The importance of correct grammar in a research paper

By Priya Chetty on March 4, 2015

Recently, we had a customer who faced a grave problem with his research. His supervisor kept demanding corrections and he had no clue why. He had all the right data but his supervisor’s displeasure became so apparent that he decided that perhaps he wasn’t cut out for a PhD after all. Never mind all the time, money and effort he invested in the research. He approached us as a last resort before giving up on his research paper. He sent us his document for proofreading. We took a look at his document and told him what he needed to know: it was unsalvageable. The reason -Inappropriate grammar.

He is not alone. Many research scholars underestimate the importance of correct grammar in their write-up, not realising what a pleasurable read it makes for. It is a common misconception that having the right data and representing it correctly can lead a person to success. However in fact, they don’t. The right use of punctuation and simple yet sophisticated vocabulary will engage your readers deeply in the content because it creates a good flow. Consider the following example:

Say No to Drugs From The Delhi Police.

Oops! The one missing comma turned Delhi Police into drug dealers.

Imagine how many mistakes a research paper of about 100 pages is vulnerable to. When your supervisor devotes his/her precious time to read your paper, such grammatical errors can be a put-off. After over 15 years of formal education, the least a research scholar can do is exhibit the very foundation of the English language in a correct manner. No matter how significant the results of your primary research, it is invaluable if not aided by correct grammar. Therefore do not undervalue the attention needed for expressing your research data correctly, if you want positive feedback from your supervisor.

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).



1 thought on “The importance of correct grammar in a research paper”