What is the best format to write an academic paper?

Do you struggle with writing academic papers requiring extensive research and revision? Or struggling to write an authentic essay for which you need an English essay help, well! You are not alone. Academic papers follow a peculiar pattern and a format that can only be mastered with practice. It may appear daunting at first, but given time and implementation of the correct format, you can become proficient at it.

Academic writing is an essential skill required to ace higher education. College students are expected to be good academic writers and not struggle with basic structural nuances. Using the correct guidelines will allow you to gain credibility within the academic audience.
In this article, we will explore the essentials skills and the principal format required to write brilliant academic papers.

Writing an Academic paper successfully

Many young people face issues while writing academic papers. This is mainly because they aren’t equipped with the principal skills required to compose an academic essay successfully. The ability to write properly structured and insightful academic papers is crucial to one’s success.

This type of writing follows a strict format and requires in-depth research of scholarly literature. Not just that, it is beneficial to plan and revise the content to make sure it is formatted properly. It is also important to maintain coherence between several paragraphs.

Key learning to gather at this point would be to make sure your content is understood by a relevant audience. Truth is, writing papers in college is completely different from what you were taught in high-school. The main goal of completing academic papers is to show you have profound knowledge and understanding of the topic discussed. This brief guide is set to help you hone your academic writing skills.

A step-by-step guide

Academic papers usually follow a standard structure and format. Universally, rules are generally the same depending on what citation style you use. The few key components that need to be an essential part of your essay are:

  • Cover page: For APA style cover page, you are required to mention the title of the paper, the author’s name and the institutional affiliation.
  • Abstract
  • Content: Includes the headings and the list headings alongside their page numbers.
  • Introduction: This is where you define the thesis and the reasons for writing the academic paper
  • Main Paragraphs: Describes and reveals the nature of the subject
  • Key findings
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography: A list of references for the information sources.
  • Appendix (If required)

Writing a powerful thesis statement

A thesis statement briefly and clearly describes and identifies the topic being discussed. It should cover the parameters discussed in the academic paper. It should also clearly identify the audience relevant to the paper being discussed. The thesis statement comes at the end of the first paragraph i.e. introduction. Take it as an opportunity to spark interest in the audience and engage their senses to continue reading further.

A thesis statement establishes the overall direction your essay will take. It is important to amplify on your thesis statement further in your discussion. Your audience wants to read something that engages them and encourages them to know more about the topic. You may prefer to write an arguable thesis statement than a factual one. An arguable statement is open to discussion at hence gauges interest.

Format your academic paper properly

The rules and regulations are generally similar to what you may have heard. It includes mentioning the title at the bottom, headings are required to be on every page in the upper corner. The standard font to be used can Times New Roman 12 pt. It needs to be double spaced with 1-inch margins from every side. Not to forget, the standard font color to be used is black! You can further enhance your understanding by downloading MLA/APA guides available free online.

The Secret to writing good paragraphs

Before you begin writing, it is important to know what you are writing about. You can proceed towards writing well-organized paragraphs once you have finalized your research. Notice and observe the keywords and findings mentioned in your prompt. This will allow you to write in relevance to your target audience.

The key elements of writing interesting paragraphs are to maintain unity, order, and coherence. The audience should be able to make connections with the main topic while skimming through paragraphs. Every paragraph should include one controlling idea that is expressed in your thesis statement. All the supporting sentences should further develop on the main idea or topic. Each paragraph should have a concluding sentence that summarizes the idea proposed and presented in the paragraph

An ending note: Conclusion

A conclusion should provide an insightful note to the topic discussed in your academic paper. Sadly, most high-school or even college-level academic papers include brief summaries of what has already being said or emphasized upon. The key mistakes to avoid include;

  • Ending with a statement similar to the thesis statement. Paraphrasing in conclusions should be re-considered and if possible, omitted completely.
  • Introducing a fresh idea altogether
  • Highlighting or focusing on a singular point in the essay
  • Apologizing for your opinion such as; ‘I may not have provided the best conclusions….’

Leave your readers with something to think about. It will allow them to be open-ended with their terrain of thoughts. It is important to instill the key idea of your essay in your readers. A conclusion has to be smooth, yet evoke a sense of curiosity. Remember, a conclusion is the opposite of an introduction.

Revising the content

You are bound to make mistakes in the first draft. Rest assured, it is never perfect. In order to write seamless academic papers with great flow, it is important to revise. You can gain further assurance on the quality and style of your writing by revising. Revising is important in academic writing because it teaches you to be a better writer. It is similar to self-reflection. Want to enhance your academic writing skills? Revise, Revise, Revise.

Editing and proofreading

Similar to revising, proofreading your material to identify possible mistakes is crucial. The idea is to add finishing touches to amplify the quality of your writing. It makes your writing more clear and concise and it shouldn’t leave a strain on the reader’s eye! Here are a few strategies you can adopt while proofreading the academic material:

  • It is important to fix all sentences with a passive voice
  • Improve the logic, flow, and coherence between ideas and paragraphs
  • Rewrite long sentences into short and concise ones. A sentence should make sense on its own.
  • Use a thesaurus to find synonyms and better alternatives that can be used.

Proofread to fix trivial errors and make minor changes to improve the overall quality of the text.


Citations are an integral part of writing academic papers. As you must know, plagiarism is unacceptable and credit should be given to the relevant scholarly sources when it’s due. You are allowed to express your thoughts, you are allowed to use other people’s opinions to support your ideas. However, it is your responsibility to inform the audience. It is also important to highlight the significance of other people’s research and findings.

Follow the guidelines discussed in this article and excel in your college-level academic writing prompts.

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