- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial

Common Mistakes of a Custom Term Paper

Common mistakes with term papers are created when the student does not know the subject. Often the student fails to take a thorough search of the literature to gain a better understanding and to have proper sources to support the thesis.

Term Paper Mistake

Another common mistake is the bibliography or works cited page is prepared incorrectly. Each source must have the article name, author, publication date, journal, and page numbers.

Often students fail to begin their term papers with an outline and a thesis. These are essentials in the beginning of the creation of a term paper.

Often simple mistakes are the most common mistakes made in writing a term paper. An example of this type of mistake is when the wrong word is used in the paragraph such as it's instead of its or than and then. Simple words mistakes can be irritating to an instructor.

A not-so-common mistake is the proper use of ellipsis periods. Ellipsis should be used to indicate something has been omitted in a quote. Only three should be used. If the quote already has a period, then four periods will actually be used. Never should there be two or five periods.

A common mistake students make in writing term papers is using only the spell check without proofreading the paper. A term paper should be proofread several times before turning it into the instructor.

Another common mistake is not having the paper organized with thesis, main points and evidence. The best way to do this is to create an outline. It should have an introduction that will hook the reader and a conclusion that wraps the term paper up with clarity. A common mistake of students is they fail to give the reader something to take away with them. A nugget of information they will remember long after reading the term paper.

Often students make the common mistake of not knowing how to thoroughly research the topic. The first step in research is to check dictionaries and encyclopedias for the definition and meaning of the topic in precise terms. This should be followed up with references from books, journals and the Internet. A student should read the reviews of the books they plan to list as sources because these often give useful information about the books. Knowing keywords to use with Internet searching is important because a little twist on the terms will often be the keys to finding more information on a topic.

Some common mistakes in term paper writing are using redundancies. For instance, a storm is a terrible storm or a shake is a milkshake. Leave these out along with unnecessary intensifiers such as a very small kitten or a huge large tomato. If the words do not actually add meaning then leave them out.

Another common mistake with term papers is failing to make the thesis of the paper clear. Organizing thoughts by creating an outline is important. Use note cards to write down quotes as well as the sources. It is important for the source to be complete and consistent. However, a term paper should be more than word-for-word sources. The failure to put information from the writer's point of view makes the reading boring.

Another common mistake is students trying to use philosophical styles to empress the instructor. All this really shows is the student has failed to understand the topic as well as obtaining the right sources to explain the thesis.

Another common mistake is failure to wrap the topic up completely. It is important to restate the thesis with a review of the main points. Often a common mistake of term papers is the failure to analyze the topic using quality sources.

The last mistake students often make is the failure to do a thorough job of proofreading the term paper before it is turned into the instructor. Proofreading cannot be emphasized enough. It is a vital part of making a term paper great. Check to make sure the correct grammar and punctuation has been used.