How to Compose an Essay Without Mistakes


When writing an essay, one should not only mind the structure and enlist the most brilliant ideas with grounded justifications, but also make it irreproachable in terms of grammar, punctuation, and style. Mistakes, like thunderclouds, can darken the clearest logic and spoil the overall impression of the writing.

In order to compose an essay without them, it is sensible to mind the following pieces of advice:

  • Make all tense forms consistent.
  • If the essay is about a particular event or dwells on the contents of a certain book, the tense forms should be either present or past. Once the choice is made, it is necessary to stick to it.

  • Substitute quotes with paraphrases.
  • The number of direct quotes should be minimal. They are indispensable only in the cases where they exactly fit in place, meaning that there is no other way to express the ideas better or are necessary to render the tone of the novel. The quoted phrases should be singled out with a set of punctuation marks. However, if a quote is longer than one sentence, it should be in bold without inverted commas.

  • Always use the principal parts of a sentence.
  • Subjects and predicates cannot be omitted, as this will make the sentences incomplete. This usually happens when constructing complex sentences with a lot of clauses.

  • Avoid using contractions.
  • Contractions of auxiliary and modal verbs with negative particles are not allowed in any formal style; so instead of doesn’t, won’t, wouldn’t, or can’t; use does not, will not, would not, cannot, and so on.

  • Mind the usage of personal pronouns.
  • It is necessary to use the pronoun one instead of you, and the collocation he or she instead of a single he/she.

  • Always use the spell-checker.
  • Spell-checkers have made a great contribution to the overall literacy of computer users, so it is reasonable to take advantage of this innovation to make the essay irreproachable in terms of its orthography. However, it is essential to remember that sometimes, spell-checkers can automatically substitute words with wrong ones due to the auto-correction functions.

  • Mind the word choice.
  • As essays are formal pieces of writing, they should not contain idioms, colloquialisms, and slang. Lexical units such as “gonna,” “wonna,” “chase your tail,” “get your ducks in a row,” “gansta,” “awesomity,” or “my bad” make the formal text sound careless and pseudoscientific.

  • Stick to punctuation rules.
  • Once the essay is completed, it is essential to proofread it while concentrating on punctuation issues. This helps eliminate unnecessary commas and include indispensable ones.

  • Resort to a variety of transitional phrases.
  • Every structural element of an essay should be introduced by the appropriate transitional phrase to make the essay flow better. Transition elements; such as “to begin with,” “to sum it up,” “firstly,” “as a matter of fact,” “generally speaking,” and so on; will unite the text into a single entity to make it logical and consistent.

  • Make broad use of passive voice.
  • Passive constructions make an essay sound more impersonal and exclude the author’s point of view. They are necessary in the essay parts that give factual information in order to corroborate certain statements.

  • Proofread the essay with its hard copy.
  • As soon as the essay draft is completed, it is advisable to print it out to find the mistakes that are usually hard to notice on a computer screen. It is also useful to read the essay aloud to find the correspondence between the pauses and punctuation marks.

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