You’re a student new to academic papers writing, but suddenly, you’ve been instructed by your professor to write one. Everything is still very much new to you. You don’t know where or how to begin writing an academic paper. All you have is a detailed brief from your professor, but how do you start writing?
Many students experience this, especially in their first year in college. You realize that the writing pattern and style differ from what you learned in high school. Often, this realization sips in and becomes a fear that leads to procrastination.
It’s normal not to know how to start writing. All you need is to learn to write papers – in highschool or college. This article gives you reliable and actionable tips to guide your writing process.
Types of academic papers
The first stage of writing an academic paper is knowing the type of paper you are writing. There are various types of academic papers to take note of, and they are:
- Case Studies
- Opinion Essays
- Term Paper
- Research Papers
- Lab Reports
All types of academic papers have different writing styles. So, before you start writing an academic paper, figure out what type it is.
Format of academic paper
Academic paper format is the next thing you should learn. To write a paper that’ll gain you good grades, here is the format you should use:
- Three body paragraphs
- Appendix (For papers like lab reports)
Top 10 tips on writing a paper for beginners
Now that you’ve learned about the basics of writing an academic paper, it’s time for tips that’ll guide you through the writing process. If you find it hard to write your paper, follow these tips:
- Conduct research
The first stage is understanding the topic. For that to happen, do thorough research in that area. You learn more about your topic through research, enabling you to write better.
- Follow paper writing rules
Most times, professors provide writing briefs for students. Read the brief and follow all the instructions laid out by the professor.
- Draft an outline
After you’ve conducted research and read through the instructions, begin to outline. Your outline is the bone structure of your paper. Your outline should contain points and subtopics on the topic.
- Set a writing routine
Now that you have drafted your writing’s outline, it’s time to start writing. Draw a writing schedule that guides your writing process. If the paper is not due for the next one-two week, use your schedule to organize when to write to limit distractions.
- Read & jot sources
Writing an academic paper doesn’t end after the first research. As you write, you’ll tend to research more. The first research is the information stage. During this time, jot down important sources you’ll quote in your paper.
- Have many sources
In academia, a well-written paper incorporates more than one source. So, have as many sources as possible to support your points. Four sources are recommended numbers to use.
- Use academic language
What is academic language? Formal language. Avoid using colloquial language or contracted forms when writing an academic paper.
- Use simple & correct tenses
You don’t want to bore your readers, so make your writing easy to understand. Also, wrong tenses will affect your workflow and reduce your mark. So, your writing should be concise and free of errors.
- Use recommended reference style
Every discipline has its recommended reference style. There’s the APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard reference style. So, find out which one is recommended in your discipline.
- Proofread & edit
Proofreading your work is essential after writing. It helps you find out and correct writing errors.
Why is academic writing important?
There is so much importance in academic writing. For students, some of them are:
- Sharpens your writing skills
- Improves critical thinking
- Makes you an authority in a written piece
- Broadens your knowledge
The best academic writing piece is the ones that adhere to academic writing instructions and rules. So, as a student, ensure to follow the rules and the tips as a guide.