What is a technical essay?
A technical essay is something like a short academic journal article used to describe technical information. You might be familiar with this if you study in higher-level education like universities or are in scientific or engineering courses.
It can be a bit intimidating to write, especially if you are a first-year in your course. After all, you have only known the descriptive and argumentative essays from secondary school. But you have a deadline coming up, and you must write this essay.
So to help you along your way, here are 5 mistakes you need to avoid when writing a technical essay – and how to fix them.
But sometimes, we don’t plan what we want to write in our essays (or we do, just not so well). So it comes out illogical, redundant and unable to convey our point correctly. So what can you do?
First: Have an outline for your paper. This helps you form an appropriate structure making your work well-presented.
Then, after you finish writing your essay, make sure to get it reviewed, preferably by an editor.
Too Much Jargon
When you write your essay, always keep in mind – ‘Who is reading your work?’.
If you’re writing for specialist readers like your lecturer or professionals in the field, some jargon and technical language is okay; maybe even essential!
But if your reader is part of the general audience, be careful because they are not familiar with the jargon or terminology you use.
So always remember to identify your readers. Try to understand what they are familiar with and simplify it for them. You can always put in explanations or make use of the footnotes too!
Using the proper punctuation is something that even seasoned professionals struggle with, even more so for students writing essays for the first time.
Question marks, commas, semicolons, etc., are essential in conveying your message. It is crucial to know when to use them.
One way to overcome this is to enrol in English classes or programs. You can also look up the internet for videos or articles on proper punctuation.
Downloading grammar tools like Grammarly also serves to correct your punctuation as you write your essay.
Lack of Consistency
It is important to be consistent in our writing and ensure that our ideas flow cohesively and adequately. But sometimes, we have difficulties doing this.
For example, if you refer to your readers as “you” in the paper, you have to keep referring to them in that manner.
Using a different way to refer to them, e.g. “painters“, shows a lack of consistency and will devalue the quality of your paper and lead to massive confusion.
Here are some ways to prevent doing this:
1. Know the tone of your paper and change it accordingly
2. Let others review your paper
3. Make sure your grammar is correct
4. Use grammar tools
Becoming Too Abstract
When writing technical essays, we always try to sound professional and elevated, making the paper very abstract and hard to read.
So we need to be clear and simply write to the point. It makes life easier for us and concisely presents our ideas.
Also, refrain from adding filler content – additional content that isn’t necessary, simply because you want to meet the word count. It doesn’t add value to what’s already there.
It’s natural to struggle with technical writing, especially if you lack practice or are new to it.
But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it or be scared of it. Even highly qualified academic writers or professionals in essay writing (e.g. someone working for essay writing services) may fumble with this writing style.
I hope this article shows you the common mistakes made in technical essay writing and assists you in avoiding them. All the best!