Research papers are a prominent aspect of academic life. Most courses will often have students submitting a research paper to attain passing grades towards the end of the semester. This makes research paper writing an essential skill that students often need to brush up on to get good grades. Many striving students will spend months on their research until they have enough to write into their research paper. Of course, after that, there will be many all-nighters and coffee drinks before they submit the paper on deadline day. Even after all this effort, some of them will have missed the mark. This is because they may have committed certain mistakes that can end up costing them valuable marks. There are various dos and don'ts of research paper writing that you will have to keep in mind when you write a research paper. In this article, we will discuss 5 of them each.
The Dos of Research Paper Writing
1. Use Objective Language
This is a common mistake that most students will make because they forget that their converse is very different from research paper writing. A research paper requires complete objectivity in its language to convey facts and any research presented in the document. This is to ensure that there are no prejudices or assumptions when writing. In a sense, you are supposed to let the content of your paper do the talking. Avoid talking about your feelings and using slang in your writing. It is also essential that you write in the third person rather than first-person.
2. Use Technical Language
Following up from the previous Do, using technical words is another plus to make yourself sound more objective. This means using terms and vocabulary that conform to the topic you are writing about. The intention here is not to sound fancy but rather to show confidence to the reader. It helps them realize that you understand the subject and will make them trust your judgment.
3. Use Scholarly Sources
Another mistake that students will make is using non-scholarly resources. This means using sites that do not provide any proof or research, which significantly weakens their argument. No matter how well they write, if they cite weak or irrelevant references, then chances are professors will penalize you for it. Try using scholarly articles and references in your research.
4. Use a Varied Sentence Structure
Using the same format of sentences can often get tedious as it will make your writing feel monotonous. There is a lot of information involved with research papers, which makes students try to fit it in long sentences. This can make readers get bored of your writing. It can be a good idea, therefore, to mix up your sentences. Try cutting up long sentences into shorter ones, so there is a nice variation in your paper.
Not proofreading their research paper is another mistake that students make. This is because many of them will leave their research paper till the deadline. This will result in them not prioritizing proofreading, resulting in many mistakes remaining in their paper. This is why it can be a good idea to keep a spare a few days for proofreading so that your paper can be at its best.
The Don'ts of Research Paper Writing
1. Don't Use Personal Language
You should avoid using personal language in your papers. This is because it can take away from your paper's formal tone, which is crucial for research papers. This includes talking about yourself in the first person. In research papers, your facts and content should do the talking more to achieve an unbiased stance.
2. Don't use unnecessary vocabulary
Unnecessary vocabulary can dilute the content of your research and can end up frustrating your readers. Many students will end up adding such words to reach a word limit set by their professors. This is why it can be a good idea to write above a minimum word limit and then remove filler content.
3. Don't fabricate facts
You must be as honest as possible when writing research. Making up facts so that you can fill in content is a bad practice. If you get caught by someone, it can result in a severe penalty or, at minimum, a reduction of marks.
4. Don't plagiarize
Copying off another student's paper is another bad practice that can result in expulsion from a university. Even if you try to cover up your plagiarism as much as possible, there is still a chance a more advanced checker can catch you out.
5. Don't use informal fonts
Whenever you are writing a research paper, you should make sure it is in an appropriate format. Most research papers are recommended to be written in Time New Roman as it is a clear font that is legible. Avoid using fancy formats that can make your content hard to read.
The bottom line
Research papers are customary of educational institutes as is something no student can avoid. There are several reasons why a research paper will not get awarded a good grade. In this article, we have discussed ways you can ensure you increase the chance of writing an excellent research paper.