Common Errors and Solutions

Graduate-level writing is held to a higher standard than undergraduate writing. Graduate students not only have to demonstrate that they understand an issue, but must also articulate a position on that issue while maintaining proper grammar, mechanics, diction, style, and spelling. In addition, graduate students must make sure their sources are appropriate to their research agendas.

While it is impossible for students to become experts at all of these components of writing and research at once, MALS students are expected to meet high standards for their written coursework. Students can learn from their professors’ comments on graded work, as well as seek the assistance of the MALS Writing Consultant for help in improving repeated mistakes.

The following handouts are designed to help students decipher comments from professors or the writing consultant, how to fix common errors, and know what to avoid before turning in written work.