English mistakes commonly made in a dissertation
Students tend to make the same language mistakes over and over again when writing a dissertation. Taking a careful look at these lists of mistakes that we often encounter may help you to break these habits.
Although spellcheck features catch many spelling mistakes, they cannot be relied on entirely. These words are still frequently misspelled in many theses.
Frequently occurring language mistakes
It is rare that the theses we edit do not contain any of the below mistakes. Not using them will set your writing apart and give it a more polished feel.
Researches were conducted. |Research was conducted.||Research is a non-count noun.|
Further, the chance of bias is high. |Furthermore, the chance of bias is high.||Further does not mean “in addition”; furthermore does|
The amount of variables may change. |The number of variables may change.||Use number with countable nouns (e.g., changes), amount with non-count nouns (e.g., air).|
A MRI, a HR directive |An MRI, an HR directive||An abbreviation that starts with a vowel sound takes “an.”|
The teenagers that |The teenagers who||Use who with people, that with things|
Other common mistakes are presented by category below.
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Are both similar |Are similar||Although the two cases are similar, they are not identical.|
Politic |Political||Both economic and political factors were considered.|
So called…, factor based… |So-called…, factor-based…||The so-called experts only conducted factor-based analyses.|
Specially |Especially||The authors were especially interested in inflation pressures.|
Results Of The Interviews |Results of the interviews or Results of the Interviews||Additional information is presented in Table 9 (Results of the interviews).|
Conjunctions and linking terms
First of all, firstly |First||First, all participants were given a survey.|
However … |However, …||However, most theorists disagree.|
Like |Such as||Northern cities such as Oslo and Helsinki have long, dark winters.|
Insights in |Insights into||The results offer valuable insights into the problem.|
MNC’s, PC’s |MNCs, PCs||Most MNCs purchase thousands of PCs annually.|
One criteria |One criterion||Although many criteria were considered, one criterion stood out|
Research conclusion |Research conclusions||Chapter 6 contains the research conclusions.|
Taxi’s, umbrella’s |Taxis, umbrellas||Taxis are often full of forgotten umbrellas.|
The childs behavior, the parents attitude |The child’s behavior, the parents’ attitude||Although the child’s behavior was aggressive, her parents’ attitude was very relaxed.|
Two analysis |Two analyses||Several analyses were conducted, but one analysis was most fruitful.|
Two hypothesis |Two hypotheses||This dissertation proposes many hypotheses.|
Besides, Next to |In addition to||In addition to building dams, the government also invested in roads.|
From…till… |From…to…||The ages ranged from 18 to 24.|
In the light of |In light of||The test was cancelled in light of the wind.|
Per |By||The participants were grouped by height.|
To what extend |To what extent||It is not known to what extent the subjects were being truthful.|
A person…their… |A person…his or her (or his/her)||A researcher should cite his or her sources.|
You… |One…||If one reads the study, one may indeed be convinced|
10.000,00 |10,000.00||The price was exactly $10,000.00.|
1960’s |1960s||Many styles of music emerged in the 1960s.|
A couple of |A few, two/three, a handful of||A few controversial questions were also included.|
A lot of |Many, much, several, a great deal of||Much time was spent on the test.|
Terms used in citations
Et al, Et all. |Et al.||The mutation is thought to be widespread (Han et al., 1999)|
Et al. has |Et al. have||Omar et al. have asserted that the effect is temporary.|
Choose yesterday |Chose yesterday||The project manager chose her team before planning began.|
Divide in |Divide into||This dissertation is divided into seven sections.|
Lead yesterday |Led yesterday||Although the Liberals currently lead in the polls, the Conservatives led last week.|
Make a photo |Take a photo||The time was set to take photos at 20-second intervals.|
Send yesterday |Sent yesterday||The email was sent to all employees.|
Words that are commonly confused
|Which one to use?||Correct||What’s usually the difference?|
|Effect/affect||The effect was strong; the drug affected all members of the experimental group.||Effect = noun|
Affect = verb
|Personnel/personal||The company’s personnel do not like to discuss their personal problems.||Personnel = noun|
Personal = adjective
|Principal/principle||The principal author outlined the theories and principles that arose from the study.||Principal = adjective|
Principle = noun
|Were/where||Where were you?||Were = verb|
Where = adjective
Following these tips will help you to improve your written academic English in general. The next step is to fine-tune your writing depending on whether you are using American, British, or Australian English!
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