· Forgetting to begin your essays with at least a brief introduction to outline what you are going to be writing about!
· “Due to the fact that” = Because
· “as to the” = For
· ‘alot’ – is not a word! Please either split the letters or find an alternative
· ‘cos’ and ‘cause’ are NOT a suitable alternative for BECAUSE (even if these are words your phone recognises) so please stop using them
· ‘would of’ is not English – it is “Would HAVE”
· ‘&’ is not a word – please write it out in full
· When you dot your i’s – please use a solid dot and not a circle, happy face or a heart!
· Avoid contractions (didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t etc) this is CONVERSATIONAL language and has no valid place in an academic essay
· Changing tense mid sentence or mid paragraph! If you are writing in the past tense, that’s fine, but then stick to it
· “Hence” & “Thus” – I challenge you to either use these words correctly or DELETE them from your vocabulary – please no ‘hencing’ and ‘thussing’ just to sound smarter
· “Hard” and “Difficult” – a table is hard, a situation is difficult
· get’ & ‘got’ are officially ILLEGAL!! In academic writing there will always be a better way to write what you mean without using these words (give me an example and I’ll give you an alternative)
· “Somewhat trying to say” - how can you ‘only slightly’ try to say something? It’s a little like being “almost pregnant”!
· “Shows us, the reader” – choose one, either ‘us’ or ‘the reader’
· Using horrible clichés like:
‘old money crew’, ‘better half’ (referring to a spouse), liked to ‘splurge’, a ‘poster child’ for something, ‘ignorance is bliss’, there was ‘bad blood’ between them, ‘cashing in’ on the situation, ‘pull her strings’, ‘push his buttons’, ‘stick with it’, ‘it boils down to’, ‘down to earth’, ‘upper crust’, ‘doing their own thing’, ‘pretty messed up’, ‘gave it his all’, ‘head over heels’, ‘she cools down’ and oh so many, many more…
· Tagging’ quotations onto the claims you make about a poem OR quoting a line first (like a sub heading) and then providing the explanation of that line!
· If you are asked to comment on or analyse a quote from a novel or a poem then make sure that you don’t totally go off topic and ignore the quotation given – if you ramble on and never link things back to the quote, then you will lose marks
· ‘chatting’ – phrases like “as I was saying”, “back to the passage”, “what I mean is” etc have NO place in an analytical essay
· Their (belonging to) and there, were (as in was) and where AND weather (sunshine or rain) and whether!

Please make sure you know how to correctly spell the names of the characters you write about – it makes a big difference