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How to Write Academic Paper

How To Write An Academic Paper: Step-By-Step Guide For A Stellar Academic Paper

An academic paper is a form of writing that scholars and researchers write to share their research and its findings, present their arguments, and give detailed analysis on a certain topic. It involves deep research, formal tone, clear structure, and citations to other authoritative sources.

This article discusses how to write an academic paper as a college student and score good grades on the writing assignment.

How To Write An Academic Paper?

To write an academic paper, you need to take the following steps.

  • Choose a topic.
  • Research rigorously about the topic.
  • Note down all the stats, key points, and authoritative sources.
  • Create an outline.
  • Write your thesis statement.
  • Structure the academic paper properly.
  • Edit and proofread it.

Choose A Topic

Choose a topic that you are interested in if the professor has not only given you a topic. Follow the professor’s guidelines for choosing the topic, and it must fit your field of study. Consult your professor or teaching assistants for further clarification on the topic selection.

Schedule Different Phases

Schedule different phases of academic paper writing, such as researching, note-taking, outlining, drafting, and editing. Put a definite deadline for each phase and focus on each phase until it is done.

Research Rigorously

Research your topic rigorously. Calculate the number and types of authoritative sources your paper needs. Search through various academic databases using search engines, such as Google Scholar, PubMed, ResearchGate, and ERIC.

Take Notes

Take notes of various quotes, key information, summaries, sources, and your thoughts while researching. Note down the exact page number, title, and author of a source for citing it later. 

Write Your Thesis Statement

Write your thesis statement presenting your main argument or point of your academic paper. The thesis statement must be clear, concise, debatable, and specific. You can choose to revise it as you continue writing your academic paper.

Create An Outline

Create an outline and structure your paper with the main components of academic papers, such as the introduction, body, and conclusion. Organize your notes logically and see in which component each point fits. The introduction begins with the topic’s background and ends with the thesis. The body focuses on a single point and expands it with research data and findings. The conclusion summarizes key findings and mentions the thesis again.

Write Your First Draft

Write your first draft using all the information, research, and stats you have noted down. Be clear and concise in your writing. Follow the outline and ensure that the logical flow of the paper is correct.

Edit And Proofread

Edit and proofread your academic paper to eliminate grammatical errors and poor sentence structures and improve the words, spelling, punctuation, clarity, and conciseness of the paper. Improve the logical flow and ensure that the paper is understandable and clear. Ensure that the citations are in the correct format as directed by the professor.

Final Words

Academic papers are written by scholars or researchers to share their research and its findings, show their arguments about a topic, and share detailed explanations on a topic with their scientific community. College students often write academic papers as a writing assignment. They are required to show their research skills, writing skills, and understanding of the topic to excel in the academic paper writing assignments.


  • University of Manitoba. (n.d.). Writing an Academic Paper. Retrieved October 28, 2023, from
  • How to Write Good Academic Papers: Easy Guide for Beginners. (n.d.).
  • Strauss, V. (2012, January 20). A guide to writing an academic paper. Washington Post.
Emily Watson
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