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Essay and Thesis Editing Experts - Get Better Grades!

The 7 Common Essay Mistakes That Cost Students Grades, and How To Fix Them
Do you want to know one of the easiest ways to raise your grades? Its what I call polishing your work before you hand it in for grading. Polishing your essay means checking for spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting and referencing errors. Errors like these make your essay content look worse than it actually is. After marking your essay, a professor or tutor will often subtract a grade if your essay has too many spelling, grammatical and formatting errors because the overall impression of your work is negative. By removing these errors before you hand in your essay, you can improve your final grade.

The 7 Most Common Mistakes Students Make


There are many mistakes that can cost you grades, but I asked our professional editors to list the 7 Most Common Mistakes they find in student essays. Here they are: Mistake #1: Commonly Mistaken Words There are many words in English that sound or look similar but have different meanings. These are often confused. For example: ensure, insure and assure then and than loose and lose there, their and theyre affect and effect principle and principal Note that a computer spellchecker wont pick up these mistakes because theyre not misspelled, just misused. You really need another person to read your essay to find this type of mistake. Another idea is to consult a list of commonly mistaken words so you can learn to use them correctly. This is one we recommend: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/index.html

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Mistake #2: Incorrect Use of Plurals Plural and singular nouns have to agree with verbs in a sentence. In many student essays, the correct endings are often omitted or incorrectly used. For example: Several computer were in use. The group had ten member. Many woman experience this problem. These phenomenon commonly occur. They were selected in accordance with several criterion. If you have trouble with plural words try this free English lesson about how to use plurals correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_plural Mistake #3: Punctuation Mistakes Common mistakes include the use of apostrophes: Families, familys or families Almost all student essays have apostrophe mistakes. If you are not 100% sure how to use them, read this guide to using apostrophes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostrophe_%28mark%29 Other punctuation mistakes include appropriate use of full stops, commas and semi-colons. Heres a resource that explains how to use each punctuation mark correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colon_%28punctuation%29 Mistake #4: Incorrect use of grammatical tenses This especially applies to the past tense. For example: We want to do this experiment, but could not. The field trip was conduct last week.

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Essay and Thesis Editing Experts - Get Better Grades!

The event occur last year. If you are confused by the past tense you can read this lesson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_tenses Mistake #5: Use of Casual Expressions Academic essays are examples of formal writing. You should avoid conversational expressions such as: Anyway... OR Is it, though? Its also common to find casual, spoken language abbreviations such as: cant, wont or didnt instead of cannot, will not and did not. If you use casual expressions in a formal academic essay, you may lose marks because your tone isnt formal enough. Mistake #6: Missing Words It is extremely easy to overlook missing words such as a, the and then, which can make an otherwise clear sentence hard to understand. To avoid this problem, you can try reading your work aloud, slowly. Or ask a native speaker of English or professional editor to check your work. Mistake #7: Incorrect Formatting Is your essay set out as specified in the assignment criteria? Line spacing Alignment of text and margins Use of clear headings and subheadings Correct referencing structure in the specified format (APA, MLA, etc.)

This is a simple point, but it can cost you many marks. Thats because formatting specifications are normally provided to make your work easier to read. If your essay is hard to read, markers become annoyed and subtract marks.

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Essay and Thesis Editing Experts - Get Better Grades!

Before you start writing your final draft, double-check that your essay is formatted properly. If you do not know how to reference in an essay, consult a guide on the style you have been told to use by your lecturer, or ask for assistance from your tutor, a friend or a professional editor.

Final Recap Use This Checklist


Use this checklist before you hand in your essay: Make sure you havent misused words. For example their, there and theyre. Check that your plural and singular word usage is correct. Double-check your punctuation including full stops, commas, semicolons and apostrophes. Be certain your past, present and future tenses are appropriately used. Do not use casual phrases in an academic essay. Re-read your document at least twice to detect any missing words. Format your essay to the specifications provided in your assignment criteria. Take care to use the correct referencing format for your citations and bibliography.

Are These Mistakes Costing You Grades?


Are simple mistakes like these costing you grades? If your essays contain more than one or two errors like this, the answer is probably YES. The easiest way to get better grades is to make sure that your work contains as few simple mistakes as possible. If you check your essay thoroughly for spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, youll be surprised how much your marks can improve a fail can turn into a pass or a C can become a B.

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Essay and Thesis Editing Experts - Get Better Grades!

Or You Can Ask BetterEdit.com To Help


BetterEdit.com is a professional editing service that has helped over 450 students since 2000. All our editors hold relevant university qualifications. We fix the 7 common mistakes above (plus many other mistakes that didnt make the top 7) to help improve your grades. Plus, we provide you with a written critique to explain any changes that were made so you can avoid the same mistakes again. To find out more, visit our website at www.BetterEdit.com Click here to submit your essay to BetterEdit.com

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