5 Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid (For High Schoolers)

There are many common writing mistakes to avoid.

Not everyone is a wordsmith like William Shakespeare. But, developing proficient writing skills is an essential part of academic success and personal growth. Unfortunately, many high school students commit common writing mistakes that can limit the effectiveness of their work. In fact, according to a National Report Card (NAEP) study, only 27% of students across grades four to twelve demonstrate proficiency in writing.

In this blog, we will explore five common writing mistakes that high schoolers should be mindful of. By being aware of these pitfalls and learning how to avoid them, students can improve their writing prowess and increase their confidence.

5 common writing mistakes high schoolers should avoid

1. Poor grammar

High school students often struggle with their writing due to poor grammar. Some common ones include a comma or coordinating conjunction error, inadequate subject-to-verb agreement, and a pronoun-antecedent error. Some students may even make simple writing mistakes, like forgetting to capitalize a proper noun. This can reduce the impact of their writing and make it difficult to comprehend. Such grammatical mistakes can also call into question the validity of their work.

To address these errors, students should focus on enhancing their grammar skills. They can use resources like grammar handbooks or online tools to better understand the rules of grammar. Additionally, carefully proofreading and polishing their work can help identify and edit any errors.

When they master grammar, students can ensure that their ideas are expressed accurately and powerfully, which will elevate the quality of their writing. Writing clearly and concisely is not only indicative of a high level of competency, but it also serves as an important skill that will benefit students in both their academic and professional paths. By avoiding errors in grammar, students can hone their communication abilities while creating a positive impression through their writing.

2. Lack of clarity

High school students often struggle with inadequate clarity when writing compositions. Such incohesive writing can leave readers perplexed and be detrimental to the overall effect of their work. To avoid this, students should form a precise and well-defined thesis statement that states their primary point or intent in writing. Each paragraph should also have one principal theme and progress systematically from one concept to the next.

When choosing the language, students should aim for simplicity, as using jargon or difficult vocabulary like medical jargon can reduce clarity. These can also create confusing sentences in your essay. Taking time to revise and edit their writing is another way to help recognize areas where they can improve clarity.

High school students can ensure their essays are well-written and easily understood by making sure they are structured clearly and logically. Doing so allows their ideas to be presented in a memorable way that leaves an impact on the reader.

3. Incorrect punctuation

Writing an essay takes practice.
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High school students often make serious errors in their writing due to a lack of understanding of proper punctuation. When misused, full stops, run-on sentences, and other punctuation marks like a comma, colons, etc., can confuse readers and disrupt the overall flow of an essay. To remedy this issue, young writers should become familiar with the basic rules of punctuation and apply them when crafting their work.

In particular, they should focus on utilizing commas to separate items in a list and to indicate pauses in a sentence. They should also recognize the difference between a comma and a semicolon and how to effectively use quotation marks and parentheses. Doing so when you edit the essay will improve the clarity and readability of their writing.

Employing punctuation correctly is also essential for students to effectively express their ideas and arguments. Doing so will not only ensure that the writing is grammatically correct, but it will also make it easier to understand.

4. Unclear voice

High school students often have difficulty producing work that is engaging and reflects their own unique perspective. To avoid this error, they should strive to create a writing identity that incorporates their personality, thoughts, and individual perspectives. This can be done by writing in a conversational tone with personal anecdotes, expressing opinions confidently, and avoiding the use of clichéd language.

It is essential for students to remember that their writing should represent their own distinct style and showcase their enthusiasm for the subject matter. High schoolers can strengthen their writing skills by cultivating their own unique writing style and voice. This will enable them to produce more persuasive and impactful pieces that will have greater resonance with readers.

Expressing your voice is especially important in college application essays when you want to show admissions officers who you are. This is something you can develop by practicing writing.

5. Inconsistent formatting

High school students should take care to ensure that their compositions have consistent formatting. This includes using the same font and font size, spacing throughout, as well as proper alignment and indentation. Additionally, they should pay attention to headings, subheadings, and bullet points and use them correctly.

Many schools also require students to provide the necessary citations in the appropriate format. Students should make sure to follow the rules and guidelines stipulated by their school when submitting their essays. Following these guidelines not only makes their writing look more professional but also helps it to be more easily understood by the reader.

High schoolers can demonstrate their commitment to accuracy and professionalism by providing a polished, unified presentation of their work. Offering proper citations will also demonstrate their respect for intellectual property. This will help them to make a good impression on their readers and highlight their writing abilities.

When you write, there are mistakes to avoid.
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The big picture

Writing error-free essays can often feel like a gargantuan task, but with the right knowledge and practice, it’s achievable. Following basic grammar and punctuation rules, being clear and consistent with your writing, and ensuring that your voice is heard will help you to write better essays.

By taking the time to proofread and edit your work, you can ensure that your writing is free of errors and conveys your message in a succinct and compelling way.

Our seasoned tutors at Lessonpal can offer you top-notch and affordable help to understand the fundamentals of error-free writing and make you better at it. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about error-free essay writing, our online tutors can provide you with the best guidance and answers. So, connect with us today and make your essay writing a walk in the park!

Frequently asked questions

How can I improve my writing?

To enhance your writing skills, it is essential to read extensively and practice writing regularly. Focus on expressing yourself clearly and concisely by using straightforward language. Utilize active voice, abstain from clichés, and edit your work meticulously to spot any errors or writing mistakes.

What are the most common mistakes in high school writing?

High school students often lack organizational and structural coherence in their essays, leading to reader confusion. The misuse of punctuation like a comma and any mistake in grammar can result in sentences that are difficult to comprehend. Additionally, failing to cite sources correctly can lead to serious repercussions, so it is important to always properly credit any borrowed information.

What are common writing mistakes everyone makes that I should avoid?

Writing effectively requires avoiding common writing mistakes such as the use of passive voice, ambiguous phrasing, comma errors, and superfluous language. Passive voice makes sentences dull and unengaging, while ambiguity can lead to confusion among readers. Wordiness can make sentences hard to understand and can detract from the clarity of the writing.

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