The worst research papers: examples not to follow
It is sad but true that many students find ways and means to produce a bad research paper. The really sad thing about a bad research paper is that with a little time and effort the lousy parts can be removed and the research paper turned into something very successful. Here are some common mistakes or situations which produce a good example of a bad research paper.
- laziness with quotes
- summary not semantics
- irrelevant information
- using the wrong word
In many research papers you will need to acknowledge the source of your information. You will even include quotations particularly in social science and literary themed research papers. There are two common mistakes here. The first is not citing the quotation correctly. The college or school will give you clear instructions regarding the layout of your paper. Follow these instructions to the letter. And the second mistake is in not explaining the point you want to make but rather cheat by allowing the quotation to do it for you. The quote should be there to back up the point you make clearly. You explain it in your own words.
There is no excuse for typographical errors sometimes known as typos. Incorrect spelling and incorrect grammar are not acceptable. Again it is often laziness and lack of attention to detail which brings the research paper undone.
It is important that you understand the importance of a good summary. You are making a point, establishing an argument and you need to be able to write a precise but concise summary of your argument. You do not want to get bogged down in the right or wrong of a particular point, avoid semantics. Less is more is a good rule to follow.
You need to provide relevant information in your research paper. A bad research paper includes irrelevant information. Ask yourself the question, “Does this information support the argument I am presenting?” If not, cut this irrelevant information.
Again through laziness or perhaps ignorance, many research papers lose credibility by using the wrong word. For example affect and effect are sometimes used incorrectly. These sorts of simple but important mistakes can be avoided by paying attention to the editing and polishing of your research paper.
Copy from the best
One way to avoid producing a bad example of a research paper is to study good research papers. See what makes them good. List those qualities and then use those good qualities or characteristics in your own research papers.