Learning how to write an essay is uniquely challenging. That’s because this form of writing requires concurrent use of language skills, spelling, vocabulary, and ability to convey and organize ideas. These intricacies of essay writing require mastery and they make this one of the most challenging forms of expression. It’s therefore not surprising that many kids make numerous mistakes while writing essays.
Here are the most popular mistakes your kid can make while writing an essay:
Selecting a wrong or generic topic
One of the most important and perhaps, the first step in the process of writing an essay is selecting a topic. That’s because a topic determines what you research on and write about. However, some students write an essay without a topic or title. They follow the provided writing prompt or essay question to write the essay then give it a title like “Essay 1” or “Analytical Essay 1”. Unfortunately, such titles or topics can’t capture the attention of readers. Therefore, they earn students poor grades. As such, it’s imperative to ensure that your kid doesn’t make this mistake while writing an essay. If unable to help your kid come up with an essay topic or title, get assistance from online resources like myessaywriting.co.uk.
Not following or ignoring formatting instructions
Many teachers and professors specify the formatting instructions for students to follow when writing essays. These instructions cover fonts, spacing, margins, length, and citation style, among others. Some essay format rules are general and they apply to almost every essay. For instance, kids should in most cases include page numbers and double space their essays. However, some educators make their preferences known to students. Nevertheless, failure to follow formatting instructions is mostly interpreted as lacking diligence or being indifference. Therefore, guide your kid to adhere to formatting instruction both general and specified when writing essays.
Using obvious or clichéd hooks
There are different ways to start an essay. But, starting with a boring, vague statement is not one of the best ways. Therefore, if you notice that your kid’s essay starts with an obvious, boring, or clichéd hook, ask them to delete or change it. Ideally, an essay should start with an interesting and specific statement that grabs the attention of the reader.
Not including a clear thesis statement
Thesis statements are as important as essay topics. A thesis statement articulates the essence or significance of the topic. It presents the main argument. And, unless your kid is writing an annotated bibliography or a summary, they must have an argument. Perhaps, to craft a clear and compelling thesis statement your kid should answer the question, “so what?” Answering this question regarding the topic makes stakes clear while informing readers about the argument.
Citing sources incorrectly or failing to cite them
Failing to cite sources can get a kid expelled from school. That’s because it is considered as a cheating or plagiarism and it attracts serious penalties in the academic world. Ideally, any information that is paraphrased or quoted in an essay must be cited. Sources that are cited in the essay must also be included in the bibliography. Teachers and professors specify the citation style to be used when writing essays. Therefore, if you notice that your kid is making this mistake, guide them accordingly. There are also many online resources that provide guides on how to cite information in academic papers and essays.
Not providing enough supporting evidence
Any argument or statement that a kid makes in an essay must be accompanied by supporting evidence. Without adequate supporting evidence, an essay is simply a collection of unsubstantiated assertions. And, such an essay can’t earn a desirable grade. Therefore, if you notice that your kid is making this mistake during essay writing, ask them to provide evidence. Make sure that your kid picks evidence from reliable or credible sources. Additionally, ensure that they demonstrate how the evidence supports their claim or argument. If they can’t do this, it means they need more essay help.
Making grammatical errors
Regardless of how brilliant an essay is grammatical mistakes can sink it. Common grammatical mistakes that your kid can make during essay writing include misusing semicolons, periods, and commas. Others include missing possessive apostrophes and confusing words that have similar sounds but different spelling. Basically, every kid has a weak spot when it comes to grammar. But, it’s important to know the weak spot of your kid and guide them to correct grammatical mistakes when they write essays.
Restating the introduction in the essay’s conclusion
A conclusion is not a restatement of the introduction. Unfortunately, many kids make a mistake of restating their introduction in the last paragraph of the essay. Apart from making an essay boring, this approach suggests that the kid has not made real progress throughout the writing process. To avoid this mistake, guide your kid to push the argument of the essay in a different direction, raise questions, or explore implications.
Generally, these mistakes are very popular in essays that many kids write. While some of them can be identified with an essay checker, others need manual proofreading and editing. You can wing it yourself or find a legit essay writing service if you really need help.
Cognita Schools are the experts in independent education, operating worldwide. Check out this article provided by Cognita Schools that will give you guidance on what to do if your child doesn’t achieve their desired results.