A Useful Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
Regardless of the type of an academic paper one is required to write, there are certain tips that every writer will be able to benefit from. The following guidelines are some of them.
- Manage your time.
A major academic writing project will require a lot of time. You need to design a schedule you will have to follow in order to be able to complete every part of the paper and ensure that it’s of top quality. You should start with discussing the deadline with your professor. In many cases you will be required to provide periodic reports to your instructor. This will also need to be considered when drawing up the plan. Do not forget that editing will require at least several days.
- Develop a solid thesis statement.
You will build your paper around the thesis statement developed in the very beginning of the writing process. This statement needs to be concise and solid in order to be a good core for the paper. Narrow it down to be sure that you will be able to develop the subject properly considering the size restrictions set by the type of the paper.
- Learn how to take proper notes.
You will need to take detailed notes in order to write any kind of academic paper, as research is the most important part of this process. The easier these notes are to understand and organize, the less time you will spend sorting through them when you begin writing. Color coding will be a great help with this. You also need to learn what kind of formatting must be used for references in your paper and write down the name of every source you will quote in the correct format when taking notes.
- Create a good outline.
As thesis is its core, an outline is a skeleton of your paper. If you manage to create one that is truly good and detailed, you will be able to complete writing much sooner, as you will only need to expand the outline’s points. Make sure you don’t miss anything important in the outline. This way, you won’t miss it when writing the paper. If you make note cards, you should mark them with some kind of label that will help you determine which point of the outline they should be used for.
- Editing and proofreading.
Give yourself several days to edit the paper properly. You will need to let it lie for some time and start the process of editing with a fresh mind. Reread the work several times to eliminate all mistakes.