5 Common Research Writing Mistakes: Tips to Avoid Them

Writing a research paper involves scrutinizing a plethora of research material to bring forth plausible conclusions. However, no matter the degree of impeccability and thoroughness of the research, successfully transmuting it into words takes a grave amount of practice and endurance. Thus, it is not uncommon to see amateur and even veteran scholarly writers commit research writing mistakes in their papers now and then. Following the narrative, this article will describe 5 research writing mistakes that frequently blemish the works of academic writers. It will also shed some much-needed light on the tips to amend and avoid these mistakes.

11.03.2022

5 Common Research Writing Mistakes: Tips to Avoid Them

Writing a research paper involves scrutinizing a plethora of research material to bring forth plausible conclusions. However, no matter the degree of impeccability and thoroughness of the research, successfully transmuting it into words takes a grave amount of practice and endurance. Thus, it is not uncommon to see amateur and even veteran scholarly writers commit research writing mistakes in their papers now and then.

Committing mistakes and rectifying them as and when they occur is an appreciable move. It showcases the academic integrity of a writer. But it also takes a significant amount of time and resources. Hence, what is better appreciable is developing the ability to foresee and bypass these mistakes.

Following the narrative, this article will describe 5 research writing mistakes that frequently blemish the works of academic writers. It will also shed some much-needed light on the tips to amend and avoid these mistakes.

How to identify and correct 5 recurring research writing mistakes

The descriptions of the mistakes expounded upon here aim to inform research writers about their characteristics. As such, readers should exhaustively read them to imprint their nature in their minds and thereon detect them with ease.

1. Exercising improper citations

For a research paper, or, for the matter, any academic document, citations are of utmost importance. They

  • inform the readers about the sources an author has referred to whilst writing the manuscript.

  • acknowledge the hard work of the writers of the referred sources.

  • allow readers to fact-check the contents of the text at hand and much more.

In short, citations are vital to the overall credibility of an academic document.

However, one needs to know when and how to incorporate citations into their work. And it is due to the fact that many budding research writers make errors while citing sources.

Citation mistakes arise when authors either use incorrect citation styles or indeliberately miss a reference. For instance, they have paraphrased a section from a published research work but skipped including the source in parentheses. Or, they have quoted a few lines from another text and mentioned the correct source but cited it incorrectly.

Such mistakes can render an academic document less legible as well as introduce plagiarism.

Thus, to negate citation errors, one should garner adequate knowledge about the various citation styles and citations in general. Also, prior to commencing the writing process, researchers should enquire with their supervisors about the specific citation requirements.

2. Not emphasizing proofreading

Proofreading is a process that essentially fine-tunes the readability of a manuscript. It eliminates grammatical, linguistic, and contextual errors from a text and ultimately offers it the desired academic preciseness. However, proofreading lies at the bottom of the priority list of many a writer.

Some writers proofread in conjunction with the writing process. Others set aside little time to proofread their works, leaving much to be desired in them.

Thus, research writers should make it a habit to proofread their works timely and with precision. One can also employ the services of professional editing and proofreading services in case of linguistic limitations.

3. Intentional/unintentional plagiarism

Plagiarism is one of the, if not the most, frowned upon academic practices in academic writing. It occurs when one copies lines, paragraphs, or even ideas of others without attributing them properly. And no matter if the copied content consists of nothing more than a single quote, the degree of offence is the same.

Plagiarism can be deliberate or unintentional, with the latter recurring more in the works of budding research writers. However, both types carry similar repercussions.

The most effective way to avoid plagiarism is to cite sources wherever necessary. Also, one should expand their research catalog to include more works and allow adequate time to peruse them. This way, they can allot more time to understand the subject matter and develop a proprietary writing style.

4. Lack of field-specific academic jargon

Academic writing is more objective and complex than its conventional counterpart. And one of the factors lending it these characteristics is academic jargon. Jargon refers to words and phrases native to a particular field or genre.

Not including enough jargon in their works delineates an author's inadequate knowledge of their field of study. Hence, research writers should document and practice using academic words and phrases relevant to their subject matter.

5. Structural inconsistencies

Structuring issues are a more regular phenomenon in the writings of amateur academic writers. As the word count increases, writers find it difficult to demarcate the various sections of their works. This, in turn, leads to the text becoming a potpourri of arguments and facts.

To avoid structural issues, research writers should first draft an outline of their manuscript. Next, they should address each section in the draft individually while maintaining smooth transitions between them.

Conclusion

Research writing is a sub-genre of academic writing that every academic must come across at least once. Thus, one should strive to know the various research writing mistakes and learn how to avoid them.

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This article discusses 5 common research writing mistakes and gives some essential tips to avoid them. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

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