5 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A University Assignment

If you’re in your first year of university, you’ll know the struggles of trying to write a great essay. While the jump from GCSE to A-Level seems steep, you’ll notice an even bigger adjustment when it comes to completing university assignments.

There are certain mistakes that many new university students make when writing up assignments, which can easily be avoided with the necessary tips. Even the best students can make easy slip-ups without being informed of what NOT to do when it comes to writing up your academic essays.

Here are five mistakes to avoid when writing a university assignment.


1. Bad spelling and grammar

It may seem like an obvious one, but bad spelling and grammar could be the real difference between a pass and fail. Don’t always rely on spellcheck to do the hard work for you, as it may miss out vital spelling errors. Lecturers won’t appreciate sloppy spelling and grammar and may lose you far too many marks, so always make extra time to go over your work and check spelling and grammar before submitting.


2. Lack of evidence

Within academic essays, you’ll be expected to use a large number of resources to back up your arguments. Without evidence, your essay will be a flop. All of your findings and arguments need validating through other academic works and theorists.

Although scientific research is usually compulsory, using scholars’ findings without your own analysis won’t gain you many marks. You’ll need to critically analyse each point and come up with your own conclusions to show full understanding of the question and how it relates to these theories.


3.  Poor structure

All good essays need to have an impressive structure which ties your ideas together and allows the whole piece to flow smoothly. Your lecturer may ask you to follow a particular format, which you should try and stick to.

The usual structure consists of the introduction, body paragraphs and final conclusion, but this can vary on each essay and course. The introduction should have a clear thesis statement and the conclusion should round up your overall argument in a summary, as well as provide scope for further research.

The main body of the essay is your opportunity to explain your arguments and evidence. However, it’s best to stick to one idea per paragraph for a clearer focus.


4. Repetition

Using the same phrases and word choices throughout your academic essay can make your entire piece seem rushed and dull. You should always aim to change up your wording, providing you use them in the right context.

Repetition can make it seem as though you aren’t in full understanding of the topic, which won’t stand you in good stead when it comes to bring marked. Don’t write unnecessary sentences just to boost your word count; the likelihood is that you’ll lose out on valuable marks by not making extra key points. Remember: you have a word count for a reason!


5. Plagiarism

One of the biggest mistakes you could possibly make when writing your academic essay is plagiarising. Basically, if you copy your ideas or words from an academic source without attribution, you are plagiarising it.

Don’t presume you’ll get away with it either: most institutions check for plagiarism through an electronic system, so you should triple check that you haven’t copied too much from other sources. If you’re unsure, there are plenty of online resources to check out such as Copyscape, which will assess your work electronically and let you know whether or not you’re safe.


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