Pitfalls in research paper writing is a very important subject matter in academia, especially in research in arts and social sciences, but there is a dearth of literature focusing exclusively on the issue of pitfalls in scholarly research. Thus, the objective of this descriptive study is to examine the major pitfalls in research paper writing and how to avoid them. The study elucidates several pitfalls in the writing of a research paper, a Master’s or Ph.D thesis/dissertation, that is, the inadequacies observed in the following components of a typical research work: research title, abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, data presentation and discussion. Others are incomplete and improper referencing as well as inadequate use of language and conclusion. The paper also highlights some research tips to avoid the pitfalls and enhance research originality, capacity and acceptability at the local and international levels of readership. Based on the above, the study encourages postgraduate students and young researchers to adhere strictly to the rules of approved referencing styles such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA), while observing also the editorial guidelines of reputable scholarly journals, research institutions or research grant donor agencies.
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Author Name: Matthew O. Iwuchukwu
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Keywords: Research paper, writing, avoiding pitfalls, referencing, originality, relevance