Knowing how to write a paper is one of the most essential skills a student can have. No matter how knowledgeable you are about a subject, if you cannot express your thoughts clearly in a good essay, then you simply will not make the grade. Learning how to excel in academic writing can quickly place you at the top of the class. Here is how to master the art of the term paper, standard report, or college paper.
Start with a thesis
A good thesis is the central focus of your essay. Everything else in the paper will serve to support this one statement. Therefore, writing the thesis first can help you organize your thoughts and make composing the rest of the essay much easier. Your thesis should include a statement of belief as well as the main supporting details of your argument.
The vast majority of high school reports and college papers require that you conduct a certain amount of research. Information gleaned from credible sources of information such as academic databases, can help you make a strong case for your thesis and make your paper a compelling one.
Make an outline
Once you have written your thesis statement, the next step is to create an outline. Ideally, the outline should include each of your supporting points in the order that you will address them, along with any relevant research you plan to cite in order to add credibility to each point. Making an outline will not only help you clarify your thoughts, but it will have the added advantage of keeping you on topic as you draft your report.
Follow a format
Although there are exceptions to the rule, most good essays follow a general format. While you may not be required to adhere to the guidelines of a standard, 5-paragraph essay, you will likely need an introduction, body, and conclusion. In addition, be sure that each of your body paragraphs addresses just one topic on your outline. When you finish writing about one topic, go on to the next paragraph.
Revise and proofread
The first draft of your essay or term paper is just that—a first draft. Even the most talented and proficient writers make mistakes. That is why it is always wise to take a second, third, or even fourth look at your paper before submitting it for grading. Take the time to revise your paper first, looking for any weak points in the essay or gaps in logic that may confuse your reader. Once you are satisfied that you have made a logical and convincing argument, you can then begin the proofreading phase. As you proofread, look for any errors in spelling or grammar that may distract your audience or undermine your credibility.
Once you unlock the secrets of how to write a paper, the benefits will last you a lifetime! Not only will your academic standing increase by leaps and bounds as you begin to express your ideas more clearly, but you will also possess the skills necessary to wow your future employers and accomplish your professional goals.