Organizing An Essay: How To Make Your Academic Paper Shine

Writing an academic paper is required of many school subjects. In order to pass the class, the student must submit a well-researched, thoroughly edited essay. From organizing the argument to tracking notes, students need to take extra care when writing their academic paper.

Start With the Research

To make the writing process faster, students should make sure that they have organized their research notes. Using note cards, students should write out the bibliographical information and the quote from the piece. By organizing these notes carefully, the student makes it easier to reference their research. It also makes it simpler to write out the bibliography at the end of the essay.

Creating an Outline

For a top grade, students need to make an outline. An outline basically organizes all of the ideas and thoughts about the subject. Students should start by creating a thesis statement. This statement will sum up what the paper is about, and it will make an argument.

Following the thesis statement, each paragraph in the outline should have a topic sentence. Each topic sentence is a miniature thesis statement that builds on the main thesis statement. Below the topic sentence in the outline, the student should jot down two or three pieces of research that will support the topic sentence.

Build the Argument Step-by-Step

Within the best essays, the argument is gradually built up a little at a time. Every paragraph is intended to expand on the thesis and provide more support for the student's argument. By the conclusion, the student should have clearly demonstrated that their argument is correct.

Look for Examples

Writing can be difficult for students. Most students have read novels and textbooks, but they may be unfamiliar with the type of writing that is expected in academic settings. To gain a better understanding of this style of writing, students should read through some example essays. They should highlight the thesis statement and topic sentences because this will allow the student to understand the best way to construct the argument.

Time to Proofread

Even with the best made argument, students will still need to spend time editing. If there are spelling errors or grammar mistakes in the writing, it will distract the reader from the main idea. Since many students have problems editing their own work, they may want to ask a professor, a tutor or a knowledgeable classmate for help. With an extra pair of eyes, more mistakes can be spotted and corrected before the essay is turned in.