Even the most experienced writers fall victim to common writing mistakes. There are even mistakes in published books! New writers are even more likely to make common mistakes due to their inexperience. Editors from our editing services catch mistakes from even the most experienced writers. This sample English essay explores some common mistakes that many new writers make and some tips on how to avoid them.
Common mistakes new writers make and how to improve writing skills
Being a good writer is not simply about the information you can fit into your work, it is about how well you present it. You can have pages and pages of evidence to support what you are saying, but if you do not say it in the right way, you will not appear professional or reliable. These tips for amateur writers should also help professional writers polish their craft.
Grammatical errors are the easiest to fix; but left unfixed, they can have the heaviest influence on a negative impression. Common grammatical errors include:
- ‘its’ and ‘it’s’
- ‘your’ and ‘you’re’
- ‘to’, ‘too’, and ‘two’
The presence of grammatical errors in your work will come across as sloppy and unprofessional. It makes it appear as though you were careless with your work. Proof-read, proof-read, and then proof-read again. While grammatical errors are some of the most common mistakes new writers make, they can easily be caught by an editor, editing service, or app. A small grammar error can ruin the credibility of your work.
Being too vague
It is important to avoid being vague and be very specific whenever possible.
- For example, instead of saying ‘It is widely agreed upon that…’. state who it is that agrees.
- Rather than stating, ‘The venture made a lot of money’, stipulate how much money was made.
Vagueness is often interpreted as a lack of knowledge and leaves much less of an impact than specifics.
Speaking of being vague, the passive voice is never recommended because it is considered vague, wordy, and weak.
- Instead of saying, ‘The president is being attacked by Congress’, it is better to say, ‘Congress is attacking the president’.
Searching your work for every use of ‘be’ and ‘being’ can be useful in ensuring a lack of passive voice in your paper.
While it may be tempting to jump right in, it is always important to plan ahead before you begin writing. Without planning, your work can end up jumbled and long, without any clear focus. There are several things to think about when planning your work and each one can have a significant impact on your final product.
You also don’t want to run out of time. If you do or have trouble brainstorming ideas, you can try speedwriting. What is speedwriting? A technique to produce quality work when you have serious time constraints.
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Consider your audience
While some assignments make us want to focus solely on getting it written and completed, it is important to think about your audience.
- What information do they want?
- What information do they need in order for you to get your point across?
- In what way should the message be presented in order to best convey it?
Considering who will be reading your work and what they want and need from your paper will help you focus your work in order to present it in the most effective way.
While it may be clear that research and background work is usually necessary before writing, it is equally important to be mindful of the quality of your research. It is important to evaluate the credibility of your sources, the validity, and the relevancy.
- Government websites are considered more reliable than someone’s personal blog.
- In addition, a book published on prenatal health in 1960 probably has less credibility than a book published on prenatal health published in 2010.
Hours of research can be useless if the quality of research is poor.
Unable to make an impression
It is imperative that you being your written work with something that will grab your readers’ attention. You need to capture your audience’s interest and maintain hold of it to keep them engaged. In addition, it is important to end on something strong in order to make sure your work is remembered and leaves an impact. Your introduction and conclusion are crucial pieces of your essay and demand proper attention.
Avoid too Many long words and ornate phrases
While you may feel that using long, elegant words and elaborate sentences will make you seem smart, it is not always wise to use them. No one wants to have to first translate what they are reading before they can read it and truly comprehend it. Use clear and concise language to get your message across in a strong, but effective way. Be straightforward and avoid run-on sentences and phrases.
Want to write like a pro? Check out 10 mistakes professional writers never make.
Avoid common writing mistakes
Many things go into making a piece of writing come across effectively and professionally. Even the most common mistakes new writers make can be avoided. It requires quality research, careful proof-reading, and extensive planning, all of which are equally important in the construction of your work. However, remembering these easy tips can help to ensure that your paper is well-written. Check out our editing services for extra help avoiding any common writing mistakes.