Writing academic essays is literally unavoidable in your educational journey. And that is precisely why writing a good essay is one skill that is always good to work on. But what is a good essay, or what is a bad essay, for that matter? Or what are the mistakes that you are repeatedly making, thereby making a good essay appear bad?
Instead of preaching how to write a ‘good’ essay, let’s try to define what’s a bad essay – and, of course, the mistakes you can avoid making in your essays. Stay tuned to find out.
What Is A Bad Essay? Mistakes To Avoid In Your Essay!
So what exactly makes an essay bad? The mistakes you make, whether factual or grammatical, are perhaps the most prominent factor that can make any essay look bad – and sometimes, really, really bad. If you have ever been to freshessays.com, then you would definitely know the value of a good essay.
But if you haven’t been to the site, then do visit. Now, let’s talk about the basic mistakes you can avoid in your essays, thus improving the quality of your essays. Scroll down without wasting any more time, and find out the basic mistakes to avoid in your academic essays.
1. Too Many Quotes
Your essay is supposed to be about your understanding of the given topic, your main argument, evidence to back up those arguments, and perhaps a few quotes as a part of your evidence. But that definitely doesn’t mean you will add a quote after every two paragraphs, thereby unnecessarily increasing the length of your content.
Plus, when you use too many quotes in your work, it undermines your knowledge and, more importantly, your authority over the given topic. You should always use quotes sparingly, only to prove a point that you cannot describe eloquently in your words.
Now, this one’s serious – you cannot copy someone’s essay and present it as your own under any circumstances. In academics and practically everywhere else, we call this act plagiarism. And the worst part? You can not get away with copying from other sources – you will be caught and penalized.
There are so many tools in the market today – both free and paid for catching copied content that there’s practically no escape. The world, and especially the academic world, values authentic content – so keep it original.
3. Grammatical Errors
Grammatical errors are perhaps the biggest turn-off out there – and the best thing that you can do is avoid making these errors. The most basic grammatical errors that we almost always make in a bad essay are as follows:
- Lack of subject-verb agreement
- Spelling errors
- Use of first person or second person instead of a third person
- Incomplete sentences
- No proper formatting
- Incorrect contractions.
These are mistakes you can easily avoid only if you are a little careful when you are writing, or you can just proofread your essays before submitting them. Plus, there are so many free and paid tools out there where you can do a spelling and grammar check.
4. Using Resources Without Credibility
We are living in an internet-dominated industry. At such a time, it is very easy for anyone to just type in anything on Google and wait for dozens of content related to the same pop-up! But are all of these articles, blogs, or other types of content credible? We don’t think so – Wikipedia, for instance, is a high-authority platform, but we can’t always guarantee its credibility.
Only for a simple reason – everyone can access and edit the content on Wikipedia, which makes information here prone to mistakes and inaccuracies. So, while using resources on the internet, always be careful about credibility – are your sources credible?
5. Writing A Synopsis
An essay, especially an academic one, deserves to be more than a synopsis of what you understood – it’s supposed to be analytical. As a writer, you are expected to analyze the given topic, give your point of view, and back it up with evidence where your sources come into play. You can’t just write a synopsis of the text and get away with it.
The whole purpose of writing an essay is to build an argument and subsequently defend that argument with a thesis. In case your topic is about any work from literature, then it’s safe to add some material to the background of the given text.
6. Lack Of A Solid Thesis Statement
It is essential to come up with a solid thesis statement if you want to stop writing bad essays. Your thesis statement is literally the hook on which your entire essay is dependent. You have to ensure that your thesis statement comes with an opinion and a perspective and is specific.
For instance, ‘The Old Man And The Sea is a good work of American Literature’ is not a strong thesis statement. But instead, if you write, ‘The Old Man And The Sea perfectly capture the essence of American Literature in its tragic emptiness,’ then it appears to be a much stronger thesis statement.
7. Lack Of A Good Bibliography
A majority of academic essays are mostly formatted in the MLA style until and unless the academic institution specifically requests any other format. In case you didn’t know, each formatting style has its own way of citing sources and formatting, not just the entire essay but also your bibliography.
You cannot take your bibliography lightly. A lot of good essays lose points over a bad bibliography. Be very specific about formatting – if you are a little careful, you can easily nail your bibliography. Just don’t sweat over it too much.
Final Thoughts ─ A Little More Effort And Zero Mistakes In Academic Essays
Your academic essays are crucial for your academic growth. You just need to put in a little effort, and soon, you will find yourself hardly making any errors. So just up your effort game and improve the quality of your essays in a few simple steps. Tell us about your thoughts related to the basic mistakes we tend to make in our essays.
Did we miss out on any basic mistakes? Share your thoughts and experiences related to making mistakes in your essays with us in the comments below.