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Although in me you may find mistakes and misery

I always measure up to what is expected of me

You can use me to draw

I can also beat you raw

You may need me to plot the right way

Over people I hold sway

I am a five letter word

What I am must be inferred.

This is my first puzzle; feedback is welcomed.

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Perhaps you are a

RULER

although I only have satisfactory explanations for four of those six lines:

Although in me you may find mistakes and misery

The letters of RULER contain (anagrams of) ERR and RUE. (Thanks to suomynonA for the hint in comments.)

I always measure up to what is expected of me

You use a ruler for measuring things.

You can use me to draw

You use a ruler for drawing straight lines.

I can also beat you raw

In the bad old days of corporal punishment, it was not uncommon for teachers to hit children with rulers. (Thanks to suomynonA for the hint in comments. D'oh!)

You may need me to plot the right way

Again, used for drawing, especially where accuracy is required as e.g. in plotting graphs or map routes.

Over people I hold sway

"Ruler" in the sense of king, queen, etc., now.

My (feeble) best guesses at the two lines I don't have good explanations for:

Mistakes and misery: (1) the word ends with -ER which sounds like ERR which means to make mistakes. Or (2) rulers not infrequently make mistakes and inflict misery on their subjects. Beating you raw: could again be a reference to the misbehaviour of autocratic rulers (who sometimes do worse to their subjects than just beating them).

But I find those unsatisfactory enough that I fear this answer may be only a clever red herring and have little to do with the intended one...

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! You got the word, and you got half of both of the remaining two ;) A hint for the first clue: Anagrams For the other one, think of how the other definition of ruler can also beat a person raw. $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Oct 7 '16 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ Teachers used to discipline kids with rulers. Thats what i thought of for the beat people raw. $\endgroup$ – gtwebb Oct 7 '16 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ Back when schools were allowed to use corporal punishment, one of the methods was to hit a kid's knuckles with a ruler. EDIT: @gtwebb beat me to it $\endgroup$ – Leafy Greens Oct 7 '16 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's it. $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Oct 7 '16 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ Explanations of remaining lines added. I feel very stupid about not seeing the school-cruelty one instantly. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 7 '16 at 9:44
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Here is what i got so far

A sword
You can draw a sword or beat someone up with it
It is useful to plot or conquer as it hold sways of those fearful of death(tyranny)
It's purpose is not complicated but always lives up to it, it kills.
But in the end, all it brings is misery.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, a sword doesn't work because you don't use a sword to draw. $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Oct 7 '16 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ You need a sword to draw. You can't draw your sword without a sword. It's just not the "draw" you had in mind. $\endgroup$ – stack reader Oct 7 '16 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe... nice try $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Oct 7 '16 at 2:22

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