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Common Errors in Research Report Writing

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By nseemmanuel
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ABSTRACT Research assignments give you an opportunity to demonstrate practically the skills and knowledge learnt so far in class within the end of a particular study. This article highlighted some common mistakes made by students in research paper writing. Textbooks, internet, and correction given during class seminar presentation constituted the sources of information gathered. It was realized that in the effort to give the best in writing research papers, students unconsciously make mistakes in topic selection, objectives of research, writing format hypothesis or thesis statement, literature review, research methodology, paragraphing, use of tense in sentence construction, referencing and quoting to mention but a few. This writing also incorporated some tips in avoiding these mistakes mentioned and therefore concluded and recommended that The mistakes stated above should be avoided at all cost when writing research papers. They can contribute to low grades or disqualification of your project. Therefore, it is advisable that students seek for guidance from their instructors or professionals in research papers writing.

INRODUCTION
Research assignments give you an opportunity to demonstrate practically the skills and knowledge learnt in class. In the effort to give the best in writing research papers, students unconsciously make mistakes. This article highlights common mistakes students make in research paper writing especially in their early days of undertaking research assignments. COMMON ERRORS IN RESEARCH REPORT WRITING
Topic selection some students’ select wide topics making it difficult to provide a satisfactory answer. On the other hand, the topics can be too narrow that the writer does not have room to explore.
Objectives of the research ; Coming up with very ambitious research objectives, lacking a depth in research, presenting descriptive researches and failure to create a link between your research objectives and realities on the ground.
Writing formats; Using more than one format in writing research papers, for instance, giving in text citation in Harvard and the bibliography in APA.
Hypothesis or thesis statement; Formulating or creating a general hypothesis or thesis statement that does not address a particular issue, and creating a trivial thesis statement or hypothesis that cannot be tested because of unavailability of data.
Literature review; Focusing on general literature as opposed to literature specific to your project, giving titles for sources and the names of authors, and using outdated resource materials.

Research methodology
• Using data collection and analysis methods that are not suitable to the research,
• Applying in adequate methods,- some researches require that you use more than one method to get the desired results
• Methods that do not demonstrate a clear relationship between data collected and variables under investigation.
Incoherent Paragraphs ; Paragraphing as the key unit of research report should have its essential qualities which are unity and coherentness. Unity such that it deals with only one main idea or topic which every sentence in the paragraph relates to and coherent in that the each sentence in the paragraph must develop the point naturally and logically.
Use of Colloquial expression; these are expressions or language used in informal situations. A colloquial expression diffuses meanings and may be interpreted differently by different readers but since research writing is a formal writing therefore should be treated as such..
Wrong Word Choice; Choose a word that means exactly what you intend them to mean, and that would mean the same thing to your readers to avoid misinterpretation.
Outmoded / Overworked Words and Phrase refer to Oyetunde O.O (2002:93) in Writing Research projects
For example; Avoid Use At all time always by means of by along the lines of like at that time then due to the fact that as, because, since
Unnecessary Repetitions Refer to O.O Oyetunde (2002 :92)
For example; Avoid Use And etc Both alike alike may perhaps may Loose out loose at about about Summaries briefly summaries Direct Quotes; When you write a paper related to literature, history, current events, and many other fields, direct quotes may be essential to a full discussion of the subject. In science, there is very rarely any call for a direct quote. On student papers, there is no reason at all to include direct quotes, except in the case when the student doesn't understand the concept and uses the quote to avoid having to explain it his/herself. Obviously, this doesn't go over too well with the grader. As a rule, do not use direct quotes in a scholarly technical paper. Your own thoughts must be expressed, not those of someone else. Grammar and spelling Error; Spelling errors in a paper make you look amateurish. For example, absorbance is read from a spectrophotometer. You don't read absorbency from a spectrometer. Grammar and spelling error can change the entire meaning of your writing. One letter changes the chemical compound you describe For example I know the action of cycloheximide in eukaryotic cells, but I do not know the action of cyclohexamide. Avoid obvious grammatical errors. However, clear written communication requires proper sentence structure and use of words. Make sure that your sentences are complete, that they make sense when you proofread, and that you have verb/subject agreement. Tips for Avoiding Common Research Paper Mistakes
Composing a research paper is a time, focus, and effort intensive activity that every college and university student must undertake there the following are tips to avoiding the most common mistakes found in research papers.
1. Write Well – Sloppy writing is the number one reason research papers receive low grades and therefore should be avoided.
2. Stay focused – . Wandering off the topic is one of the common focus mistakes made by students.
3. Keep it in perspective – One of the greatest challenges of writing a research paper is determining the major and minor points of the composition. This requires an evaluation of the sources used as well as a decision of which points to emphasize. Confusion of major and minor points is considered a weakness and result in a lower grade than that earned by a research paper with clear priorities.
4. Incorporate references – Too many or too few references within the research paper are common mistakes. Additionally, it is advised to keep correctly cited, direct quotations to a minimum and use them only when they assist with strengthening a point.
5. Write lean – students who write and write and write about one thing over and over is a common mistake that fill the research paper with repetitive, irrelevant, and over-written content. This is a clear sign that the student either has nothing of interest to say on the topic or did not complete adequate research.
6. Bring it up-to-date – The most impressive research papers use all the latest findings and publications in the piece. While historical works can be used and are even desirable for many topics, it is always advised to limit other sources to the last five or ten years.
7. Draw the boundaries – There are literally millions of topics that can be covered with a model research paper, perhaps even more! Many students do not take the time to limit the scope and set the boundaries for their research paper topic. This can lead to many of the mistakes above, which can be avoided simply by narrowing the area to be covered in the model research paper.
8. Follow the citation style – follow a specific citation style for each paper as required. This is not, nor will it be, negotiable! Every detail of APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other format must be followed literally to the letter.
9. Use simple, unity and coherent sentences in a paragraph
10. Avoid the use of colloquial language, unnecessary repetition , outmoded words and phrases. RECOMMENDATION
• The mistakes stated above should be avoided at all cost when writing research papers. They can contribute to low grades or disqualification of your project. Therefore, it is advisable that students seek for guidance from their instructors or professionals in research papers writing.

REFERENCES
Oyetunde O.O (2002). Writing research projects, journal articles, conference papers and documenting references accurately www.Bestessaywritting.com www.indiana.edu’/grant/resources…...

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