Most students struggle when they have to write papers, and many give up on the task before finishing the papers. If you find yourself in that category, there is no need to despair. There are many ways to improve your academic writing skills, and one of the best tactics is to understand what you have been doing wrong.
There are 6 «popular» mistakes that all students are guilty of at one point or another. When you realize what you should avoid, it will become easier to write better content for your next assignment.
Plagiarism does not only involve turning someone else’s work in your own name; it also refers to using sentences and expressions of other authors without citing the source. Professors check all papers against plagiarism, so you should be careful not to ruin your academic record by submitting an unoriginal piece.
When students start working on essays, they are usually not completely aware of all challenges imposed by academic writing. They are mostly concerned about the sources they are going to discuss and the points they are going to present, but don’t pay a lot of attention to the mechanics of writing an essay. When your professor asks you to format the paper according to a specific style, you have to make an effort to meet their requirements.
Lack of a thesis
When writing an academic paper, the first thing you should think about is structuring a strong thesis that will present the basic argument in the discussion. The thesis usually wraps up the introductory paragraph and prepares you to present the discussion.
So you have a long paper to write, but the deadline is close and you don’t have enough time to do a proper research. The best solution in such situation would be to think of few arguments and paraphrase them several times throughout the paper, right? Wrong! Repetition is the best way to construct a boring paper that won’t get you a high grade. You should always make sure that each paragraph of your paper has a different focus.
Overly-casual or overly-formal style
The language of the street is something you should avoid when writing an essay. This is supposed to be an eloquent academic piece that uses and references reliable sources. On the other hand, you should not try too hard to sound smart. Avoid the use of «intellectual» words and try to stick to a clean style that’s still adequate to the standards of academic writing.
Lack of editing
When you’re done writing a paper, you just want to turn it in and get done with it. However, you should never avoid the editing process, no matter how boring it appears to be. If you submit an unedited piece, you will most likely be guilty of all mistakes listed above. Make sure to bring the paper to perfection before you allow your professor to read it.