Top Four Essay Clichés All Teachers Hate

Top Four Essay Clichés All Teachers Hate

Have you ever wondered what criteria teachers are guided by when assessing your work? Yes, they may share the standard ones indicated in the college writing guidelines. Still, sometimes, students don’t even know specific words that shouldn’t be used in academic writing.

Those are not some outrageous words or word combinations, but including them here and there may influence your grade in the end. Of course, one can’t know every kind of mistake to avoid. However, the essay writing service experts we contacted recently have specified the most common essay cliches that won’t make your grade higher.

Read on to find out about the typical phrases and patterns that shouldn’t be used in essays.

(From) Time Immemorial

Calendar in notebookWell, what’s so bad about this word combination? This phrase is so old and uninformative that only teachers who have been working for several months may tolerate it. It is not academic but, for some reason, prevalent among students.

The phrase belongs in the publicist style mainly. Also, it should be mentioned in the legal context when it comes to discussing property issues. Of course, it is okay for creative writing and can be somehow included in an essay, yet, it’s often used in the wrong context.

However, Nevertheless, Be That as It May, Moreover, Finally, etc.

What’s wrong with all these words and phrases? Nothing, if they’re used sparingly. But everything changes when you write them in every sentence. Not a single paper from writing services can get good essayservice reviews if it’s filled with the content that reminds a text written by a robot.

To realize how hard it is to comprehend, imagine you’re talking with someone who starts every sentence with a transition word. Wouldn’t it be weird to hear? Some students believe that such a variety is a sign of extensive vocabulary. It can be, but more often, it’s a sign that a person is blindly following or misinterpreting rules (to use specific words) or doesn’t have much to say.

So, try writing a detailed outline to avoid the latter. When you have many questions to cover, there are few chances that you will add unnecessary words.  If you can still see many of those in your writing, make it a habit to re-read your essays in a day or two. A fresh look will help you notice the issues you couldn’t see before.

‘Based on the fact that…’ and Its Variations

TypewriterSuch word combinations do not offer much flexibility in sentence structure as soon as you write ‘based on the fact that…’, you will need to describe that idea for readers to grasp your thought fully. However, the sentence can’t end with this description – you need to conclude something that’s indeed based on a fact.

So, the next thing you add is ‘we can say that…’ or ‘it is logical to conclude that…’. The first clause is already long enough, but you can make it barely readable by writing this conclusion. Some use such phrases intentionally to increase the word count. Yet, experienced teachers can always see it and deduct points for such attempts.

The Thesaurus Plague

DictionaryBuilt-in thesaurus is probably one of the most confusing inventions. Those who may need it can’t use it properly, and those who can don’t need it. For instance, writing “in the facade of the class” is total nonsense, but thesaurus would disagree if you called for its help with the phrase “in front of the class.”

Why do students resort to this tool? Mostly, they need it to find the words they just can’t come up with because of the limited active vocabulary.

And why is thesaurus often misused? Well, there are several reasons for it:

  • a thesaurus doesn’t offer (or consider) the context;
  • it doesn’t provide examples either;
  • usually, people don’t double-check the use of the suggested word;
  • only in two clicks can you go from ‘reasons’ to ‘brainpowers.’

To avoid a situation where you write ‘he had his brainpowers to decline this offer,’ consult a dictionary, like Merriam-Webster or OED, and check examples. Also, do not rely on forums too much; they should be the last-resort option for cases when you don’t have any other source to consult.


Using cliches wisely is a skill that should be mastered by any student who wants to excel in writing. Before you succeed, always ask for a second opinion on your essay or paper. It will help you hone your writing skills.

On the other hand, you should read more to know what word is suitable for this and that context. Check out essay samples online, order one from a service, or read scholarly articles to get the gist of academic writing. With time, you will forget about looking up a word in a dictionary because most of them will be in your active vocabulary. Good luck!

Nina Medanic
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