Editing is crucial to the success of a term paper. However, most students stop at the writing of the term paper, forego the proofreading and editing processes, and submit their papers to their professors. The result is a poor grade owing to the overflow of mistakes inherent in the paper. The content may be excellent, but if there are grammar and spelling mistakes, the professor will penalize you, resulting in a lower grade than you expected. The following are some of the mistakes that are common in term papers if editing is overlooked.

  • Fragmented sentences – these are groups of words that seem like a complete sentence, but are not because they do not contain an independent clause. An independent clause is one with both a verb and a subject, and has the ability to stand on its own.
  • Improper use of commas – there are several ways that students end up misusing commas. For instance, it is incorrect to place a comma before the word “that.” This word is in a sentence to introduce a restrictive clause, which is necessary for the sentence to retain its meaning. Another common comma mistake is using a comma to separate a verb from the subject in a sentence. This creates a disjointed sentence that is grammatically incorrect, and creates unnecessary breaks in the sentence. Furthermore, many students often use commas to separate verbs, which is another improper use of commas.
  • Dangling participles – these are words that end in –ing, but do not have a connection with the subject of the sentence. The result is an incomplete and incoherent sentence that disturbs the flow of the paragraph.
  • Improper spelling – poor spelling is perhaps one of the most annoying mistakes a professor can find when going through a student’s term paper. Spelling mistakes occur mainly because the student is typing too fast, or is unsure of the spelling of the word. If the student does not bother to use the spell-checkers found on their word processors, then they will end up with a lot of spelling mistakes. In addition, there are some spelling mistakes that the in-built spell checker cannot identify. This is why it is essential to look up spellings on the Internet and dictionaries before submitting the work to the professor.
  • Improper use of contractions- most students will subconsciously use text language while writing their essays resulting in several annoying contractions throughout their term papers. Contractions are not permissible in writing unless the student is quoting directly from a text that includes contractions.
  • Improper usage of words- misplaced or misused words are another common eyesore in unedited college term papers. Misusing words is especially common with terms that are usually confused with one another. In addition, some students have a problem of using big terms that they are not particularly familiar with the use. Thus, the professor ends up seeing complex words that have been used in the wrong context.

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