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How To Write An Academic Paper

How To Write An Academic Paper

















































  • What is an Academic Paper?
    from: Student Resources the Dartmouth College Composition Center
  • Detailed Information from the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Information on How to Write Academic Essays
    Originally prepared for students in the English Department at the University of Victoria, the Guide is an introduction to the process of writing and to the study of literature. Highly recommended!

How to Write a Term Paper
This guide from Gale, a world leader in e-information, publishing for libraries, schools and businesses, is designed to assist students in writing academic essays.

  • Writing a Research Paper
    A collection of links by Judy Vogt, University of Lethbridge Library
  • Writing an * Analytical * Paper
    from George Mason University, Department of English
  • Audience
    «Some writers think that academic audiences expect them to «sound smart» by using big or technical words. But the most important goal of academic writing is. to communicate an argument or information clearly and convincingly. It is true that academic writing has a certain style of its own and that you, as a student, are beginning to learn to read and write in that style.»
    from: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Writing Center
    • The Seven Steps of the Research Process
      This page outlines a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. From: Olin and Uris Libraries | Cornell University | Ithaca, NY

    A Guide for Writing Research Papers
    based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation
    Prepared by the Humanities Department and the Arthur C. Banks, Jr. Library Capital Community College Hartford, Connecticut. Highly recommended!

    Introductions and Conclusions

    • Writing an Introduction
      from the Academic Skills & Learning Centre, Australian National University
    • Introductions and Conclusions
      by Leora Freedman and Jerry Plotnick, University College Writing Centre, University of Toronto
    • Introductions and Conclusions
      from: Cleveland State University
    • Strategies for Writing a Conclusion
      from LEO: Literacy Education Online at St. Cloud State University
    • Annotated Bibliographies
      An annotated bibliography gives an account of the research that has been done on a given topic. Like any bibliography, an annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of research sources. In addition to bibliographic data, an annotated bibliography provides a concise summary of each source and some assessment of its value or relevance. (Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University, Indiana)
    • How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography (Cornell University,USA)
    • Writing an Annotated Bibliography (McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph, Canada)
    • Annotated Bibliographies (from the Writer’s Handbook published by the University of Wisconsin — Madison)

    How to Write an Academic Essay

    Part One of Four:
    Understanding the essay question Edit

    Understand the question asked of you. This is a crucial step; you must go through the question over and over until you grasp thoroughly what the question requires of you when answering. If you don’t understand a certain word, look it up in a dictionary or online; or, use contextual clues.

    • If you’re stuck, consult your instructor and ask what he or she wants you to answer. However, on opinion questions, your lecturer or teacher most likely won’t provide an answer.

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    Examine the topic for your essay. This is easier if you are assigned a topic with a specific text. If it is an open ended essay, choose a topic you know you can find plenty of legitimate resources for research.

    Research the topic. Do this in the library or on the internet––or using both means. Find relevant information that will bolster the content of your essay.

    • It can help to write the information you find on large index cards, to help you to stay organized.

    Write an outline. An outline is an organized list of points you wish to make in your essay, in the order they make sense and should be written. Getting your thoughts organized before hand makes writing the actual essay much quicker and easier, since you know what direction you’re going in.

    • Do not skip this step. Although this seems to be like a painstaking process, if you don’t write an outline, you will have a lot more work in your essay owing to disorganized information. Use index cards and find similar information. Pair this information together in the same paragraph. Do not write the information on the outline. Number your index cards so that you can look at the information when you write the essay.

    Read your rubric or question to help you figure out how many paragraphs the essay must contain, or how many pages it must be. You can also go back to your instructor.

    Part Three of Four:
    Writing the essay Edit

    Write your thesis. A thesis in an academic essay is usually written at the end of the introduction. It is the statement you intend to prove with the rest of the essay. For example, you can use a certain action by a literary character as ground that he or she is insane, and expand upon it.

    Write the first draft of the essay. This will not be the final product, so you should not treat it as such. Write what first comes to mind following your outline, it is okay if it doesn’t meet the length requirements quite yet.

    • Try to put in all the punctuation, capitalize beginning letters and proper nouns, and follow your outline.

    Divide your thoughts into paragraphs. Each point on your outline should be its own paragraph. A paragraph should contain a minimum of three sentences to stand on its own.

    Try to follow a pattern of ‘Claim’ followed by ‘Evidence’. Then follow it with ‘Impact’.

    • The claim is a statement, which is then supported by the evidence such as a reference or a quotation in context.
    • The impact is an intelligent review of how or why that claim is important in the context of the essay. The ‘impact’ then becomes the claim of the following paragraph, and so on.

    Write the second draft. Beef up any paragraphs that don’t provide much information or argument. Additional research may help you in this process.

    Use transitional phrases. A transitional phrase eases the reader from one paragraph to the next. If your outline was written well, these phrases should link the content in one paragraph to the next.

    Edit the draft. After you’ve written the second draft, edit it. Start in general: fix spelling, capitalize beginning letters, add periods, etc. If you are experienced with grammar, you can start sentence by sentence.

    • Eliminate rhetorical questions, or passive verbs such as was, were, is, etc, and make passive sentences active ones.

    Part Four of Four:
    Finalizing the essay Edit

    Write your final draft. Be sure this is in the correct format (many teachers and professors require you to use MLA format but ask first, assume nothing). Use both the computer’s spell-check, and read it over yourself as well. If you are unsure of your spelling or grammar, have a friend, classmate or family member read it before you print the copy you plan on handing in.

    Sample Essays Edit

    Community Q&A

    Can I use first person pronouns when I write an academic essay assignment?

    Answered by wikiHow Contributor

    • Never use the first person in an academic essay when you are trying to get a point across. Only include citations, references, quotes, research and own arguments/findings/conclusions. Use terms like «it can be argued» or «in contrast to this point» instead.

    Can you provide a list of writing developments?

    How do I position a paper outline?

    Tips Edit

    Do not mess with the font and/or margins to make your paper look longer. Most teachers and professors will actually deduct points for attempts to make the paper look longer. Just stick to the defaults, in fact, strangely, smaller text looks more substantial than larger text.

    Take a break! You may think of something genius to write while raiding the fridge or taking your dog for a walk.

    If you find yourself using the same words over and over again, use a thesaurus. If you don’t own a physical one, there are plenty online. In fact, your word processing program likely has a thesaurus built in. Just ensure that you know how to use the synonym that you choose well before inserting it into your text.

    Use proper English. For example, 2 is not a word; it is a symbol denoting a quantity of two. Never use text or colloquial language, this is not an email or text to your friends; it is an academic paper.

    Manage your time. Unless you are good at writing quick papers under stress, give yourself plenty of uninterrupted time to complete your assignment.

    Don’t make your essay a research report. A common mistake of many students, but you will frustrate your teacher or lecturer to no end.

    A paragraph is not just three sentences. Paragraphs should be at least six sentences, but don’t make your paragraphs too long.

    Warnings Edit

    Stick to the paragraph, page or word limit or you will likely be penalized.

    There are various search engines and applications that allow teachers and professors to input your paper in and search to see where you got your information from. This can result in failure, withdrawal from the course, and even suspension or expulsion. If you are unsure about something you have written being your own words or idea, just cite it from your research materials. Citations will save you.

    Do not plagiarize. Your readers expect the writing to be your own, with your ideas and your words. If you use the words or ideas of others and don’t indicate where they came from, you’re misleading your readers. It’s dishonest, a form of cheating, and it’s usually easy to see.

    Related wikiHows Edit

    How to BS Your Way Through a College Paper

    How to Write a Persuasive Thesis

    How to Write the Last Sentence in a Paper

    How to Write an Admissions Essay

    How to Write an Essay

    How to Write an Essay Introduction

    How to Put a Quote in an Essay

    How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    How to End an Essay

    How to Write a Narrative Essay

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