Writing academic papers can be a time-consuming and challenging task for many students. You need to learn the right format of a successful paper to write on all subjects and use effective tips to understand what all teachers are searching for. Nowadays, all students need to write papers on a regular basis, and these are short pieces about a specific topic that may take a variety of forms. For example:
- Persuasive papers make a strong argument;
- Narrative essays tells readers an interesting story;
- Exploratory papers pursue a particular idea.
No matter what type of academic paper you need to write, specific principles will help you succeed.
The basics of forming your papers
First, you need to conduct your research of the chosen topic and make a detailed analysis. Take notes if you find any interesting facts or points. Your research will help you find interesting sources of information, but ensure that they’re updated and reliable. Feel free to use relevant books, websites, and academic databases to find both primary and secondary sources for your paper.
How to brainstorm a thesis
Any academic paper that you write is all about you. While conducting your research, ask a few basic questions:
- What interesting patterns do you notice?
- What questions should be asked?
- What are your personal observations and reactions?
After answering these questions, you’re quite likely to come up with a thesis that ties all essay sections together. A strong one succinctly expresses the main point in one brief sentence. Make sure that it also does the following:
- Explaining the importance of your major argument;
- Touching on the points made in your essay;
- Being logically sound;
- Being placed at the end of your introduction.
Making a helpful outline
The outline of your paper can help you organize all ideas and it serves as a skeleton of major points. You shouldn’t be concerned with citing any examples at this stage because all you need to do is to plan how your future paper will flow. Making an outline will help you save a lot of time when completing academic assignments. Write down all interesting points that come to your mind. Organize this plan to address all important paragraphs and sections. Bring in your readers and state a thesis, support your reasoning, and wrap everything up.
Effective strategies to write the best paper
Everything starts with drafting an introductory paragraph, as this is where you need to grab readers’ attention with making a strong thesis. Introduce the chosen topic that will be discussed in other sections. It’s possible to start your paper with:
- Intriguing questions;
- Relevant quotes;
- Addressed counterarguments.
Ensure that a thesis is clearly stated and related to your paper. That’s because other people need to have a good idea of its content after reading it.
Building the main body
If you’re assigned with a paper to write on a specific subject, the next step is writing the main body. It’s a section that consists of a few paragraphs that address separate topic ideas. Each one should add more weight to a thesis and be logically sound. Every paragraph should contain a unique topic sentence that clearly tells readers the point that you will make. Support all of your assertions with reliable and strong facts.
Ending your paper with a strong conclusion
A conclusion is always the last paragraph of all academic papers. Its basic purpose is bringing your writing to a close, leaving the audience feeling satisfied with the content, and restating everything mentioned in your opening statement briefly. End your essay with any memorable quotation, thought, and call to action.
General paper writing guidelines to be followed
Understand what your teachers or instructors expect by answering a few basic questions:
- Do they prefer the use of third person?
- Do they assign APA or MLA formatting?
- What is their take on margins and page numbers?
- How many sources are requires?
- Are there any unacceptable sources for them?
Checking grammar and using transitions
When a draft is ready, check for possible content and grammar mistakes. Before doing that, you need to take a break to refresh your mind. Asking other people to check your academic paper is a good idea. The main reason is that your writing may seem clear and interesting to you, but it’s hard to understand for others. Ask them to check your grammar and punctuation too because there may be some errors that you miss out.
Incorporating special transitions between paragraphs and sentences is one of the most effective ways to make your essay flow. They are used to show logical connections between all important ideas. Besides, transitions make it clear to readers that one section flows into others. Make sure that all topic sentences ease into strong evidence effortlessly.
Writing in the right tense and person
Most academic assignments require you to write in the third person and the present tense, unless teachers assign you a unique paper to write on something personal. This rule is applied because papers make the point, which is relevant now. However, if you think that more weight can be added to a major argument by using the first person, talk to professors or instructors whether they allow you to do that.
Avoid plagiarizing and summarizing
When completing academic assignments, you shouldn’t plagiarize or summarize because you will end up failing. Any paper that summarizing isn’t your work, so stand by your point and make a unique thesis. If you plagiarize anything in your paper, teachers will always know that because all students write differently so that your assignment will be interrupted by style changes. Keep in mind that plagiarism is associated with a number of harsh academic consequences.
How to revise a final draft
When revising your paper, you should check its overall organization, including coherence, logical flow of the introduction, effectiveness of the conclusion, depth of your discussion, etc. Pay attention to specific paragraph level issues, such as the sequence of ideas within all sections, topic sentences, use of facts to support your generalizations, use of transitions both between and within paragraphs, summary sentences, and so on.
Focus on documenting, correct use of footnotes and endnotes, accurate list of works cited, consists use of one formatting system, and other factors. Finally, there are certain sentence level concerns to be checked, including your word choice, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation. Once all the above-mentioned aspects are checked, your paper is ready to be submitted.
Knowing the main purpose and understanding your audience
When completing any academic assignment, be sure to understand everything that you’re asked to do. Determine the main goals that should be achieved by your writing, such as sharing important information or personal experiences and getting other people to change their mind. That’s because the purpose served by your paper will determine your choices.
The more you understand about the targeted audience, the better. As an example, readers who specialize in the given topic have their background knowledge, while others may not be familiar with this subject matter. The less you know about future readers, the more you need to provide context for all example and define terms in your paper.
Using a memorable language and title
Use only specific and concrete words in your paper because they can help your readers get a clearer understanding of what you want to communicate in it. Your word choice plays an important role when evaluating your writing. Write a catchy title that can make people want to read your essay and get their full attention fast. Use a clever phrase or ask an intriguing question to succeed.
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