Students often struggle with their writing assignments. However, it shouldn’t be the norm. Learn about the most common mistakes students make in their essay writing processes to avoid them in the future.

Weak thesis statement

Probably the most common mistake all students have made at least once in their studies is failing to create a strong thesis statement. Now, a thesis statement is the core of any academic paper. It can be one or two sentences that explain the reason for writing an essay and what writers are trying to discover/prove/argue in the given paper. Hence, this sentence plays a crucial role in the rest of the text. The further work will circle around the given argument in an attempt to prove it right. Thus, having a weak thesis statement will lead to a weak paper without much of a foundation on to base any ideas or evidence.

However, writing a good thesis statement can be hard. To do it well, a student needs to have a proper understanding of the topic of writing and what they want to bring to the discussion. Only with this knowledge, one can come up with solid, unique, and interesting thesis statements.

Running out of time

There can be dozens of reasons why students can miscalculate their timing and, as a result, be late with the essay submission. One of the reasons, of course, is delaying starting and finishing the work. Procrastination is a huge obstacle to being good with deadlines. Unfortunately, many students fall into its trap and fail to recognize the danger of procrastination until it’s too late.

Another mistake here is not planning the time needed to complete the assignment. Students should have some time limits for each stage of the writing process so there is a schedule they can stick to. Thus, one will know how much time they have left and whether the work is progressing on the schedule. No surprise or unnecessary stress.

In addition, just having a study calendar where you can mark all your deadlines, exams, and other important dates can be a great asset to your studies. Here, you will always have a visual of your timing, how many hours are occupied, when you can work on an essay, and what other important events will take place during your workweek.

Poor research

Research helps you with two things. First, you get to form a better understanding of the topic of your writing. Second, you collect enough data, citations, and references to use in your paper, so it looks well-researched and trustworthy. Thus, getting enough sources will help you be more efficient and productive. You can use such sites as reliable online newspapers, academic libraries, Free Term Papers Database, or online encyclopedias to find the sources you need for the work. Always make sure you understand the topic of your writing and use appropriate sources.

Not outlining

Students often ignore the need to outline in their works. That’s a shame. If anything, an outline can become the biggest help in writing a paper. It serves students as a map of everything they want to include in the paper. Hence, here you get to see what you want to say, what argument you can use, how much evidence to use per each argument, how much space each paragraph will take, and so much more.

Overall, an outline is a crucial part of any academic writing. For example, without it, a student may miscalculate the size of a paper and have unbalanced section proportions. Additionally, an outline helps organize your thoughts in a more efficient manner, leading to a better flow of thought. Hence, your readers have an easier time understanding what you want to say and where you are going.

Too many arguments

It’s better to have fewer but stronger and well-explained arguments than having plenty you can’t prove, complete, or argue within the given word limit. However, being young and ambitious, it’s always hard for students to narrow down their options and focus on fewer things instead. Indeed, many struggle with picking the most valuable or interesting arguments out of many possibilities for each topic.

However, being able to center your attention on only two to four arguments in a paper can lead to a higher quality of those arguments. You can focus and dig deeper instead of spreading your thoughts all over the place. Besides, you should always remember the thesis statement you’ve set in the introduction and choose arguments that work best to prove it.

Missing on the instructions

Usually, teachers and college professors give quite strict and clear instructions on what a paper must look like, how many and what kind of references it should have, what the word limit should be, and so on. Sometimes those instructions may seem too demanding, sometimes they are confusing. Yet, they are always mandatory. It means that neglecting or ignoring them will lead students to trouble.

These instructions are always given to students for a reason. Often your instructor wants to test your abilities to develop a strong thesis, research, structure, or else. Overall, the instructions hint at what your professors want from you. Hence, if anything, you can use those guides to your advantage. In fact, just following the exact instructions can already give you extra credit during the evaluation. So, there is no reason to ignore them.


Plagiarism can occur due to several reasons. Often, students don’t mean to play games with plagiarizing works. It’s just that they are not experienced enough in creating proper citations and referencing. Hence, any plagiarism testing software will accept those mistakes as a simple copy-paste. Also, some students don’t fully understand how plagiarism works. So, they fail to recite or apply received facts and knowledge in accordance with academic reference rules. As a result, their works suffer from plagiarism.

However, the third category of students simply think they will be lucky enough to skip the plagiarism check, so they use sentences or even paragraphs from someone else’s work and depict those as their own. Of course, such audacity rarely goes unpunished either. So, those students who don’t want to have their work and reputation tamed with plagiarism should learn better about this concept and the right ways to cite and insert someone else’s ideas into their works.

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