Have any questions? Live chat

Writing Blog

The Most Widespread Mistakes in Academic Writing

June 15, 2018| Category: Writing Tips

To submit a successful academic paper, it is not enough to write it perfectly and structure according to the requirements. An important role is played by the post-writing stage where the writer revises the paper (in terms of editing and proofreading). In our article below, we will provide you with a list of the most common mistakes found in academic papers.


  • Spelling mistakes

Even though standard text processors help detect spelling mistakes, you should not merely rely on the programs but also spend some time proofreading the paper on your own. Spelling mistakes are really common and whenever there are lots of such minor mistakes in the text, a paper will provide a negative impression on your professor.

  • Grammar mistakes

These mistakes are especially widespread among those students who are not native speakers of English. It is hard to write academic papers for people who are not proficient in English. Thus, special attention should be paid to identifying and correcting grammatical mistakes as they can distort the message you intend to convey.

  • Typographical mistakes

Commonly known as typos, they are typically made in the process of typing the paper. If you are typing quickly as you are short of time, you might be inattentive to what and how you are typing. To avoid mistakes, check your text with the help of online spell-checkers or simply proofread the paper carefully after finishing it.

  • Relying on spell-checking software

Many mistakes are overlooked when you do not revise the paper on your own (manually) but only rely on software that traces spelling or grammar mistakes. Despite the progress in technology, spell-checkers cannot be compared to a human eye and attention. There will always be mistakes that are left after software checking. Therefore, be attentive and do not be lazy to ensure the perfect quality of your paper.

  • Punctuation errors

The biggest problem and confusion is associated with punctuation mistakes. Students struggle hard with punctuation rules, as often there are many exceptions and specific rules that exclude one another. Comma, apostrophe, colon, and semi-colon usage are the aspects that completely confuse some writers.

  • Improper Usage of Subject/ Verb Agreement

One of the basic rules of the English language is that the subject and the verb should stand in agreement with each other in all sentences. They should agree in terms of number and tense. For example, a noun used in the singular requires a single verb. A noun used in the plural demands the usage of a plural verb.

  • Sentence Fragments and Run-on Sentences

Sentence fragments are not regarded as fully-developed sentences as they are incomplete and do not convey full idea/ message.

A run-on sentence mistake is a contrary one to the comma splice. A run-on sentence occurs when you want to combine two sentences joined by a coordinating conjunction into one compound sentence. In run-on sentences, there are neither semi-colons nor commas. Sometimes the error takes place when there is no punctuation mark at the end of a sentence before the beginning of a new one.

  • Improper modifier usage

Improperly used modifiers, namely misplaced modifiers or dangling modifiers, may distort the idea of the sentence. When used properly, modifiers should stand next to the word they are defining. If they do not stand in the right place (after some other word), it means that they are automatically perceived as modifiers for some other word.

  • Improper usage of verbs

One of the most widespread mistakes refers to the correct usage of irregular verbs as even native speakers do not always know them perfectly well. Another mistake with verb usage lies in the consistency of tenses. When you provide an essay, an article or a composition, it is advisable to narrate the events in one tense.

  • Incorrect pronouns usage

First of all, the replacement of nouns with pronouns should be done taking into consideration the number (whether the noun is singular or plural). Second, you should pay attention to whether the objects you are talking about are inanimate or animate (this should be considered when using “which,” “that” or “who”).

Keep the list of mistakes in mind and you will surely avoid them in the future. At least, do your best and demonstrate professional approach when proofreading your papers and tracking mistakes.

"sandwich" approach A+ essay abstract abstract writing academic paper academic paper outline academic papers academic paper writing academic requirements academic sources academic writer academic writing academic writing issues academic writing rules academic writing tips active and passive voice in research writing active voice additive transitions adversative transitions a good book report a good summary AI-generated content AI-generated writing AI detection software tools AI detectors Alternative hypothesis an introduction to academic writing annotated bibliography annotation APA style appeals to trust and connection argument argument analysis argument analysis assignment argument analysis essay argumentative essay argumentative writing argument paragraph arguments article articles a thesis statement become a better writer become a writing guru bias bias-free writing blogs Bloom’s Taxonomy body paragraph body sentences boost academic vocabulary brainstorming business capitalization capitalization rule capitalize capstone paper capstone project career career in writing causal transitions challenges a new freelance writer may face with characteristics of academic writing chronological order citation cite the source clarity in writing clients closing sentences coherent academic writing college essays college writing common mistakes comparative essay compare and contrast paragraph complex assignment Complex hypothesis concept map concluding paragraph concluding sentence conclusion conclusion in academic writing conclusion in an essay conclusion writing conduct a search content content writing coordination counterargument Covid-19 creating concluding sentences creating PowerPoint presentations credible resources credible sources customer feedback decode instructions decoding professors’ instructions definition of proofreading descriptive headings descriptive paragraph diagrams difference between a literature review and an annotated bibliography division double quotation marks edit your writing effective conclusion effective headings effective paragraph elements of academic language elements of paper writing emotional appeals Empirical hypothesis essay's conclusion essay mistakes essay paragraph essay pitfalls essays essay structure essays writing essays writing tips essays writitng tips essay writing ethos explain complex concepts expository essay features of academic writing figure figures and tables first-person pronouns flow of ideas free freelance freelance jobs freelancer freelance writer freelance writers freelance writing freelance writing business Google in academic writing graphs handling difficult tasks headings heuristics high-quality papers higher-level headings high grades high school-level composition high school assignments how reading helps you become a better writer how to avoid plagiarism how to write how to write a good film review how to write capstone paper how to write phd hypothesis hypothesis writing important improve writing skills in-text citations incorporation of visuals intellectual property interpret instructions intransitive verb introduction introduction paragraph introductory paragraph italics italics for titles job journal judgmental language language and style literature review Logical hypothesis logos lower-level headings main point of the paragraph make the article engaging meeting deadlines meeting the requirements meet the deadlines methodology methodology chapter methodology section MLA style narrative paragraph non-descriptive heading note taking Null hypothesis objective tone objective writing objectivity online online writers opening paragraph opinion essay order of importance outline outline writing paper outline papers parallelism paraphrase paraphrasing passive voice past simple pathos peer response peer review personal pronouns personal response personal response essay personal response paper persuasion persuasive essay persuasive writing PhD research proposal plagiarism plan for writing planning popular and scholarly sources popular sources positive feedback PowerPoint presentation PowerPoint Presentation tips PPT PPTs presenting data in figures and tables present perfect present simple primary research problems writers face procrastination profession professional freelance writer pronouns proofreading tips qualitative methods quality quantitative methods quotation marks quotation marks for titles quote quoting racist and sexist biases in AI papers reduce word count redundancy redundant reliable sources repetition repetitive sentences repetitive writing reputable sources research research paper research paper in college research paper in high school research paper writing revising an essay rhetoric rhetorical devices rules of academic writing satisfy your customers scholarly archives scholarly materials scholarly sources second-person pronouns secondary research sentence structure sequential transitions Simple hypothesis simplifying complex assignments single quotation marks skills sources spatial order specificity spell checker spelling spelling error spelling rules start writing statistical data in academic papers Statistical hypothesis statistics statistics in academic writing stop procrastinating stress and creativity strong topic sentences structure of an expository essay subheadings subordination success successful academic writing successful papers successful paraphrasing suitable concluding sentences summary summary writing supporting evidence synthesis paper synthesize information synthesize sources table tables tables/graphs/charts task list as a guide techniques for writing summaries techniques to explain a difficult subject tenses in academic writing text structure the contents of the paper the main intention of the assignment thesis statement the structure of body paragraphs thinking levels third-person pronouns time management tips on revising an essay tips to writing a PhD research proposal tips to writing a social science paper token sentences topic of the paragraph topic sentence transitional words transitions transition terms transitive and intransitive verbs transitive verb types of academic texts typical writing problems unique idea use Google for research utilizing AI tools in academic papers vocabulary vocabulary building well-structured essay what writers can learn from reading novels word choice word count work wrap sentences write a conclusion writer writer job write unique texts writing writing a book report writing a film review writing a good PhD research proposal writing an A+ film review writing an essay writing an outline writing a paragraph writing as profession writing a statement writing a summary writing burnout writing clear writing errors writing essays writing fast writing hacks writing job writing mistakes writing mood writing papers writing pitfalls writing process writing skills writing style writing tips