Academic Paper Structure

Basic Academic Paper Structure

Academic paper writing that you encounter as a student will typically all follow the same basic structure. Some academic papers may require additions to the basic structure but the bare essentials remain the same. This holds true regardless of paper length or topics. There are 3 parts that form the basis of most academic papers.

Those parts are as follows:

  • Introduction – Provides some background and introduces the content of your essay. You will also state your thesis in the introduction. The thesis is sometimes referred to as the statement of purpose or the argument. It is the position you are taking and the point that your paper will attempt to prove.
  • Body – The body forms the biggest part of the academic paper. In the body you will provide a logical argument in support of your thesis, backed by specific examples. A rule of thumb many follow is to cover 1 point in each paragraph. The paragraphs have their own structure. The first sentence should be a statement and the following sentences support of the first. The number of paragraphs/points is however many it takes to make a convincing argument.
  • Conclusion – Restates your thesis and summarizes the points and evidence that you supplied to support your thesis.
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Additional parts of an academic paper may include a title page and a bibliography listing references you used..

Using the Academic Paper Structure to Best Advantage

The academic paper structure is designed to help with presenting a good case for your thesis. Following the structure and applying the following tips will help in making a strong supporting case for your thesis:

  • Write in a style that is clear and concise. Get directly to the point without wasting words.
  • Support statements with specific examples. Without a specific example the statement is useless.
  • Never submit a first draft. Review your paper and see if your evidence could be presented in an order that better makes your case.
  • Stay focused and avoid any tendency to digress
  • Write to make a compelling argument, not with the idea of completing a certain number of words
  • Proofread and edit

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