Common Mistakes Students Make When Writing Essays

Tomorrow Is the Deadline!

Have a looming due date for your next essay? Don’t fall victim to these 6 mistakes!

  1. A Disregarded Rubric

Rubrics aren’t just for scrap paper; they are created by teachers to help you!  There are clues in your rubric or in your assignment that will help you achieve great marks – you just have to read them!  Look for what your teacher has bolded or repeated; it’s probably important.

  1. A Neglected Map

Taking time to organize and map out your essay before you begin is extraordinarily helpful, and your future-self will thank you!  The internet is full of graphic organizers that will help you through every stage of the essay-writing process.  Regardless of your affinity towards graphic organizers, you should always make point-form notes that map out what each paragraph will say.

  1. Omitted Evidence

You didn’t like it when your parents said, “Because I said so,” and teachers don’t like it either. You have to be able to prove your argument with evidence and examples, not just “because you said so.”  Evidence and examples can come from many different places depending on the type of essay you are writing. Personal experiences, quotations from a text, data, or historical events all count as evidence!

  1. A Tedious Title

Titles are the first thing your teachers read, so you’ve got to make them count!  A title should give your reader a quick understanding of what the essay will be discussing in a catchy, thought-provoking way.  Please don’t use the title of the assignment as your title!  “Taming of the Shrew Essay” doesn’t quite have the same ring as, “Identity and ‘Sly’ Compliance in The Taming of the Shrew.”

  1. An Absentee Argument

Where is your argument; did you leave it at home?  Every essay needs an argument – an opinion or point of view that is supported by evidence.  Your argument should be easy to identify, and it’s usually found in the introduction.  Remember that essays are not summaries, book reports, or reviews.

1. A Lack of Proofreading and RevisionSpelling error correction in writing

Even the best authors in the world need editors.  Proofreading and editing are important aspects of writing and should never be forgotten.  The best strategy for proofreading your own work is to read your essay out loud.  When we read out loud we can hear awkward sentences and grammatical mistakes.  Try it yourself next time – it really works!


Do you know a student who struggles with writing essays?  Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space now offers The Essay Coach for students in grades 7-12, university, or college looking for help with essay writing!  Click here to learn more about this unique program.


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