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Common Mistakes in College Term Papers

  • By Daniel Millions
  • Published 03/6/2009
  • Writing

College term papers are usually assigned in the middle of a term or at the end in the form of a final. There are different types of college term papers you may have to write throughout your academic life. While you may be familiar with college term papers, you may be one of the people who make reoccurring mistakes in your writing. Here is an account of the 4 common mistakes you should avoid in college term papers. Mistake #1 Use of flowery language: When we want to appeal to our professors, we tend to gravitate towards a thesaurus to look for elaborate words that replace simple words. You do not shine in a professor’s eye by using words that you, or worse, he does not know the meaning of. Your term papers will not deliver genuine knowledge and opinions but rather fragmented pieces of the English language. You want your college term papers to flow and be coherent. Stick to simple but advanced words so that your sentences make sense. It is acceptable and often recommended to seek a thesaurus for alternative words when you keep using the same word over and over, but make sure you know the definition of the words you are using. Mistake #2 Use of generalizations: We often turn to beginning sentences that generalize ideas.

Each of the phrases listed generalize an idea to follow. There aren’t precise measures taken to really identify what is the most im

portant idea and do not mention anyone as the first person to accomplish something because there may have been a predecessor. To rephrase some of these with more accuracy, you can say one of the most common. That way, you are not putting yourself in the seat of making a decision. Mistake #3 Redundancies: Many times, people believe that they need to add in words to make a sentence more accurate and meaty. You can state your point in a simplified way so that your writing is readily understood. It is acceptable to elaborate at times, but every sentence should not be a never ending one that says the same thing more than once. For example, if you want to present the idea that something takes place just use the word now or currently rather than at this point in time. In addition, when you put two words side by side that mean the same thing, you are being redundant. For example, windy hurricane, shouting loudly or a terrible trauma are phrases that use two words that roughly mean the same. Hurricanes are windy, shouts are loud, and traumas cannot be anything but terrible. By watching out for these 3 common mistakes, you can be sure to turn in a college term paper that tells the reader exactly what it is supposed to say without resorting to extra words, generalizations, or meta-discourse.

College term papers are important for your educational experience and you often will have to write more than one. Therefore, you should adopt a writing style that is clear and effective for your audience.



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