How to Write Academic Papers That Will Impress Your Instructors

When students hear that they will be required to write an academic paper, they often are
filled with dread and looming stress. After all, they know they will face many difficulties with
academic paper writing. There is research to be completed, sources to cite, thesis statements
to create, outlining to be done, and all this happens before the actual writing even begins! It can
be intimidating. And what is an academic paper, anyway? Academic papers are meant to
present a thesis that the writer has developed from research and that forms an argument or
critical analysis. It does not include the writer’s opinion, but is based on evidence that will be
presented throughout the paper. Throughout this article, you will find information to help you
write an effective academic essay that will help you not only earn the grade you want, but also
build a strong foundation for future writing.

Learn How to Write an Academic Paper Quickly and

Academic paper writing is different from other types of writing you may be used to, such
as narrative essays, informal essays, or journals and blog entries. As an academic paper
writer, you must think about some important aspects of the writing process. Look at these
specifications before you begin writing.

Consider academic writing rules and processes

When writing a formal academic paper, you are required to complete research.
Sources must be credible and must be cited. You cannot write an academic paper
without using sources. Make sure you use academic language and write concisely.
Avoid contractions such as “don’t” and “can’t” and avoid using a passive voice.

When choosing your topic, narrow your focus

When choosing a topic for your academic paper, you must choose a theme that is
narrow in focus. Consider the length that the paper needs to be and choose a subject
that you can fully analyze within those pages. Topics that are too general result in papers
that lack purpose.

Complete the appropriate research using credible sources

Many instructors require that peer reviewed articles be used as sources for your
essay, but check the academic writing guidelines to be sure. If you are permitted to
use websites in your research, make sure to check their credibility. Do not use blogs or
user editable websites in academic writing.

Cite your sources as you go to avoid losing them

As you complete your research, make sure you compile a list of sources and what
source your information comes from. This way, you won’t forget when writing. Academic
papers require a list of sources as well as citations within the text. Failure to cite sources
is a form of plagiarism.

Consider the academic research paper format when constructing your paper

Academic research papers follow specific formats that are determined by discipline
or instructor. These include APA, MLA, Chicago, and other styles. Typically, your
instructor will let you know what style they would like you to use. These styles focus on
paper format and citation format and are important to success.

Make sure your introduction and conclusion are strong

The introduction and conclusion of your paper are as important as the body. They
present your thesis and let readers know what the paper is about. You need to make
sure they are thought-provoking and interesting. Consider looking over an academic
paper example to see a strong introduction and conclusion.

Learn how to title an academic paper effectively

The best academic papers have titles that are interesting and specific. If your title is
too general, it isn’t going to effectively present your topic to readers. You want a title that
presents your specific topic clearly and concisely and that will make your audience
interested in reading the paper.

Proofread your paper for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and content

Nothing hurts the credibility of writers more than unpolished or sloppy writing. If your
writing contains errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar, it can take away from your
purpose and make it difficult to read. Make sure to proofread your paper for grammar
and content multiple times before submitting it.

Understand How to Start an Academic Paper

Now that you know what to expect when you choose a topic, complete your research, and
format your paper, it’s time to start writing. This is often the most difficult part for students,
especially since the introduction needs to be strong and interesting to readers. There is no need
to stress out or stare at a blank document for hours, though! By considering some strategies
and tips to make your writing better, you can have an excellent academic paper in no time. Here
are some ideas to help you get started and stay on track to write an effective essay.

Perfect your thesis statement based on your research

Your thesis statement is what tells readers what you are going to prove in your
paper. For academic papers writing, your thesis should contain an idea that can be
argued based on evidence and research. It should be specific and contain the points you
will present in your body paragraphs.

Outline your essay before you start writing

Outlining is one of the most important strategies to use in writing an effective
research paper. While you can include additional information as you see fit when drafting
your essay, you still need to have an idea of how you will organize your paper to make it
cohesive and impactful.

Make your introduction effective by hooking your readers

Audiences know whether something is going to interest them within the first
paragraph of an academic research paper. Because of this, it’s imperative that you
write an introduction that will hook your readers into the content. The hook should be
relevant and add an element of intrigue to the topic.

Use clear topic sentences and transitional phrases

When writing an academic paper, make sure to use explanatory topic sentences at
the beginning of each body paragraph to indicate the main idea. Likewise, you should
use transitional phrases at the end of each paragraph to move on to the next idea. This
makes the paper flow more cohesively.

Know your audience and write with them in mind

A paper written for an academic audience will be different from a paper written for a
creative writing class or a narrative essay. When writing, consider the audience and what
they will expect while reading. The writing should not be robotic, but should present your
ideas in a formal manner.

Be concise in your wording

Students often feel pressured to meet a required page or word count. This leads to
wordiness, which refers to using more words than required to make a point. Extra words
that have no importance to the topic should be avoided. If you can say it in fewer words,
you should.

Use formal and academic language

The academic paper definition depicts an essay that proves a point through
evidence and research. Because of this, it is important to use formal, academic
language. If you use colloquial language, your credibility could be questioned.
Vocabulary should be centered around the discipline and should be written for academic

Vary your sentence structure for readability

Sentence structure is important to making your writing effective. It is better to vary
your sentence structure so that your writing flows seamlessly and is appealing to
readers. While there isn’t a specific academic format required regarding sentence
structure, make sure that your writing isn’t choppy and avoid run-on sentences.

Use an active voice instead of a passive voice

When writing sentences, make sure that the subject is performing the action. This is
referred to as active voice. Active voice keeps sentences from becoming wordy and
makes them more direct. “The cat caught the mouse.” is active voice while “The mouse
was caught by the cat.” is passive voice.

Have a peer review your draft before submitting it

Once you have written your first draft, have a peer review it. They can check that it
has the correct academic paper format, that there are no major grammatical issues,
and that it makes sense and fully supports your thesis statement. Someone else’s
perspective can help make your paper stronger.

When Writing an Academic Paper, Avoid These

Academic writing requires a deep understanding of the writing process. It takes skill to
create an argument that is effectively supported. Unfortunately, not all students have that skillset
naturally. The list below contains some common errors that students make and that should
always be avoided when writing an academic paper.

Do not plagiarize in any way

Instructors can tell if you plagiarize, even if it is unintentional. This is never
acceptable when writing an academic research essay. Make sure that you
appropriately cite all sources to avoid receiving a failing grade or facing disciplinary
action. Citing sources is a requirement any time you use outside information.

Don’t use Wikipedia or similar sources for information

While websites like Wikipedia are great when quickly looking something up for your
own purposes, they are not appropriate to use in research writing. The information can
easily be edited by anyone, so it cannot be trusted. You must always use database
sources or credible websites when conducting academic research.

Don’t use words you don’t know

While it can be tempting to use every big word you’ve seen as an academic paper
writer, make sure that you are using the words correctly. If you accidentally misuse a
word in a sentence, it detracts from your credibility. You are better off using language
you are familiar with.

Avoid using clichés in your writing

Clichés are phrases that are overused and unoriginal. This includes common
phrases such as “see the light”, “think outside the box”, and “opening a can of worms”.
There are hundreds of clichés, and you should avoid them all. Using clichés makes
writers seem like they lack ideas of their own.

Don’t use first or second person pronouns

When writing academic essays, first or second person pronouns should be avoided
unless otherwise indicated. This means that writers should not use “I”, “me”, “you”, “we”,
“our”, or other similar first or second person pronouns. Academic writing should not be
based on the writer’s opinion or directed at the readers.

Academic Papers Require Time and Effort

Academic writing is a higher order skill, and it takes time and effort to get it right. Students
must research effectively, format correctly, and present an argument that is backed by evidence
and fact. Academic papers are used in all disciplines and assigned in almost all upper level
courses. By using the strategies and techniques presented above, you can write an academic
research paper that will serve its purpose and prove a point. Sometimes, however, it may be
necessary to get the professional help that a writing service can provide. This can help you
improve your research and writing skills.

What are Academic Papers? Common Questions

If you are still confused about what an academic paper is and what’s expected to be
included in it, read the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding
academic research, formatting papers, and the writing process. While they don’t cover every
aspect of academic essays, these questions and answers can help clear up any confusion so
that you can get started with what really matters—writing your paper!

What is an academic paper and why are they assigned?

An academic paper is a type of essay that requires the writer to create an argument
that is backed up with evidence. They are assigned so that students can showcase their
ability to research a topic and come to a conclusion based on that research. They are
formal in nature.

Do you have to use research in an academic paper?

Yes, academic papers require varying levels of research. Students are required to
come up with a topic and create an effective argument, which requires the use of outside
sources. You cannot write an academic paper without researching the topic, but the
amount of research required varies depending on the content.

What citation style is required for academic writing?

Typically, instructors tell students what citation style to use in their writing. APA style
is used most frequently, especially in scientific writing. MLA is the second most popular
style, and is used primarily in humanities. Other styles, such as Chicago, are also used.
Make sure your paper is formatted correctly.

What is a thesis statement? Do I need one?

A thesis statement is presented in the introductory paragraph of the essay and
summarizes the claim of the essay and the evidence that will support that claim. It also
lets readers know the main idea of the paper. It is always necessary to include a thesis
statement in your introduction.

What kinds of sources can I use in my paper?

Specific source requirements will be given by instructors for academic papers.
Unreliable sources like Wikipedia should always be avoided. In some cases, reputable
website sources may be permitted. In other cases, only peer reviewed articles from
database sources are allowed. Students should always stay within the parameters of the