Students often inquire about what steps they should take to write a perfect paper. Academic writing is very specific when it comes to rules and requirements. This is both good and bad.
First of all, when you have a set of defined rules, it is much easier to follow them. You know exactly what is expected from you when it comes to structure, formatting, style, etc. However, these rules are so precise that any deviation from them may end up in a poor grade.
Thus, many professional papers writers say that the best writing guide you need is a clear understanding of what the professor expects from the content and what the instructions are.
In this article, we are going to present you with the writing guide we’ve created based on the most general academic requirements. We can boldly state that this is the most comprehensive guide you’ll need. Here it is!
Understand Your Assignment
This preparatory part is essential for writing. You should get a clear idea of why you are writing this essay, what you are going to say and how. You also need to choose the best topic if there is such an option. However, usually, it is your professor who chooses the topic for the entire class.
Nevertheless, you must understand the purpose of writing this essay. Ask yourself whether everything is clear, including the length, the structural elements, and the goal of the essay. If anything bothers you, clarify it with your tutor.
Research the Topic
Obviously, no essay is written without proper research. Even though you believe the topic is something you know well, do bother going online to seek more information. You can even start with Wikipedia but do not use it as a reference.
This research part is needed to come up with a list of primary and secondary sources as well as to fill in the knowledge gaps if you have any. This evidence will strengthen your points and make sure your thoughts and ideas are backed by scholarly sources.
Develop a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is usually placed in the introduction section. It gives a brief idea of what the essay is about and what is your main idea that you want to prove. A solid thesis statement is half of your success.
If you manage to put your main argument in nice words that are catchy enough to make readers continue reading, it’s a big achievement. Sometimes students write from scratch or correct the existing thesis when the rest of the essay is already finished.
Create an Outline
The best thing you can do to help yourself is to start with an outline. If your essay is lengthy, you are likely to get dragged away from the main topic sooner or later. Lots of new ideas will bombard you, and you can miss the main point.
Thus, to stick to the topic, you need to have a plan. An outline will help you maintain the initial structure and write based on evidence and facts. It is okay to deviate from the outline, but you should be conscious of these deviations.
Present Your Arguments
Present your main arguments in the body of your essay, using transition words and referencing supporting literature. Make sure each point has its own paragraph. The text should flow smoothly, not causing people to second-guess what they’ve just read.
Do not write many complex sentences. Academic writing allows it, but do not exaggerate. You need to stick to a certain structure and style but still do not make it too difficult to digest. In addition, ensure your ideas and thoughts come in a logical order. Do not make your readers go back through the entire text to find a causal link.
Conclude Your Essay
A good conclusion means a proper ending to your thoughts, arguments, and ideas. Thus, you should not include new findings or new evidence in your conclusion. At the same time, you can provide a few suggestions on how future research should contribute to the topic.
Also, try to avoid clichés like “to sum up” or “in conclusion.” The content of this paragraph should make it clear that it is a final part. Also, try to conclude all your ideas rather than leave them open for consideration.
Proofread and Edit
No essay should be submitted without proofreading and editing. This part is often neglected; however, it is one of the most important boxes to tick in your checklist. Typos, mistakes, and other issues happen when you write. Thus, to erase them, you need to read your creation once or twice.
A good idea is to run your essay through a grammar and spelling checker, too. Some mistakes are hard to trace, so it makes sense to rely on the algorithms at times. Most of them suggest the best ways to get rid of these grammar and spelling inconsistencies.
Check for Plagiarism
Last but not least is to check your paper for plagiarism. Even though you can swear that you haven’t used any unreferenced sources, the Internet is now full of information. Some of your sentences may still look similar to those already existing.
Thus, you should reference any borrowed idea properly for it to count as evidence. If a plagiarism checker of your choice happens to find some coincidence, you should immediately take measures to avoid it.
Every essay is written according to the requirements of a certain referencing style. Thus, if your instructions say that you should write it according to MLA, APA, Chicago, or Harvard, make sure you read the requirements and follow them to the dot.
This includes margins, font, font size, title page, page numbers, referencing pages, etc. Such small details really matter; they affect your grade directly.
These nine suggestions are applicable to writing any type of essay. They are very general that makes this guide pretty universal. Re-read them whenever you get to write your essay, and you’ll see how your grades improve.