Five Secrets of Academic Paper Writing
Out of all the influences on your success in educational pursuits, none is more important than your ability to write quality academic papers. Most of your grades will be determined in large part by how good the papers are that you turn in on the subjects covered in class. You papers need to be focused, easily comprehended, free of mistakes, and on time. This article offers up five secrets for you to use in the pursuit of great academic paper writing.
- Write To Your Audience. Be smart about who you are writing for, and what kind of content is likely to be well-received by them. Assuming you are writing for a teacher or professor, think carefully about what you know of their personality and style. For example, if your professor is a known environmental activist, a paper on the benefits of clear cutting forests is not likely to go over well. You don’t have to totally agree with the professor on all points, but it’s wise to not strongly oppose them, either.
- Follow Directions. A quick way to lose points on a paper is not following directions closely. Be sure to check for required word count, formatting, reference styles, etc. Follow directions to the letter and you will be off to a great start.
- Open Strong. An academic paper is not a Hollywood movie. You do not need to save up your major points for a grand ending. Lead out with the most important points of your paper, and use later pages to support your position.
- Save Time to Edit. A common mistake is waiting to finish a paper until the day (or hour) it’s due and rushing to turn it in. This results in a product that has not been revised or edited and will likely contain mistakes. Make it a goal to finish the writing process two days before the paper is due. That way, you can put it down for a while, then come back to it with fresh perspective and correct any errors that you find.
- Organize First, then Write. An academic paper needs to be well researched, thought out, and composed. If your first action is to just start typing, you will not have all of your thoughts together and organized. Take time to make an outline of the topic and all the points you want to cover. The writing will come easier this way, and the final product will be better organized and easier to comprehend.