People who go to universities or colleges in pursuit of higher learning are often required to write academic essays. These essays are quite different from what were required during grade school and high school and are thus called “papers”. If you are a recent high school graduate, the amount of academic load in college could shock you. Aside from studying your subjects, your professors will require you to write to papers on various subjects. There are two factors that distinguish a paper from anything else you might have written: the presence of arguments and the presence of citations. Read on to know more about how to write this type of essays and how to gain your professor’s appreciation.
• Formulate your arguments. When a professor requires you to write a paper, he/she will typically give you a topic which will be the basis of your arguments. For instance, if you want to get a degree in biology, you would generally be asked to argue for or against the merit of stem cell research. Once you get the topic, brainstorm on the possible arguments and outline them. This way, it will be easier for you to find supporting ideas as you do your research.
• Conduct your own research. Although you can write you academic essay on your own, it is best to research on your arguments. Research-supported arguments are more convincing, because more often than not, people who have their works published have conclusive evidence. Additionally, referring to the works of other people would prove to your professor that you did not merely rush your paper. Instead, it would prove that you put in time and effort to write it.
• Know the basics of citation. Citation simply means recognizing and documenting that you referred to another author’s work when you are writing your academic essays. The basics of citation include knowing details such as the author’s name, the publishing date, the title of the book, the publishing company, and the location of publication. These basics apply to Internet sources as well. However, when citing internet sources, you have to indicate the URL of the website you accessed and the date when you visited that website. Without the proper citation, you could be accused of plagiarism and your academic career would be marred. To avoid this possibility, never forget to cite. There are two kinds of citation: in-text citation and the references or bibliography. Make sure that the authors you include in the latter also appear in the former. Otherwise, you have not cited properly.
• Ask about the required citation style. Different degrees and schools require different citations styles. These include the Turabian, Chicago, MLA (Modern Language Association), and APA (American Psychological Association) formats. If your professor did not ask you to use a specific citation style, you could use any of these. However, it is better to ask your professor directly. Just imagine the scenario if your professor accuses you of plagiarism because you used a citation style he/she is not familiar with.
Writing an academic essay is easier when you know your citation styles and you use them properly. Start with good arguments and recognize your sources in your paper. If you have these elements ready and you want some writing help, feel free to contact us.