How to write a concept paper

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When teachers ask you to write concept papers, you should know their definitions and basic purposes. This academic assignment is targeted at describing the purpose and potential outcomes of a specific theory. How to write a concept paper? To achieve this goal, the first thing that you need to do is to use your passionate and clear language to express and explain why a given theory or idea matters a lot and who can benefit from it.

What is a concept paper?

Basically, any concept paper must offer an in-depth analysis of the chosen intangible theory, idea, or thought. Some of the most common concept examples include the following:

  • Education;
  • Fear;
  • Unemployment;
  • Authorship and others.

The main goal of completing this academic assignment is to explain to the audience a given idea objectively. If your readers don’t have any knowledge about a particular matter, your basic task is to inform them well. If they are familiar with the chosen subject, you need to add new and fresh things into its discussion. In most cases, concept papers discuss controversial topics that can be interpreted in a number of ways.

Why should you write a concept paper?

Before going into details on how to write a concept paper, you should understand the main reasons to do it. This paper serves as a prelude to a full writing project, which can be any program thesis, project, or other written works that take a long time to prepare. In their essence, concept papers offer the embodiment of your thoughts on a particular topic or subject of interest. This academic assignment helps students save time because their thesis ideas may not be worth pursuing.

In most cases, teachers expect their students to submit the concept papers that consist only of 1-2 pages. If you want to cover a few matters at once, you can write up to 5 pages. For instance, if you’re asked to write this paper for a future thesis proposal, you need to develop a strong idea and express it clearly to let other understand it well.

Is there any written format?

There’s no single rule that can help you write a good concept paper. Some instructors claims that it’s not desirable to stick to any strict format because your ideas will be limited if you place them in a box. Besides, you risk missing out some significant points that may not fit a given format. The main point is that you should express to readers what you want to do. Consider certain things that your concept paper should contain and address to serve as a prelude to a thesis or any other lengthy written project.

How to systemize your approach

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This assignment should have a few basic elements in the right order to help you systemize a written approach. First, a rationale requires you to explain the main reasons why you want to undertake a future written project by asking some basic questions:

  • What is the issue of importance?
  • What prompted you to write a concept paper?
  • What do you want to produce out of an intended study?

A conceptual framework

Any conceptual framework is just your guide when working on the chosen idea. It’s just like a map that must be followed to avoid missing out the right direction. How to write a concept paper? Doing a special mind-mapping exercise is an effective way to come up with a great conceptual framework. A mind map is a list of specific keywords or phrases that can be connected to make a particular issue clear to readers. It’s also your subconscious way to analyze things and it relates to how you recall experiences. How does it work? All you need to do is to choose a particular word or phrase that will help you get started. You should start with a certain issue and general other ideas that can be connected with the previous one.

Your hypothesis

Once you get a clear conceptual framework, you’re ready to write a hypothesis, which is your expected output in the way of conducting a study. It always arises from a conceptual framework. When you identify specific variables in the subject that you want to study, there are some questions that should be answered, such as:

  • How are all variables related?
  • Are they related at all?
  • Does one of them affect others?

A brief review of updated and relevant sources can help you determine the variables that really matter for your concept paper.

Concept paper writing basics

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Start with establishing the main purpose and grabbing readers’ attention. That’s because any concept paper is meant to convince the audience that your future project is worth their attention. It’s critical to hook readers at once, so give your paper a descriptive title.

After getting their attention, an introductory paragraph should describe how your goals are made worth reaching them. This simple writing technique can help you prove that you did some homework and you’re serious about your future written project.

A few sentences in the next section of your concept paper should be devoted to a specific purpose, so describe a problem that your project will address and illustrate what you know about its existence. Put it in a broader context to explain why it matters a lot and show how your written project related to relevant issues. Use statistics and other numerical tools to build a strong case. Remember that some readers also like personal stories and narratives. You need to include all references to verify any data that you use in a concept paper.

Explain how a concept works

How to write a concept paper? Share the basics of the chosen method because all readers want to know how you investigate or solve a given issue, even if they’re convinced that your issue matters. Describe the methods that you use, including any relevant activities.

Explain what makes these methods unique and what sets your written project apart. Include a brief timeline for implementing it in the future when needed. Provide readers with strong examples of how your project will be assessed because your concept paper should explain to them how to measure its outcomes.

End this academic assignment with a project summary where you need to wrap things up with a brief paragraph. It should reiterate the main purpose of your written project, needs, and basic plan of action. Focus only on the main points that readers should remember.

Revise a final draft

Keep your concept paper neat and short because teachers will reject it if a final draft is poorly formatted or contains other errors. If you’re required to stick to a certain format, follow the necessary directions carefully. In most cases, concept papers should be typed in a standard font and you need to use reasonable margins, choose a readable size, and number all pages.

Make sure that the language of a concept paper is clear and action-oriented. Teachers appreciate doable and well-thought written projects, so avoid doing anything that sounds like you aren’t confident in what you write. Use the vocabulary that all readers can easily understand. Some concept papers may require technical terminology, while others ask you to explain all key terms.

When your final draft is ready, you need to proofread it before submitting. Otherwise, your concept paper will have a negative impact on a future written project even if it’s quite strong. It happens only because a final copy is filled with typos, mistakes, and formatting errors. Prove that you are appreciative, thoughtful, and careful.

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