The Handy Guide in Writing Papers at the UniversityOctober 17, 2019

The objective of this article is not to help you decide on what topic to write about. It doesn't lay down the basic rules in academic writing as well. It's rather articulating your perspective, which is what your professors are expecting from you.

You must have been lucky, if not unaware of your literary gifts, if you didn't read your admissions essay many times (before submitting it). Admissions tutors wouldn't mind your lapses in grammar, as their decision (on offering you a place) depend on how you present your ideas in a legitimate and persuasive way. There are rules and regulations, which you don't have a clue of. As a matter of fact, you've been a bit careless in your writing of essay papers in secondary school. It's not an issue, as a few are destined for a writing career. Professors would expect more from Literature students, and from students majoring in Literature and another degree course, but it doesn't mean that other students must be less vigilant about their paper writing skills (or lack of). This article would turn you into an essay writer that your professors want to, and that an essay paper of four thousand words doesn’t look excessive to you. It shouldn’t be after you have written your first few essays.

Rules of the Game: The Proper Way to Write an Academic Paper

Make use of the course readings. Your professors would make it easier and orderly for you and your coursemates, so look at the course readings carefully. Follow what is stated, and cite it properly. It doesn’t matter if it’s a research paper, where your skills in finding information and sources are put to the test, or a topic paper, where your writing would be based from the list of topic provided by your professors, as course readings don’t differ from one to the other. In other words, the rules apply to both.

Your thesis statement must be specific, concise, and debatable. A thesis statement pertains to the main argument of your paper, which shows that you have fully grasp the written text that is assigned by your professor. For instance, your professor assigned a book that takes place during the colonial days. If you’re thinking about the complex history of Australia, then you’re not trying at all. (There are too many interesting moments to consider.) You might zero in the plight of the aborigines back then, which can be unpleasant topic. If you do your research and choose your words, then you could impress your professor. You don’t have to be afraid of being disliked, as your professors would read your paper objectively. Think carefully.

Why must your professors care about your paper? The answer to that question can be summed up in three words: Introduction and conclusion. You have a thesis statement, but it doesn’t grab your professors’ attention. A good introduction would make them take notice of your writing and get interested in your ideas. And it would depend on that opening. State what to expect from your paper, and why it’s important to everyone. The same thing applies to writing a conclusion, where you state the morals, if not what could be learned from the information that supports your statement. It must be a sentence or two long, though.

Don’t ever take citation lightly. The rules state that you must cite your sources, which would support your thesis statement. If you read it again (and again), then it would dawn on you that you understand how the authors (of your sources) have developed their own arguments. It would be linked to yours, and this is not wishful thinking. Read your sources carefully, analysing it before citing it. Don’t do it because you don’t have to worry too much about the word count. You must not be daunted by it. As for the citations, refer to the proper way of creating a bibliography (at the end of your paper).

What is the right way to present your paper? There are rules in the presentation, which you must follow strictly. There’s more than what the rules would say, though. Your professors care about what you think on a particular text. You may be flattered by such thought, which could make you take for granted of what you’re about to read next. Writing a sloppy paper is more than a capital sin. It’s disrespecting the process and taking for granted the opportunity that your professors have given to you. Show them what you have to offer to the academic discussion.

It Comes Down to Pride

If you care about what you do, the rest would take care of itself. You must take pride in writing your paper, as it takes a lot of time and effort to construct your argument and present it in a persuasive manner. There’s a lot of work in it, which is why you must not take it for granted. If you didn’t grasp the entirety of it, read this article again.

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