What Are the Most Common Difficulties Students Face when Writing Essays?
  • Aug 2021
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What Are the Most Common Difficulties Students Face when Writing Essays?

8th August 2021

Essay writing is one of the most common and widespread types of academic assignments. Students have to deal with them on all levels, from middle school to university and beyond. Of course, there is a lot of difference between an essay you are supposed to write in school and one you write in college, but they still belong to the same type of writing assignment.

That said, no matter how much practice students get writing these types of papers, the majority of them still report having difficulties when encountering them. What is even more interesting, the statistics indicate that most students have more or less the same set of problems when writing essays. So what are these problems?

Difficulties Formulating a Thesis Statement

One of the most common flaws one can find in essays written by students is a poorly formulated or outright absent thesis statement. The importance of this part of an essay can hardly be overestimated, as it contains the main idea of the essay shortened to a single sentence.

It is a central point around which you are supposed to build the rest of your argument. Somebody reading the essay should be able to understand its basic meaning simply by glancing over its thesis statement.

When you take all this into account, it is easy to understand why writing a proper thesis statement is so important, and why failing to do so can result in a greatly decreased grade.

Remember: a thesis statement should be laconic, to the point, straightforward and unambiguous.

Lack of References

While you are usually not expected to use a lot of references in an academic assignment as small as an essay, they remain an important part of your argument. If you do not introduce a sufficient number of references into your writing, it negatively affects your credibility. It becomes easy to assume that your claims are not backed up by anything, that your research (if it is research at all) is not connected in any way to the existing body of knowledge on your chosen subject.

All this means that while you should not go overboard with the use of references and quotations, your essay still should contain a fair share of them if you want it to be treated seriously.

Misunderstanding the Role of the Conclusion

A typical essay consists of three parts: introduction, body section, and conclusion. While the first two parts are fairly straightforward, when it comes to writing a conclusion, many students have only a vague idea of what they are supposed to do. As a result, they often write it incorrectly (e.g., simply restating what they said in the introduction) or omit it entirely.

A good conclusion does not just repeat what was said before. It sums up your argument, points out potential directions for further research while delineating the limiting factors of your study. If you still have trouble understanding what it means, you may look for pro essay writers for hire to help you improve your skills in this area.

Inability to Maintain Logical Consistency

When you write an essay, you are fully immersed in the topic, you process it and build your argument based on the conclusions you make. Your thought process may be fully transparent to you, but when it comes to expressing it in words, many students run into trouble.

What may be completely obvious to you can be completely incomprehensible to somebody who did not accompany you throughout your internal analysis. What you get as a result is a poorly structured essay full of logical inconsistencies and gaps in reasoning.

If you want to be sure that the logic of your essay is smooth, try looking at your writing from the position of somebody who reads it for the first time. Do you understand everything? Do you need clarifications? Do you follow the line of reasoning? Better yet, ask somebody you trust to read your essay and tell you if he/she finds anything inconsistent.

Insufficient Evidence

While there are many different types of essays, most of them have you prove your point in this or that form. Obviously, to prove a point, you have to back your argument up with evidence: facts, statistics, references to other research, logical reasoning, and so on. One of the difficulties many students face is the inability to locate the necessary evidence or to introduce it properly.

When you write your essay, make sure to go through it at least once to see if you make any unfounded claims. If you find these, either look for evidence to support what you say or remove them altogether – leaving them as they are creates a weak spot that is almost certain to attract the reader’s attention.

Not Knowing in What Order to Write Individual Parts of the Essay

Most students write their essays in a linear fashion: starting with the introduction, proceeding to the body, and ending with a conclusion. After all, it stands to reason, right? Wrong.

If you write the introduction before everything else, it means that you introduce something that still does not exist, something you have only vague knowledge about. Chances are, you will have to rewrite it after you finish the body. So why not start with the body section from the get-go? After you are done with it, you will be able to write an introduction and conclusion already knowing the contents of your essay.

Of course, these are just a few of the difficulties students face when dealing with essay writing – but if you know about them, you are far less likely to fall victim to them!



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