Even very literate people may find essay writing a pretty challenging task. We know this for sure, since thousands of students use our essay writing services to secure perfect results. So, we know how difficult it is to find the time and inspiration to start writing. Nevertheless, you must get your essay done. And if you still think of writing an essay on your own, check out our top 14 frustrating writing mistakes below.
1. Spelling mistakes
Students often use incorrect homophones (words with the same pronunciation but different in meaning, such as “your” and “you’re”) in a sentence. Automated spell-check may not help, because misused words are spelled correctly! For example:
Wrong: He was write!
Right: He was right!
2. Subject-verb agreement
This is the most common and frustrating mistake ever. Remember, you must use a singular verb with the singular subject, and a plural verb is used with the plural subject.
Wrong: Elle go to school every day.
Right: Elle goes to school every day.
3. No comma after an introductory phrase
Students love using introductory phrases when writing complex essays; however, they often forget that introductory phrases should be followed by a comma. For example:
Wrong: While her favourite film played on the TV she was at school trying to write her essay.
Right: While her favourite film played on the TV, she was at school trying to write her essay.
4. Comma splicing
A comma splice occurs, when you use a comma to join two independent clauses. For example:
He brought a cake, his girlfriend bought a bottle of Champaign. This mistake can be easily corrected by adding a coordinating conjunction after the comma. You could also change the comma to a period, semicolon, or colon.
He brought a cake, and his girlfriend bought a bottle of Champaign. OR: He brought a cake. His girlfriend bought a bottle of Champaign.
5. Run-on sentences
Another frustrating mistake is the absence of a coordinating conjunction, which connects two clauses that could be used as separate sentences. You should always use a comma before the conjunction, unless the clauses are short and closely related. For example:
Wrong: My cat sees the mouse but she’s too lazy to chase it.
Right: My cat sees the mouse, but she’s too lazy to chase it.
6. Sentence fragments
As per Dictionary.com - “Sentence fragments is a phrase or clause written as a sentence but lacking an element, as a subject or verb, that would enable it to function as an independent sentence in normative written English” For example:
Wrong: When we got into the room. We opened the windows.
Right: When we got into the room, we opened the windows.
This is probably the most frustrating mistake students make. Wordiness makes writing unclear and confusing. Here is an example of a wordy sentence:
Wrong: For all intents and purposes, the reason Mr. Sparrow missed the conference was due to the fact that he had to stop very many traffic lights that were mainly red in colour.
What can you do about it? Replace long phrases with a single word when possible. Remove words that have the same meaning.
Right: Mr. Sparrow missed the conference because he stopped at many red lights.
Read also: How to Write a Good Essay?
8. Comma misuse and a compound subject
A compound subject is two or more noun phrases connected by a conjunction to form a single, longer noun phrase. Students always have a lot of troubles with the proper usage of commas with the compound subject. For example,
Wrong: My brother, and his colleague, went to see a performance.
Right: My brother and his colleague went to see a performance.
9. No commas around interrupters
Interrupters are phrases that break the flow of a sentence to show additional details such as emotion, tone or emphasis. An interrupter should always have commas around.
You can easily identify interrupters by saying the sentence out loud; you’ll naturally pause where the commas should be. For example:
Wrong: It was unfortunately the end of winter vacation.
Right: It was, unfortunately, the end of winter vacation.
10. Squinting modifiers
A squinting modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that could modify the word before it or the word after it. A squinting modifier is a type of misplaced modifier. For example:
Students who study rarely get bad grades. – to fix it, put the modifier next to the word it should modify.
For example, Students who rarely study get bad grades. OR: Students who study get bad grades rarely.
11. Adjective/adverb confusion
Students often misuse adjectives and adverbs, since these parts of speech (or: the two; the latter two) can be easily confused. When should one use “badly” or “bad”, “slowly” or “slow”? Here is a quick tip for you: the adjective is used with a noun or pronoun; adverb is used with a verb, an adjective, or an adverb.
Adjective: This cheap car can be purchased here.
Adverb: This car can be purchased cheaply.
12. Pronoun Confusion
“You and I” or “You and Me”? – this is one of the most popular questions students ask Google.
The easiest way to identify whether to use I or me in a sentence is dropping the word “you”. For example, you and I should go for vacation. Now try the same sentence without “you”. For example:
- I should go for vacation.
- Me should go for vacation.
Now you see which version is correct here?
Here is another example: They'll choose you and I.
- They'll choose I.
- They'll choose me.
In this case, “me” is a proper word to use.
13. Double negative
Putting two negatives in a row is never a good idea because two negatives turn a sentence into a positive one.
For example: Ann can’t hardly get up in the morning.
It means that she does get up early in the morning. The correct version should be: Ann can hardly get up in the morning.
14. Dangling construction
This mistake is not just frustrating, but embarrassing. A dangling construction is a phrase that is intended to be a modifier for a noun or phrase which is not in the sentence, but instead, it gives an unintended erroneous description to a noun or phrase in the sentence. For example:
The young girl was walking the dog in a sexy skirt.
Now that you know what mistake to avoid, you are able to improve your essay writing skills. If you doubt that your essay can meet the minimum requirements and score a good grade, contact us to get qualified help.