If you’re trying to write an academic paper for the first time in your life, then you must be pretty confused. Where to start? How to do it properly? How to avoid plagiarism? How to differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources?
All of these questions are completely valid and normal, especially if you never underwent any training in academic writing. It’s completely different from writing essays when you were in high school. There are some rules that must be followed if you want to write a high-quality research paper.
In this article, we will help you learn how to write a complete academic paper without any trouble whatsoever. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
Choose your topic carefully
If you have the freedom to pick your own subject, make sure to choose something you feel passionate about. This will make both the researching and writing much more exciting. Also, if you already have some background knowledge on the topic, finding appropriate sources will be faster and easier.
Another thing to be aware of is to choose a specific topic. Don’t choose something too general because you’ll be overwhelmed with too many scientific resources and won’t be able to focus your attention on the most important factors. Make sure the topic is scientifically valuable and that you’ll be able to make use of the knowledge you gain while researching it.
All in all, the topic should be something you want to learn about, something that has enough scientific literature to back you up, and something that will be useful in your academic future.
Research, research, research!
Finding reliable sources of information is the most important part of writing any type of paper. Your best friend will be the library. Don’t rely on Wikipedia or any other open-source base of knowledge, since the info you find on there wouldn’t be accepted as a reliable source by most academic institutions.
You can find a lot of scientific papers in their pdf form online, and many libraries now have their online bases too. In the age of digitalization, your search for related information won’t be hard at all. You can even find examples of similar papers and learn more about how your paper should look. Of course, you should cite your sources properly, so you don’t leave any room for plagiarism accusations. Using full-on quotes from another author is a completely valid option as long as you make sure to give credit where it’s due. Of course, you’ll have to provide your own thoughts on the matter, don’t just quote someone else.
Your writing style has to be clean and professional, so make sure you avoid slang and colloquialism. The whole paper must be without a single grammatic error, so make sure you do some extensive proof-reading before you decide to turn it in.
Also, it’s always a good idea to consult your professor and ask them about any technical requirements that you’ll need to follow. Don’t hesitate to ask for some writing advice too, since nobody can give you better advice than your professor or mentor. As a last resort, you can make use of services like cheappaperwriting.com to get some additional writing help.
Other than that, read up on similar literature so you get a better sense of a style. Your college textbooks are a great way to start. If you have issues with grammar, you can always use electronic tools made to help you fix any grammatical mistakes present in your paper. Research academic writing on google, and find even more detailed tips on the writing style necessary for this kind of paper.
Start with a hypothesis
To write an objective research paper, you’ll need to start out with a hypothesis you want to prove or disprove. For example, let’s say you’re writing a paper in psychology, and your topic is the effects of the COVID19 pandemic on our mental health. Most experts agree that the pandemic had huge consequences on both of our mental state and physical health. Still, you have to look for proof, look at papers that talk about economical instability and its effect on mental health, the importance of socialization for happiness, and so on and so on. Back your paper with enough scientific evidence and use statistic tools like graphs and charts.
Still, you have to be careful when looking into statistic data and research. Knowing the methodology behind statistical research is of utmost importance. The results of statistic research are easily manipulated and made inaccurate if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pay attention to the methodology, the size of the sample that the research was conducted on, and many other important factors that are detrimental to the result.
Construction and drafting
Make sure to follow all the technical requirements that are requested. That will probably include font and font size, spacing, and other technical aspects. But besides that, you should format your paper so it fits universal scientific standards. It should have an introduction and conclusion, and it should include things like bibliography and a table of contents.
Usually, these things will be provided by your professor, but if not, it’s good to consult with them before you start writing. Having a draft will also make the writing process much easier for you. Even if your professor doesn’t require you to follow certain technicalities you should still organize your paper in a couple of different sections. This will make your job so much easier and your paper will be much more complete.
Writing a research paper is not an easy thing to do, especially if you don’t have any prior experience with it. Still, if you choose your topic carefully, find reliable sources of information, organize your work, and pick a scientific hypothesis to prove, you’ll be done in no time. Always make sure to ask your professor or colleagues if you’re not sure about technicalities since this could bring your grade down.
If you want a good grade on your paper, make sure to plan it out and never do it the night before the deadline. A high-quality research paper will require a lot of time and effort on your part.