5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Academic Writing for College

By the time students get to college, most have realized that university projects are not a walk in the park. To succeed in higher education, students are expected to master intricate course concepts, attend classes, and work on assignments while still keeping up with familial and work commitments. This is sometimes overwhelming and can leave a student questioning whether the commitment to higher education is worth the effort.

Understand that you can handle most of college’s challenges by improving your time-management and organization skills. When it comes to academic writing, students need to know that creating top-notch papers does not happen overnight. Even especially talented students need to keep improving their skills through practice. Start by taking note of and avoiding these common mistakes in your writing.

Writing Informally

Informal writing is one of the most serious mistakes you can make when creating scholarly documents. Academic writing style focuses on the rules and conventions that regulate the production of written work in educational settings. Although variations exist in the specific guidelines that govern departments and industries, the common features of effective academic writing include clarity, objectivity, and formality. Formally writing your academic papers helps your documents to sound more credible and authoritative.

To achieve formality, consider writing out all your words in full instead of using contractions and abbreviations. Experts warn that using abbreviations and contractions is a sign of casualness and informality in writing. Your readers may get confused and not take your work seriously if you overly use abbreviations.

Formal writing will also require you to avoid using colloquial expressions and slang. These phrases or words are commonly used in daily conversations and informal contexts. Like slang, these expressions are inappropriate for academic writing. Students writing academic papers should also avoid conversational markers and idiomatic expressions. You can avoid most challenges when you buy essay online from professionals.


Another common mistake college students make, which could cost them a good grade, is plagiarism. Plagiarism in academic writing means presenting the work of others, either in part or fully as your own, without giving credit to the source of information.

College-level writing demands that all material used to support ideas in a paper be properly recognized within the document and in a listing at the end of the document. Students sometimes use information from sources and forget to give proper credit. This amounts to plagiarism and can happen intentionally or unintentionally.

Plagiarism can also happen when you reuse your own work without providing accurate citations. Under higher education regulations, unintentional or reckless plagiarism is a punishable offense. The need to recognize your works in building your arguments applies to textual information and other media, including illustrations and computer code. It applies whether the use work has been published or the data is raw.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is by learning and using the principles of effective academic writing from the start of your college life. Avoiding plagiarism entails more than making sure all your sources are accurate. It is much more than changing a few words and phrases to fool the examiner. Rather, plagiarism-free writing means using your academic writing skills to make your writing as exemplary as possible.


Wordiness is another mistake that can diminish the quality of your writing. Many students look for shortcuts when trying to reach the specified word count requirements for assignments, and they end up with watered-down content. Avoid resorting to space fillers and unnecessary words to make your document longer. According to experts, wordiness occurs when sentences contain more words intended to make them longer than they should be. This habit can make your writing confusing and difficult to comprehend.

The general rule is to edit and proofread your writing before you present it to your professor for review. As you peruse through the work, check the content for clarity and conciseness, eliminating anything that does not help the core message of the writing. You can also remove wordiness from your writing by eliminating redundancies. This may mean removing words that have similar meanings or overly repeated information. Read these essay services reviews for insights on how to get help with your assignments.

Biased Language

Many students make the mistake of presenting biased writing for their academic projects. These texts are based on emotions and preconceptions without adequate evidence to back assertions. According to experts, using bias-free language also means avoiding gendered terms, generalizations, and stereotypes. In some cases, students may use terminologies that show stereotypes, or that may be deemed offensive. To avoid this, use clear and objective language in your writing and avoid generalizations regarding religion, ethnicity, and people with disabilities.

Failing to Proofread and Edit

One of the most serious mistakes you can make when working on your academic tasks is to present your work without editing and proofreading. Professors complain that most students get poor grades after spending days working on tasks because of negligence. You need to understand that the first draft you create when writing your paper will definitely not be your last. Academic writing is a process that culminates in coherent and error-free work.

This means that, as you write your first draft, focus on articulating your points. Don’t worry about grammar and mistakes at this stage, as you can create time for editing later. Once you have organized your writing and offered evidence to back your suppositions, you can start thinking about editing and proofreading your work.

This article offers a few mistakes college students must avoid when writing academic papers. Understand that anyone can become a great writer by practicing and following the rules of academic writing. The first step is reading and understanding the requirements before working on any task. Avoid plagiarism in your writing, and always cite the sources you consult when supporting your arguments. Also, plan your writing to allocate enough time for editing and proofreading. You can ask a professional to help with fine-tuning your work.






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