Examples of Research Papers Can Harm Students’ Grades

Teachers love to assign research papers and most students dread writing them. Some students think that using a sample research paper will help them get a better grade, but many students actually get lower grades when they use other research papers as samples.

Good and Bad Research Papers

Many students do not know how to tell a good research paper from a bad one; they just pick one. Students who happen to select a bad research paper can harm their grades. The problems with bad research papers can include:

  • Incorrect work cited formatting
  • Weak thesis statement
  • Plagiarism from not using in-text documentation
  • Poorly organized paragraphs
  • Lack of examples to support thesis
  • Word choice errors

All of these problems and many more can lower students’ grades. Some students are not good at rewriting and they end up copying the research paper and earn a low grade when their mistake is discovered. Students might think they writing something unique, but the might have too many key phrases that a plagiarism checking program recognizes.

Pick the Proper Formatting

Students also often will lose points because they choose a research paper that has a different works cited or bibliography formatting. Teachers and professors usually assign the formatting that they are familiar with and that fits their profession. Most teachers can immediately tell when students use a wrong format, so if you are assigned MLA style, but you actually use APA because you copied an APA research paper, your teacher will see it.

Practice on Smaller Pieces

Students need to practice editing and revising with smaller assignments. When they do not know how to make an essay or research paper uniquely theirs, they will make mistakes that teachers see immediately. Students who want to use someone else’s research paper to rewrite should practice first with low-stakes papers so that when it comes time to rewrite the big high-stakes research paper where big mistakes can happen.

Beware of Non-native Speakers

Many sample research papers that are available for free online are not written by native English speakers. Students that get lazy can get caught cheating if they have non-native English in their paper. Teachers can immediately tell when sentences are not structured properly. Many students do not realize that they are copying non-native English and it can truly harm their grades in more ways than one.

Once students have been caught cheating on an essay, their teachers tend to be suspicious of every paper they turn in after that point.