Useful Advice on How to Create a Winning Academic Research Paper

Writing a good academic research paper may seem quite difficult, especially if you have never written one before. Do not worry though, as it becomes much simpler if you follow these instructions:

  • Find the material
  • There are many ways of finding information, and it would be best to utilize most, if not all, of them. Search online, visit your local library, attend conferences, and read specialized academic literature. Make sure you write down or save each piece of relevant information you find so you will be able to filter and use it later on.

  • Carefully manage your time
  • It is always better to start early, and create a strict schedule to avoid other concerns interfering with the writing process. Set aside specific periods of time each day where you dedicate yourself to research. Divide your work into tasks. Create a visual reminder - a "to do" list, and strike out each task when done with it.

  • Give the right answers
  • Make sure you understand the question, and once you do, make sure you answer it properly. If the question calls for an exact definition, give it. Don't flood the page with hearsay or your personal thoughts on the matter. On the other hand, when you are asked to provide your opinion on the topic, quoting the textbook will hardly do.

  • Structurize
  • Don't just start writing off the top of your head; that can lead to nowhere fast. Think about how you want your essay to look like first. Draw an idea map - a "family tree"-type diagram, where the "trunk" is the main idea and the "branches" are spin-offs. Write a draft. Think about the people who will read your text. Will they find it comprehensible? Keep in mind that the clearer you state your point, the easier you can get it across to your reader.

  • Revise
  • If you have forgotten something or have come up with another matter you want to mention in your paper, do not add more paragraphs to the end. Consider the possibility of change from the beginning. If you get a new idea in the middle of writing, do not jump to it before giving your current paragraph a logical conclusion. If this idea significantly differs from the one you started with, change your thesis accordingly and revise the subtopics to make your whole text point towards that conclusion. Use spellcheck to flush out the typos and proofread your essay a few times.