Top 10 Essay Writing Don'ts

This video covers the top ten things to definitely not do in an essay and provides some tips for how to avoid them. Plagiarism and disorganization are no fun. What is fun is that if you don’t do these don’ts, what you will do is write an awesome paper.

Essay Writing Writing Elements and Process
Language English Language

Transcript

00:37

Avoid sources that aren't reputable.

00:41

And make sure to run background checks on your informants.

00:47

Don't ignore your audience! If your audience is a group of your Facebook peeps, feel free

00:51

to LOL and OMG. But don't try that for an audience of stuffy

00:57

academics. Academic essays are usually black tie events

01:00

for the written word... ... so you should probably go for a formal

01:03

rather than conversational tone. Don't use padding. Padding refers to anything

01:11

extraneous, wordy, or redundant in an essay.

01:15

For example, don't say, "at this point in time" when "now" gets the point across.

01:23

Don't say, "in the event that" when you mean "if."

01:27

Once you begin the process of de-padding...

01:29

... you might be afraid that your sentences are "choppy" or unsophisticated.

01:33

However, padding removal makes your writing clear and concise for your reader...

01:38

... so make every word count! Avoid plagiarism...

01:46

... Plagiarism is claiming another person's work as your own. It's always a bad idea.

01:52

It's fine to include someone else's idea in your essay...

01:55

... but always follow appropriate citation guidelines to credit them.

01:59

Disorganization is a don't...

02:01

... Essays should follow a sound structure.

02:05

Paragraphs and sentences should flow logically from your main idea.

02:10

Sometimes it helps to begin with an outline or a mind map and plug in the details as you

02:15

write.

02:16

Just don't plug in too many details at once or you might blow a fuse.

02:24

Avoid clichés. Clichés are phrases and themes that are used so frequently that they've lost

02:29

all meaning.

02:31

So when it comes to getting your cliché's graded, know that... what goes around comes

02:35

around. Don't submit your first draft. "P" is for

02:40

proofreading!

02:42

Always proofread your work.

02:43

Check flow, grammar, spelling, punctuation, awkward wording, padding, and embarrassing

02:49

typos. Finally, don't regurgitate...

02:57

...Your essay needs your words and input. Your work should be more than a summary of

03:07

your sources. Follow these simple rules and you'll turn

03:14

in a stellar essay!

03:28

ARRRGH, we did it again...