English Mistakes Commonly Made in A Dissertation – How to Avoid?

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English Mistakes Commonly Made in A Dissertation – How to Avoid? November 11, 2022

A dissertation can be referred to as an academic submission that involves data collected from the research conducted by the students. Its purpose is to provide substantial data-based answers to a question or proposition selected by the students. Generally, the dissertation is required to acquire a P.H.D. Regardless, it remains the most extended academic writing you will do to earn your degree.

Elements like solid research, impeccable writing, proper analysis, and adequate citations combine to create a perfect dissertation. Students from regions like the U.S., U.K., Australia, and South Asian countries where English is used as the medium of education have to write their dissertations in English. 

Writing a perfect dissertation without mistakes could challenge native speakers and students who use English as their second language. They are likely to make several types of mistakes while articulating a dissertation. Including mistakes in a dissertation at this level of education will create a negative impression. Therefore, students must know the types of common mistakes that are made while writing a dissertation and what are some effective methods to avoid those mistakes. 

In this article, we will discuss the most common mistakes and their solutions to help you formulate an excellent dissertation. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, read this blog until the end. 

What are Some Commonly Made Mistakes in a Dissertation?

Here we will outline several mistakes that are commonly made in dissertations submitted by students. These include:

1. Spelling Mistakes

The first significant mistake students usually make while writing their dissertations is spelling mistakes or typos. Generally, a spelling mistake can change the word’s meaning and, ultimately, the whole sentence. For example, the words’ effect’ and ‘affect’ may sound similar, but their meanings are different, and you can’t use them together.

2. Wrong Words Selection

The selection of wrong words is yet another mistake that is likely to happen in dissertations submitted by the students. There could be multiple types of incorrect word selections. Sometimes, it can occur because of confusion. For instance, you may confuse personal and personnel with each other. Similarly, there are a lot of chances to need clarification on principal and principles. Additionally, you may select a word that individually gives the meaning you have used it for. However, if you haven’t considered the context, you may change the meaning of an entire sentence or even a paragraph. 

3. Incorrect Quantifiers

Quantifiers are the words used to define the number of items and individuals. However, it is observed that students choose incorrect quantifiers while writing about items in a larger quantity. For instance, you can’t use a few quantifiers while referring to items that exist in a large number. It will be only used for items or individuals that count up to 2. Similarly, while referring to a considerable amount of time, you can’t write a lot of time’. Instead, it is better to use much time or other more suitable quantifiers for this purpose.

4. Issues with Punctuating Numbers

You will likely make mistakes in your dissertation while punctuating numbers, such as adding commas, periods, and apostrophes where these elements are not needed. For instance, you may try to outline the price of a substance by writing it in numbers such as $500,000.00. However, you may end up writing it like this 500.000,00. Doing so will change the amount and make it invalid in mathematical writing. Similarly, you can’t add apostrophes after the starting year while defining a decade. For example, the 1960’s is incorrect; the correct way to write it is the 1960s.

5. Inability to Use ‘Respectively’ Where Needed

According to the defined and implemented rules of the English language, the term is used in sentences where you tend to determine the order of objects or individuals. However, it has been noticed that many students often forget to use this term where it is needed to bring clarity to the sentence. For instance, the sentence, “David, George, and Angelina secured 56, 71, and 64 marks,” will fail to clarify the marks secured by the individuals mentioned above. But, on the other hand, if you write the same sentence in this way, “David, George, and Angelina secured 56, 71, and 64 marks, respectively”, the reader will automatically understand that the secured marks are written in the same order.

6. Use of Longer Sentences

Writing longer sentences could be another problem while writing dissertations. You have to take care that the length of the sentence is normal and it is perfectly understandable. Longer sentences not only affect the readability of the writing but also produce an overall negative impression. Therefore, it is better to keep the lengths of sentences normal and use transition phases where needed to relate individual sentences with each other.

7. Capitalization Mistakes

Students are much more likely to make capitalization mistakes while writing their dissertations. For example, it is often observed that all letters included in abbreviations are not capitalized. Moreover, there are chances of words and sentences written using capital letters when there is no reason to apply capitalization. Such mistakes will only produce a negative impression.

8. Mistakes Regarding Selection of Prepositional Phrases

Another mistake that will likely happen during the dissertation preparation is the wrong selection of prepositions or prepositional phrases. For instance, if you have ended a sentence but want to continue the discussion in the same context, you will not write prepositional phrases like next to or start the following sentence. Instead, the ideal way to start the next sentence is to use a phrase like “in addition to.”

9. Problems in Choosing Appropriate Words

Students may experience problems in choosing appropriate words at some places while writing a dissertation. For instance, you can’t write the term research plural because it is an uncountable noun. Moreover, you may write further in place while adding to the context established in the previous sentence, but it is the wrong approach. Similarly, you may try to use which and that interchangeably is not the right practice.

How to Avoid the Dissertation Mistakes?

As we have discussed, students will likely make the most common English mistakes in their dissertations. It’s time to move toward the solution to these mistakes. We have discussed a few practical methods below to help you avoid these mistakes. Read on to Know More:

1. Keep an eye out for Mistakes While Writing

The first and foremost approach to avoiding mistakes is to stay vigilant while writing content. Break the whole range into individual portions and try to go through these portions manually after writing to rectify mistakes made in them. It will help you get rid of a large number of errors in real-time.

2. Use an Efficient Grammar Checking Tool 

Another way to avoid mistakes in your dissertation is to use an efficient online grammar checker that can highlight multiple types of mistakes, such as spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, and grammatical mistakes. This way, you can eliminate many errors that go unnoticed during the manual proofreading phase. 

3. Consult a Professional Editor 

While manual proofreading and automated solutions will help you eliminate grammatical mistakes, typos, spelling, and punctuation, it is still better to go for a second option. Consulting a professional proofreader for this purpose is a great approach to avoid mistakes that fall into vague sentences, false sentence structure, and wrong selection of words. 

Conclusion:

A dissertation is an extended form of writing; if it is prepared without paying proper attention, it is much more likely to contain several types of mistakes. These mistakes can become the reason behind a negative impression. Therefore, it is necessary to know the commonly made mistakes in the dissertation and practical methods to avoid them. Hopefully, this article will help you learn about common English mistakes in dissertations and how to correct them. We wish you luck with the process of writing and submitting your dissertation!