Advanced Tips For Writing Essays: Stylistic Errors You Should Watch Out For
When you are writing essays, there are some stylistic errors for which you should be careful.
- Be careful of word repetition.
- Be careful of inappropriate words.
- Be careful of too much passive voice.
- Be careful of sentence length.
Many students repeat some of the same words over and over, without realizing their mistake. When they get excited about a concept or a theory, and they find the perfect word for it, they often return to that word again and again. The problem with this is that it can make your paper look boring. It can seem like you are not a very good writer because you were unable to say anything new.
You can avoid this issue by using synonyms. Think of new ways to say the same word or sentence. You can also try word substitution. This is where you substitute nouns such as “the latter” or “The former”.
There are many students who write stylistically inappropriate essays. These might be too formal or too informal. In order to ensure your essay is well written, you need to avoid non-standard verb forms or slang expressions. You also need to avoid formal styles and vocabulary that is inappropriate such as legal writing or invertical constructions that are dated and no longer used. If you are unsure, use a dictionary.
Students learn that passive voice is a necessary component to essay writing, but with that knowledge they often use it too often. Passive sentences are effective in terms of making your sentences objective, but they are also longer and often more difficult to read. This can hinder the reader’s understanding of your essay. But with active sentences, you can ensure your essay is direct. You can combine both in a well balanced manner and enjoy a powerful piece of writing. As a rule of thumb, limit your paper to twenty percent passive voice and eighty percent active voice.
Students often have sentence that are too short or too long. Both are problematic. Sentences that are too long will make it difficult for the reader to absorb the message of your paper. And sentences that are too short will destroy any logical development that your paper might have enjoyed, leaving your paper sounding incomplete and choppy at best. Try and vary the sizes of your sentences but make sure you stick to medium in length.
Published on November 26th, 2014