The 7 Steps of Writing a Perfect Academic Paper

Take it from someone who’s worked years in this industry -you definitely want to hear this. 

If you’re a student enrolled in any kind of academic program, you’re sooner or later going to be asked to write my essay. Whether it’s for an elective or a major, a written paper is the most common way students are tested. The good news is, you just need to know a few tips and tricks to help you edit and review just about any kind of paper. 

Being an English major myself, I feel the need to share some crucial steps in reviewing and revising papers, to spare students a lot of effort later on. Students who are figuring out how to get that argumentative paper done, or how to write an annotated bibliography, would want to take notes

  1. Outline

While I was in high school, writing essays in the last couple of hours when they were due would be the norm. I would hardly have a sense of direction. No sooner did I begin an essay that I would end up losing myself inside a jungle of incomplete ideas. 

As I entered college and had to start coming up with some serious essays, I learned the importance of outlining my points. Although a lot of professors today ask you to jot down an outline before you start work, but even if they don’t, it’s still quite helpful in giving you an idea of where you’re supposed to go with your arguments. 

An outline to an essay writer is what a blueprint is to a construction building. So when you’re figuring out how to write a good essay in English, you’ll know that a blueprint is what’s needed first. 

  1. Edit Sober if You Write Drunk

When you plan to start writing, find yourself a comfortable spot and let the ideas flow freely. Have tea, or play your favorite music, or turn on whatever makes you feel comfortable. Then begin with your first draft until you’re done. 

After the first draft, it’s generally a good idea to take a break or move to a different location when you’re trying to edit or revise. This helps you look over your own writing from an objective standpoint. Try to do this part in a separate setting so that you don’t assume your awkward phrases (if any) to be making sense. 

  1. What makes for effective writing?

While writing a college paper, make sure you apply these quick rules.

Avoid using ‘we’ or ‘I’, since academic papers are supposed to be objective, hence, using phrases like ‘I believe’ or ‘I think’ make it seem like you are only presenting your own point of view on the subject. Instead, you should use objective-sounding phrases such as ‘the evidence reveals’, ‘the text shows’, etc. 

Some students go overboard in using passive voice. Although some papers may need it, but it can’t be used everywhere. Using active verbs with shorter sentences make the paper easier to read 

There’s also no need to use difficult words to sound sophisticated. A word salad makes for difficult reading, and tend to jar out the reader’s thought process. Even worse is using those words incorrectly, which eventually cost precious points. 

When you mention actions or connections, always mention them in the present tense unless you are referring to past events using your sources. So, if you are writing a book analysis, it is better to describe events happening in the story using the present tense. 

  1. Pay attention to the tone, grammar and syntax

A key thing to remember is that the language must make sense and should convey your idea with ample clarity.

Be sure to use spellcheckers to go through your paper for any typography errors you may have missed earlier. Check if your tone and sentence structure are appropriate to the topic. 

Moreover, some topics require to be critical while some need you to take up a position and defend it with evidence. In either case, there is little room for bias.  

  1. Use your college’s writing center

Since you’re paying for your education, why not make full use of the resources available at hand. You can visit the writing center of your school and ask the librarians to help you with sourcing the information. Writing centers usually employ students that are good with writing, so getting a few tips from them can prove to be very useful.  

  1. Cite other people’s ideas

When you’re discussing evidence to support your claims, you will need to cite them. There are a lot of ideas that you have come across online or within your library search. Remember to specifically cite each author whose idea you’ve borrowed. It not only increases your argument’s credibility, it help avoid plagiarism. 

Most schools adopt a fairly strict policy with plagiarism so you have to make sure that you avoid even the most subtle forms of plagiarism. A Bibliography or Works Cited page has to be added at the end which provides a list of all the references you used in the paper. 

The list makes it easier to track the sources you’ve used, and can save you from any potential accusations of plagiarism.

  1. Read Aloud

When you’ve revised your initial draft, remember to read the entire paper out aloud. This will help you clear out any final remaining errors. 

It’s a good idea to let others proofread your work. Sometimes a person who is not familiar with your ideas or materials will help assess your work more accurately. 

And a final bit of advice, that I wish I could give my own past self, don’t leave everything out to the last minute!