Common Errors in Academic Writing to Know and Avoid

Every student writes an academic paper with the hope of scoring great grades. However, at times, a student might not always get the desired grade, despite having structured the paper in the required manner, included solid points related to the topic or subject, and formatted the paper according to the highlighted requirements.

Have you ever wondered what could contribute to lower grades? It is all about some small mistakes during the writing process that contributes to bad grades. While errors in writing are inevitable, a student can apply some measures to ensure the final paper is clean and error-free before submission.

Therefore, if you have been trying to understand common errors in scientific writing and how to evade such errors for that dream grade, keep reading.

What are the ten most common errors made in research papers?

The following types of errors in writing are common, especially in academic and research papers. Be sure to note them and avoid them for better grades:

1. A weak thesis statement

Research and other academic papers require a student to include a solid thesis statement that will explain the central focus of the topic or subject matter. When you use a weak thesis statement, you might confuse the ideas and concepts and end up mixing points that will make your paper lose the desired meaning.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to take time, evaluate your question, then come up with a thesis statement. Be sure to revise the thesis statement until you are satisfied the claim is valid and related to the topic.

2. Long and confusing sentences

Academic papers need to have simple and precise sentences that a reader can interpret with ease. Including long sentences will force you to use many phrases and wordings that can be confusing and make the point irrelevant.

The best way to avoid such a mistake is the consistent practice of writing simple sentences on different topics.

Still, you can always read through your sentences, put yourself in the reader’s space and imagine if they will find the sentence hard or simple to interpret. Should you realize the complexity of the sentence, revise it as you remove irrelevant words and phrases.

3. Failure to proofread the work

Everyone believes in what they have written. However, there are common mistakes in writing you can’t evade, no matter how keen you are.

Therefore, for academic work, always go through the paper once more, reading aloud to identify any mistake in the paper and rectify it before submission.

4. Wrong word

We have some words that are almost similar but portray different meanings. A slight confusion will give your paper a whole new meaning and make it sound irrelevant. Therefore, make sure you understand the words and phrases you use while writing your academic paper.

5. Spelling mistakes

Although there are softwares to perform quick spell checks in a document, some misspellings will always happen, making your paper to have low-quality. Therefore, even if you use these softwares to check the spelling, always re-read through your work, or rather give someone to check the work, identifying such misspells.

6. Research mistakes

Academic papers require a student to perform in-depth research. Poor research may result in poorly formatted and referenced documents, biased findings, and unclear statements, among other issues. Therefore, avoid common research mistakes by evaluating the materials and resources you use before you start the writing process.

7. Punctuation mistakes

A simple comma, quotation mark, or any other punctuation mark can create a totally different meaning of the context you want to express. Therefore, always revise to ensure all punctuations are in place.

8. Lack of solid evidence to back up your claims

Every point you present in your research paper must have solid evidence. Therefore, make sure you present points or a thesis that has enough evidence to back up the claims.

9. Lack of originality

There is no doubt that during research, you can use someone’s work, either by quoting or paraphrasing. However, make sure you describe the ideas in your own understanding to make the reader understand in relation to the topic.

10. Formatting and referencing mistakes

Again, academic papers usually come with specific formatting and referencing requirements and guidelines. Whether it is MLA, APA, or Chicago, make sure you understand the basic formatting requirements first.

How to check document for writing errors in word

Once you have your paper, you need to review the document in word to eliminate common errors in writing.

Simply click on the review tab, then select the spelling and grammar option to fix the highlighted errors.

Still, you can install grammar, spell checker, and plagiarism software in your word to ease the process.


Making mistakes while writing academic papers is unavoidable. However, this doesn’t imply submitting a sub-standard paper. Try applying the above techniques when writing or after writing your paper for great results.

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