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Tips on Producing Successful Academic Papers

February 28, 2019| Category: Writing Tips

Irrespective of the subject, genre or field, successful academic writing has the following features:

Beginning with Good Ideas. The prime concern of the writers should be turning their ideas into a clear and readable text for the target audience. In fact, your ideas are meat and potatoes of your paper. Keep in mind that before you submit the final draft of your paper, you should go through your grammar, style.  Nothing can deter the audience from reading your paper more quickly than incorrect grammar and style, even if you put forward brilliant ideas.

Clear Understanding of Rhetorical Choices. According to Ken Hyland, the most significant ingredient for becoming a top-notch writer is to be cognizant of your rhetorical choices. In the process of writing, always remember the rhetorical purpose and academic standards you need to stick to: (a) Who are your readers? (b) What is your purpose? and (c) What is the genre of your paper?

Dealing with the “So What” Question. One of the most fundamental requirements for the academic paper is to answer the “So What?” question or problem statement, which is exemplified in these guides that you need to answer in your academic writing: (a) What is the issue you deal with? (b) What specific questions does the issue include? (c) What is the context and background of the issue? and (d) Why is the issue important?

If the paper you are writing covers these questions and approaches the answers by taking into consideration both higher and lower concerns, and provides new information to make your writing more interesting and cognitive, then the paper is likely to be successful.

Organizing Your Ideas in a Logical Order. Organize your paragraphs and evidence in a linear manner so that it appears logical. Do it by means of transitions, signal phrases, and verbs that help the reader to understand whether you agree or disagree with the evidence you put forward. Each paragraph, as well as your whole paper, should correspond to this format: (a) Present the main idea that will be elaborated (b) Give the evidence to prove your argument, and (c) Elaborate on the importance of the evidence you have put forward.

Using Sources Sensibly. While stating the connections and evidence portions of your work, reflect on the following issues: (a) How much information to give, (b) What sort of information to give, and (c) How to order the information you give.

Writing Comprehensively and Directly. Organize your ideas in a linear manner. Opt for strong verbs instead of nominalization or adverbs. For instance, in the case of nominalization, you would probably write “to create an obstacle” rather than “to obstruct” or “to provide help” rather than just “to help.” Opting for a verb will enable you to put across your idea more clearly and directly. The same is true about strong verbs. For example, opt for the verb “to brood,” rather than “to think a lot”.

Providing comprehensible and detailed prose. Do not expect that your readers are knowledgeable about your subject. You are in charge of this study and thus, you need to serve as a guide to readers so that they could follow the argument throughout the paper.

Adhering to the same style and tone. Adjust the tone and style to your discipline, field, or course. When dealing with the Sciences, opt for passive voice. However, in the case of the Humanities, active voice is more preferable.

Sounding authoritative. When dealing with academic papers, you should testify to the fact that you are an authority in your subject. Thus, you should write with conviction.

Ensuring Your Paper is Mechanically Competent:  In order to ensure the credibility of your paper, you should stick to the required rules of citation in your discipline. By means of citation, you help to establish a specific context of knowledge or problem that your paper serves as a contribution to. Additionally, citation is fundamental in serving as an intermediary between a writer’s argument and his or her own judgment. Finally, do not stoop to plagiarism under any circumstances.

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