How To Write An Academic Paper?

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Many students usually consider the term academic paper to mean an opinion piece or worse- a social commentary. However, this is definitely not the case. An academic essay is supposed to be a well research essay that should begin with a commencing statement called a ‘thesis statement’. This is supposed to then persuade or make your readers the proponents of the idea you are putting forward. Below are the steps any student can apply in order to write an academic paper of premium quality.

Initial Workup

  1. Peruse through the instructions given by your instructor. Before beginning, one should have a clear cut idea of what he or she is being asked to write.
  1. Make sure you understand all the rules that you are supposed to follow- this can be achieved by thoroughly reading the prompt.
  1. Understand the format in which your paper is supposed to written in. Follow the formatting guidelines thoroughly otherwise your hard work might just be rejected based on such a small mishap.
  1. Make sure you know the referencing style of your desired essay. Most schools ask for APA style but you can be asked for any other kind like MLA, Chicago, Harvard etc. How to cite in a certain style format is easily searchable on the web so this shouldn’t be a problem.
  2. Make sure you have studied your topic thoroughly and have the correct references related to it. This will be added to your bibliography.

Make sure you are choosing the correct sources to research your topic from. Negate the sources that are in any way biased or provide unclear information about your topic.

student writing his academic paper

The Writing Process Academic Paper Formats

  1. Thesis Statement:

This is essentially the crux of your essay. The make it or break it part. Here you shall get to explain your idea concisely. Make sure it stays brief and then build on the rest of your essay on it.

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Your thesis should be presented in the introductory paragraph of your essay along with a succinct description of the sources you will employ in order to give weight to your opening statement.

  1. Making an outline:

After having declared your opening statement and organizing your sources as per their relevancy, you must also then organize your thought process. The outline of your paper could look somewhat like:

Introduction > Body > Points 1, 2, 3 & 4 along with references from credible sources > Counter arguments-your rebuttal > Conclusion

Each of these sections should also start with their own opening statement that gives the reader an idea of what is to be discussed further. You should, at the same time, provide well researched evidence in order to support your points.

  1. Writing Your Introduction:

This is an essential step to provide the reader some basic understanding of your topic. This is better done, quite paradoxically, at the end of the essay. That is, when you have made all your points and you are well versed in the idea you are trying to convey, only then can you make others understand it better as well. Hence, this is essentially the background of your essay that serves as a foundation to the rest of the paper.

4. Body Paragraphs:

This is where the meat of the academic essay lies. You must make your argument here and make it clearly and inconspicuously. Know the topic well in order to do this. Provide readers with some background or fundamental understanding of the topic as well so they can actually wrap their head around your argument. Cater to the reader’s sensibilities, emotions as well as logistical and factual thinking while stating the argument with actual and credible data. Repeat your point if you may but make sure you don’t lose the reader’s attention to a boring repetition, instead try and be creative even if you are saying the same thing over and over again.

Do Checkout: The Importance of Proofreading Your Documents

Be authoritative and assertive about your point, state it un apologetically and do not leave any possibility of a rebuttal and any plot holes in your argument.

Making your point is one thing, another thing the writer must do in order to have a memorable essay is intuit the counter arguments that might arise against his or her academic paper. Realize them and devise methods to diffuse them. Once you have done that you must then put it in your essay to cover any chinks in your armor. This will not only solidify your opinion/research further but also give you an edge over other fellow essays.

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  1. Writing The Conclusion:

This is done in order to nicely tie together everything that you talked about in your earlier paragraphs. Reiterate those key points that you deem crucial to the understanding of your topic. Lastly, any suggestions you would like to make in order to provide solutions about the problem discussed in your academic essay could also be mentioned in the conclusive paragraph.

A big mistake many students end up making when it comes to writing the conclusion is trying to reinstate all that they already established in the introduction. This is unnecessary and takes the impact of all your arguments away.

6. Creating A Bibliography

This is crucial in order to provide a baseline of resources for anyone who might read your paper. The format that your bibliography requires by the institute or your instructor could vary but you should have at least the following components to each source you have cited.

  • Author name
  • Title
  • Publisher name
  • Publication Date

Finalizing The Academic Essay

Last but not the least, give your essay a thorough read and make sure you haven’t contradicted yourself at any point. Make sure everything has its nooks and cronies sorted out. The first draft is never what you submit so polish and polish again until you have a paper that is satisfactory to you. Make someone else read it in order to find any issues that might have escaped your attention. Proofread once more and viola, you have an amazing, high-quality academic essay.

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Are you beginning to get a better understanding of how to write an academic paper? Let us know in the comment sections below!

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