How to Write an Academic Paper Like a Pro: The Guide That Most Students Rely On (2023)

How to Write an Academic Paper Like a Pro: The Guide That Most Students Rely On (2023)

According to Carnegie Mellon University, most students lack writing skills such as good grammar and unclear organization. This is an unusual statistic as every student must know how to write an academic paper since it is a significant element of college and high school education. Academic essays effectively showcase students’ subject-matter expertise and their capacity to compile, organize, and display information and data. In this article, our essay experts will explain what is an academic essay and how to produce an excellent academic essay. They also help students with their essay assignments.

What Is an Academic Essay?

An academic paper is an organized type of writing that students encounter as required coursework in school, college, and university. The most frequent goals of such writing are to either give new information or to use current knowledge and facts to convey particular thoughts. This kind of project challenges students to explore their ideas to convey a message while also allowing them to show off their knowledge and creativity.

Academic papers are typically shorter than other academic writing assignments and include the writers’ thoughts as evidence for their claims. You should have in mind the following significant elements of an academic essay:

  • Conciseness – essays typically have a word count between 200 and 500.
  • Topic – Because essays are brief, the ideal topic should be focused and not too general.
  • Well-structured text – Even though essays are among the least formal forms of writing, they need a robust framework and adhere to the standard format for academic papers.
  • Strong fundamental idea — each academic essay should make a clear and compelling argument (i.e., thesis statement).
  • Individual drive – in contrast to other forms of writing, essays frequently imply that the authors are personally interested in the topics they are writing about.
  • Facts, evidence, and examples – while essays may include the author’s personal opinions and viewpoints, they should also offer arguments in favor of those opinions.

Early academic writing skill development is crucial because these are talents you will use throughout your academic career and beyond. Academic essay writers frequently possess stronger verbal and written communication skills and greater self-assurance.

Professional essay writers will outline the primary forms of academic essays for you so that you can fully comprehend what is an academic essay.

Different Approaches on How to Write an Academic Paper

There are four basic sorts of essays used in academic writing, each serving a different purpose (although some have patterns in common). The four categories of academic writing are persuasive, expository, narrative, and descriptive.

The most prevalent types in university curricula are expository and persuasive because they are more objective and scientific. Narrative or descriptive essays tend to be more subjective and encourage creativity. Let’s examine each term for an academic essay and break down each category.

Analytical Essay

This kind of writing needs the writer to conjure a gripping tale about anything imaginable. In other terms, it is a novel that has been significantly compressed. Students must exhibit their creative talents in this kind of writing. It, therefore, suggests the consistent employment of powerful adjectives as the basic foundation in knowing how to write an academic paper. Their utilization will assist the essay’s author in painting a compelling, vivid picture of their tale and improve the audience’s understanding of the subject.

Although this kind of essay’s primary goal is to tell a fascinating story, there is much more to it than meets the eye. A strong narration will also contain a message that is “written between the lines.” The text should convey a clear message. You can encourage the reader to read the entire document by including a hidden message that piques their interest.

Descriptive Essay

In other words, the author chooses a particular thing, experience, feeling, or idea and describes it for the reader in this essay. This writing style calls for the author to be subjective and creative, just like in narrative writing. Additionally, the author is expected to paint an image in the audience’s minds, exactly like in a narrative essay.

Making thoughtful word choices is another important aspect of a successful descriptive essay. Such a report ought to stir up particular feelings in the reader and relate them to the subject under consideration. Finally, the article should include a straightforward description of the topic. When the reader has finished reading an essay and thoroughly understands the issue, you know you have created a fantastic descriptive article.

Expository Essay

Expository essays are another style of academic writing that uses solid data and facts to aid readers in understanding the topic matter. This kind of writing necessitates that the author provide solid evidence to support the presented material. There is no space for opinions or subjective viewpoints in an explanatory essay. A high-quality paper should include an analysis using actual data about the topic. The author aims to inform and educate the audience through clear reasoning and data. As an illustration, this post on “How to Write an Academic Paper” falls within the category of expository writing.

Persuasive Essay

When writing a persuasive essay, one must assume the guise of a salesperson (or sales clerk). You may express a concept, project, or opinion that you must later sell to the reader (s). The reader(s) should have no reason to doubt that what you are communicating is the only truth they need to know because your reasoning should be impenetrable. To avoid appearing aggressive, carefully craft your points and cloak your pitch in well-reasoned language. Depending on what you are trying to argue, you can defend your position using logical arguments, passionate arguments, or a combination of both.

Good Topics for Academic Essays

According to logic, subjects will change depending on your writing. Although different academic essay categories may occasionally contain the same topic, the essay’s primary body will always differ. Given that, the following are some excellent subjects for a college or high school essay:

Narrative Essay Topics

  • Describe how you and your family got through the quarantine. Describe the impact it had on you.
  • Share your thoughts on the remote learning process. How did it impact your overall performance and grades? Do you believe online learning is superior to traditional instruction?
  • Craft a narrative highlighting technology’s role in contemporary life.
  • Create a narrative highlighting the importance of each person’s contribution to addressing the world’s climate change crisis.

Descriptive Essay Topics

  • Identify the individual who has influenced you the most in your life.
  • What recent worldwide event has had the most impact?
  • Describe your first-ever romantic experience. What impact does it have on personality?
  • Describe the most memorable work of music or art you have ever heard. What qualities do you believe characterize powerful art?

Expository Essay Topics

  • Why is the number of teen suicides rising? What drives young people to suicide?
  • What actions can each person take to help avoid climate change and lessen its dangers?
  • What measures can our society take to recover from the global pandemic as soon and painlessly as possible?
  • George Floyd’s passing and the police’s misuse of power: What can we do to stop such incidents in the future?

Topics for Argumentative and Persuasive Essays

  • Should the government modify the Constitution to limit the acts that police officers are allowed to do during arrests?
  • Should we still adhere to self-distancing guidelines now that the threat has subsided?
  • Arguments in favor of tighter gun regulations in the US.
  • Should technology be prohibited in colleges, save those utilized for instructional purposes?

Formatting Your Academic Paper Correctly

The first step to understanding how to write an academic paper is understanding formatting. The typical structure of an academic essay is five paragraphs, with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Additionally, every area will have its internal structure. The essay’s core message and the topic are introduced in the introduction (a.k.a. the thesis statement).

The three sub-arguments—one for each paragraph—that make up the body paragraphs’ main duty is to support the thesis. Last but not least, the conclusion’s purpose is to summarize the entire discussion and to leave the reader with a general concluding sentence. We have provided a graphic organizer that shows the split down below.

Create an Outline That Should Be the First Step Before Embarking on Writing

Create four necessary questions that must be addressed before beginning any academic writing. They consist of the thesis statement, supporting details, a tie-in, and a conclusion.

  1. Thesis Statement: This is the main idea of your essay and one of its most important components. It is the major point that the author is attempting to make.
  2. Body Points (Sub-points): These are the main arguments or assertions you’ll use to support your thesis.
  3. Connection: When writing an academic essay, making some direct or indirect reference to the outside world is crucial. Justify why it is significant to you or vital to society. It will give your paper new meaning and highlight your distinct thinking style.
  4. The summary: powerful statement briefly explains your points.

Outline Example

Here is an example outline for a paper about “Police Brutality and Its Impact on Society” to give you a better idea of how to create a superb outline for your essay:

  • Introduction
  • Hook: According to statistics, police brutality claimed around 2000 lives in 2019 alone.
  • Background details and definitions of key terms: The use of disproportionate, unjustified, and frequently illegal force by police is referred to as “police brutality.” There have been many instances of lethal force throughout US history and worldwide, including examples of assault, torture, and even murder. Furthermore, statistical evidence suggests that the frequency of police violence is unrelated to the severity of violent crime in the United States. Because of this, police violence has recently emerged as a significant problem that is being heavily covered by the media.
  • Thesis Statement: It is crucial to address the use of force without justification o stop the spread of unrest and violence. This issue has a significant impact on how people perceive their society.
  • Body
  • Point 1 plus an illustration or example
  • Point 2 plus illustration/proof
  • Point 3 plus illustration/proof
  •  Conclusion

Summary of the Main Ideas covered in the Body.

  • A restatement of the thesis statement.
  • Concluding phrase that gives readers something else to think about.

It is time we are confident that you know how to write an academic paper. You may now begin writing your paper after you have made a thorough outline, stated your important points, and gathered evidence to support your claims.

Many people choose a title before they begin writing since it helps them create the tone for their work. Others prefer to write first, then develop a title based on what they have written. The second alternative is better suited for narrative or descriptive essays because the title’s meaning could be ambiguous. Expository and persuasive essays, on the other hand, must have a clear essay title and adhere to a central thesis.

Introduction: How to Write an Academic Paper

The academic essay format experienced essay writers will introduce is the most concise outline students use. It has long been utilized extensively to produce top-notch essay samples for usage in universities. It is thought to be the most efficient at providing information to the reader, so students continue to utilize it.

  1. How to begin: Any student preparing an academic paper should start by developing a strong introduction.
  2. A quick tip: If you have little experience writing academic papers, feel free to look for a solid sample to understand how to write an excellent introduction to an essay. Looking at quality examples can inspire you, but the best thing is to seek help from an essay writing professional or your tutor.
  3. Your introduction paragraph will set the tone for the entire academic paper because a reader’s attention span is at its peak when they first start reading. Fortunately, Fleekpapers can provide a few practical and handy tips to aid in creating a solid opening.
  4. You should start by using a solid hook. The first phrase of the introduction paragraph, known as the “hook,” draws the reader in and persuades them to continue reading. Here are some of the finest strategies for writing a hook that works to get you started:
  5. Quote: One of the best methods for starting a paper is with a creative quote at the beginning. A well-chosen quote can significantly impact a reader and establish the appropriate mood for the entire essay. Therefore, quotes are frequently effective introductions. However, it is crucial to choose the appropriate quote that is pertinent to your subject and does not detract from the main idea of your essay.
  6. Fact: Opening your essay with a factual statement or statistic is another typical opening strategy. It is useful when writing an informative or persuasive essay because, in these cases, a strong beginning will give your work more authority. Additionally, opening with a fact will show that you have thoroughly researched your subject.
  7. Rhetorical Question: As a final option, you might open your essay with a rhetorical question. This method will enable you to establish a stronger connection with your audience (s). As your reader reads the remaining portions of the text, a solid rhetorical question will stick in their minds. However, you must respond to the essay’s rhetorical question from the introduction in the body or, at the very least, direct the reader to a pertinent point.

Concept Generation

Once you have a strong hook, it’s time to provide your readers with a glimpse of the essay’s major topic. You must highlight your paper’s core theme by providing important contextual background information because it might not be immediately apparent. The background information should be summarized to help readers comprehend how the issue will develop throughout the paper. Finally, after giving some background information, it’s time to craft your perfect sentence (a.k.a. thesis statement).

Your essay’s main concept, notion, or contention can be summed up in your thesis statement. It effectively condenses the entire message you will convey into a single line.

Bonus advice: Avoid stuffing your thesis statement with information that is not necessary. Keep your message brief and to the point. Keep in mind that the main goals of this phrase are to establish the paper’s topic and to acquaint the audience with the key concepts you will discuss in the body paragraphs.

How to Write an Academic Paper Main Body

The information for your audience will come from the body paragraphs of your essay. A five-paragraph essay’s main body is always the longest and most important section. Your main ideas in the body paragraphs should be presented in the sequence of your outline and provide evidence to support your thesis statement. If you stray from that, the readers will need clarification, especially those who pay close attention to your article’s flow.

The following are the primary criteria for producing a powerful body section:

  • Accuracy: Don’t contradict yourself when using facts; exercise caution. Include the pertinent subpoints you made in your thesis (depending on the body paragraphs).
  • Word choice: Use carefully chosen words, especially when writing persuasive or descriptive essays. Your language should accurately convey the facts you are presenting. Use powerful adverbs and evocative adjectives. Misused words, jargon or technical terminology that perplex readers, slang or improper language, cliches, wordiness, etc., are a few things you should avoid when choosing words.
  • Maintain Consistency: A body paragraph should have five to seven sentences. Logically, they ought to all have a similar format, with the presentation of the subpoint serving as the primary point of variation. We always advise students to look at a well-written academic writing example to understand the overall style of the assignment.

The purpose of the main body is to address any queries the reader may have had following the introduction. Every new idea you introduce should get the reader one step closer to comprehending the overall idea you are trying to convey in your essay. The ideal outcome is to educate them to the same degree that you can know about the issue. Once accomplished effectively, it is time to move on to the resolution.

How to Write an Academic Paper Conclusion

Any assignment you write needs to have a great beginning and an even stronger conclusion. Your reader can lose track of the subject of your first paragraph as you get closer to the conclusion of your essay. You must therefore remind them. In general, a strong essay conclusion will contain the following:

  • Summary: The information in the thesis and the sub-points is paraphrased concisely.
  • Personal or Social Connection: Describe how this information relates to you personally or society (only if you are writing an expository, descriptive, or persuasive paper). Making such a connection demonstrates the topic’s general significance and current applicability.
  • General Concluding Remark: The final sentence that wraps up your work will typically be this one. Giving the audience response to the rhetorical question you used to introduce your speech would be a wonderful touch. Put a quotation you’ve authored in your own words. It’s critical to leave the audience with a memorable, impactful statement.

How to Write an Academic Paper: The Writing Process

Now that you understand what is an academic essay, let’s introduce you to how to complete one.


The writing process helps you go from a collection of facts to an organized presentation of your argument within your essay. There is no paper of exceptional quality in a single draft. The first step in the process is the rough draft when you employ all the data you have gathered from your related outline. You then distill this data into its most pertinent components, contributing to your academic essay topic. Every new draft must also be free of errors in content, grammatical construction, or basic spelling. An essay’s final draft may be far shorter than its initial draft.

Word Choice

Word choice is one element that determines the caliber of an academic essay. It is frequently neglected or overgrown as well. Some words are more effective at conveying thoughts than others. Vocabulary is important in the writing process. Focusing on word choice is crucial while writing a descriptive essay since it helps create a mental picture for the reader. It is imperative to use words associated with the subject matter of your work in place of neutral, simple words that add nothing to the discussion.

Complete the Submission

Your writing at this point in the process should be on point. After having a peer review and/or red pen edits done on your essay, be sure to:

  • Correct all grammar and punctuation errors
  • Finalize your title
  • Add a bibliography if necessary (basically, a “references” or “works cited” page that also includes the sources you used but weren’t referenced within the text)
  • Verify that your paper complies with the formatting specifications for academic papers.

Need Help with Academic Essays

Have you understood what is an academic essay? We hope we’ve given you a solid head start and that you know how to write an academic paper. An academic essay aims to develop your thoughts and communicate a point. You can express yourself clearly and more confidently by improving your academic essay writing skills. Need extra help in understanding the basics of writing an academic essay? We have essay experts to to write stellar essays for students at any academic level or discipline. Contact us for an estimate.

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