Academic writing is a form of written communication that has many conventions. These include clear writing, avoiding excessive reliance on specialized terminology, and carefully choosing vocabulary.
Academic papers are often written for a specific purpose, such as expanding an ongoing body of research, filling in a gap in current understanding, or challenging accepted ideas. It is important to understand this purpose before starting the paper.
What’s more? Here’s a guide to help you.
Choosing a topic
Choosing a topic is one of the most important aspects of writing an academic paper. This is because it determines how in-depth your research will be and whether or not you will be able to find relevant resources.
Choose a topic that interests you. This will make it easier for you to research and write the paper. It will also be easier for you to focus on the topic. Try to narrow your topic by focusing on one specific aspect of the subject.
For example, if your topic is music, you could make it more specific by focusing on blues music. This will allow you to do more in-depth research and will be a better fit for the assignment requirements.
Use library resources such as the CQ Researcher and scholarly encyclopedias to help you come up with ideas for your paper. You can also check out the research guides created by your professor.
Developing a thesis statement
Discovering your thesis statement is the most important step in writing an academic essay. It explains what your entire paper is about and helps readers understand the main point you are making in the writing.
A thesis statement is a concise, specific, and precise description of your paper’s argument. It is an essential part of any paper, typically found in your work’s introduction paragraphs.
Developing a thesis statement requires a thoughtful process. You should take the time to consider your ideas and record any that you have discovered through your research. You should also consider any opinions or questions that you have about your topic and try to incorporate them into your final paper.
After selecting a topic, it’s time to start researching. You’ll want to read widely on your topic and take notes as you go. Be sure to isolate the information that is most relevant to your paper’s purpose. Avoid wasting your time with irrelevant context or tangents. Also, write down page numbers so you can reference the sources later.
When doing your research, make sure you use scholarly sources only. These are sources that contain accurate, up-to-date information. It’s also essential to provide in-text citations when using quotes or paraphrased text from other sources.
Failure to do so can result in plagiarism, which is frowned upon in the academic world. Also, it’s important to follow formatting guidelines as set forth by your professor. Failure to follow these guidelines could reduce your evaluation score.
English grammar is notoriously complicated, and it takes scholars years to master the major points. To improve your writing, practice and seek detailed feedback from professors and fellow students. You can also use a tool such as Grammarly to check your work.
Avoid excessive reliance on specialist language (i.e., jargon). This is appropriate within your discipline but should be avoided when writing for a general audience. To be sure you are using disciplinary terms correctly, consult a subject-specific dictionary or a library database such as Credo Reference (a curated collection of subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and guides from highly respected publishers).