You wrote essays throughout your high school and college career. Now, you may be interested in becoming a professional essay writer. While you may be a talented writer, professional essay writing isn’t as easy as it seems! As with any career, there are certain “do’s” and “don’ts” to which professional writers should adhere. Within this blog we will explore ten mistakes to avoid as a professional essay writer.
#1- Professional essay writers avoid plagiarism at all costs
Plagiarism is a serious mistake for any writer. Students who plagiarize can be expelled from school. Professional writers who plagiarize can be sued by the original writer; professional essay writers can be dismissed from their jobs.
Certainly, as a writer, avoiding plagiarism has likely been drilled into you from those high school days. While you wouldn’t blatantly copy an essay from the web, it is possible to plagiarize simply by failing to credit the original author. As your high school teacher might have reminded you – if it is not “common knowledge” or your own personal knowledge, cite the source. It’s alway better to be safe than sorry in this case. For more tips on plagiarism, check out this article on famous cases of plagiarism.
#2 – Professional essay writers proofread to avoid grammatical mistakes
You may be so confident in your writing that you skip over the all-important part of the writing process known as proofreading; however, even the most seasoned writers can deliver content rife with spelling and other grammatical errors. First, work ahead of the deadline whenever possible. Hurried work is often shoddy work. In addition, you should wait a bit after completing an essay before you proofread. Some experts advise that you should read the paper from the END to the BEGINNING just to jumpstart your brain and to prevent simply glancing over the work. Remember, no one has perfect spelling and grammar at all time.
#3 – Professional essay writers never fail to do the proper research on your essay topic
As a professional essay writer, you are likely to deal with editors whose job it is to ensure that you are following the instructions of your client and formatting your work correctly. However, editors may not catch every mistake, nor may they be experts in whatever your topic might be. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you research properly. Avoid Wikipedia, About.com, and general encyclopedia websites. Instead, utilize sites such as Google Scholar to find reputable academic journals from which you can draw information.
#4 – Professional essay writers are sure to address the proper audience
You want to be sure to address your audience. Generally, professional essay writers are speaking to a professor. This means that you will want to use sentence structure and vocabulary that is appropriate for this audience. Also, you will want to avoid colloquialisms, lofty phrasing, and vagueness in your writing. Be clear and concise in your writing. You want to draw the attention of your reader without bogging the writing down in fanciful language that does not provide the information which the reader seeks.
#5 – Professional essay writers write about what they know, but are not afraid to try new things
When you begin your journey as a professional essay writer, you’ll want to write about topics with which you are comfortable. If you enjoy English and history, get your feet wet on those topics. However, don’t be afraid to write about other topics as well. This is where the ability to research comes in handy. You might not be familiar with geography, but, with a little reading, you could write about the environment. By expanding your repertoire, you will be able to acquire more knowledge in your writing.
#6 – Professional essay writers never fail create an outline
Just as you might have done in high school and college, you should create a working outline before beginning your writing. As you work more and more, you may find yourself suffering from writer’s block. Begin by freewriting. This will help if you have some knowledge of your topic. This can also help to narrow down your research. The outline can help to prompt you should you feel that your ideas are falling flat.
#7 – Professional essay writers know usage errors are detrimental
Most individuals think of grammatical errors as basic punctuation, spelling, and the like. However, there is one common error that a professional writer should never make. They are common to writing, however. Have you seen a social media post in which someone misuses there, their, or they’re? That’s a usage error, and you can be sure that it’s a big mistake for professional essay writers. Fortunately, you can visit grammar rule sites that not only explain usage rules, but also give you examples.
#8 – Professional essay writers read as much as possible
You might be surprised to find this piece of advice for professional writers. However, teachers will tell you that good writers are good readers. There is no need to read strictly academic tomes either. You might be surprised how a John Grisham novel can introduce you to some common law jargon. James Patterson novels do have some grain of truth when describing criminal investigation procedures. While you wouldn’t want to use these fictional pieces as a basis for your research, you might find some inspiration as to where to begin your own research. Writers are usually good readers, and readers are often good writers. Not a good writer yet? Sharpen your skills by avoiding these common writing mistakes.
#9 – Professional essay writers don’t stop writing for fun
You want to become a professional essay writer no doubt, because you’re good at writing. Consider musicians who step out of their comfort zone and record a song that is not in their typical genre (i.e. rock musicians recording with a country artist). This is often fun for the artists, and it reminds them of why they pursued a music career in the first place. The same can be said for writing. Try journaling a few times a week. This form of writing carries no pressure, it is often therapeutic, and can help you avoid writer’s block. Journaling will also keep your writing fresh, as well as help you to find and cultivate your own “voice” in writing.
#10 – Professional essay writers make sure to take a break
Often, when you are writing a great deal and facing constant deadlines, it is difficult to find time to take a break. Set up your schedule for writing with a calendar. Know your limits, and set up your weekly deadlines based on the amount of essay you feel you can complete each week. Furthermore, set up at least one day per week that you are able to step away from work. Your writing will suffer if you overload yourself with work and see little time off. You need to rest and restore yourself so that your writing will always be sharp.
Professional essay writers should be careful when setting up their schedules as to not be overloaded. They should always consider their audience and voice, something that can be cultivated by journaling. Professional essay writers should also be diligent regarding proofreading and research. Over time, you’ll hone your craft and become demanded by clients.
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