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No matter how much you may want to write academic papers the way 5YOU want to write them, it’s impossible because the academic style supposes the defined style and formatting. It should be professional, precise, and organized.
Some students think that if they are bad at academic writing, they can never improve. That’s a biased opinion and with some practice and a sense of direction, you can enhance your skills. Here are 10 tips that will help you achieve this goal.
1. Learn to Use the Academic Format
Proper formatting requires an original title, an introductory paragraph, several body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. You should also make sure to use standard spacing (double-spaced lines), margins (usually one-inch margins), and font (usually, size 12 Times New Roman). If the content of your essay is good but your formatting is bad, you won’t get a good grade.
2. Use Credible Sources and Cite Them
There are basically two requirements to sources – you should use only reliable ones and you should cite them. If you don’t cite them, it is considered to be plagiarism. Usually, APA or MLA citation style is used by the most academic writers. There are also other citations styles, so if you’re not sure which one to choose, consult with your professor.
3. Select Words Carefully
If you want readers to respect your work and to think that you’re credible, you should select words carefully. Don’t be sarcastic, rude, or condescending; it’s inadmissible if you’re working with the academic format. Use the professional and formal tone.
4. Use Third Person
Academic writing supposes the usage of the third person singular because it’s a formal format which doesn’t address the reader directly.
5. Use Formal Language
Don’t write like you would speak, use formal language. If you’re used to slang, then you should forget about it and stick to implementing a sophisticated vocabulary.
6. Explain Difficult Concepts
While there’s no need to explain simple concepts, you should definitely take your time to explain ambiguous ones. Clarify concepts which you think your audience might not understand.
7. Know Your Audience
Think about beliefs, values, and interests of your audience and write your paper with consideration of these characteristics. If you’re writing about environmental issues and are addressing conscious people, appeal to your audience by offering solutions to environmental problems.
8. Reinforce Your Arguments
You have to support your arguments with solid pieces of evidence. Search for opinions of experts and cite them. This way your readers will see that you’ve done your homework and your paper can be trusted.
9. Use Your Own Arguments
Using the opinions of experts is good but you should never forget that it is your opinion that matters the most. Don’t cite too much and give some space for your own thoughts.
10. Revise and Edit
When you’re done, you should make at least 2 revisions to remove vague parts and make your paper stronger. Putting your paper aside for two days and reviewing it with a fresh mind is a good idea. Finally check your paper for spelling, citation, formatting, and grammatical errors and you’re good!
See? Writing a good academic paper is not that troublesome!