There are three major ways to get better at academic writing. To practice it until you naturally improve your style. To read about useful tricks and techniques used by more experienced writers and try to imitate them. To learn about what you shouldn’t do and, well, avoid doing it. The third method is by far the most efficient: while the first one takes way too much time and the second one depends on your ability to do a good imitation of someone else’s work, to succeed with the third one you simply have to avoid doing certain things. In this article, we will cover some of the worst blunders you can make, as well as what you can do to avoid it.
1. Poorly Written Introduction
An introduction is the face of your paper – it is what the reader encounter first, and based on it, s/he will build the entire impression about your text. You may think that your professor or teacher has to read it anyway, so you needn’t bother to make it interesting, but it isn’t so. If the person responsible for your grade is genuinely fascinated by your assignment, your likelihood of getting a good grade significantly increases. Try starting with an interesting quote, a shocking statement, an intriguing question – in other words, anything that can motivate the reader to read on.
2. Getting Sidetracked
Students often find it difficult to keep their minds firmly attached to a single topic – it is too easy to stumble upon facts and ideas that seem to be too interesting to omit them, although they don’t have direct relevance for the topic in question. Avoid doing it. Define what your paper is about and whenever you are tempted to introduce another point, ask yourself: should it be here? Does it help me to prove my point of view? If you are not sure, excise it without mercy.
3. Lack of Transition Phrases
It may seem like a formality, but transition phrases are very important for maintaining the cohesion and coherence of your paper. You may order a cheap paper from AffordablePapers or another writing service to see through its example of how it should work. In simple terms, just make sure that when you go from one point to another you use sentences and expressions like “therefore,” “thus,” “so,” “as a result,” and so on – it will help your paper acquire a more natural and smooth flow.
4. Lack of Examples and Explanations
Most papers are supposed to prove your point of view. If you try to do so without offering examples, explanations, and facts supporting it, you make unsupported allegations that mean nothing for those who don’t already agree with them. When you state a point, ask yourself: do I have information, facts, or statistics to back it up? If you don’t, find them. If you can’t, drop the point.
5. Complex Sentences and Long Words
Many students believe that the use of complex, multi-clause sentences and polysyllabic words make their writing look smart and exquisite. In reality, the exact opposite is true: it makes the writing look awkward, unreadable, and pretentious. Reread every sentence and every paragraph. Ask somebody else to do the same. If they have trouble following your thought, break sentences up into smaller ones. If a three-syllable word can be replaced with a one-syllable one, do it. Brisk and energetic speech always beats long-winded and poorly worded passages.
Of course, there are many more mistakes students commonly make in their writing – we’ve mentioned only the most common ones. Nevertheless, we believe that by avoiding them, you can quickly improve the quality of your writing – and achieve significant results very quickly!