Common Writing Problems and Solutions

Writer at work

Students usually commit writing mistakes due to lack of proofreading and awareness of some grammatical rules or reliance on the internet for schoolwork. Using online resources can help with academic writing, but making it a habit to read and write will help improve your vocabulary and become a better writer.

Here are some common writing mistakes and how to fix them:

Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is deliberately copying someone else’s work and presenting it as an original project. This is usually done by copying and pasting online sources without any citations or buying papers online.

Unintentional plagiarism occurs when students don’t know how to properly paraphrase or cite research. This can make the reader assume that the paper is an original work when it’s not. Either way, both types of plagiarism have consequences, and it’s the student’s responsibility to avoid direct copying and pasting and know how to cite references.

Fifty-eight percent of high school students admitted to committing plagiarism in their work. Teachers can avoid this kind of cheating by teaching students how to paraphrase and properly cite sources. Reiterate the consequences for plagiarism offenses and avoid having them work at the last minute by giving them enough time to complete their papers. Students tend to cheat when they cram for a project.

Some online tools help fix unintentional plagiarism issues. Good research, citation, proper paraphrasing, and utilizing plagiarism checkers are key to avoiding plagiarism in writing assignments.

Spelling Mistakes

Although there are various online resources for spell checking, spelling is still one of the most common errors in student writing. Spell checkers are handy tools, but students usually can’t identify homophonic errors or proper nouns. Practice is key. Frequent reading and writing are still the best ways to polish your writing skills. Make sure to make reading a habit to improve your vocabulary.

Wrong Word Choice

Wrong word choice can weaken the meaning of the text or confuse readers as there are words with a different meaning than what the writer intends. Pick the right words to convey information clearly and make it easier for the readers to understand the concept.

A strong word choice helps communicate the point effectively. It fits the tone of the piece, clarifies, and explains ideas. Use references like the thesaurus to select the right word that bears the meaning intended for the piece.

typing on a laptop

Sentence Fragments

Writers commonly use sentence fragments for any material that requires a casual tone. However, avoid using sentence fragments for an academic paper as the piece is expected to sound formal. Students usually commit this error because they think that the dependent clause is a complete sentence. Although a dependent clause may have a subject and a verb, the thought may be incomplete.

A complete sentence should have a complete thought, a subject, and a verb. If it lacks one of these, then it’s a fragment. It can be turned into a complete sentence by adding the missing subject or verb or combining it with another sentence.

Unnecessarily Long Introduction

Be concise by avoiding wordy introductions. Readers might be turned off if it contains too many cliches because they have read the same thing many times before. The first part of the piece should tell the reader what they can expect, so make sure that it grabs the reader’s attention.

Here are tips for creating a brief, strong introduction:

  • Use a Hook: It could be interesting information, a short narrative, a statistic, or a thought-provoking question that relates to the topic.
  • Keep the First Sentence Short: Keep the first part of the introduction readable and punchy to avoid a garbled sentence that’s hard for the reader to understand.
  • Be Organized: The introduction should contain one to four paragraphs arranged from general parts of the topic to more specific information.

Wordiness

Instead of adding unnecessary fluff that can frustrate a reader, add supplementary sentences to support your work. Combine choppy sentences to avoid repetition and maintain a smoother flow. Remember that to communicate clearly, avoid wordiness since it can mask your best ideas.

Eliminate these common writing mistakes to help you write clearly and effectively. Communication is an essential skill for all students, and it’s important to start working on it as early as now. Fulfilling a writing task also helps increase your confidence and sense of achievement, which will carry on as you continue practicing. Good writing habits are not only beneficial in your schoolwork but also prepare you for your career.

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