Bad writing advice: ways to avoid mistakes

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John Milovich
John Milovich
ScamFighter Expert
Former college customer turned freelance writer, shares insider insights on the essay industry.

Writing can be one of the most exciting or overwhelming processes. Depending on your experience, motivation, and skills, it can be either of them. At the same time, it is a constant process of self-advancement, personal growth, and improvement. Amateur and professional writers are continuously searching for effective ways to add to the quality of their writing. Unfortunately, when browsing the web and talking to people, they frequently come across terrible writing advice, which frequently slows down the process and leads to failure.

There are surely tons of beneficial recommendations and tips that can contribute to your writing skills and help you achieve the desired results. Nonetheless, it is indispensable to be cautious and attentive when analyzing the available guidelines, as some of them may turn out to be bad writing advice. Stick to the general writing requirements to make sure you have a decent start. Then, analyze what makes bad writing bad and improve those aspects.

Remember that, like any other skill, flawless writing requires much time, effort, and devotion. Take your time to analyze some of the most common pieces of advice people get, and make sure you stick only to the relevant and effective ones.

20 pieces of terrible writing advice for you

What makes writing bad? There are lots of factors that influence the quality of academic writing. While experienced writers know the prominence of the pre-writing stage, the key requirements to the structure and formatting of the paper, and an array of other specifications that can contribute to the achievement of the desired results, new ones are continuously looking for writing advice that could help.

In the overwhelming majority of instances, people believe everything they read online, which can lead to extra stress, anxiety, and zero result. Following a bad advice you will only waste your time and lose your inspiration. Thus, you should always be cautious as you search the web and stick to certain recommendations. Check out a few examples of terrible writing advice to ignore.

Write only when you are inspired

Is there bad writing advice that can lead you to despair? This is the one. Inspiration is a complex concept that can be influenced by a lot of different factors. Therefore, claiming that you need to write only when you feel it makes no sense. What if you have to accomplish an assignment, but you are not motivated? Does it mean you should accept your failure even before you give it a try?

Keep in mind inspiration does not follow your plan. Therefore, you cannot wait for it to hit every time you need to deal with the project. Instead, you need to be goal-oriented and motivated enough to thrive with the assignments, even with zero inspiration.

Dive right in and see what happens

Writing is a long and demanding process that can be divided into three stages, including pre-writing, writing, and post-writing. What does it mean? You do not need to skip the preparatory stage if you strive to succeed.

Diving in without the detailed analysis of the topic, proper research, and well-structured outline, is one of the worst pieces of writing advice you can get. Instead, take your time to meditate on the theme, make notes, and work on the outline to be consistent in your writing.

Have a dictionary and thesaurus with you as you write

It is impossible to deny that writing is a demanding process that requires excellence in little details. But, being surrounded by dictionaries and thesauruses is undeniably a piece of bad writing advice. The reason is simple: everything is automated.

Working on the writing projects, you do not need to check the spelling of each word with the dictionary, as the built-in proofreading tool will help you deal with it. Moreover, you do not need a thesaurus. In the overwhelming majority of instances, using complex words and phrases makes the text sound artificial and fake. Therefore, forget about this bad writing advice and focus on other elements that can make your writing skills much more effective.

Do not be specific in describing characters

Why is my writing so bad? Maybe you set wrong priorities? Maybe instead of paying attention to characters and setting description you focus on insignificant details? Being specific is important, but there should definitely be a balance. Analyzing the content, the writer should make reasonable emphasis on the critical aspects.

Thus, if you share a personal narrative, you need to focus on the description of the characters in your story. Nonetheless, if you are trying to come up with a research paper, you need to come up with the details of the data analysis instead.

Write for pleasure only

Why is it terrible writing advice? Do you remember the recommendation writing only when you are inspired? The situation is similar here, as you sometimes need to remember about your duties. There will be times when you will have to work on writing projects just to succeed at college or work. And there is no way you wait for the inspiration or desire.

Therefore, no matter if you have a good or a bad day, you need to focus on advancement of your writing skills that will help you cope with the most challenging assignments.

Follow your interests and passion

What is bad writing? While some people are convinced that it is about poor structure or formatting, you should never forget about low-quality content that can ruin the whole piece. At the same time, it is indispensable to remember that each of these aspects can influence the quality of the text. Thus, following your passion and inspiration may not be enough for the creation of a well-structured and consistent paper that complies with the requirements.

Write only what you know

This is a piece of advice that can work well if you consider writing a book or a paper on a topic you know nothing about. At the same time, that is terrible writing advice that can prevent you from the desired growth and advancement.

Writing is a thrilling and multi-sided process that requires analyzing different data sources, discovering new ideas, and diving into thrilling concepts that can add to your arguments. Thus, if you write only what you know, poor are your chances to come up with an interesting and relevant text.

Beware of rewriting

Are you done with the first draft? Then, you should only proofread the text and that’s all. Unfortunately, it is a bad writing advice that will lead you to failure. Editing is a critical part of the writing process that helps to avoid any data inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the text. Do not avoid rewriting if you want your paper to be concise, interesting, and easy to read.

Believe in yourself

There is nothing wrong with this advice unless you abuse it. At this point, the perspective matters. If you are convinced that inspiration and desire to succeed are everything you need for the achievement of the desired results, you are destined to fail. Professional writers realize that this is terrible writing advice that actually prevents people from making writing a habit. The success of each project does depend on inspiration, but skills, knowledge, and persistence are still indispensable.

Do not use complex words and phrases

If you do not want to develop bad writing habits, you need to avoid dubious recommendations. Thus, when it comes to the use of complex phrases in the papers, you need to start with more profound questions. What is the genre of the paper you are working on? What is the target audience? Sometimes, simple and basic vocabulary can work against you, especially if you need to create a scholarly report or write a dissertation. Advanced vocabulary is a good sign of your profound knowledge in the area, but it should not be overused.

Enjoy writing as a journey, not a destination

This is terrible writing advice, especially for people focused on the result. You are lucky if you enjoy what you are doing, but when it comes to professional writing, the final destination matters. Irrespective of how enjoyable and nice the journey is, the readers anticipate the final result. Mind the type of the assignment you are working on, so that you can understand if you can relish the process or you need to make maximum effort to come up with the desired product as fast as possible.

The more you write, the better quality you get

Quantity does not mean quality. Thus, if someone tries to convince you that you need to focus on the length of the paper first, you should ignore this recommendation, as it will lead to the development of bad writing habits.

It is critical to meet the word count requirements, but it can barely predetermine the quality of the included content. Focus on the pre-writing stage, so that you can come up with relevant information taken from credible data sources, instead.

Come up with an outline every time you write

How is this terrible writing advice? By browsing the web and reading effective writing tips, you will find a lot of information and facts that prove outlining to be an indispensable part of the process. Well, it is truly a beneficial stage that helps to keep the paper concise, well-structured, and interesting. However, it is critical to emphasize the exceptions that may take place.

Some types of papers can be written fine without an outline. So, you do not have to blame yourself for skipping this part. Instead, focus on the content of your paper and succeed with other aspects.

Do not hurry working on your project

This is generally decent advice that can be effective for inexperienced writers. Nonetheless, when the completion of the project takes too much time, there is always a risk of overthinking and over-researching. Consequently, the information included in the paper can be irrelevant and inaccurate. Therefore, if you need to slow down to process everything, it is completely fine. But keep in mind that an opportunity to take too much time can be a piece of terrible writing advice that will work against you.

Write just the way you talk

This may be bad writing advice that will affect your academic or professional prosperity. In fact, a lot of people have significant problems with their thinking and analysis patterns, which means this recommendation is ineffective for them. Besides, writing requires much more accuracy and precision. Extra attention should be paid to the structure, transition between paragraphs, formatting, and other little details that can make a critical difference.

Take your time to come up with a flawless paper.

Writing is a long, daunting, and exacting process that requires a lot of your time and devotion. If you do not spend much time researching, analyzing, and concluding, you are destined to fail. Is it really so? Does this principle work all the time?

Unfortunately, it is another piece of bad writing advice that can demotivate people and make them doubt their ability to become professional writers. Time is undeniably a critical asset for writers, but there is no direct link between the time you spend working on the assignment and its quality.

Pay attention to all the details during the writing process

Collecting information, researching, writing, ad revising the text, attention to details is important. Nonetheless, you have to be careful not to transform this recommendation into a terrible writing advice. A lot of people are convinced that the first draft should be flawless, free of any mistakes and typos. Consequently, they spend too much time proofreading he text that may be completely changed at a latter stages of work.

In most instances, small details do not matter. Instead, make sure you include relevant and up-to-date information. Focus on the structure, grammar, punctuation, and formatting of your paper at the final stage of work. This is a much better piece of writing advice to follow.

Engage in lots of writing exercises

Precise is what matters a lot in developing and mastering your writing skills, but it is still bad advice people can get. At this point, it is critical to deal with the concept of “writing exercises,” which may be confusing. It is impossible to deny that your experience, skills, and expertise grow as you continue working on the writing projects, but writing exercises are not the methods to achieve the desired results.

Avoid any help

“You have to work on your mistakes alone,” “Face your fears and deal with the challenging situation,” and “Online tools will make you inattentive.” Have you ever heard some of these phrases? I am sorry for you, as you have become a victim of terrible writing advice. Ignoring the advantageous and useful online services is a way to nowhere. Instead, if you want to achieve your goals but keep failing to produce the necessary result, then it may be the only solution.

The online market is growing, so the variety of essay writing platforms that can help you succeed with the most exacting projects is also increasing. Do you need a piece of good writing advice here? Beware of fake and scam platforms and focus on the reliable and time-tested services. Check out the page to get desired assistance from experts.

Write to be a good writer

What is writing for you? A lot of people would say that it is mainly about producing words and expressing your ideas on certain topics. However, if you keep sharing your points of view with the readers without due attention to other elements of the process, you will never achieve the desired result. In a nutshell, it is undeniably bad writing advice that will lead nowhere.

Writing is a complex process that consists of lots of aspects. Thus, there is no chance you come up with a well-structured, consistent, and high-quality paper without brainstorming, researching, outlining, writing, and editing the text. As you see, you cannot advance your writing skills unless you focus on these ingredients indispensable for success.

In conclusion

No matter if you are working on your academic writing project, blog posts, or other types of writing assignments, excellence in detail, flawless motivation, awareness of the basic requirements are the aspects to pay attention to. Analyzing the above-mentioned pieces of terrible writing advice, it is critical to highlight the prominence of being selective and goal-oriented.

If you struggle to answer the “Why is my writing so bad?” question, you do not need to stick to all the useless recommendations in your despair. Instead, you should learn to analyze and single out the best advice for writing that will be impressive, appealing, relevant, and engaging. Read sample papers for inspiration. Take advantage of the innovative online tools that can contribute to your grammar and punctuation excellence. Find fellow writers to share your thoughts and ideas that inspire and motivate you. Finally, check best writing services that can help you thrive even with the most complicated, time-consuming, and exacting projects. Do not fall for fake and useless guidelines, but rather entrust your success to experts.


Terrible writing advice can mislead students, leading to poor writing habits, decreased critical thinking skills, and ultimately, subpar academic performance.

Explore 20 commonly given but detrimental writing tips that students should avoid to maintain academic integrity and achieve success in their college projects.

Ignoring bad writing advice is essential to develop strong academic writing skills. Discover why following misguided advice can result in academic failure and learn how to navigate through common pitfalls for successful project completion.