8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Research Paper

Writing a research paper can be stressful and an anxiety-induced experience for a lot of people. Studies have shown that over 87 percent of college students have experienced stress during their college years. This can have a negative impact on their health as well as affecting their mental wellbeing. 

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This is why it’s so important to reduce stress levels by knowing how to write research papers.

In this article, we will explain the 8 common mistakes to avoid when writing a research paper. Use these tips and tricks to ace your next assignment, read on to find out how to be hitting A+ every time. 

  1. Not Proofreading Your Work 

This can be where a lot of people can make mistakes and end up submitting work that has grammatical, structural, or spelling issues. It means that your essay doesn’t look professional and these silly errors can cost you valuable marks which means you miss out on top grades. 

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Even the most original and inciteful essay will be pulled down marks if it includes spelling mistakes and grammatical issues. Take the time to read through your work before you submit it. You can even give it to a family member or friend to look through to spot any errors.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find them in your own work when you have been working so closely on a project. A fresh pair of eyes might make the difference between an A and A+. You can also seek the help of a professional proofreading service to give you that extra peace of mind.  

  1. Writing Without a Solid Plan 

The best kind of essays are ones that are carefully planned out and know what they are going to say. Never just write an essay without first planning and researching your sources first.

Work out how you are going to get from the introduction to the conclusion of your essay. This will involve breaking down your essay into individual sections and paragraphs that support your argument. You can plan your essay around these sections and then thematically order them to allow your research to flow in the most comprehensive way.

There should be some margin and scope to include additional material from your plan, however, resist the urge to go off on tangents! 

  1. Not Reading Widely Enough

As you are coming up to your assignment, make sure that you are reading around your topic and finding a wide range of sources. This will enable you to consider all aspects of your chosen topic and what others have written about it.

If you don’t read widely enough, your source material will be from a limited number of sources and doesn’t make a well-rounded essay. A large bibliography doesn’t necessarily mean a high grade but it shows that you have put that extra work in and are considering all avenues of thought. 

  1. Leaving It Until the Last Minute 

This is the cardinal sin of all essay writing, however, so many students find themselves trying to write huge research papers with very limited time to do so.

By putting off your research paper, it means you aren’t able to take your time with the planning and research stage. This is one of the critical stages of essay writing and is where the quality of thought and standard of work is cemented.

If you find yourself in a position with hardly any time left to write your research paper there are options available to you. By using a professional essay writing service you can relax knowing your paper is in safe hands and can be written in the time constraints. 

  1. Not Using Citations Correctly When Writing your Research paper

A research paper should always follow a certain citation system. This will be dependent on what your college or organization uses. Find out what citation system you need to incorporate into your research paper and don’t deviate from this.

If you are worried about doing it incorrectly, there are plenty of tools online that can format your citations for you. All you need to do is input the data and it will create your citations which you can copy into your paper.

  1. Quote The Right Source Material 

Make sure that if you are using quotes in your research paper that it is directly from the source. It’s very bad practice to cite or quote a source that isn’t from its original context.

For example, if you find a research paper and there is a quote you want to use, but it’s also a quote from another paper, you need to cite the original text it’s from. This can be a little confusing at first, but anything you read that has speech marks or a footnote will need to be followed back to its origins. 

  1. Not Sticking To The Word Count 

Word counts are very important when writing research papers and should be strictly adhered to. Check with your college or organization but you can usually be 5-10% under or over the word count with most research papers.

If you are outside that margin then you may be docked marks before they have even read it. 

  1. Committing Plagiarism 

This is the one thing that every institution will not tolerate. Taking other people’s ideas and passing them off as your own can result in expulsion or very severe consequences. 

You can use online plagiarism tools to check that your work meets the standard of any plagiarism tests as most colleges will also perform tests on your research paper.

Writing a Research Paper

Writing a Research Paper: What Next?

We hope this article on the 8 common mistakes to make when writing a research paper has been useful. Knowing these few key pieces of information will ensure that you can write an awesome research paper to be proud of. 


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