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Top 13 errors Students make when writing their Undergraduate Assignments

Instructors and professors consider many factors when awarding marks for statistics assignment solutions. Your instructor may mark or not mark errors in your solution. If the instructor is more concerned about the grammar of your solution, they may decide to deduct marks for errors in the solution. Others may decide that errors are not very serious and decide to assume them. Many errors may attract the reader to your solution negatively. Therefore, before submitting your assignment, proofread it carefully to remove any errors. Here are the top 20 errors that students make when doing their undergraduate assignments;

1. Wrong word

Wrong word errors can change the meaning of the sentence. Many times students do not know they have used the wrong words. Wrong words can come in the form of a wrong preposition or idiom. Most of these words are changed by spell checkers. Therefore, if you do not understand a word's meaning, check it before using it to ensure that it means exactly what you intended.

2. Missing comma after an introductory element

Many students do not put a comma after an introductory element. In an introductory element, whether a phrase, clause, or word, a comma is important to show where the introductory element ends and where the other sentence starts. If the introductory element does not have a comma, it is not easy to see the location of the subject in the sentence. E.g., Determined to arrive on time, they traveled by air. In this sentence, the subject is "they," which is hard to recognize without the comma.

3. Spelling

Even though technology is helping students avoid most spelling errors, it remains one of the top errors students struggle with. Most spelling checkers do not identify all the misspellings and tend to miss most of the homonyms, compound words, and proper nouns.

4. Errors with quotations

When quoting writings by other people, their voices are brought directly into the arguments. This is shown through quotation marks whereby there are opening and crossing quotation marks. However, many students tend to put the opening quotation marks and forget the closing ones. If you are quoting someone, both the opening and closing quotation marks must be present.

5. Presence of unnecessary commas

Many students add commas where they are not required in a sentence. On many occasions, when commas are added where they are not needed, they obscure the sentence. Do not use a comma to set off a restrictive element when writing a sentence. Additionally, do not use a comma before coordinative conjunctions such as but, and, not, for, yet, so, etc. Additionally, avoid using commas before the first item of a series and after the last item of that series. Lastly, never use a comma between a verb and a subject.

6. Capitalization

Capitalization is very important in the completion of assignments. Many students either use capitalization unnecessarily or omit some that should be there. Ensure that you capitalize the first words of sentences, nouns, proper adjectives, and important words in titles. If you are not sure whether a word should be capitalized or not, please check a dictionary.

7. Sentence structure

Many student assignments tend to have faulty sentence structures. For example, a sentence with two different structures will confuse the reader. Therefore, when writing a sentence, ensure that you maintain the grammatical pattern of that specific sentence. Sentences should have subjects and verbs that make sense. In sentence structure, also avoid writing too long sentences because that increases the chance of making the sentence faulty.

8. Missing or unnecessary apostrophe

Apostrophes give many undergraduate students a hard time. Many students struggle with making a possessive noun using an apostrophe. If you want to make a noun possessive, use an apostrophe after the noun followed by an s if the noun is singular or the apostrophe alone if the noun is plural. Examples include girls’ phones, Martin’s basket, etc. Note that you should never use an apostrophe on possessive nouns such as hers, yours, ours, etc.

9. Fused sentence

Many students struggle with writing fused sentences. Fused sentences join clauses that can stand alone as sentences with no words linking them. In cases of fused sentences, they should be divided into individual sentences or joined through punctuation or by adding words.

10. Lack of pronoun

In sentences, pronouns must agree with the different antecedents in number (singular or plural) or gender (male or female). Indefinite pronouns line each and every one are presented in a singular form. If in a sentence a pronoun is joined by nor, or, etc., the pronoun should agree with the closest antecedent. Collections of nouns such as a team can be presented as either a singular or a plural depending on whether the team is seen as an individual or a group.

11. Missing or incomplete documentation

In academic writing, it is always important to cite the source of your research. If you decide to omit documentation, your assignment can be flagged for plagiarism. Cite all your work sources to give your instructor an easy time should they want to check. Many students struggle with documentation and format styles for the same. If you are having a hard time with the same, you can seek assistance from professionals or online on the same.

12. Missing word

After completing each assignment, the importance of proofreading is to identify all the errors that can affect the flow of your solution. One such error is missing words which is a major problem for many students. An example of a missing word in a sentence is;
Many football prefer playing in the English Premier League.
The word "players" is missing in this sentence, which should be the sentence's reference. This means that the reader of your work will be left guessing what you tried to mean in the sentence. To avoid that, ensure that you thoroughly review your work to identify and fix any missing words.

13. Missing commas compound sentences

All compound sentences contain two or more independent clauses. When these clauses are joined by coordinating conjunctions such as and, nor, for, or, yet, so, etc., use a comma before each conjunction. This shows that there are two thoughts in that sentence. An example is;
It's either you come, or I will give the shoes away.
In this sentence, there are two thoughts. The person being addressed is expected to go where the shoes are, and if they don't go, a second thought will occur, which is giving away the shoes.

Conclusion

There are many errors that students make when writing their statistics assignments. Some of the most common errors are listed above. To ensure minimal or no errors in assignments, students should take time to go through their solutions after completing the work. If they want an independent opinion about the grammar of their solutions, they can get someone to proofread the work on their behalf. Having grammatically correct sentences in an assignment gives the instructor an easy time going through the assignment, which can attract higher scores.