A Step-by-Step Guide on Writing a Great Academic Paper

This guide to writing papers outlines six essential steps to writing papers that will help each student succeed at becoming a better learner.

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Studying in a college or university typically requires strong writing skills that will contribute to academic success. A well-written essay helps in forming a better understanding of the learning material and enhances critical thinking, information search abilities, and other skills necessary for students.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Good Paper

Make sure you are well prepared

On your academic path, you will probably encounter assignments containing instructions and a rubric. Review the instructions and rubric closely and ensure you understand what is required before undertaking any attempt to write a paper. The rubric will also serve as an assessment tool that will help you to evaluate the quality of the finished paper.

Conduct a good research of the topic

If you do not know much about the topic, sources such as Wikipedia could lead you to a better understanding. However, most papers will require citations from credible sources such as scientific articles, government websites, books, or .edu web pages, so make sure you gather your information mostly from such sources. Thorough topic research should help you single out some problem that you can develop into your thesis statement.

Build your thesis statement

This is a critical part of the paper that helps the reader understand the main idea of your work. The thesis, usually stated in the last sentence in the introduction, incorporates the argument or arguments and their significance. A good thesis statement is always grounded in research; again, be sure to read as much as possible on the topic.

Elaborate on your major claims stated in the thesis

The body of the paper should consist of several points that support your thesis and explain why your claims are correct. To achieve this, you may have to conduct further research into details about each of your arguments and find solid evidence to back your statements. Here, it is vital that each idea you use is attributed to its owner and properly cited to avoid plagiarism.

Mention opposing claims and refute them

Both mentioning and then refuting the opposing claims will make your thesis even stronger. It is an excellent academic practice to acknowledge every side of a scientific debate as it allows the reader to comprehend the topic from multiple perspectives. If you manage to completely disprove the counterarguments, your own claims will gain a substantial advantage in terms of persuasive power.

Create a solid conclusion

Make sure to summarize the main ideas of the paper in conclusion. In this section, you need to restate your thesis and briefly mention the key arguments you have made in its defense. A proper conclusion should be the final point in convincing the reader that your claims are right. Here, you can also mention whether your topic has any other unaddressed matters that require academic attention.


These guidelines should help you become better at using the powerful learning instrument that is an academic paper. Following these six steps will allow you to make your future essays and research papers more credible and convincing. Writing papers is not only about receiving a good grade and impressing the professor but is primarily intended to help students to think critically, research, and analyze information to develop their minds.

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