Top 20 Bad Writing Habits

Everybody has at least one bad habit, and writers are no exception. Not only amateur writers suffer from bad writing habits, but professionals have them too. But before you can do anything with the problem, you have to recognize it, to see what you have to deal with. Below, we offer for your consideration a list of top 20 bad writing habits. Hopefully it will help you to discover the weak points of your writing and eliminate them. Otherwise, you can just send your paper to Royal Editing — be it an essay, a report, a dissertation or a research paper — and our editing and proofreading experts will fix your writing flaws. Don’t hesitate about it, because even professional famous writers use editing services.

Some of these points will concern the technicalities of writing such as grammar, while others will describe rather behavior of the writer that causes him to be unproductive and inefficient.

  1. Procrastination is the greatest evil of all. It is worse than poor grammar and rambling language, because it prevents you from creating even that bad writing. Every writer, at least once in life, suffered from procrastination. It is a terrible feeling that arises from fear of failure. Procrastination can disguise under the pretence of checking you emails, making another cup of coffee, getting stuck on social networks, fiddling with fonts and writing apps. It will be anything that prevents you from writing. There is no secret technique that could help you to deal with procrastination, but there are few things you can try. First of all, turn down your inner critique, let it go, allow yourself to write silly things and make mistakes. Remember that you will have a chance to fix them later. And secondly, there is no way around it. Your essay will not write itself, and the only way to finish it, is only by getting started. The hardest moment is the beginning, but luckily it ends quickly. In this extent, writing is a lot like exercising — you avoid doing it, but feel excellent after it is done;
  2. Editing before finished is a bad habit that can lead you to procrastination. If you try to edit every sentence after just finishing it, there is a good chance you will never finish that piece of writing. You risk to lose the flow and to forget all the amazing ideas you had. Take it as a rule, to finish every piece of writing in one go, unless it is a long paper, without fixing it as you write. Revise and edit your paper only after you are done. And even better, if you trust those important tasks to professionals, for example Royal Editing, who will perfect your paper for a very moderate price;
  3. Too many exclamation marks in writing are similar to pointing with your finger at public. It is a sign of bad taste and limited vocabulary. Academic writing completely excludes the use of exclamation marks, unless it appears in a quote. In another type of text, use not more than one exclamation mark or instead find more expressive words;
  4. Very long paragraphs are hard to read. Writing very long paragraphs you risk losing your reader’s attention. Keep them up to a half a page at the longest and remember that one paragraph covers only one idea;
  5. Rambling about nothing signifies that writer has nothing to say or doesn’t bother to organize his ideas properly. Before you begin writing, jot down the ideas you want to cover in your paper. Rambling can be fine if you exercise in freewriting, which is good way to deal with writer’s block. However, it isn’t meant for eyes of the readers. Make sure you revise and reorganize it beforehand;
  6. Using clichés makes your writing stale and boring. Clichés are the word combinations that were used and overused to the point of losing their original meaning. If you spot a cliché in your paper, replace it with fresh, original image. In case you are not a native English speaker and don’t know how clichés look like, you can try to learn them online or simply order editing services;
  7. Complicated language might seem to make you look smarter, but it will make your paper unreadable. Try to keep it straightforward and simple. Remember that simplicity is a sign of genius;
  8. Not outlining is a bad habit that will make the process of writing harder for you. It will also take you much longer time to complete your paper, because you will have to write and figure out your ideas simultaneously. Spend a few minutes for a short outline before you write and it will save you a lot of time and effort;
  9. Not revising is a bad habit that cannot be excused. Submitting unrevised piece of writing shows your disrespect to the intended reader and can forever ruin a good impression about you. If you don’t know how to edit, at least run your paper through a grammar and spellchecker. Nevertheless, remember that you can always rely on professional editors to assist you with that task;
  10. Using too many quotes can signalize to your readers that you have no ideas and opinions of your own. It is fine to use a few quotes if necessary, but don’t rely on them to save your writing. Moreover, when using quotes, you have to remember about copyrights and creating proper list of references;
  11. Inconsistency in writing is painful to the reader’s eyes and mind. Inconsistency can be in the style, tone, usage of words and grammar rules. It makes it seem that a writer wrote each paragraph in different days of the week and every time in different mood. Read your paper out loud to yourself to hear the flow of the language and to spot any inconsistencies. If you capitalize certain words, like the Internet, or use Oxford comma, do it the same way throughout your paper, not only in one or few paragraphs.
  12. Uncertain writing characterized by the excessive usage of words, such as sort of, kind of, etc. Such words weaken your writing and create an impression of the person who is not sure what he or she is writing about. Try to cut out all such uncertainties and you will see how much stronger your writing will sound;
  13. Passive writing bores the readers. Its main feature is usage of passive voice, which is not evil in itself when used sparingly and appropriately. Replace your passive with active voice to make your language more energetic and powerful;
  14. Subject-verb agreement mistakes are annoying to see in the writing. They show the recklessness of the author and his disregard to the readers. Reread you paper after it’s done and make sure all your verbs endings agree with their subjects;
  15. Zero punctuation is a very common bad habit of modern youth. More and more people are getting used to the informal writing style of text messaging and online chatting, where you don’t need to worry much about your commas, and bring it into other types of writing. However, such approach is unacceptable and reveals a low educated person. If you have problems with punctuation, contact us and our proofreaders will be happy to assist you;
  16. Too much punctuation is the opposite of the previous bad habit, what doesn’t make it less bad. Some people try to appear more intelligent than they are and put punctuation marks virtually between every few words. However, there must be balance. In fact, English punctuation is one of the simplest of all, so spend some time to revise those rules;
  17. Reckless spelling can ruin any paper, as well as a good impression about you. It must become a necessary routine for you, to run your paper through an online spellchecker before you submit it. However, mind that there are words, such as homographs that cannot be spotted by a machine. For important papers, it is better to use help of a professional editor.
  18. Excessive use of adverbs is another writing sin that can turn a piece of writing into a sleeping pill. Adverbs must be used sparingly in order to change the meaning of a verb or create an artistic effect. Adverbs shouldn’t be used to make obvious things even more obvious. Most of the verbs already imply the information you try to add with an adverb, so better avoid them altogether or try to replace such verbs with stronger verbs that convey the action more precisely. Thesaurus will be your main resource in this case;
  19. Generalizing or unspecific writing is a very common bad habit of inexperienced writers. It means that a text contains too many general adjectives, like: good, beautiful, nice, bad. Nobody says that you must exclude those words from your vocabulary, but the excessive use of them makes your writing bleak and unspecific. Instead, try to describe things more precisely. For example, beautiful can become stunning, awe inspiring, shining. Moreover, don’t forget to add sensory details to your description to make it alive;
  20. Giving up. Every one of us sometimes feels so discouraged and hopeless that giving up seems like the only option. But it never is. The difference between good writers, who succeed, and bad ones, is that good writers never give up trying. Keep practicing and working on your mistakes is the only key to success. Remember that all you need to do is to write what you think, throw your ideas onto paper and Royal Editing will do the rest for you.