Identifying and Correcting Research Paper Mistakes

In order to identify a mistake, you must know what to look for. The following list is 10 of the most common mistakes students make when writing research papers. Use this list to check your paper and see what needs to be corrected.

  1. Citation style: you must use the one assigned by your instructor. Is it MLA or APA or perhaps something else? Usually MLA is used for arts, humanities and literature courses. On the other hand, APA is used for business, biological sciences, social sciences and others. Using the incorrect citation style wastes a lot of time. You must find and correct any mistakes now.
  2. Website URLs are not considered to be a primary research source. They are not peer-evaluated and usually aren’t verifiable. Don’t use them.
  3. Paraphrasing is considered to be a form of plagiarism. Syntax and diction must be your own. It’s better to reference the source when you’re not certain.
  4. Lack of in-text citations gives the impression you haven’t done any or much research.
  5. Using too many direct quotes. The research paper should be mostly your own writing and words, with a few direct quotes sprinkled in. the shorter the quote, the better it works.
  6. Informal language; first person. These are generally not expected in an academic research paper.
  7. Leaving your research topic too broad or choosing one that’s too common. So many topics are overused. You really need to develop a unique topic and then narrow it down. Don’t use one straight from a free list online!
  8. Don’t forget to have a thesis statement. Something you are trying to support or prove. That’s what you are gathering evidence for.
  9. Plagiarism – avoid it in any form at all costs. Just make sure you’re writing your own words and referencing anyone else’s words properly.
  10. Insufficient research – your paper ends up being too thin. It needs to have adequate number of pages and lots of knowledge on each page. Not just empty words that take up space.

Go through your research paper and make sure you’ve not made any of the 10 mistakes. If you have, correct them right away and you will be well on your way to finishing an awesome research paper. Don’t skimp. Put all the time and effort you can into it because it will be well worth it when you earn a good grade.