Everyone knows the life lesson “you learn from your mistakes” and “no one is perfect.” Although these may ring true, there are certain things in life that you should dramatically decrease the margin for errors and mistakes, and school is one of them.
Not only does your future depend on your mistakes or lack thereof, but it’s also something that you can work on and improve, especially when it comes to writing. Far and few people write something once and have it be perfect. It goes through several drafts and edits until it’s absolutely perfect.
You might be thinking, “how can I write so perfectly?” There are several secrets that can save you and your writing scores and assignments.
Make good writing habits
This will be your savior in your future writing endeavors. But what is a good writing habit, actually? Remember that habits are behaviors that are formed and repeated over a long period of time. These aren’t instant changes and will require you to practice these things over and over again.
Take your time. The biggest thing that students do that leads to mistakes is moving too quickly. You rush everything and miss all the obvious mistakes but even more so missing all the small mistakes. Take the time you need to make sure your essay is in tip-top shape. Remember that time wasn’t built in a day, and your perfect essay isn’t either.
Spell Check as you go. People usually use spell check at the very end of the writing process. You’re better off using spellcheck and autocorrect sooner than later so you can catch all those misspellings and even grammar mistakes when you make them.
Read and reread every sentence you write out loud. When you’re writing it seems like what you write sounds good, but actually there’s a small mistake. If you read your sentences out loud it might make less sense than it was in your head. Doing this will significantly reduce the amount of mistakes you have.
Organize your thoughts. You may think it’s a waste of time and you’re better off doing something else like actually writing, but the planning stage is crucial. Making outlines and putting your thoughts into diagrams will help you write quicker and more efficiently. Your spur of the moment ideas can be written down and organized into your essay rather than get lost inside your brain!
Revise revise revise! Once you think you’re done, it’s necessary to check it over and have someone else check it over. We all know the feeling of rushing towards the end of an assignment just to get it done, and this causes mistakes. Make your due diligence and double, triple, and quadruple check your work to make absolutely sure that it’s perfect.
What are the most common mistakes?
When writing essays, you can run into a number of problems. For each student, their problems may vary, but there are several pitfalls that students just can’t seem to avoid. Here’s some things to do instead, and how you can fix these common mistakes.
These are the types of sentences that can drag on for an entire paragraph, usually missing some line break or punctuation mark. Students want to sound smarter by making longer sentences, but in the end they just make it more unreadable and sometimes just awful.
Instead: Be efficient with your words. This means removing the fluff and getting straight to the point. The less words it takes you to make a point the better off you’ll be. Students usually try to add “fluff” to make it sound sophisticated, but actually your professors can see right through it. Different verb tenses and vocabulary words can help you manage your efficiency. You’ll score higher marks if your professor can read your essay without any comprehension problems. On top of that, your essay will convey your meetings much better.
Some of us aren’t as creative and can’t think of other ways to express an idea in the form of a sentence or words. So you use words that are familiar to the topic – even if it means repeating it. It’s okay if the same word or phrase is used again, but only do so sparingly. This demonstrates your lack of vocabulary.
Instead: Use a thesaurus. The best writers forget all sorts of words, so they lean on thesauruses to help them out. A writer’s best friend, a thesaurus can help you avoid repetition and upgrade your language. Just make sure the word is being used appropriately in the right context. Using a thesaurus also improves your vocabulary, allowing you to look at new words you might not have ever used before. Some thesauruses even have phrases and idioms to go along with your word.
Sentences are too simple
Although we want to avoid run-on sentences, we also want to avoid making the essay too simple and easy to read. The English language employs several different verb forms and lots of different ways to linguistically organize your ideas. Think about relative clauses, passive voice, phrasal verbs, and so on. If you use a good combination of grammar, you won’t have to worry about your sentences being too simple AND avoiding run-on sentences. You’ll kill two birds with one stone!
Instead: Practice your grammar. If you’re looking to write with no mistakes, grammar will be your best friend. It’ll help you avoid blunders in language and comprehension and will tighten up your essay. The difference between “then” and “than” is important for the meaning. Just as using the word
Finding the right way to write an essay isn’t easy, because there isn’t a right or wrong way. There are several ways for you to learn how to write an essay with no mistakes – and some of them are formed habits that will take some time to develop. The best thing to do is to make sure you look over your essay several times, and adjust accordingly. There’s no such thing as perfect, but with these tips you can get very close.