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How to Write a Research Paper
Writing a research paper is a bit more difficult that a standard high school essay. You need to site sources, use academic data and show scientific examples. Before beginning, you’ll need guidelines for how to write a research paper.
Start the Research Process
Before you begin writing the research paper, you must do your research. It is important that you understand the subject matter, formulate the ideas of your paper, create your thesis statement and learn how to speak about your given topic in an authoritative manner. You’ll be looking through online databases, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, books, newspapers, government publications, reports, guides and scholarly resources. Take notes as you discover new information about your given topic. Also keep track of the references you use so you can build your bibliography later and cite your resources.
Develop Your Thesis Statement
When organizing your research paper, the thesis statement is where you explain to your readers what they can expect, present your claims, answer any questions that you were asked or explain your interpretation of the subject matter you’re researching. Therefore, the thesis statement must be strong and easy to understand. Your thesis statement must also be precise. It should answer the question you were assigned, and there should be an opportunity for your position to be opposed or disputed. The body of your manuscript should support your thesis, and it should be more than a generic fact.
Create an Outline
Many professors require outlines during the research paper writing process. You’ll find that they want outlines set up with a title page, abstract, introduction, research paper body and reference section. The title page is typically made up of the student’s name, the name of the college, the name of the class and the date of the paper. The abstract is a summary of the paper. An introduction typically consists of one or two pages and comments on the subject matter of the research paper. In the body of the research paper, you’ll be breaking it down into materials and methods, results and discussions. Your references are in your bibliography. Use a research paper example to help you with your outline if necessary.
Organize Your Notes
When writing your first draft, you’re going to have to work on organizing your notes first. During this process, you’ll be deciding which references you’ll be putting in your bibliography and which will work best as in-text citations. You’ll be working on this more as you develop your working drafts and look at more white paper examples to help guide you through the process.
Write Your Final Draft
After you’ve written a first and second draft and received corrections from your professor, it’s time to write your final copy. By now, you should have seen an example of a research paper layout and know how to put your paper together. You’ll have your title page, abstract, introduction, thesis statement, in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography complete. Be sure to check with your professor to ensure if you’re writing in APA style, or if you’re using another style guide.
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A guide to writing an academic paper
I keep hearing from college professors that too many of their students don’t write well. So here’s a primer written for college students on how to write an academic paper, though some of the advice would be useful for anybody writing anything. The author is Steven Horwitz, a professor of economics at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. He is the author of two books, Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective and Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order.
By Steven Horwitz
Though it may seem excessive to write almost 4,000 words on how to write better papers, the reality is that writing papers in college (and the sort of writing you will do for the rest of your life) is not the same as you were asked to do in high school. My purpose in writing this guide is to help make you into better writers and to help you become better able to articulate your perspective....The point is not to give you pages of rules and regulations, but to give you the things you need to know to create and present your ideas in a legitimate and persuasive way.
RESEARCH PAPERS AND TOPIC PAPERS
Most non-fiction class papers fall into one of two categories: research papers or topic papers. For research papers, you are expected to pick a topic and engage in independent research (usually in the library or online) to find information and sources. For topic papers, you are usually given a topic, or several to choose from, based on the course readings and discussion and are expected to make use of those resources (rather than outside ones) to write your paper. Almost everything in this guide applies equally to both kinds of papers.
No matter which kind of paper you are writing you must make use of the course readings. Those readings are there to help you understand material both in and out of the course. Why would we assign them if we didn’t expect you to make use of them? The whole point of either type of paper is to see how well you can apply what you have learned in the course. Doing so requires that you make use of the ideas and readings from it. When you finish your paper, check to see if you have course readings cited and in your bibliography. If not, chances are good that what you have done is probably not too relevant to the course. And don’t forget: course readings must be cited properly like everything else.
Whether your paper involves outside research or not, you need to have a thesis statement. Once you have an idea of what you want to say, and have some grasp of what others have said, you need to make your ideas more concrete by coming up with a thesis sentence(s). A thesis indicates the main argument of your paper . The point of any class paper is to persuade your reader that you have something to say that he or she should care about. A good thesis should be debatable, specific, and concise. The following is not a good thesis:
* The history of the Soviet Union is very interesting and complex.
Lots of things are interesting and complex and I challenge you to find a country whose history isn’t. While it is concise and somewhat specific, this thesis is not really debatable.
A good thesis might be:
* The history of the Soviet Union indicates many of the problems involved with centralized economic planning and the bureaucratized society that will inevitably develop.
This thesis is debatable, it is specific, and it is reasonably concise. It takes one side of a possibly refutable argument. One can imagine someone arguing that the history of the USSR indicates the problems of political totalitarianism and says nothing about economic planning. The basis for your supporting arguments should be the material that has been covered in class and in the readings, and, if required, from outside sources. The whole reason to take a course is to discover a framework for analyzing new phenomena (whether natural, social, literary, or artistic), and formal papers are an opportunity to demonstrate that you have learned enough to do such an analysis. Notice that your goal is to convince your “reader” not the professor. When I read a paper, I am not the audience, rather I’m the judge, determining how well I think your work would convince someone else . Don’t worry about convincing me; worry about “someone else.”
It is also crucial to remember to put your thesis up front. Don’t wait until the last paragraph to tell your reader what you think. This is what you should be doing during the entire paper . The purpose of course papers is to give the instructor your informed opinion on your topic. Your thesis is a guide to the view you will present in the rest of the paper. Put it up front and stick to it.
Think of yourself as a lawyer and think of defending a thesis as being like trying to convict a defendant, and think of the professor as the judge, not the jury. This means thinking of your sources as evidence. This works in both directions. Sources that back up your argument are great because you can quote or cite them to build up your evidence, like eyewitnesses to a crime. Sources that contradict what you have to say are important as well because you must present arguments for why you believe that contradictory arguments are incorrect or incomplete . If you found a source that argued that the history of the USSR teaches us nothing about the feasibility of economic planning, then you would have to try to refute it or explain its incompleteness. If the defendant has an alibi, you have to show that he is lying or that even the alibi cannot get him off the hook. If other writers have said something different, you must deal with what they say and at least try to show how what they say doesn’t defeat your argument.
INTRODUCTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
Introductions are just that. They allow you to introduce your argument to your reader and vice versa. They also try to convince the reader why he should care about what you have to say. Part of writing a good thesis is building up to it with an introduction that whets the reader’s appetite. Don’t just drop your reader in the middle of an argument. Start with something interesting and sufficiently general, and then draw your reader in by applying that general idea to the topic at hand. Introductions should be general but not too general. A bad introductory sentence is:
* Karl Marx was a very important thinker.
This is bad because you can substitute hundreds of names for “Karl Marx” and it would still make sense. You want your intro to say something reasonably specific about your subject, like:
* Karl Marx was the first important thinker to argue that capitalism causes exploitation.
See how that really addresses something of substance? You could go on from there to talk about the nature of exploitation, how he defines capitalism and then conclude it with a thesis that explains why he thought capitalism causes exploitation.
Conclusions are also just that: a chance for you to conclude something. Don’t end by saying something like:
* Karl Marx was an interesting and important thinker who said some controversial things about capitalism.
Like the bad intro, it doesn’t say anything. A better concluding paragraph could start with:
* Karl Marx’s argument about exploitation under capitalism is ultimately flawed because...
and then broadly summarize your argument. Would a prosecuting attorney end a closing statement this way: “In conclusion, the defendant did some good things and some bad things and I really can’t say much about her otherwise?” Of course not. Conclude by telling your reader what conclusions one could draw from your paper. Tell her why she should care about what you’ve just said. Provide her with a moral of the story.
CITATION AND ACADEMIC HONESTY
Everyone’s favorite subject. The idea behind citation is simple: when you make use of other people’s specific ideas, you must give them credit for those ideas . As a writer, you have the right to articulate your own ideas and opinions, as well as the right to draw upon the work of those who have come before you. With those rights comes the responsibility to both inform your reader of which ideas are yours and which are not and to give credit to others when you make use of their work. This is your way of showing others that you have both done your research and understand the importance of your sources in developing your own arguments.
My preference on style is that you use in-text citations with a bibliography at the end, i.e. some version of APA style. For example:
* Some people have argued that Marx’s concept of alienation relates to the notion of commodity production (Roberts and Stephenson 1973, p. 35).
NOTE: space between end of words and open parenthesis, no space between open parenthesis and authors’ names, close parenthesis then period.
To give a citation, use the name(s) of the author(s), the date of the specific text and page number(s) . Unless you are citing the argument of a whole book or article, you must indicate the pages where the specific thing you mention is discussed. It also shows your reader (and me) that you actually read the text in question. If you are using an idea that pervades the whole source, then you can leave it without a page number. Just make sure there are no exact quotes or close paraphrases of specific pages.
You must provide an in-text (not just a listing in the bibliography) citation, including a page number, when you paraphrase or quote an author word for word. You must provide an in-text citation when you use statistics that you obtained from a source. These are the unbreakable rules. If you break them you are guilty of plagiarism. You are assumed to be familiar with the student handbook’s discussion of academic honesty. I take academic dishonesty very seriously. My ability to detect and then find things you have cut-and-pasted from the Web exceeds your ability to fool me with such cut-and-paste jobs, so don’t even try it because I will find the source material and I will initiate the academic dishonesty process.
This sentence uses a quote and must include an in-text citation:
As Lavoie (1985, p. 6) argues, “Such knowledge is dispersed among market participants.”
NOTE: You should always introduce a quote, rather than just sticking it in the middle of a paragraph identified only by the citation. Also, quotes should never be placed back-to-back without any text in between.
If you had decided to paraphrase this quote, you would also have to cite:
* Lavoie (1985, p. 6) argues that human knowledge is dispersed among traders in the marketplace.
To write either of the previous sentences and not give a citation is not acceptable. Again you have the right to use whatever sources you see fit, but with that right comes the responsibility to inform your reader where and how you obtained your information. That is the purpose of a citation. Think about a lawyer who said “Some people saw the accused commit the crime.” Wouldn’t you want to know who those people were and exactly what they saw? When you use ideas or information or statistics, giving an in-text citation is just like calling specific witnesses. You need to do this to make your case. This is equally true if you try to use the ideas more generally:
* One perspective on capitalism is to recognize that it helps overcome the fact that human knowledge is dispersed throughout the marketplace (Lavoie 1985, p. 6).
To leave that sentence without citation is also not acceptable. The reason is that it identifies a specific “perspective” and implies that it is not your original idea. Therefore you must indicate where it came from. You don’t have to cite your sources every single time you come back to that main idea; however, you must cite them the first time.
In reality, knowing when to cite is as much an acquired skill as anything else. There are a few unbreakable rules, such as citing a direct quote or a paraphrase or statistics. Beyond that, use your judgment. It is always better to cite too much than too little. To continue the metaphor: you want to cite whenever you are relying on evidence gathered or argued by someone else. Your sources are like witnesses and a good prosecutor would tell the jury “witness so-and-so saw the defendant do it,” in constructing her argument. And witnesses for the other side must be cross-examined!
BIBLIOGRAPHY (LIST OF WORKS CITED)
In choosing to use this citation style, you are required to create a bibliography at the end of the paper which includes all of the material you have cited within the text. Do not include items in your bibliography that you have not cited in the text of your paper and don’t cite things that aren’t in your bibliography . Some people say that sometimes they get ideas from a book but don’t directly use it. That’s crap. If you got ideas from it then you better cite it. If you didn’t get ideas or information from it, then it doesn’t belong in the bibliography. If you are familiar with official APA citation style, please use it. If you have any reference books that you got in FYP or FYS, make use of them. At the very least, bibliographic style should look like the following examples:
Lavoie, Don. 1985. National Economic Planning: What is Left?, Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing.
Murrell, Peter. 1983. “Did the Theory of Market Socialism Answer the Challenge of Ludwig von Mises?,” History of Political Economy 15 , Spring, pp. 120-135.
Article in an Edited Volume:
Ricoeur, Paul. 1971. “The Model of the Text: Meaningful Action Considered as a Text,” in Understanding and Social Inquiry , Fred Dallmyr and Thomas McCarthy, eds., Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977.
I’m not too fussy about the details here, as long as you get all of the relevant information in your entry. However, do be careful how you cite articles in edited volumes. The editor(s) of the book (i.e., the name(s) on the cover) is usually not the author(s) of all the articles in the book. Usually the editor(s) have only one or two of them at most. You must cite each article separately by the name of the author(s) of each article . Check to make sure you are clear on whose article or chapter is whose. Also make sure you underline or italicize (pick one and stick with it) the book title and put the article or chapter title in quotes. For more examples of bibliography formatting, and the relevant information on the course readings, consult the syllabus. All of that information is there for you.
A word of advice about Internet sources: before using Google, do your homework. Be familiar with the journal literature and the popular sources that are also available on paper. Learn how to use EconLit and other scholarly and popular indexes. Then, and only then, should you Google. Why? The beauty of the Internet is that it is pretty much unregulated; that is also its greatest weakness. Net sources are on average much less reliable than printed ones because even though scholarly material is available via Google, a much larger percentage of what you find is, in one way or another, self-published and therefore less reliable . The best way to determine whether a Net source is a legitimate one is having read lots of printed material and having a sense for what kinds of arguments are considered reasonable. If you go to the Net first, I guarantee you’ll get tons of sources, most of which will be worthless. However, if you do find a usable Net source, you should cite it like any other work. Note that there must be an author and a title of the page or paper in question. Then you can provide the complete URL and either a date listed on the page, or the date that you accessed the information.
Horwitz, Steven. 2008 “An Open Letter to my Friends on the Left,” found at http://myslu.stlawu.edu/~shorwitz/open_letter.htm, accessed on October 8, 2008.
The hardest part about making use of sources is not finding them or learning how manipulate the mechanics of citation. The hard part is evaluating whether a source is reliable or not. This is especially true on the Net, but is also true for printed material. The best way to become a good judge of sources is to read them. For example, papers that keep being cited by other authors are probably important. But the only way to know that is to have done a fair amount of reading and research (including the reference lists of the sources you find) and entering the ongoing conversation. And that requires making the time and doing the work.
PRESENTATION AND FORMAT
Nothing is more disappointing and annoying than a sloppy looking paper. If you think it doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. What it tells your reader (and me ) is that you don’t give a damn about what you’ve said. Show some pride in what you do and take the time to make it at least look like you care . You should feel flattered that someone has asked you to tell them what you have to say about a subject. When you turn in wrinkled pages with no page numbers or title, it says that that you don’t take yourself or your ideas seriously. And this holds whether you’re turning the paper in electronically or hard copy.
The following is a list of things that your papers, first drafts included , must contain. This includes any drafts you send as a file attached to an email or place in a drop box on Angel. If I print that file, it should look just like a paper you would hand in as hard copy. That means:
1. A separate title page that includes your name, the date, the class, and a real title.
2. Double spaced (not 2.5).
3. Margins of 1 to 1.25” (no more).
4. Quotes over three lines long should be single-spaced and indented 1/2” on the left margin.
5. Automatically numbered pages. Figure out how to do it in Word.
6. A bibliography starting on a new page.
7. Use Times New Roman 12 point font or something else easily readable like Garamond and do not use the templates in Word 2007 or 2010 for writing papers . Just plain black text on a white page please.
8. If a hard copy, your entire paper must be stapled or paper clipped – Do not use geeky plastic binders.
9. No more than a very small number of handwritten changes; preferably zero.
10. The pages should be clean, dry and wrinkle-free.
A few comments on this list. First, pick a title that says something about your paper. A paper on Albania should not be titled “Albania” or “The Economic History of Albania.” Instead, try “Albania: An Example of the Failures of Stalinism.” The last one says something, the first two don’t. Try not to make your title a question; make it a statement that summarizes the main argument in the paper. Your title should also not be a complete sentence. It should be a short, declarative summary of the paper.
Second, if you have a long paper that seems to divide up into distinct sections, break it up by using section headings. For example, if the first half of your paper on Albania was about socialist theory, you could use a section heading to indicate it. Before you start the next section, say on the history of Albania, you could use another section heading, and then use one to indicate your conclusion. This will help keep your organization straight and make it clearer for your reader.
Third, number your pages . This enables me to give you help or criticism on specific pages. No little thing annoys me more than a lack of page numbers. Ask my wife.
Fourth, give yourself enough time to do the assignment well . If you start two days before it’s due, I guarantee you the paper will not be as good as it could be. The biggest cause of sloppy work and bad analysis is not taking your time. If you start enough in advance, you can run a draft or two and take the time to read them for analytical and grammatical errors. You should be the most merciless critic of your own work. Write a draft and go over and over it; that’s what I do with my work. However, doing so requires time, so make the time to do the job right . If I have the time, and I usually do, I will be glad to read early drafts and outlines, just ask me ahead of time.
Remember that grammar, spelling, and correct use of the language all matter. I know that you all know how to do all of this correctly. You make mistakes because you are rushing to finish and/or you just don’t care very much. Making simple mistakes makes you look uneducated and sends the message that you don’t care about your ideas. And if you don’t care, why should I?
The point of this guide is not scare the hell out of you, it is to help you. Really it all boils down to this issue of pride. Have some pride in what you do, have some pride when people ask you for your thoughts, and have some pride when you present those thoughts to others. If you have some pride and care, you’ll take the time to construct good arguments and use (and cite) your sources properly, and the way you present your papers will reflect that pride.
There’s nothing mysterious about writing good papers. It is a skill that anyone can learn and master. Yes, it takes work but what doesn’t? You’ll find that if you start caring about what you’re doing that the work will seem less of a struggle, the concentration will come easier and the rules will no longer be constraints, but rather the means through which you can communicate what you have to say. Remember the feeling when you were a little kid and you brought home your first finger painting and you were so proud of it that you insisted that it get hung on the fridge? It’s that pride in your work (and the feeling it generates) that ought to motivate everything you do, not just in college but in your whole life. If you care about what you do, the rest will take care of itself.
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- how to write an academic paper
- How to Write Good Academic Papers: Easy Guide for Beginners
How to Write Academic Paper: Main Points to Consider
General principles, essential steps of the writing process, thesis statement, introduction, body paragraphs, editing and proofreading.
Have no idea how start an engaging introduction paragraph in your history essay? Need advice on how to write good academic paper - you are not alone. Academic writing is an important skill for the success in higher education and in any career field but many university students find their written assignments too challenging and often consider them to be a form of a medieval torture.
Why is it so? The problem is that a lot of high school graduates enter colleges and universities having no idea how to complete grammatically correct sentences that make sense, to say nothing about writing a college-level academic paper because no one taught them how to do it right and present a clear, logical and convincing argument.
If you struggle with similar issues, read this article where you will find a complete guide on how to write good academic papers. We will provide you with all necessary information. You can order a well-written model essay on our website to have a better understanding of the general rules of academic writing and the proper paper structure and format.
Many young people have difficulties with academic paper writing. This type of writing is specific and differs a lot from what you were asked to produce in high school because it involves a lot of reading, doing in-depth research of scholarly literature, planning, revising, making changes in content and structure, rewriting, editing, proofreading, and formatting. Don’t be scared. Writing is a skill that any student can learn and master. We hope that this short guide will explain everything you need to succeed.
What is an academic paper ? This type of writing can be defined in many ways and your instructors can give different names to these assignments – essay, term paper, analysis essay but all of them have the same purpose and are based on the same principles.
The goal of completing written assignments is to show that you have a profound knowledge of a specific topic and to share your own thoughts about a scientific question or an issue that may be of interest to your audience – students, your professor, and other scholars. You have to demonstrate your critical thinking skills.
Take into account 8 key principle of academic writing.
- Your papers must have a clear purpose (inform, analyze, synthesize or persuade) and answer your topic question.
- Your papers must present your original point of view.
- Your writing must have a single focus – all paragraphs have to include relevant evidence (facts, expert opinions, quotations, examples) to support your thesis statement.
- You must follow a standard organizational pattern. Every academic text must include the following parts: an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. Some papers may require an abstract .
- As an author, you need to provide clear, logical, and simple explanations to your reader.
- You should refer to a number of scholarly sources. You need to integrate source materials into your discussion. Take care to include all sources (books, articles from a scientific journal, publications on online resources) that you cite, introduce, analyze or explain on a reference list in the bibliography page.
- To ensure academic integrity, all college essays should be formatted in accordance with the requirements of one of the specific citation styles – APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago that determine the rules for in-text citations, paper sections, format, reference list.
- You need to use your own words. Don’t try to be too formal or you may sound boring to your readers. Use natural language, common for conversations.
Writing an academic paper can be done step-by-step. If you are a beginner, you can follow these steps that have worked for millions of college students; they can save you a lot of time.
- Select an interesting topic. If you lack ideas, you may search the internet using Google, look through your lecture notes, and consider your course readings or current news.
- Do research and record sources’ information. Keep in mind that you may need to continue research as you discover thesis, make an outline, write and revise the document.
- Formulate a strong thesis statement that you will argue.
- Plan your essay and make a basic outline. Take notes from your sources and add details to your outline and make sure that you have supporting evidence for your points.
- Write the first draft of your essay. You can start from any part and you shouldn’t worry about grammar, punctuation and spelling as you construct your sentences. You will fix it later.
- Revise your first draft and improve the content, logic, and the flow. Make transitions between your ideas. Make changes to improve the content and rewrite your draft. You may need to do it more than once.
- Edit and proofread your final draft to ensure that your essay is flawless.
These are basic steps. When you gain experience, you may think about a different order that can work best for you. Find that this process complicated? Buy a professionally written sample to analyze it and see how your essay should look like!
Let’s discuss the major steps of the writing process.
A thesis statement determines the main argument of your essay. A good thesis statement expresses the main idea of your essay, presents your own point of view, and gives an answer to your research question. The success of your entire project depends on your thesis and you need to do your best to ensure that it is debatable, specific, and concise. Try to write your thesis early. It will help you stay focused when you do research and take notes.
Introductions and conclusions are very important. The introduction introduces your argument to your reader and convinces them why they should care about reading your paper. Your task is to engage your audience. Wondering how to do it? Check this useful article on our blog that discusses engaging strategies for starting an essay .
Start your introduction with attention grabber and provide background information about the significance of your topic, introduce a subject, and give some definitions of the key terms. End your introduction with a thesis statement.
Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence; don’t begin a paragraph with a fact. The topic sentence should present the main idea of the paragraph and express your point of view. In the next sentences, you should support the topic sentence with additional supporting ideas, specific details, interesting facts, statistics, clear explanations, relevant examples. All supporting sentences should be logical. You should make sure they are connected with connection words to help your reader follow your argument.
Finish every paragraph with a concluding sentence. It should be your own idea and not a source citation. The last sentence in a paragraph should review the key points you have discussed in it, emphasize your main idea or your thesis statement, and prepare your audience to the points that you are going to discuss in the next paragraph.
This part of your paper is the most important. Actually, readers remember the first and the last parts of what they read; a conclusion is your last chance to make an impression and show the significance of your findings. How can you achieve that? When writing a conclusion, you need to provide connections to the previous ideas, briefly summarize your findings or restate the thesis. You shouldn’t include any new information. Finish your essay with a strong concluding statement that your readers will remember.
No one can write a perfect first draft. It’s impossible - revising is critical if you want to impress your professor and get a high grade for your work. You should start revising the content at least a week before your paper is due. You can use another strategy as well - revise individual paragraphs as you write them. Be ready that you may need to write more than one draft or revise your paper several times.
Read your paper and make changes to fix it and make impeccable. You can do it in a number of ways.
- Eliminate irrelevant ideas and unnecessary information
- Add new explanations, details, points to ensure additional support for your argument
- Rewrite paragraphs and sentences to present your ideas better
- Re-organize paragraphs and sentences to make your paper logical
Do you like your essay’s content? If you do, it’s time to edit it and add finishing touches. The goal of editing is making your writing clearer, more precise to ensure that your readers will be able to understand it.
How should you do it? You may ask someone to read your essay and request their feedback. You can read your college paper aloud yourself to hear the lack of clarity, repetition, wordiness, grammar mistakes and correct them. Use English dictionaries and grammar books.
You should use the following editing strategies to make your essay as best as it can be.
- Fix sentences with the passive voice
- Improve word choice by replacing long words with shorter ones
- Improve sentence structure and word order – correct run-ons and fragments
- Fix the logic, flow, and connections between ideas
- Rewrite long sentences and make them concise; eliminate unnecessary sentences in paragraphs if they don’t convey new messages
- Fix repetition and use thesaurus to find synonyms
When you finish editing, proofread your essay and fix minor errors, careless mistakes, typos. Check punctuation and spelling. Use the printed copy to notice mistakes you may overlook on a computer screen. Start proofreading with the last sentence and go backward; in this way, you will focus on spelling and grammar and not on the content.
We have discussed how to write academic paper. Let’s talk about another important aspect of your future essay – citations. To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit to other people whose ideas you use in your own work.
You have the right to express your opinions. You have the right to use ideas of people to support your argument and draw conclusions, but it’s your responsibility to inform your audience which ideas in your essay are not yours and which are your own. With proper citations, you demonstrate that you understand the significance of other people’s research, findings, and ideas in developing your own argument.
How to cite your sources? You should include in-text citations in accordance with the guidelines of the citation style recommended by your instructor. You are required to include a list of the sources you have cited at the end of your paper. Don’t cite works that are not in your bibliography.
Follow these guidelines and useful tips to create great papers and impress your professor. Need interesting topic ideas for your projects? Check other articles on our blog.
Writing academically on a college level is a hard work that requires a lot of time and effort. You can’t become a confident writer in a few days if you just read grammar and style guides no matter how full and detailed they are. You have to practice a lot. It means working for many hours every day.
If you are not sure that you can cope with your complicated assignment on your own, you can pay to get professional help in any subject from experts on our site. Our writers can provide you with quality sample papers on different topics that will be perfect in content and style. They are sure to be free of errors. You can use paid custom papers as good templates you can follow when creating your own works and understand how to write good academic papers. In this way, you can easily improve your analytical, critical and writing skills and become a successful student who gets high grades.
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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide
A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.
Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.
This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.
Table of contents
Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.
Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:
- Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
- Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
- Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.
Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.
There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.
You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.
You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.
Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:
- A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
- A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.
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Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.
Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.
- Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
- Are there any heated debates you can address?
- Do you have a unique take on your topic?
- Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?
In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”
A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.
The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.
You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.
A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.
A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.
Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:
- Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
- Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
- Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.
You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.
Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.
Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.
George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.
It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.
You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.
APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator
The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.
What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.
Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?
How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.
The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.
One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:
- topic sentences against the thesis statement;
- topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
- and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.
Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.
Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.
You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.
You should not :
- Offer new arguments or essential information
- Take up any more space than necessary
- Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)
There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.
- Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
- Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
- Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
- If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.
The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.
- Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
- Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
- Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.
Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:
- each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
- no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
- all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.
Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .
Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading or create an APA title page .
Scribbr’s professional editors can help with the revision process with our award-winning proofreading services.
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Checklist: Research paper
I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.
My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.
My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .
My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .
Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .
Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.
I have used appropriate transitions to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.
My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.
My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.
My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.
I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.
I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .
I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).
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How To Write Academic Papers?
By: Tasha Kolesnikova
The life of a student in the university is not complete without writing academic papers. This is because it is a necessary tool used by lecturers and professors to test the knowledge of their students. Professors also use academic writings as a way of knowing how much students can express their opinion over an idea and write about it logically.
What Is an Academic Paper?
Choose a subject to write on, curate ideas to guide you through your paper, do extensive research on your subject matter, find out your thesis statement, structure an outline, create the first draft following the outline, an introduction.
- Tips On How To Successfully Write an Academic Pape
What To Avoid While Writing an Academic Paper
How to start an academic paper, how long is an academic paper.
- How do you distinguish the parts of an academic pa
How do you write a good academic paragraph?
Writing an academic paper seems to be a challenge for many college students. A lot of students find it difficult to write these papers because they do not know the right steps to follow. Writing an academic essay successfully is one way of guaranteeing good grades in college. With this article, you will be able to know how to write a strong academic paper for publication.
An academic paper is a paper written with the sole purpose of convincing readers of the paper about a certain idea or a specific solution to a particular problem based on objective evidence. These papers are usually used for scholarly publications and in higher institutions.
An academic paper is not an essay based on personal opinion coupled with a lot of emotion and grandiosity. Instead, it is a type of writing that is formal and unbiased with a clear point of view gotten from correct and well-sourced research. It is not about what you think about an idea but what facts and figures say about it.
Academic writings can be in form of an essay, research paper , literature review , research proposal , or thesis and dissertation . The process of writing a successful academic essay involves thinking critically and investigating the evidence and data gotten to persuade your readers about the main idea.
Academic paper writing can only be successfully made when there is a thesis statement . A thesis statement should express the main idea in your academic writing so we can tell what your essay is all about. It should also show your point of view and answer the research questions you have generated for the writing.
Discovering the thesis statement is the most important process in writing an academic paper. Everything else in your writing should support your thesis statement. There is a lot involved in writing a paper such as reading previous articles, conducting in-depth research of scholarly articles , revising and planning, and so on to create a perfect paper.
How Do I Write an Academic Paper: Main Points
To know how to write a good academic paper, there are important guidelines that must be followed to be able to achieve a successful paper. These steps to follow through on how to write an academic paper are important because they will help captivate your audience and also award you great evaluation scores.
An academic essay cannot be written when there is no subject matter to write on. The first thing to do for a successful writing process is to select the subject on which you want to write about. You have to generate a topic for discussion. This is done by figuring out a subject idea you are most interested in. Some professors make it easy by giving a list of options to choose from. Ensure that the subject you are choosing for your writing is not vague. Select a more concrete idea or question to write about. This makes it easy for you to understand the main idea of your writing and also engages your audience better.
Once a subject is chosen, working with structures steps will guide you through your academic writing. Brainstorm on the opinions, questions, and all necessary information needed for the subject topic you have chosen. This process helps you to further understand all you need to do about the topic and to keep all of your information about the subject topic together. Through this, you have an idea about what to do and how to go about it.
The process of carrying out extensive research when writing an academic paper is constant till the very end. To be able to write a successful essay , you have to keep on making research because it is from this research you can get your facts. Your research has to be reliable and should mostly be from other scholarly papers and academic journals for more credibility. There has to be a structured plan on how to go about your research and you have to ensure that you follow the plan structure out. In doing your research paper , ensure that you write down the sources for reference purposes and also to be able to go back to them if need be.
Academic writing is usually entailed in a thesis statement. This is because the statement encapsulates the main idea of the paper. Through your thesis statement, the goal of your writing should be easily understood. Every other thing you include in your research paper must support and point to your thesis statement.
For successful academic writing, an outline has to be created to properly guide you and to make your writing process easier for you. A very detailed essay outline will save you from stress when you have to write a real paper so ensure that your outline carries the important details. The outline helps you achieve organized work and aids your writing process. The outline should follow the structure of your work which must have an introduction, the body parts, and the concluding part. The introduction must carry the thesis statement and important information about what the paper is about concisely. The body part contains paragraphs explaining the ideas that support your writing. The conclusion is a real short part that summarizes all that has been written.
Based on the outline made earlier, create your first draft including your introduction, the body parts, and the conclusion. Ensure that you do not have any form of plagiarism in your article and remember to add the following:
- A title page that has your name, date, class, and title on a separate page.
- Double spacing using Times New Roman at 12-point font.
- Number the pages.
- Using a margin between 1 – 1.25"
Once you are done with the first draft, edit your paper to fit all grammatical rules and correct spellings. Make corrections where necessary to give your article a more befitting look and ensure that all that was provided in the outline is critically followed.
This should not be done immediately but after some hours or a day's break so that you will be rereading the article from a refreshed point of view. In this way, you can easily pick out mistakes and see where to correct them. You look out for grammar and spelling errors better this way.
The Best Outline for a Strong Academic Paper
To write a very good paper, three structures need to be entailed in your writing. The academic writing must contain an introduction, the body parts, and a conclusion.
Academic writing must have an introduction that is very engaging and captivating to the audience. This part introduces the audience to the main idea and the point of view of your work. The introduction must be clear and orientating to your audience. Your introduction should end with the thesis statement.
These are written in paragraphs and they address the topic sentence and further explain the thesis statement. Each paragraph in the body part elaborates on ideas that support the main idea, including figures and facts, examples, statistics, and so on in a logical manner. There must be a connection between all paragraphs.
This is an important part that gives a summary of the ideas stated in the body paragraphs to further buttress the significance of the thesis statement. The conclusion has to also clearly show the connection between the ideas earlier stated. Finish your writing with a very catchy conclusion.
Tips On How To Successfully Write an Academic Paper
The following tips for writing academic papers will help you achieve a strong academic paper for publications if thoroughly followed.
- Understand the primary goal of your academic article To avoid confusing your audience or readers, you must comprehend the main idea of your academic writing. The basic goal is to provide direction for all other aspects of academic writing. Knowing your main aim will also help you decide how to do your research and what to look into. This is the first thing you should do after deciding on a subject.
- Consider how you can keep the audience's attention When reading your academic writing, your audience should not be bored or uninterested, therefore make sure the writing is interesting. Your writing has to be creatively formal so that your audience understands your main point and is also fascinated by your research paper. You have to know your readers and things they will like to see in an academic paper.
- Your point of view must be clearly seen The role of the thesis statement cannot be overemphasized as it clearly states the point of view of the writer. You have to ensure that your thesis statement is not confusing or ambiguous. It has to be a strong statement that heavily carries your point of view undoubtedly. Your audience should be able to tell all that the research paper is about from your thesis statement.
- The thesis statement needs to be focused on Once your thesis statement is perfectly created , ensure that all the paragraphs in the body parts of your paper support the thesis statement. This is how to write a successful academic paper that is focused on a point of view. Focusing on the thesis statement helps the writer to stay away from information that is not important or relevant to the study. The thesis statement gives a theme to the academic writing.
- Your academic paper has to be structured and orderly This is why you need to have an outline before you go ahead to write your paper. All you have to write in your research paper has to be connected in an orderly manner having an unbreakable flow. Each paragraph has to be connected to the previous one to give your academic essay a beautiful sync.
- Carefully carry out your research from reliable sources Your research must be carried out with reliable sources so that you do not put your audience at risk of using wrong information. Make sure that your sources are also properly cited in your writing according to the format given by your professor.
- Format your work according to the requirements of your work In writing a successful academic work, ensure that you follow all requirements as stated by your thesis supervisor. Format your work so that it is following all that is required by your professor. Following the format given plays a large role in the assessment process and can reduce your evaluation score if not duly followed.
- Adopt a writing style that is clear and easy to comprehend Your writing style for the essay should be straightforward. You have to avoid using ambiguous sentences or sentences that are too difficult to comprehend. Ensure that your work is very easy to read and is free from all forms of spelling errors, grammatical errors, and wrong information.
- Avoid expressing your idea at the end of the thesis When writing academic papers, make sure you do not express your main just when you are concluding the paper. This will be a total waste of time for your reader if they have to wait till the end before they can know your point of view. It has defeated the purpose of the thesis statement.
- Do not get information from just random sources Avoid digging up information from just any sources without confirming if it is a reliable source. This is because this can misinform your readers and also reduce your evaluation score if you do not extensively research your work.
- Having an introduction that does not address your argument Having an introduction that does not address your argument or point of view is a terrible way how to start an academic paper. If your audience is not able to know your point of view from your introduction, then the purpose of the introduction has been defeated.
- Plagiarism (not providing an in-text citation) To successfully write an academic essay, ensure that you avoid plagiarism at all costs. Plagiarism is an act of using the work of another person without acknowledging the source. Not providing in-text citation in your paper can term you as a cheat and also affect your grades. It is an act that is frowned at.
The processes and tips explained in this article will guide you on how to write a successful academic paper and give you the perfect result desired if carefully followed.
You start an academic paper by introducing the main idea of the essay to the audience clearly and interestingly. Your introduction must carry your thesis statement which embodies everything there is to know. It must be engaging and interesting also.
There is no specific length expected for academic writing. The length of your essay is determined by the requirements of the professor in charge of it. Most professors specify the number of words needed in the paper and this will determine how lengthy it is going to be.
How do you distinguish the parts of an academic paper?
The parts of academic writing are distinguished by the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. The introduction stirs the interest of the reader by giving them an idea to follow through, the body paragraphs go on to explain the idea and support the argument, then the conclusion gives a summary of it.
A good academic paragraph has to start with the topic sentence and elaborate on the thesis statement. Starting a paragraph with the topic sentence is a good way of letting the reader focus on what is being written about.
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The article is interesting to read, I personally learned some new things regarding research. The order of the writing is well structured, I could distinguish and easily point out the things I do feel were not important before. The sections are well arranged, from the beginning of why the writing is important to the last phase of the article and there is a direction, I could easily scroll to whichever section I want without having to look through the whole article. This article will in no doubt improve the education of researchers.
Every single word in this article is ridden with the essentials of the topic. The use of language is very good, and the grammar utilized makes it easy to comprehend what the article is trying to say. I wouldn't hesitate to make use of this website for my assignment and even some work I'd like to have published.
The analysis of the writing is clear, the rules are very straightforward, and the example given is perfect. The resources are excellent enough for a researcher. The citations aspect is not included and the reference list is not evident, but overall the article is a decent work. I give great kudos to the write-up and also I am sure that upcoming researchers who come across this article will learn some things about writing.
This is the best step by step guide any student would want as regards how to go about writing good academic papers. The article really was concise. I would recommend this blog for any student looking to do some preliminary research or looking to answer any research question. This article has refreshed me with more knowledge concerning the topic, especially the part that addresses citation style.
How to write an academic paper
This is a website for anybody who wants to write and publish an article in an academic journal. The journal article is the main form we academics have to communicate our ideas and our research to our peers. In this website I compile thoughts, tips, and resources for mastering the art of writing a good academic paper and getting it published. I will share my experience as an author and reviewer and ask successful colleagues for theirs. Follow this website, and over the next months, you will find advise on themes, such as:
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Hello, my name is Giorgos Kallis. I am an ICREA Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. I have published over one hundred peer-reviewed articles , and I have reviewed as editor, referee or as a friend many more. I have supervised some 15 PhD students, and helped scores of masters’ students turn their dissertations into publishable papers.
In this website, I share what I have learned over the years about the craft of writing and publishing a paper. And I invite colleagues who are successful writers, reviewers or journal editors to share their insights with us.
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- How to Write Good Academic Papers
- Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write Good Academic Papers Easily
Good Academic Paper Writing
10 rules how to write academic paper successfully, main parts of writing process, ✔ selecting good topic, ✔ brainstorming all ideas, ✔ doing research, ✔ writing thesis statement, ✔ making good outline, ✔ creating first draft, ✔ revising an academic work, ✔ editing your paper, ✔ proofreading your work.
Do you know what is an academic paper? During studying at university, students have to write a lot of academic papers in many subject fields. They have to write essays, research papers, analysis papers, informative essay, etc. The main purpose of writing these academic papers is to teach students to express their thoughts and share opinions on a certain paper topic. To complete an A-level project, you should think logically to explain your opinion and prove it with clear arguments. So, it is a must to develop analytical thinking and an ability to build contact with the reader.
Most of the students don't like to work on such assignments because they see it as torture. They wait until the deadline and make their papers on last night without getting a clear idea of what they are doing. Sometimes, students prefer to contact custom writers to get help with writing from professional essay writing services . We have created this detailed guide to explain the process of writing and the goal of making specific paper.
Needless to say that creating a 500 words essay or another original academic project shouldn't be associated with the nightmare. Students should treat the whole process of writing as a good chance to discover something interesting from a certain course. Academic paper writing should be something exciting and even challenging to do. If a student has the freedom to find and choose a killer topic, and to express his/her own ideas in work, the process of writing transforms into a great challenge that is interesting to take. Writing an academic paper develops many skills.
Students learn to think critically, express their thoughts, make some research work, search and gather important information, analyze facts. You should use an opportunity to show that you are familiar with the subject and you can analyze information. Also, it is necessary to demonstrate an ability to prove your standpoint with persuasive evidence. Do you think that writing isn’t your strong point? Do you still start panicking when you are assigned to complete an essay or some other written assignment? Keep reading this effective guide! We will provide you with useful tips on how to write high-quality academic papers that will make a positive impression on your tutor. If you understand the goal of writing and understand the entire process, creating good work doesn't seem a big problem. Follow simple step-by-step instructions and create good work to impress even the most demanding tutor!
It is a misconception that writing essays is as easy as ABC. There are certain rules you should follow when writing an essay or some other academic paper. If you get started without having a good paper sample and having no idea what rules to follow, you are likely to fail. No worries! We have prepared a list with the most important rules, which you need to take into account when creating original work. Every author follows certain writing rules before publishing his/her ideas.
If you want to impress your audience, have a look at the easy-to-follow rules for writing:
- You need to define the goal of writing your academic paper . The main purpose of any kind of paper is to analyze, inform the readers of some news in the related subject field. What kind of news? While conducting research you have found out about some publishing that informs about new discoveries related to your paper topic. Define the goal of your piece of writing right after you choose a topic for your future work.
- Consider your audience that will read your academic paper; think about how you can catch their interest with good attention grabbers and engage people with your ideas. You should think creatively and brainstorm unique ideas that will help the audience to understand that you, as an author, have your own voice.
- Needless to say that your work must be written with a clear point of view. That's why you have to reflect the main purpose of your paper in the thesis statement. Make it short but powerful. It should contain a strong statement. The whole paper idea is to generate a thesis statement and support it. The reader shouldn’t have any doubts that your paper is senseless and your thesis doesn’t contain any valuable opinion.
- You need to focus every single paragraph of your future work on the thesis statement. This will help you to avoid including unimportant and unnecessary information in the article. Being clear and concise is the most effective strategy that will definitely bring you success when publishing your piece of writing.
- You have to structure information to follow standards of writing. This is the best way to make your work logical and understandable to readers. It will help to avoid chaos in your paper. Think about your room. Do you like when everything is in order and all things are in their own places? The same is here. Each line of your article should be in its own place, each new chapter should contain new information, every argument should be connected with the previous thought.
- Make sure each paragraph of your article supports the thesis statement and the topic. Feel free to bring description, facts, examples, personal experience, and opinions of experts or quote sources to support your argument. Before mentioning the fact or using some examples, make sure that they are true. On the Internet, there are many sources, which contain false information. Of course, you can use the Internet to look for the information on your topic. Today, it is easier to go to the online library than to spend time visiting your local library. However. when using the Internet, check whether the source is credible. Pay attention to the rating of the site and give preference to the sites related to education.
- Provide your readers with a clear and complete explanation of ideas and thoughts you are going to write in your work. This is important for them to understand your paper. It is better to present your ideas in the very beginning, in the introductory part of your work. Tell about the key purpose of writing this paper and make it clear why it will be useful for the reader to spend time on getting acquainted with your research.
- Conduct detailed research before writing. Use reliable sources while writing your article to support your own opinion. Don't forget that it's important to cite all sources properly. You need to check guidelines for the proper citation. Otherwise, your tutor may think that you want others to think that these are your thoughts not of somebody else.
- Follow all the guidelines to use proper style and format (e.g., APA, MLA or ASA format ) in accordance with all requirements about your work. Remember that not only brilliant content influences the grade. Formatting plays an important role in the evaluation process of any academic project.
- Use a natural writing style to make your work clear, understandable, and easy to read for the audience. Avoid using banal phrases that can do nothing good. If you don’t want your reader to get bored, always be yourself and use examples from life that may be useful for the reader. You have to check the article for grammar, spelling and logical errors. Proofreading is the final step you need to make. The work containing mistakes will never be evaluated positively.
If you want to know how to write good academic papers, it's important to understand the main steps of the process. We suggest following these steps to create perfect paper:
- Select the subject;
- Brainstorm ideas about writing your future work and good titles for essays ;
- Conduct careful research of the chosen field
- Discover a thesis statement;
- Create a clear plan ( outline for essay ) of your writing;
- Write the draft of an article;
- Revise the finished work;
- Edit your text;
- Proofread your article.
We are going to provide you with full instructions about each and every step. Keep reading our guide designed with the education purpose. Create interesting and clear content without problems!
Sometimes, your teacher may provide you with a list of topics for writing, and in some cases, you will have to select a subject for your future writing on your own. Try to find a subject you are interested in. Make some ideas, and narrow these ideas to topics. For example, you may write about preventing ocean pollution, the importance of management, economic analysis. These are not topics because they are very broad. You can choose the more concrete question to write about. For instance, “ Does education influences career opportunities?” or “ Can a person succeed in life without getting a good education?”
A good idea is to write your topic as a question. This is the best way to turn readers' attention as well as define the main goal of your future work and understand what kind of issues you need to review inside. This is a list of signs of successful topics:
- You bring a question that doesn't have just one simple answer, but it may have several answers.
- Your audience cares about the answer to the question of your article.
- Your work provides readers with a new perspective, and topic motivates the audience to read the entire article.
- You are involved in the topic.
- You have chosen an appropriate topic for your future academic paper – if you will say too little or very much, you won't get successful work.
- You have information to write an article on a chosen topic. If you have not enough information, wide your subject, and if a lot, you have to narrow topic.
This step means writing down all opinions, questions and related information to your topic. This step allows you to understand what you already have about your topic, and what information you still need to find. Brainstorming helps to keep all your ideas together.
This is an important part of writing you need to do constantly during the writing process. If your research leads you in a bit different direction, you can change the topic a little. These are three important things you must keep in mind while making research.
- Don't forget to plan your research before you start the writing process.
- Follow schedule: at the beginning make preliminary research, and start working on your article, and go back to the research process if you need.
- Make notes about the sources. Write down the address of the education website or bookmark of every reliable source that you may use in your work.
This is the most important sentence in your work that provides readers with the main idea of your entire article. We are going to provide you with important things you have to include in the thesis.
- Your thesis contains the main idea of your paper (work should contain one idea).
- A thesis reflects your own opinion - if someone reads your thesis, he or she has to understand the main goal of your article.
- A thesis statement should answer the research question.
- If you want to create successful work, include something interesting into thesis to surprise your audience.
- A thesis should be clear and well-understandable to people.
- All sentences of your future work must support the thesis, and all the thoughts you put into an article should be connected to it.
It's very important to make a detailed plan for your future article before writing. Creating work without a clear outline is the same as traveling without a map. It means you don't know where to start, how to go, and where to end your paper. Thanks to outline, you will not face such problems, and spend much less time with writing. You will not lose important details and thoughts. The more details you write into the outline, the less time you will spend on writing entire work.
When you are creating an outline, follow the structure of your future work. Keep in mind that your article contains three main elements: introduction, main part, and a conclusion.
- An introduction on an essay is a short part that provides readers with brief information about your work. It's important to make this part interesting to catch people attention and motivate them to read the entire paper. You need to give some facts to readers to understand your topic without making this part boring. The introduction contains a thesis statement.
- Body part consists of several paragraphs, depending on your article's length and purpose. You should remember that every single paragraph must contain one idea to support the thesis. It's difficult for readers to be focused on long articles, that's why you shouldn't make very long paragraphs. We suggest writing each paragraph not longer than ¾ of the page.
- The conclusion is the shortest part of your work that sums up everything you said and shows the significance of an article, providing readers with a rephrased thesis. Don't make your conclusion very long. Check out you are not providing your audience with any kind of new information in this part. View our conclusion examples to get a full picture.
Read these important tips and use them during writing article.
- Follow outline during writing and re-read all information about an introduction, body part, and the conclusion we provided above.
- Read some information about how to use material from sources.
- During writing, don't pay your attention to grammar, misprints or any other details that can distract you from the process. Your main task is to follow your thoughts according to an outline.
- Avoid plagiarism – don't forget to mention the source if you use someone's words.
- Plan your time beforehand, and don't try to make your work at the last minute; if you don't have time for creating worthy paper, another option is to order it online. Writing is a serious process that requires a lot of time for planning, creating, and revising; this is one of the secrets on how to write good academic papers.
After you completed your draft, it's time to revise your work. Follow these tips to revise paper:
- Get feedback from classmates or other people, including relatives, teacher, or colleagues. Listen to what they said and make changes in your work, if needed.
- Re-read all requirements from your teacher, and check off what you already did, and mark things you still need to work on.
- Make an outline of your draft to check if you have organized all ideas clearly.
- Read every sentence of your work to check out it supports the thesis statement, and change all inappropriate sentences.
- Read your work to check out each body paragraph supports topic.
- Imagine that you have never read this paper before, and try to figure out what questions and comments your readers may have. Your audience should be attracted to your work.
Whether you are writing articles for a journal or creating a homework essay, you need to edit the finished work to make it easier to read and more precise. Follow these steps:
- Read your article out loud slowly and mark repetitions, wordiness, and misprints, which you have to correct.
- Use online sources to check spelling and grammar.
- Each and every sentence of your work has a proper structure.
You have to proofread your academic paper to avoid any careless mistakes, and we suggest having some rest after writing an article (at least the one day) and start proofreading with fresh eyes.
In this guide, we provided you with detailed information on how to write an academic paper. We hope our tips were useful, and our resources will help you to create strong work to get a high grade!
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