The Difficulties In Essay Writing For Non-Native Speaker Students


Essay writing requires a good command of the English language to enable students to present facts and ideas logically and clearly.

International students who come from non-English speaking countries often encounter challenges when writing essays, so they need to develop creative ways to overcome the challenges.

The non-native speakers use academic vocabulary that is based on the specific discipline and write differently from the way they speak. They also include abstract ideas in their essays and their content depends on culture and context.

They hunt for words and use transition words repeatedly

Many non-native speakers look for words in a dictionary and get confused by those with different meanings. They choose the wrong words because they are in a hurry to complete their essays.

Some non-natives also use conjunctions and transition words repeatedly so they change the meaning of sentences unknowingly. For instance, they overuse words such as “furthermore” and “therefore” instead of combining sentences.

Failure to use vocabulary well can lead to repetitive words and this could be a serious struggle for a learner. To complete essays without making word-choice mistakes, learners should expand their vocabulary by being active readers and listeners.

Continuous reading enhances the ability of the human brain to process information clearly and concisely. Reading different materials such as comics, internet articles, and magazines improves vocabulary use and makes a person a better writer.

They write differently from the way they speak

The international students who go to study abroad expect criticisms, corrections, and some sense of mockery when they speak. Most of them struggle with English during the first few years of their study and some opt to enroll in English lessons to polish their language.

The non-natives face ridicule and criticism from their colleagues, especially when presenting their work in class. They are not that good at essay writing and it may take time for them to adapt to the new learning environment. Since they may not get acquitted to essay writing immediately, they may hire professional writers to write for them.

Professional help for essays

Non-native speaker students in colleges and universities can find professional writing help for their essays and other assignments. Edu birdie writing service has highly qualified professional native writers who create the best custom papers for students on any subject.

The non-native speakers can get opportunities to present quality papers and improve their academic performance. They can study the assignments to learn how to write so that with time they can gain confidence to write without any help.

They use tenses wrongly

Even good writers make grammatical mistakes with tenses where they mix present continuous with present simple tenses. This brings a lot of confusion to the reader because the writer fails to convey the meaning in a given context.

The use of the past tense may be tricky because different languages have diverse rules regarding the use of the tense. In English, the most common is the Past simple tense but most non-native students often get confused when using the tense.

It is also challenging for some students to grasp the use of future tense because some languages can use present simple tense to refer to the future. English uses basic constructions of present continuous and present simple tenses that can be interchanged.

To overcome the problem of improper use of tenses, students can find relevant resources such as books and videos to improve. They should also play language games, grammar games, word games to improve their comprehension abilities.

They use prepositions and articles wrongly

Non-native speaker students mix prepositions and articles and they change the meaning of sentences altogether. This is common when they are referring to timeframes and it is a simple sign of a text written by a non-native.

The challenge with the English language is that it has exceptions and special cases in the use of propositions and articles that students need to learn. Before writing essays, students should understand the basic principles of article and proposition use.

They should understand the elements of style in essay writing and find comprehensive resources about the use of articles and propositions. Another strategy is to practice writing as much as possible and to emulate essays from some of the best writers in college.


Non-native speaker students face a lot of challenges when writing essays due to improper use of words and speaking differently from the way they write.

They also use tenses, articles, and propositions wrongly, which distorts the meaning of words in their texts. They can improve their writing abilities by seeking professional help, reading and writing more, and finding role models in essay writing.

Author’s Bio:

Alisia Stren works for a media agency as the lead content writer and her winning ad copies and landing pages have made her a star employee there.

She’s equally good in her part-time gigs as an essay and dissertation writer and stands out as a personal statement writer.

Her hobbies include acrylic painting, kitchen gardening and reading manga.

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