Do You Make These Mistakes in ESL Writing? Professional Editing Services Help


English can be a difficult language for native speakers; it can be utterly befuddling for non-native speakers. English can make writing academic papers that read logically and use the right words nearly impossible. There are simply too many mistakes in ESL writing, but there IS help for this dilemma.

Editors Fix Mistakes in ESL Writing

Why use a professional academic editor? Well, for starters, she will more than likely be a native English speaker. Thus, she can help correct mistakes caused by writing in a second language. Your paper reads more smoothly after editing. Editing doesn’t necessarily entail rewriting complete sentences, although that is certainly one level of service frequently offered.

No, an academic editor will help by replacing words that don’t quite fit where an ESL (English as a second language) writer might place them.

For example, “much” and “many” are easily confused: The research shows much examples of this occurrence. A professional editor will read this sentence and edit it like this: The research shows many examples of this occurrence.

How about misplaced modifiers? In many other languages, modifying words and phrases are placed in sentences in what translates to very awkward wording in English: Throw over the fence the cow some hay. Huh? A professional editor will provide this smoother and more coherent sentence: Throw some hay over the fence to the cow.

What if the ESL writer has a pretty good grasp of English and makes very few glaring mistakes? One major mistake even excellent ESL writers tend to make in English is omitting articles such as “the” and “an.” This omission is an easily overlooked gaffe, but a professional editor can catch these failures and correct them. For example, Analysts watched stock index closely becomes Analysts watched the stock index closely. It is not a huge issue, perhaps.

However, your professor may think differently, and these mistakes affect your grades!

Please be aware that the goal of a professional editor is not to change your writing “voice” but to help make your voice more comprehensible and attractive to the reader. Whether English is your native language or a second language, professional editors such as those at FirstEditing ( can help improve your writing.

Common mistakes in ESL

If your first language is one other than English, you may have run into difficulty expressing yourself in writing—whether at school, in your personal life, or at the office.

If you want to improve your writing and communicate more clearly, you need to be aware of some of the more common mistakes in ESL (English as a Second Language). Once you know that you are making these mistakes, you can self-correct or hire a professional editing service such as to help you perfect your writing.

First, be aware of the typical pitfalls in English writing!

ESL writers often make mistakes with:

  • countable and uncountable nouns (e.g., “She had a bread” instead of “She had some bread”),
  • articles (e.g., “We liked movie” instead of “We liked the movie”),
  • prepositions (e.g., “I walked the store” instead of “I walked to the store”), and
  • odd words that native speakers would never select in a given context (e.g., “The sun was shining colorfully” instead of “The sun was shining brightly”).
  • It is tough for ESL writers to fake native English language writing because they are often unaware that they are making these mistakes. If they are aware, they often don’t know how to fix them or where to turn for help.

Professional editing services will check if these issues are present and not only correct the problems but also guide you on how to avoid making these mistakes in the future. This knowledge will not only lead to a better essay/book/document but also help to make you a better, more “native-sounding” writer!

To sum up, if you are an ESL writer who wants to avoid mistakes in ESL, become aware of the common mistakes ESL writers make. Learn how to correct the errors or consider hiring a professional editing service.

Frequently Asked Questions

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