3 Main Rules For Composing A Strong Academic Research Paper

Research writing takes finesse and this is something that most students acquire over several years of practice. The first few times you attempt it, be prepared to miss the mark to some extent. Fortunately, with good advice you can avoid some of the most obvious rookie mistakes and create a paper that doesn't embarrass you or reflect poorly on your scholastic abilities. Here are just three tips you should remember:

  • Don't Procrastinate
  • Waiting until the last moment is not usually a conscious decision. It may result from an overestimation of the remaining time before the deadline or even an underestimation of the importance of the paper in relation to other tasks needing to be done. Whatever the cause, the quality of a rushed paper is almost always notably lower than one that has been completed bit by bit with care.

  • Expand your list of sources
  • The web contains many sites that are of use to researchers, however there are still some sources that cannot be accessed online. Consider the live testimony of the last survivor of a tragic event. Unless his or her words have been recorded and uploaded, you may need to contact such a person yourself. Similarly, some books have never been converted to an electronic format and therefore must be used in the more traditional way.

  • Don't plagiarise
  • This should probably be the first tip you see but it is listed last so that when you finish reading it remains fresh in your mind. Plagiarism is academia's cardinal sin. Poor writing may earn you scorn or pity but passing off the work of others as your own can get your work handed back to you ungraded or failed. In some cases, it can even cause your admission to be revoked. Interestingly enough plagiarism can also be inadvertent. You may have several quotes peppered through your research and just not have bothered to put them into the references due to a simple oversight. This would come under the same heading of plagiarism as if you had sourced an entire essay using a search engine and typed it verbatim to hand in as your own. Plagiarism causes too much trouble and is far too easy to avoid.

With those three simple rules you can begin to set up a foundation of great research writing which gets stronger the more you practice your skills.