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A Sad Student Looking At His Paper Grade Of FAIL.

Why You Fail in Your Academic Essays

There are several reasons to why you may fail in academic essays. Failed! The sound of it on a student’s academic essay is as detrimental as hell. I bet it is not a great feeling.

People often assume that if a majority of the class members fail in academic essays, then the teacher is to blame and is not adequately impacting the class. Well, the students are to blame.
If no one is learning, there is still teaching.

All teachers have different ways of providing information to their students. Some techniques are more effective than others, but it’s the learner’s priority to take the teacher’s information and comprehend it into their own better understanding when writing their academic essays.

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The student holds the power to choose whether they want to pass their essays or not. Yet, they might fail to claim higher scores due to improper planning and poor time management, which means that they unconsciously lose a lot in the process.

Related article: 10 Main Types of Essays – Facilitating Easy Writing.

We have indicated 9 major reasons that may make you fail in academic essays below.

#1. Doing the Essay Assignments around the Deadlines

A new research from David Arnott and Scott Dacko, of Warwick Business School, had looked at work the students submitted through online platform. They noted that marks had dropped when the essay assignments were submitted closer to the deadline.

Hour glass and calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline
Hour glass and calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline

Scholars believe that procrastinators tend to submit work at the last minute and warns them of the dangers of the habit, which can cost them good grades.

Dr Arnott stated: “Our research demonstrates that delaying submission due to poor study habits has a serious and detrimental effect on performance.

They explain that if that can be eradicated in a student’s first year, it may aid the output degree classification and employability of the students.

The study investigated 504 first year students’ and 273 third year students’ end of term assignments for two marketing modules, set four weeks or more before submission deadline.

Work handed in online ahead of schedule was far more likely to be awarded a distinction than work not handed in until much closer to the deadline.

#2. Poor Grammar

No matter what field you choose, all academic writing is subject to some level of competence in writing. Whether you are writing a direct essay, dissertation, or thesis, your teachers will judge your understanding of the teaching material based on the clarity of your writing.

Grammar has always been an important part of the creative process. Regardless of other language learning methods, English teachers are still concerned about grammar teaching in their classrooms.

In the article “Why Revised Grammar,” Dunn and Lindblom (2003) know that there are many successful writing teachers who understand that grammar is a tool for meaning and not a conclusion in itself. On the other hand, Patricia J. McAlexander (2000) points out that Grammar and Teaching of Writing are as universal as editing and content, and that teaching grammar and instruments can help students develop their style.

Therefore, the Grammar of Correctness is considered important as many students, especially in business and other professional settings, see “mistakes” as major shortcomings. The reason for the “overlooked” effect of most grammar studies is that learners, although having sufficient knowledge of formal grammar, fail to apply that knowledge in their writing.

#3. Failing to Proofread or Edit

You have read your essay when you wrote it. It may seem like a waste of time to do it again. However, it is easy for spelling errors and past grammar errors to be checked. They make your job look sloppy and give you a bad impression.

If you don’t proofread carefully, your essay is submitted to the lecturer with several typos, inconsistencies, or PUGS (punctuation, usage, or grammar) errors. The lecturer who catch those mistakes may consider you an amateur. Typos practically jump off the page. And the lecturer is familiar with the rules of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. If he or she knows the rules and you (as the student) don’t, that’s not going to scoop you good scores.

Instead, leave as long as possible between writing and reading, a few days but even a few hours will help. Quick scan is not enough. Change the font and size of your text to make it look unique and read your work aloud. You will be amazed at how many mistakes you will suddenly see.

Nothing beats two new eyes. Why not exchange essays with a friend or a member of a trusted family member? You may feel embarrassed to let someone else read your text, but it helps to discover mistakes you may have missed.

Working on paper for proofreading
Working on paper for proofreading

Consulting a professional to correct such mistakes not only saves your time but also ensures a consistent and accurate writing of your academic essay.

In addition, if the essay is followed by some major errors, the editor plays a special role in editing the section and rewriting it for you. When debugging is accompanied by grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other minor errors, editing deals with contextual analysis, including formatting, reference, and much more. Whether native speakers or non-native speakers, it is a wise decision to seek professional help.

#4. Failing to Read Full Instructions Provided

Academic essay is like an assignment and each task comes with its own instructions. If you fail to adhere to instructions, you may not have an academic tone when writing as well as may not write high quality content. It’s equivalent to your fail in academic essays. The thing to consider first is – always – to read full instructions!

#5. Use of Scarce Literature Sources

The number of sources you will need in your essay will depend upon your assignment, professor, and level of study. In general, undergraduate students will usually be required to use somewhere between 5 and 20 sources; graduate students typically will need between 20 and 40. However, students fail in academic essays because of few sources provided below the expected number, something that shows of inadequate information obtained on the topic written about.

#6. Choosing Cumbersome Topics

There are simple topics to write about as well as complex topics. When the choice of a topic in academic essay is left optional and the student goes for a complex one, he or she might end up straining the flow of information. It might even be possible that the literature sources will not be found adequately to facilitate the effective writing.

#7. Use of A Different Referencing/Citation Style

Academic essays follows a specific pattern and style of reference. Your hard work is in vain if you allow mistakes in this category. Understanding university guidelines and academic patterns (e.g., MLA, APA) and following every pattern while writing requires great patience. After all, placing flawed references by following the same pattern seems to confuse many readers. As a result, they make mistakes here and undermine the quality of the whole essay.

Going by the instruction, an essay that requires the use of MLA referencing/citation style and the student writes using APA style, it might as well get rejected or denied the suitable scores.

If you do not want to make mistakes in this section and get high scores, you need to follow the guidelines for publishing strictly and write accordingly following a certain pattern. Most of the time, however, students consult professional testing and editing services to avoid any mistakes in this section.

Going by the command, an article that requires the use of an MLA reference/citation style and a student writing using the APA style, may be rejected or rejected for relevant points.

  • Main/Common Styles of Referencing

There are four commonly used reference styles or citations. They are called the Harvard program, the APA (American Psychological Association) program, the MLA (Modern Languages ​​Association) program and the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) program. Once you have used a different reference style for a particular essay activity that contradicts what the instruction provides, you are ready to get poor points.

A female student working on her style of referencing.
A female student working on her style of referencing.

Avoid copying by quoting words and ideas used by other authors. Allowing your reader to track down the sources you have used by accurately quoting from your essay in the form of footnotes, bibliography or reference lists. Content copying refers to unethical practices in subjects. Borrowing the same content from other websites and pasting it into your educational essay is not allowed at all.

However, we understand that students are not always guilty of this. Modern online cheat testing tools learn sentences and follow your sentence sequence to track cheating. A little cheating on your academic essay is enough to ruin your chances of getting good marks. In addition, it can accept the worst effects on you.

#8. Lack of Proper Research

Research is the backbone of any successful academic essay. Many students knowingly or unknowingly avoid this feature. Incorrect or inadequate research leads to a essay that includes incorrect information and a vague idea of ​​a topic. In particular there are two reasons why research is inadequate. First, some students have no knowledge of research. Second, many students want to do research, but fail to identify the appropriate resources.

If you are a second-class student, we recommend that you visit the library regularly and check out various books on your topic. In particular, if you are looking for online resources, please specify the online resources you are using. Some of the most trusted online educational websites are Google Scholar, CORE, ScienceOpen. Exploring a variety of reliable books and data sources helps you to build your unique perspective.

An organized table station where the student will research and write an academic essay.
An organized table station where the student will research and write an academic essay.

#9. Using long sentences and having an informal tone

Using long and varied sentences does not help you to get extra marks. Rather, it affects the spirit of the word “academic.” At the same time, failing to maintain a formal voice while writing long sentences is unacceptable. An academic essay needs legitimacy in simplicity.

Suppose you are reading something, and the meaning is somewhat confusing. Would you keep reading it? Of course not! In addition, the use of too many long and complex sentences interferes with the reading of any academic essay.

Always try to combine different sentence styles but make sure they are readable. Accordingly, please limit the use of the first and second person. Academic writing has never pleased the informal voice.

The "correct" button.
The “correct” button.


The opposite of fail in academic essays is pass!

One simple way of passing the academic essay is by being confident, staying calm, and managing time. While there are many options of attending to your essays, there are still more effective ones than the others.

As Minders Writing Lab Team, we belong to the most effective ones. We understand that the students at times get overwhelmed with assignments from different course units that compete stiffly on the coinciding deadline times. It may be difficult to handle all of them at a time. Here is where we come in!

The solution we have for you is in helping you to manage your time and eventually achieve your goals for that moment. Minders Writing Lab has a team of experts who can handle your essays and help you understand the limelight of the work they have done for you.

We have an upper hand because we deal with different subjects, themes, and topics (including technical ones) to offer you the ultimate scores you admire for your academic essays. Make your decision to reach out soon and we will come in immediately to your aid.

Also read:

  1. Essay Writing – Pass Your Essay Using 15 Steps
  2. How To Write A Research Paper | A 12-Step Student Guide

Nicholas Ogot is a research, content, and business writer. He is the CEO of Minders Writing Lab Company. His interest is in writing. With several works published, he numbers among great researchers and writers. As a team builder also, he excels in forming partnerships and creating a better world. He adds to this list of achievements as a book writer - a very resourceful person to engage.

This Post Has 13 Comments

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