The Top 8 Writing Mistakes Students Makes

Ca.EduBirdie
4 min readJun 14, 2021

What are the most common writing mistakes students make? In this article, I’m going to share with you the top eight writing mistakes I have seen students make in my five years as a tutor and editor. Chances are that you’re making these mistakes knowingly or unknowingly.

Writing is not for everyone. Ask any student and they will tell you the same. Yet, it’s one of the most important skills one should have, not only in the professional world but also in business. The good news is that everyone can acquire and nurture their writing skills and become successful in them. But that requires some effort and dedication.

Read on to discover some of the common writing mistakes you’re probably making

Spelling Mistakes

How many times or instances have you used the wrong words at the right place. This sentence sounds correct and if you’re not careful you might not notice the mistake: “why do many students right essays with too many mistakes”. Right, write, and write are some of the words students use incorrectly and can change the meaning of a sentence. That’s why it’s recommended to proofread and spell-check every word when writing.

Not Seeking External Help

As stated earlier, writing is not everyone’s forte. Besides, even if you’re a good writer, sometimes your hands can be full. Trying to handle all your essays and other school activities alone can make you suffer burnout. Cases of stress and anxiety are on the rise amongst students due to the tons of activities one is required to handle. There are many professionals out there who write essays for students at affordable prices. However, many students are yet to take advantage of these writers when they are overwhelmed. This is one of the mistakes students make that can be avoided.

Run-on Sentences

The child knows how to write but she can’t read or pronounce an English word.

Can you spot the mistake in that sentence?

The run-on sentences is one of the mistakes students make when writing essays and other assignments. The above sentence is run-on because there are no commas before the coordinating conjunctions. The sentence contains three clauses that can be sentences on their own. “the child knows how to write” “she can’t read” “she can’t pronounce an English word”. Now when written as one sentence, there must be a comma before the coordinating conjunctions ‘but’ and ‘or

But, for, so, and, or, nor, and yet are some of the most common coordinating conjunctions.

To avoid this mistake in your writing, always check the clauses before and after the conjunction; if it can be a sentence on its own, insert a common before the conjunction.

Wordiness

This mistake occurs when a student uses too many words to convey a meaning that could be conveyed using a single word. This mistake makes your writing lose clarity.

This mistake can be avoided by replacing long sentences and phrases with a single word, for instance, words with the same meaning.

Not Following Instructions

Professors always give assignments together with instructions. Sadly, some students rarely pay attention to these instructions. This could be due to the haste to complete the assignment or sometimes some students ignore the instructions. Not following instructions could make you end up doing the wrong thing.

Read the instructions carefully and respond as requested.

Inserting Punctuation Outside of Quotation Marks

How punctuation marks and quotation marks are used differs from one English language to another. For instance, in American English, punctuation goes inside quotation marks whereas in British English they are inserted outside.

In British English: The teacher said, “Hurry up and pick your books”, but the students were just staring at him.

In American English: The teacher said, “Hurry up and pick your books,” but the students were just staring at him.

Adding Emphasis by Use of Quotation Marks

It is incorrect to use quotation marks to add emphasis. The best way to highlight or emphasize something is to use italics.

In the sentence: The students were to graduate this year “but” the covid-19 pandemic delayed their graduation, the quotation marks are incorrectly used.

The sentence should be: The students were to graduate this year but the covid-19 pandemic delayed their graduation.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism isn’t only a mistake but it’s also an academic sin. Yes, you heard that well. This is pure cheating where students copy-paste other people’s work and use them as their work. This mistake can have severe consequences on a student as one can be suspended or expelled from the institution.

To avoid this mistake, always write your essays and assignments from scratch.

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