.
The second type of typical mistakes encountered in essay writing is editorial mistakes, such as incorrect use of “it’s” and “its”. In this simple example, a writer would have intended to use the conjunction short form but ended up using the possessive word for an animal, thing or being. Some other instances of encountering such typical mistake is when essay writers use similar sounding words. Unfortunately, the MS Word program does not have a way of capturing these typical mistakes hence they usually go unnoticed until the examiner penalizes them.
Another major error that forms a core typical mistake is the use of the Passive voice in the essay. Since the essay must be very revealing in many ways, the Passive voice is highly discouraged to a minimal. However, especially in the instances were essay writers encounter the verb “To be”, many mistakes are made. This is because this verb is not strong in the English vocabulary therefore typical mistakes usually arising as writers confuse the active voice of this verb with the passive voice.
Of course, punctuation errors feature highly in the list of typical mistakes, and maybe I should have mentioned them as the first. The problem with typical mistakes of this kind is that there is no rule of thumb. If a writer uses an excessive dose of punctuation marks, an examiner would usually take offense because they may think that the writer is merely trying to display there good command of the English language. Incidentally, this typical mistake will equally find the writer on the wrong side should they decide to use punctuation marks sparingly. When this happens, examiners’ are usually quick to note them and there is nothing that will convince them that this particular writer is not illiterate. The question as to which is the balance necessary for writers to strike is one that receives varied answers depending on the tolerance level of the examiner.
Another typical mistake is the inappropriate use of paragraph breaks. In as much as it is common practice to develop one idea only within the confines of one paragraph, many writers would usually make the typical mistake of changing ideas within the same paragraph. This results in long-winded paragraphs that are jam packed with several ideas. The results is that the essay appears to be very congested when ideally, had paragraph breaks been used, would have resulted into a huge difference.
Last but not in any way the least is the typical mistake of failing to meet the page limit stated by examiners at the beginning of the essay. Maybe this typical mistake is as a consequence of an overflow of ideas, that make writers unable to contain themselves. Or maybe it is the very attempt at containment that results in a writer writing just one page less than the required, which usually will consist of a very long final paragraph that was probably designed to extend by a small margin, into the other page. Whichever the reason, an examiner will definitely not miss penalizing this kind of typical error.