Brief Guide for Beginners to Write an Excellent Academic Paper
Do you have the urge to write an academic paper but find it difficult to start? Confused on what the difference is between an essay and a paper? Don’t know how to approach a research report? Put those worries aside! Whether you are new in school or have been a part of academia for years, this blog post aims to relieve some of your anxiety by outlining the steps involved in writing an academic paper.
What is an academic paper? An academic paper is a written record of an academic research project. We can summarize it as an organized sequence of ideas that reveal the author’s personal background and experience, which is supposed to help the reader understand the topic at hand. Academic papers are often used to argue a point or discuss a topic.
Ways of writing an academic paper in a genuine prose style. Plain, simple essays are an easy and effective way to present your ideas. Your essay structure should be organized into paragraphs, each presenting a topic relevant to your argument.
General Principles to follow
- Easy language use
Write in an unpretentious style. Use clear and simple language, not extravagant words that are complicated for the reader to understand.
- Consider your audience
Make it easy for your readers by considering their proficiency in English when you are writing your paper. Avoid using complex and abstruse terms and phrases that may not be familiar to them.
- Organization is key to a good paper
Establishing a flow in writing paragraphs is an essential step towards presenting a coherent essay. Paragraphs should be organized into topic paragraphs and counter paragraphs. Topic paragraphs introduce your main idea, and the counter paragraph provides a supporting argument. Every new topic should have its own paragraph.
- Use short sentences in your essay
Academic papers are often read by people who have not written them. It is pertinent to write simple language that is free from the unnecessary technical vocabulary.
The necessary steps during the writing process
- Researching your subject: the research will be your backbone. Writing a paper is very different from writing an essay, as you have to gather information and research facts about the topic at hand.
- Brainstorming ideas (jot them down): you can use pen and paper or a word processor to jot down all your ideas as they come to you. Organize these notes in groups that are related by content or thinking.
- Outlining your manuscript: Once you have organized your notes, find the topic sentences and supporting arguments to outline your essay.
- Writing a rough draft: It is important to get your thoughts down on paper before editing. The purpose of writing a rough draft is to ensure that the ideas are coherent and well-developed.
- Editing your work carefully: This is an important stage of writing an academic paper. Take time to check for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, punctuation errors, and citations.
- Checking for plagiarism: Don’t take any chance of being accused of plagiarism! There are many simple reference checking tools available that will enable you to check your essay for plagiarized content.
- Creating your citations: Citing relevant information and sources is an important part of writing a paper. The easiest way to ensure that you have cited the author’s work correctly is to use a citation management software like Endnote.
- Proofreading your work: For each page, edit and proofread by using a word processor or manually. Make sure that all sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.
Conclude your paper with a sense of finality
The conclusion should not be an afterthought. It should be written in such a manner that it summarizes the main points on which your argument is based. The conclusion will also present your thesis in a compelling manner.
A short essay should sum up the points you made earlier by summarizing the importance of the research, highlighting its limitations, and drawing conclusions based on the findings.
Write about your personal experience. Although academic papers may be written about events and ideas that have nothing to do with your personal experiences, many generations of writers before you who have been writing these papers have used their personal experiences as points of reference and a source of inspiration.