Learning from someone else’s mistakes doesn’t seem so difficult, but we keep repeating the same errors over and over again. Why does it happen? The answer is simple. We don’t pay much attention to detail and don’t dedicate enough time to the theory and go straight to the practice. 

That’s not the best approach to academic writing. Without learning all the rules, you’ll keep getting low grades even if your ideas are original and your perspective is fresh. Below, you’ll find the list of the most common mistakes that you can make while writing an academic paper. Reading this article doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always avoid them, but it will undoubtedly increase your chances to compose a decent essay.

Wrong Formatting

Academic writing isn’t all about new ideas and discoveries. It’s also about clarity, standards, and passing your studies on to other scientists in an understandable and precise way. Different academic writing formats were created for this exact purpose. The most common ones are MLA, APA, Oxford, Harvard, and Vancouver. 

When as a writer you start the writing process, you should find the instruction regarding the required format and stick to them throughout your paper. 

Vague Statements

Leave hidden meanings, metaphors, and symbolism to creative writers! An academic paper isn’t the right place for literary devices. Ambiguity and unclarity won’t do you any good: you’ll only get your readers irritated as they’re looking for valuable information in your text, not some fancy phrases. Keep it simple, precise, and consistent!

Lack of Facts and Other Arguments

Expressing your opinion and sharing your thoughts on a topic is a must in the majority of academic papers. However, writing an essay, article, or research paper isn’t the same as writing a diary. You have to be compelling and build a strong argumentative strategy in academic writing skills. Without facts, statistical data, or quotes from reputable sources, your paper won’t get any credibility.

Lack of Resources

There is nothing new under the sun. When you create your academic paper, you have to go through the previous research on the topic. Analyzing resources is an integral part of the writing process. An appropriate number of sources depends on the length of your paper. If you’re dealing with an essay, there is no need to cite dozens of books. If your goal is to compose a decent dissertation, the number of resources can go up to a hundred.

Clichés and Slang

It’s not called academic writing style for nothing. There are rules and restrictions that you should remember while composing your papers. Avoiding clichés and slang seems like an obvious recommendation, but inexperienced writers frequently make this mistake and fail to use proper terminology and correct wording.

Poor English

Original thoughts are appreciated by academics, but they are intolerant when it comes to scientific language. Scanty vocabulary, wrong wording, and grammar and spelling mistakes will spoil the impression of your paper and kill your grade. If your English is not perfect, we highly recommend applying to an essay service with a good reputation and getting assistance from professional writers

Bad structure

Academic style regulates not only how you write your papers, but also how you structure them. It’s necessary for understanding and evaluating academic texts. As a rule, you start with an introduction, then go to the main part, and finish with conclusions. Besides, you have to break your text into chapters and paragraphs sp that your potential readers understand the logic behind your research.

Beating Around the Bush

Providing your readers with background information about the subject of your research is crucial. But we highly don’t recommend going back to the creation of the Earth. A lengthy introduction will bore your readers, and you have the opposite goal. From the very beginning, you need to provoke their interest in your topic and not scare them away with a bunch of unnecessary details.

False Information

Your reputation is a valuable asset in the academic world. If you sabotage your own work by adding unchecked data to your papers at least once, this negligence can negatively affect your whole future career in the scientific domain. It’s better to spend a few extra hours on fact-checking than to become notorious for sloppy writing.


There is a thin line between borrowing someone else’s ideas to prove your own point of few and stealing intellectual property. First of all, proper citing is a must. Secondly, you can’t build your whole text on paraphrased excerpts. They should be an add-on, not the main part of your work. Finally, without original ideas, your paper won’t have any significant value. So, stay true to yourself and check your texts with reliable software to detect any unintentionally plagiarized parts.

We hope our warnings will be useful for you and that you’ll stay away from these mistakes. However, the most direct way to perfection is constant practice. Compose academic papers regularly, and your confidence and skills will grow naturally.