The Correct Term Paper Structure: Avoiding Common Mistakes

You should know the most frequent mistakes that students make when writing a term paper in order to properly create your documents. By taking a look at this article, you will save some precious writing & editing time. You will be able to have your term paper ready sooner and, thus, you will have more time to spend in proofreading.

The following list summarizes some of the most common mistakes in academic writing:

  • Using quotes. In some fields, you will not need to use any quotes whatsoever. This is the case of science articles, where quotes are rarely used. On the other hand, you may need to quote authors in Literature, Philosophy, etc.
  • Using the correct verb tenses. This is a concerning issue which must be corrected. The use of the wrong tense may confuse the reader and project a negative image about your writing skills. Watch out! As a general rule, present tense is used to introduce facts and past simple tense is used to refer to a certain event in the past. Also avoid mixing tenses.

These are the most common mistakes in paper structure that students commit in a frequent basis:

  • The correct order of the sections. If you are unsure about what outline to use for your next term paper, look for some samples of similar documents. The most accepted structure includes an abstract, introduction, data presentation, analysis/methodology and a conclusion. You can add more sections if required but sometimes it may be redundant, especially if you lack data to fill the additional sections.
  • Avoid unnecessary sections. You should maintain the section number at a minimum. The extent of your research will determine what parts are useful to include. For instance, if you have a lot of tables, it may be useful to have a list of tables at the end but, otherwise, it is of no use.
  • Do not oversimplify nor overextend. Unless you are given certain requirements, you may be able to decide how much information to include in your article. Your text should be complete on its own.
  • Irrelevant information. Keep the text as objective as possible. In a frequent basis, there is no room for personal opinions in a term paper. Focus on presenting the data and stating a strong thesis. In addition, you should back your main premise up.

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