Common Mistakes to Avoid

1. Plagiarized content.
Please do not copy any text directly from another source. It is easy for us to find the original source through a search engine. Learn how to use citations and paraphrasing.

2. Improper use of citations.
For each piece of information you use, you will need a citation in parentheses to show where it came from. This usually includes the author's last name and the page number where you found the information. If all you have is a works cited page, you are not using correct citations.

3. Use of images, sounds, or video without permission.
Before using any multimedia material created by someone else, get permission. We expect you to follow the TRIO Quest Fair Use Guidelines.

4. Missing a Works Cited/Permissions page.
For each image you use, let us know where it came from. You should have a Permissions section on your Works Cited page to cite permission for each image.

5. Errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Spell-check and proofread each page. Look for common errors in grammar and punctuation. Please take our Punctuation Refresher Quiz.

6. Mistakes in page titles and graphics.
Check page titles and graphics for spelling errors. Make sure the title of each page matches the page's content.

7. Broken links.
Check that each link on your site is working. A single missing character from the Web address will result in a broken link. Be sure to check the links in your navigation bars, headers, and footers as well.

8. Too much personal information.
UNACCEPTABLE: Please DO NOT include your last names, the names of your high schools, your personal email addresses, and telephone numbers on your TRIO ThinkQuest Web site.
ACCEPTABLE: You may include the name of your Upward Bound/Talent Search program, a team email address, first names, and photos of your team members if you wish.

9. Inappropriate content.
Please do not put any of the following material on your site:

  • Tasteless/gross humor.
  • Gory, graphically violent, or sexual pictures and/or descriptions.
  • Profanity (including fill-in-the-blank substitutions like prof*n%ty).
  • Hate, racist, insensitive, or discriminatory content.
  • Advertisements (especially click-through ad banners).
  • Endorsement of illegal activities or drug and alcohol abuse.