Research Paper Hints: don’t be Ungrammatical

If one looks at the rubric that is given, a lot of instructors will take a certain amount of points off for grammatical errors. Depending upon the assignment as well as who it is, the amount of points deducted can either make or break a grade for someone in class. Even in the real world, grammatical errors are looked down upon and are highly discouraged.

Here are five grammatical errors to avoid in research paper writing:

Misspellings:

In many cases, misspelling of words is something that is caught during the editing and revision process. Sometimes though, it gets through the process and is not caught until after the paper is turned in. After revision, go through the clean copy one more time to make sure that everything is spelled correctly.

Contractions:

These are looked down upon because they don’t seem professional. It actually makes it sound like an informal and conversational tone, which is fine if the paper is not formal. If the paper is formal; however, then contractions should be taken out and the word spelled all the way out.

Typing it up as if it was a text message:

This was not so much of an issue until recent years. A lot of students with technology nowadays will spell words shorthand. An example of this: U r reading a ppr b4 food. A lot of professors now see this and because it has become a problem, they are taking points off for it. A rule of thumb is to spell everything out completely as to not appear immature in your writing and to give a professional picture of yourself.

Commas:

A common problem in papers is that people forget when to place a comma. If talking about a city and state for example, then it is necessary to put city, state. Another example is in the middle of sentences, such as, this one. Comma splices happen and the easiest way to avoid this is to read it without the commas to see if there even needs to be a comma. One more example would be in a list. When there is just two items (i.e. dog and cat) there does not need to be one, but when naming off a list of companies, for example, then commas are necessary.

Repetition:

Repeating words in the same sentence is not necessary. When editing and revising, if you see a particular word multiple times, then circle it and count. If it appears more than three times, see if there is a way to either eliminate having to use the same word, or if there is an alternative word to be used instead.