Common Errors Made by Students in Term Paper Writing

Make sure you don’t fall into the trap other students have found themselves in. If you know the common mistakes made on college term papers, you can avoid them. Some of these may seem really trivial, but errors cause a reduction in the overall grade of the paper. Don’t let them spoil yours!

Common errors:

  • Not adhering to guidelines.

  • Just make sure you thoroughly read and follow all the instructions. If you’re not sure about something, ask your instructor to clarify.

  • Failure to stay within the page or word limit.

  • It’s really rather simple. If you are over the limit, cut out some of your content. Adding in extra information and then getting docked points because you’re over the limit just isn’t worth it.

  • Incorrect capitalization.

  • Use a style guide if you need to, but just make sure your proper nouns have capitals and don’t use capitals on common ones. For example, England is capitalized but table is not.

  • Incorrect usage of “it’s and its”.

  • Basically, it’s is a contracted form of it is. In every other situation, use its.

  • Poor intro and conclusion.

  • If your introduction isn’t compelling and catching, you’ll end up losing your reader’s interest before they’ve even begun. The intro is one of the most essential components of a good term paper.

  • Neglecting proofreading.

  • There’s no excuse for this. Don’t blindly believe you can write perfect content the first time. Not even famous, published authors would ever skimp on this step. Proofreading takes a paper from good to great.

  • Use of run-on sentences.

  • Please don’t think it is okay to write a sentence that’s so long and even repeats some of the same ideas especially when it has no punctuation to separate parts of the sentence and it just seems to run on and on because it makes for very tedious and boring reading. By the way, that was a run-on sentence! They’re not fun to read, are they?

  • Not properly attaching your pages.

  • You can’t find a stapler and you’re out of paper clips so you fold down the top corners of your essay and hand it in. You hope it will stay together. Chances are it won’t! Never hand in your term paper unless it’s securely attached. Your instructor has many papers to read and doesn’t want to sort through the pile finding all the sheets that came apart from someone’s term paper.