Top Essay Mistakes

Here's the things that students most commonly do to lose them marks:

  • The student fails to answer the question or neglects part of the question. Usually every fact given in the question will be relevant so consider each in turn and look at whether they give rise to any particular issues.
  • The student fails to address what is being asked of them - for example, they are asked to ‘discuss’ an issue but they present a one-sided-argument
  • The essay is poorly structured, perhaps missing an introduction or failing to reach a conclusion based on the evidence presented
  • The arguments are weak, not supported by evidence/reason or authority, or are non existent
  • The materials used are not properly referenced or no supporting material is cited
  • The student has included too much background or description and not enough critical analysis

Look at our section on interpreting essays for more guidance on understanding what is required of you.