Welcome to the best homework help website for writing homework, assignments and essays for college and university students. If you are looking for high quality homework & assignment help with any academic subject or programming language, you are in the right place. Click here for urgent programming homework help. This article will provide information about the various types of academic papers, their formats and some best practices to write them. You will also get information on what are in-text citations & referencing styles and how to use them.
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Academic writing comprises of all forms non-fiction writing produced by students and scholars for the fulfilment for their college or university degree requirement, for publication, or for presentation in conferences. They usually form a part of academic coursework. In writing academic papers, students and scholars propose new theories, analyse/contradict existing theories, and analyse culture. The basic purpose of academic writing is to throw light upon new information. Content of academic writing can be diverse depending upon the discipline, topic, and the form of writing required. Academic writings can take different forms, we discuss some of the most relevant.
Students are required to write academic essays from high school through university and purpose of academic essay writing is to ensure that students learn to think and analyse subjects critically. In an academic essay, an idea is advanced through reasoned discourse. Any observation or claim made in an academic essay must be defended with adequate evidence.
An academic essay must follow a particular pattern where it comprises of three essential parts, which are the introduction, body of the essay, and the conclusion. An introductory paragraph is supposed to introduce a thesis statement, which would be developed in the body of the essay. It must state the purpose of essay. For instance, an essay might be trying to present a new perspective, it might be trying to compare two existing ideas or works, or it might be attempting to critically analyse a piece of work. It is imperative to clearly state this purpose in the introduction. The body of the essay is where arguments are to be presented in detail, and all arguments must be supported with data, examples, evidences, and cross references. Arguments must be built logically, positing one evidence after another, to reach final inference. Final part of an essay is the conclusion which ties up the main ideas presented in the body and states how those ideas defend the thesis statement presented in the introduction. Universities often issue outlines that they need students to follow, mentioning the deliverables, which must be submitted accordingly.
There are six major types of academic essays distinguished based on their language and purposes, as follows:
An appropriate academic essay should be full of facts, evidences, and cross references, and sources of these need to be duly stated in the essay.
Sources can be of two types: Primary sources and Secondary sources. If a person is critically analysing a book, the book itself would be a primary source. Any video recording of an event, historical documents, letters, artifacts, manuscripts, newspaper articles reporting an event, or first-hand evidence/ observation is to be considered as primary source. Literature developed on the primary source is considered as secondary source, for instance a research paper written on the book being studied or a paper written on a scientific theory would be a secondary source.
The sources should be listed at the end of the essay as a list of references. Also, these sources, when they are being used in the body of the essay, either as quotations or in paraphrased form, must be duly cited in the body in prescribed format. A reference list contains name of the author, book, date, and place of publication. In case of an electronic source like a website, the name of the author/ organizational author, title of the work, date of retrieval would have to be mentioned along with the URL. There are also separate rules for referencing videos, interviews, journal articles, artifacts, and other sources. One needs to diligently follow the referencing style specified by the university to comprehend in detail what should be included in the reference list and how it should be written.
IN-TEXT CITATIONS: In-text citations correspond to references. Wherever the source is used in the body of an essay, it must be stated in the form of citation. Citations are written within brackets and usually include last name of author, date, and page number, depending upon the reference-citation style prescribed.
REFERENCING: A reference must always have a corresponding citation. Referencing/formatting styles like APA, MLA, and others have guidebooks available on them (such as the ‘APA Style Sheet’). These guides are also available online.
Academic writing should follow specific formatting; there exists a number of formatting styles such as APA, MLA, Harvard Style, Chicago Style, and others. The style to be followed for an essay is mentioned by the university. Students should strictly adhere to the format prescribed. Formatting includes aligning the pages, choosing font and size, spacing, and electing paragraph style as per recommendations of the formatting style. References, citations, and footnotes must also follow dictates of the formatting style. Each style has different requirements and they provide stringent instructions regarding placement of citations, references, headers, headings, subheads, and page number. Essays which do not follow instructed formatting style might risk complete rejection. High quality essays would not compromise on formatting standards.
A research paper is an extended version of an essay, with more focus on research and in-depth study of the matter of concern. A research paper has greater scope for exploring the topic compared to an essay and is also of a greater length. In a research paper, there should be much focus on existing literature, that is, studies that have already been conducted on the topic. Existing literature is studied and based on those, a hypothesis is formulated, which is then explored in the paper.
Hypothesis is one of the critical and distinguishing elements of a research paper. A research paper would be unacceptable without a hypothesis. A hypothesis proposes an explanation for an event or a relation between objects. It is basically a proposition with which the paper begins, and it is investigated in the course of the research. The results of investigation are then reported in the research paper. A hypothesis, if proved to be wrong at the end of research, is declared a null hypothesis.
A research paper traditionally begins with an abstract. Universities first look at the abstract before they decide whether a research paper is relevant or not. Students who wish to get their works published in journals would also have to submit an abstract first. An abstract is a summary written in a paragraph of less than 300 words which provides an overview of the entire paper, following a specific sequence where it first states the purpose of the research, secondly states the design of the entire body of the research, thirdly states the major findings of the research, and finally extends a summary of interpretations drawn. Abstracts can be of three types: a critical abstract not only explains findings of the research but also comments on the scope, reliability and validity of the research. Descriptive abstract merely explains the information found through the research. An informative abstract is not entirely critical but is more informative than descriptive, working as a brief substitute for the paper itself. Abstracts need to be followed by a mention of keywords in the research paper.
A research paper begins with a cover page/ title page, which is succeeded by the abstract. A high-quality research paper first introduces the problem it wishes to investigate, relevance and originality of the study, and the gap in knowledge it would bridge. This introduction is followed by two sections, one on limitations of the study and one on research methodology used, following which the main body/ argument of the paper can commence. A research paper needs to end with a comprehensive conclusion. A list of references with corresponding in-text citations are necessary for research papers to be acceptable. A research paper must always be written in accordance with the prescribed formatting style which can be Harvard, APA, MLA, Chicago, or others.
Case study is one of the many research methodologies which are used in research papers, and it shapes the content of the research paper it is applied to. Employed in life sciences and social sciences, case study is a detailed investigation of a particular case conducted in depth. In medical field or psychology, a case study would focus on a particular patient, in business studies a case study might concentrate on strategies used by a specific firm, in literature a case study would focus on one book or books written by one author. A case study narrows down its investigation to one individual case.
HOW TO WRITE A GOOD CASE STUDY: A case study follows the same pattern and formatting requirements as a research paper. One of the primary sources for case studies could be the interviews conducted with the subject. Body of a case study must follow a consistent narrative arc. Universities might require students to write case studies, and provide such deliverables as records of interviews conducted, power-point presentations, or sample questionnaires. While writing a case-study one must follow the general rules associated with research paper and pay particular attention to selecting the case/ subject they would like to study.
Academic journals comprise of articles written by researchers, scholars, professors, and experts. They are a collective publication of academic writings on a particular topic or discipline. An essay, research paper, or case-study can all be published in journals. Academic journals are either published by Universities themselves or by organizations. For instance, a healthcare journal would include academic writing related to healthcare and a literary journal would include academic writings on literary works.
QUALITY PARAMETERS FOR ACADEMIC JOURNALS: Academic journals impose stringent quality parameters which must be met before a piece of academic writing can be considered for publication. All journals prescribe style formats (like APA, MLA, Harvard, etc.) which must be met diligently. Journals require abstracts to be submitted in advance for consideration. One must confine their work within the word limits specified by respective journals. For a work to be published, it must offer new information, must contain no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, must follow a narrative arc and language suitable for academic writing. For instance, abbreviations like don’t or can’t are not acceptable, they must be written as do not and cannot. Arguments must be developed logically with sufficient evidential backup.
An academic thesis or dissertation is an extensive research paper submitted in fulfilment of a degree, such as a graduate/ post-graduate/ doctorate degree or diploma. While a research paper aims to disseminate new information, a thesis is specifically written for the purpose of earning a degree. A thesis might take months to develop or years in case of a doctoral thesis.
REQUIREMENTS FOR WRITING HIGH QUALITY THESIS/ DISSERTATION: A thesis must begin with a thesis statement that first states the topic or subject of research, and then states the stance of the writer considering that topic. This statement should not be longer than two sentences and it must drive the arguments in the paper, keeping them focused and true to the stance declared in the statement. A thesis begins with a title page and features an index next stating the division of the paper into various subtopics and chapters. Next, it offers an abstract, followed by an introduction, declaration of scope and limitation, and research methodology. The body/ main argument can be broken into different chapters in a thesis. Like research papers it ends with a conclusive chapter. It is compulsory for theses to follow a standard formatting style specified by respective universities. Grammatical errors in theses are unacceptable. In addition to references, theses must also include literature review, appendix, footnotes, and bibliography.
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