Is it helpful to use online research paper writing guides?

Below is an insightful list of the top ten most common writing problems students have with research papers that could be easily resolved with basic writing and research tips.

  1. Stating your personal opinions as such. There is no reason to use phrases like “I believe” or “I think.” Instead just state the opinions or use an academic source that backs up your thoughts and opinions and use that to convey your opinion. It makes for a much stronger paper.

  2. Inflated phrases. There is a fine balance between having an academic and professional tone and being so full of long winded phrases and jargon that your message is lost. Avoid flowery words and complicated terms. Keep your writing professional yet simple!

  3. Lack of proper sources. Often in research papers, you will have to pull ideas and concepts from other sources. When you do this, you must give credit for anything that is not your own original thought, ideas, or writing. Failure to properly cite your sources lead to instances of plagiarism which can destroy your academic career.

  4. Dropping in quotes. When you quote from another source in your paper yiou need to work it into the paragraph and the paper as a whole. Do not simply drop in quotes wherever you want or need to bulk up word counts- this will actually weaken your paper.

  5. Not taking citation style seriously. There are detailed instructions for the citation styles used in research papers and they need to be followed to the letter!

  6. Lack of organization. Many papers get less than great grades do to the poor organization of the paper. Keep things neatly organized and progressing in a logical manner in your paper so the reader can easily follow and understand what you are saying.

  7. Lack of conclusion. Often students concentrate too much and put too much focus on the body of the paper, and while this is ok to some extent it is often done to the extent that they overlook the importance of a strong conclusion.

  8. Guidelines failure. The best paper in the world will often get a poor grade if it does not follow the guidelines and address the points that the instructor asks for.

  9. Lack of proofreading. Be sure to give yourself time to read over the paper before tuning it in. Spell check alone is not enough so do not skimp on this import part of research paper writing!