When you’re tasked with writing a research paper, your job is more than just following the given structure. Students often fall in the same traps when they write a research paper, regardless of the topic. But, while you can’t anticipate how the research and writing will go for every research paper you write, there’s something you can avoid – the most common errors in research paper writing.
You may struggle with time or the complexity of the research paper. The struggles you have can be related to your lack of writing skills, experience in the subject, or the complex research process. But, before you move to learning the advanced steps for performing research and building your writing skills, you must learn about the few mistakes all students make at some point of their studies.
- Insufficient Research
The name tells you everything you need to know about this paper. A research paper is more than just a way to demonstrate your skills of writing. No matter the size or the topic, there’s one focus of this paper type – research.
Many students rush this part to be able to meet a deadline or focus on the writing itself. Yes, your writing is what the target audience will see, but research is crucial for this type of paper.
To avoid one of the gravest common mistakes in scientific writing, dedicate more time to your research.
2. Weak Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is the moving force of your paper. It’s what the entire paper is based on. That’s why it always belongs in the introduction. If you don’t make this statement strong and clear, your paper will not yield the results you aimed for.
Thesis statements are first introduced in the research proposal, which also makes this one of the most common mistakes in research proposal writing. Don’t let yourself fail from the start.
3. Poor Connection
Everything in your research paper has to be connected. Your thesis statement needs to have a connection with the supporting arguments and statements. Your paragraphs should be linked throughout the work. Every argument you make must be linked to the research question it’s answering. When you’re checking your work, make sure that every piece of data you gathered through research is connected with the paper.
4. Chaotic Structure
Many students think that the reason behind their poorly structured papers is their lack of time. If you’re in a rush, you will make a chaos out of your data. But, in addition to time, the process also requires knowledge of the research paper structure, experience in writing research papers, and a great deal of organization.
This is why everything should start with an outline. You can’t just jump to the writing process without looking through the data you’ll be using. If you lack the time or the skill to write this paper, better get help from a research paper writing service expert who knows how the process goes.
The structure of a research paper will vary based on your instructor and school’s requirements. The five essential parts of every paper are: introduction, methodology, results, discussions, and conclusion.
5. No Mention of the Limitations
Every study will have its limitations. No matter how well you think this through and how much time you dedicate to research, your study will have some limitations. This is expected and natural, and you must accept it.
Your paper can be flawless with its set of limitations. But, unless you acknowledge these, you won’t be able to accomplish anything with your research. The reader won’t trust a paper that doesn’t speak of ways that can improve the situation. Readers will be interested in the paper’s limitations, especially if there’s something they can do to explore the field even deeper.
6. No Answer to Your Research Question
The goal of a research paper is to answer a question. But, don’t think that by asking the question in the beginning, your task is done. You can’t just pile up research in a couple of sections and expect the reader to answer the question on his own. Your job as a research paper writer is to answer the question in an unbiased, professional, and highly academic way.
Discussion sections are created for exactly this purpose. As the writer and researcher of the paper, you need to refer to the research question and answer it, give alternatives, arguments, and point out to implications for future research.
7. Poorly Cited Sources
Every little piece of data must be properly cited in a research paper. Otherwise, you’re looking at plagiarism. Today this is very easy to detect and will infuriate any instructor that has given you this task. Therefore, get informed about the requested citation format and focus on citing all sources properly.
8. Bad Grammar and Poor Use of Language
No research paper will be good without proper editing. When you’re done with all of the things I’ve told you about at this point, it’s time to do thorough editing. Remove bad grammar, unnecessary data, and fix your poor language.
With these tricks in mind, you can easily avoid the things that make most students lose their grades. If you invest your effort into this and are aware of the potential mistakes, you can boost your chances at getting an A.
Robert is an editor for several newspapers and magazines across the country. His job is to find the mistakes that make writing look bad and unprofessional. Thanks to his years of editing experience, he’s a great guide to those who want to learn to become better writers.