Writing An Academic Paper
Writing An Academic Paper
Writing a scientific paper remains a difficult, exhausting and intimidating task for many students. This is unfortunate because much of the course subjects a student takes at a university require writing paper as an academic exercise. Likewise, it is often crucial in professional circles to express themselves well in writing. Although eloquence and compositional skills are of great value in any industry, writing a thesis requires even more expertise. In academic writing, not only does one have to develop the ability to express oneself in words, but also the ability to research from an ever-growing number of sources in order to select and decide which of the relevant datasets are actually the most relevant. The author must be able to properly deliver his own observations, discussions and conclusions. Nonetheless, academic writing is not only an expression of one’s own opinion, but more importantly, an expression of facts that others have already identified, and logical opinions and conclusions based on research.
Why is writing a scientific paper scared many students? My observation, after having been exposed to the most common (and even most unusual) problems in the course of my work, in which I have reviewed thousands of articles, is quite simple. The fear comes from not knowing much about the technical aspects of writing a paper. There are no clear rules or, as it were, no black and white method to guide scientists in creating effective scientific work.
There are a variety of references for formatting bibliographic entries, using search engines, creating outlines, and using word processing programs. Most likely, however, one can not find a correct, concise, and simple description of the modern research method, which involves creating a paper from scratch and in its various phases of composition, as well as scaling the effort to the requirements of the job. I have searched and found no material that deals with this subject, which gives me the realization that such literature is urgently needed by aspiring (and even experienced) academics. With this article written by myself, I would like to remedy this deficiency by presenting you with an additional tool for writing scientific papers, arranged in simple and numbered steps from step 1 to step 12.
STEP 1. Start early.
If you’re busy now, and you think there’s more time later, you better think again. The future may just seem alright because it’s not there yet. If so, it will be as chaotic as the current situation. So how are you coming too late? It happens every day. It is impossible to know when you will have a clear period of time later. Continue to the next step once a paper has been assigned. If you do not do that right away, you and the writers are on their way to being late – and that happens a little bit each day.
STEP 2. Create a page budget.
Let us assume that the task is a descriptive essay or alternatively a general “comparison / contrast paper”. Take, for example, the latter:
Compare and contrast the roles that Freedom Park and Liberation Field played in the lives of 19th century immigrants in America. (Please note that Freedom Park and Liberation Field are fictional locations and are only examples in our whitepaper.)
Suppose that the paper should have a length of about 2500 words (about six pages) if it has a margin of 1 inch all around and at a distance. Let’s assume that the paper will not have a cover page. Also remember that the bibliography is never included in the page number.
The page budget for the paper also serves as an outline of your paper. You would have to decide what the elements of the paper should look like and assign the required number of words / pages for each element. In the example mapping, the logical page budget is set as follows:
1/2 page opening statement. What is the newspaper about? Which topics are presented? What are the goals of the paper?
One page facts about Freedom Park. Where is it located? When was it built? Who uses it? Are there any notable events that it has organized?
One page facts about Liberation Field. Where is it located? When was it built? Who uses it? Are there any notable events that it has organized?
One page immigration to New York in general. Which immigrant groups have arrived during the specified period? Are there any interesting and relevant facts that can be cited for each group?
Two sides The meat of the paper; Confrontation with the topic. What are the similarities and / or differences between the immigrant groups concerned, their respective involvement in their area / park and the reason for their participation?
1/2 page summary and conclusion. How was the topic investigated? What was found / proven?
Page outlines give authors an overview of the appropriate coverage of each element of the paper. Without this outline it is very easy to write about problems that you are already very familiar with and much easier to write too few problems that you are not very familiar with. In addition, you may not be able to solve all the problems. With a page outline, you can focus on resolving all issues within the appropriate memory cover. Most of the time, we find that page outlines tend to reduce page coverage rather than increasing the number of words for redundancy and / or generalizations. This is always a far better position than author.
Some professors set page restrictions, others do not. Therefore, it is extremely important that you can plan your paper correctly using a page outline. Writing is not just about focusing on ink, which comes to your mind, and then extending the words / phrases to the limits of page length. It is all about carefully developing the proposed research statement or position on a given topic.
STEP 3. Collect resource materials.
Start the paper with the assigned text, if included. Academic textbooks usually include bibliographies and / or footnotes with respect to other books / articles. Hardcopy publications are still excellent sources as the first resource material to search for. If there is no textbook associated with the task, you can start a search in an online library and topic search. The bibliographies and citations in this first set of sources, if properly researched, will guarantee that much of the task is already done.
Next, create a list of resources referenced by the first reference source. If the search task is small (less than 25 pages, fewer than 15 sources), a handwritten / typed breakdown is usually sufficient. However, if the research effort is larger (not too much student work is or will be), it should be considered to put the list together in a spreadsheet and / or Word document. Larger lists require journal source / reference search capabilities to better search topics in each journal for topics that can not be found.
Prepare the references / resources after finding them for marking (always remember to do this only for photocopied / printed copies and not for the original documents):
o For magazines, always remember to photocopy cover pages and tables of contents, as these pages usually contain the citation information for the items you are using.
o For Internet sources, print the article / source and make sure the URL (web address of the source) is printed.
o Treat journal sources like your book sources.
Always remember that sources with their own bibliographies are the best references. As such, journals remain the most credible academic sources as opposed to ordinary publications such as magazines. Try to find the latest references, as they will often prove more credible than previous literature, unless your source is a recognized source (or the topic of the work is historical) in your area of expertise. This is especially true in the fields of science / technology.
STEP 4. Make a first reading of the collected resource materials.
A first reading is a quick search of your references. You need a general concept of the subject to develop your own ideas on the topic. Highlight the references that appear important and / or related to the concepts and / or facts of the task. Do not hope to get in-depth knowledge at this point, but try to form a specific opinion on the references.
Initial readings should be taken while the resources are being collected. This saves a lot of time. Always have some magazines ready for a quick reading. This can be different between classes, during a bus ride, during a train ride, during lunch, and virtually anywhere. Always remember where you stopped reading, so that no time is wasted in re-recording the material.
In this phase of writing research, you find seemingly important materials / information that may ultimately prove worthless. Cull generously. At this point, it is best to distinguish the mash from the real grain. After the first read, make sure that the selected references are marked correctly in the source sheet.
STEP 5. Draft a research statement.
After the first reading you should be ready to write a research statement that will form the core of the research paper. It’s a simple statement with specific points that make up the cover of the paper. Ideally, it is a paragraph consisting of three to four sentences. Based on our sample, the proposed research statement is as follows:
The Irish were among the first major immigrant groups to land in New York. Over the years, these groups also came: the Swedes, the Germans, the Italians, the Eastern Europeans, the Chinese, the Greeks, the Koreans and more. The first generation of settlers often brought games that they played in their places of origin, but the second generation opted for “American” sports, especially baseball. Immigrant groups with access to venues like Freedom Park and Liberation Field are most likely to develop the skills needed to become sports professionals.
STEP 6. Read the selected references a second time.
Once the research statement has been prepared, you should read each of the selected sources a second time and in greater detail, searching specifically for quotable passages that can support the research statement. Make sure that any quotable passage is marked for convenient reference and that each of the sources of supply is properly marked once the second reading has been completed for it.
STEP 7. Create the “backbone” of the document with a word processor.
First, set the margins to 1 “on all pages (or to what is indicated by the professor / publisher.) Next, create a header with page numbers and footers with file name and path. Make a first page with name and title Insert a page break to create a second page and name the second page a “bibliography.” Note that there are no entries to enter in the bibliography at this stage are typed while the paper is being written The paper now has pages: a home page with a paper title and a blank title page.
Two points to note:
The bibliography documents entire books / articles.
Annotations (this may be footnotes at the bottom of each page or endnotes at the end of the search) link quoted phrases / phrases / concepts in the article to a specific page in the bibliography.
Footnotes can be created in an MS Word document via the menu bar: Insert> Reference> Footnote
STEP 8. Enter the marked quotes and make sure that each contains a commentary on its relationship to the research statement.
At this point in the paper, only the input is required. Transfer / tap all quotes marked in the sources to the Bibliography page. Make sure each entry is indented half an inch from the edge and the entries are listed in alphabetical order. As you type each entry, form the citation footnote for the entry. These footnotes should be page specific to the cited reference. This method creates a credible citation list with minimal ambiguity that treats inaccurate citations that may be suspicious.
Since this step is largely mechanical, it can be started, stopped, and restarted. In this phase, two important aspects of the paper are recalled: the bulk of the paper consists of scientifically substantiated content and also completes the bibliography.
Once this step is completed, approximately 80% of the paper will be finished, provided that proper care and attention has been taken in selecting the passages entered.
STEP 9. Develop the thoughts of the content and make sure everyone is supported by quotation marks.
Insert several spaces at the beginning of the paper before the first quote to use, and start drafting the paper content. Note that this starting point ultimately falls into the middle part of the paper, but writing starts here because it is the most important content of the paper.
Next, enter another point and then cut and paste quotes from the list you ran in step 8. Explore (by adding supporting phrases), assist (by quoting / quoting the author (s) of the reference) or simply work out the idea. Next, cite two or more meaningful quotes from the full list in step 8, identify different sources, and finally summarize the idea with the original thoughts on the subject.
This writing pattern should be followed until all the concepts of the core message are addressed.
From this step, an almost finished paper is created.
STEP 10. Write the introduction and completion of the research paper.
In the example used, details of Freedom Park and Liberation Field are discussed in the introduction. This section does not form the heart of the paper, but ensures that quotes continue to be used to anchor the content with facts from the resources.
Make the conclusion short and sweet. Please reiterate the main concepts of the paper and highlight the “proven” based on quotes and facts derived from the main body of the paper (created in step 8). Avoid redundancy in terms of word usage and sentence structure, a common mistake made by less experienced authors who worry about the number of words. Be sure to follow the word count restrictions for the paper when carefully performing step 8.
STEP 11. Write the summary of the research.
It may seem strange that writing the abstract of the paper is reserved for the final stages of a paper’s drafting, but this is the best time to introduce what is to be discussed in the paper – after the actual paper has already been written.
This step will clarify what has already been presented (as soon as the content that has been written has been duly taken into account).
STEP 12. Have the paper undergo a final English review by a professional editor.
This step provides the last opportunity to find spelling, grammar, or comprehension errors in the paper you just created.