Types of Research Errors & Common Dissertation Mistakes

Writing a dissertation involves a lot of processes from research to submission. Along the line, it is common to make errors. The significance of errors in research reflects in the outcome of your dissertation, causing more harm than good. We’ll address some errors here, and the best ways to avoid them.

Common dissertation mistakes

  • Picking too broad topics

It is possible to make mistakes even before you properly dig into writing your dissertation. The first mistake that you can make is picking a topic that is too broad to complete before the deadline. You must consider many factors before choosing any topic. These factors include the deadline for your research, the availability of materials, your interest in the topic, and your willingness to commit resources to research.

  • Sidelining proofreading

Proofreading is important when it comes to writing a dissertation. It is one of the biggest errors in dissertation writing not to proofread. When you proofread, you have the opportunity to clip off or chip in certain details. You can also correct errors and turn in quality work to your supervisor. You must find time to proofread.

  • Plagiarizing

No matter what the circumstances may be, never be tempted to copy another person’s work. Often, your department would run a plagiarism test on your dissertation, and you would be caught.

  • Poor structuring

Failure to properly structure your paper can downplay the efforts of a properly written dissertation. Usually, there is a template for how dissertations should be written. However, sometimes, the requirements from your department may be slightly different. You must understand what is expected of you and follow due process.

  • Vague assumptions

Your dissertation will be non-credible when you do not do the right research. Sometimes when writing a dissertation, you may be tempted to make vague assumptions; for instance “many years ago” “a majority of women are…”. You can avoid this error by making references to the right sources. With the right research, you can give specific data, numbers, or percentiles.

Types of research errors

  • Measurement error

This kind of research error is an error made between the outcome of your research and the measurement. Here, the results or findings do not correspond with the measurement pattern used.

You can avoid these methodological errors in research by properly defining the questions asked and using proper presentation in your research. You should also be well inclined to interpret data collected from findings. This is because a measurement error can be made from the interpretation of data or the collection of wrong data altogether.

  • The surrogate information error

Sometimes when writing your dissertation, you may experience difficulty gathering the right information from research. Many researchers are concerned about not getting the information that they want and they end up using those not relevant to their dissertation topic.

Research errors like this can be avoided when you consider if your topic is researchable before you settle for any topic. This is one of the mistakes students make when picking a dissertation topic.

  • Population specification error

This is one of the commonest errors in research. Many times, researchers target the wrong audience for their dissertation. For instance, when trying to collect data about social media, you’re more likely to get the proper information from young adults other than from older adults.

You must understand the character traits of your target audience. Keep in mind that the more precise your criteria for your target audience are, the more accurate information you’re going to get.

  • Survey unresponsive error

The survey unresponsive error in research occurs when fewer people are willing to respond to a survey. The result is often wrongly collected data because it is not well represented.

If you’re carrying out a survey, ensure that there is room for the availability of people who would be willing to respond to them.


There are many types of errors in research that may tamper with the goals of writing a dissertation. You must know them and try to avoid them.