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Most often, however, it appears at or near the beginning. For more information on structuring paragraphs, see Writing: Writing a good conclusion is difficult. You will want to sum up, but you will want to do more than say what you have already said.

You will want to leave the reader with something to think about, but you will want to avoid preaching. You might want to point to a new idea or question, but you risk confusing the reader by introducing something that he finds irrelevant.

Writing conclusions is, in part, a matter of finding the proper balance. For more instruction on how to write a good conclusion, see Introductions and Conclusions.

You need to be analytical. You need to create an informed argument. You need to consider your relationship to your topic and to your reader. But what about the matter of finding an appropriate academic tone and style?

The tone and style of academic writing might at first seem intimidating. Professors want students to write clearly and intelligently on matters that they, the students, care about. The tone of an academic paper, then, must be inviting to the reader, even while it maintains an appropriate academic style. Understand that you are writing to a person who is delighted when you make your point clearly, concisely, and persuasively.

In short, then, good academic writing follows the rules of good writing. But before you do, consider some of the following tips, designed to make the process of writing an academic paper go more smoothly:.

Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Learn more about our research. What is an Academic Paper? So how does a student make a successful transition from high school to college? When you sit down to write an academic paper, ask yourself these questions: What do I know about my topic? Can I answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, how?

What do I know about the context of my topic? What historical or cultural influences do I know about that might be important to my topic? Does my topic belong to any particular genre or category of topics? What do I know about this genre? What seems important to me about this topic? If I were to summarize what I know about this topic, what points would I focus on?

What points seem less important? Why do I think so? How does this topic relate to other things that I know? What do I know about the topic that might help my reader to understand it in new ways?

What do I need to know? How can I find out more? How does one move from personal response to analytical writing? Choosing An Appropriate Topic Many students writing in college have trouble figuring out what constitutes an appropriate topic. As you think about a topic, ask yourself the following questions: Have you formed an intellectual question?

In other words, have you constructed a question that will require a complex, thoughtful answer? Is the question provocative? Will you be able to answer this question adequately in a few pages? Or is the question impossibly broad? If the question seems broad, how might you narrow it?

Does your question address both text and context? In other words, have you considered the historical and cultural circumstances that influenced this text? Have you considered what other scholars have said about it? Will your reader care about this question? Or will she say, "So what? Finding a Rhetorical Stance When writing an academic paper, you must not only consider what you want to say, you must also consider to whom you are saying it.

Consider Your Audience Your position on a topic does not by itself determine your rhetorical stance. Considering Structure In high school you might have been taught various strategies for structuring your papers. The Other Side s: But before you do, consider some of the following tips, designed to make the process of writing an academic paper go more smoothly: Rely on evidence over feeling. Watch your personal pronouns. In fact, it is OK - provided you use them understanding their effect.

For example, overusing the "I" might make the reader feel that your paper is overly subjective. In fact, when a writer too often invokes himself in the first person, he may be doing so to avoid offering proof: As to using the pronoun "you": Do you really want to aim a remark directly at the reader?

Doing so draws the reader closer to the text and invites a more subjective and sometimes more intensely critical response. If this kind of response is what you want, then by all means employ the "you.

When in doubt, ask. Watch your gendered pronouns. If you use "he" and "him" all the time, you are excluding half of your potential readership. However, you might solve the problem as we have done in this document: Other writers advocate always using "she" instead of "he" as a way of acknowledging a long-standing exclusion of women from texts.

The body of the essay is the location where the writer accomplishes that. An introduction is precisely that: This is a fairly common mistake that beginning essay writers make. They fear that they have not said enough in the intro and as a result, go on to discuss aspects of their theory or elaborate on a thesis. The problem with doing so is that it screws up your organization. What comes next is no longer clear to the reader.

If you keep it clear to yourself that the purpose of the introduction to your essay is to only INTRODUCE your theoretical framework, and your thesis statement, then the function of the body of your essay will also become evident to the reader. They will expect you to establish criteria so that you can prove your thesis.

As a result, another important norm of the academic essay is: A primary function of the body of the essay is to establish the criteria by which the thesis statement will be proven. Meeting Criteria Establishing the criteria by which the thesis statement will be proven leads to the next logical step: Clearly it is not enough for the Faulkner essayist to just define what the ideology of patriarchy is.

This process of relating the object of investigation back to the established criteria is another fundamental component of the body of the essay. Without it, the proof is not complete. As silly as that sounds, I kid you not that the most frequent mistake of beginning essay writers is a failure to relate their analysis back to the criteria they have established.

Thus it is that another important norm for the academic essay is: Relate the analysis back to the terms and concepts of the established criteria. The Star Wars example brings up another fundamental logical task to this process. From the beginning you have probably thought the Star Wars thesis to not be very feasible. The film is not set in the West, and it occurs in the future. In terms of proving that thesis statement, the writer is going to have to clearly establish what the elements of the Western Genre are, and then relate aspects of the film back to ALL of those criteria.

Herein lies the essential importance of "completeness" to that process. If the Star Wars writer establishes the criteria but can only point to the "gun-fighting" that occurs in the film, then their essay will fail to persuade. Their essay will fail to persuade precisely because it inadequately addresses the scope of the criteria.

Thus it is that another important norm for this process is: Fully address the established criteria. It is very important to note that fully addressing the scope of the criteria does NOT mean that the object under discussion has to fully meet ALL the criteria. This is the point precisely. In this respect, the writer is going to have make a supporting argument about how these criteria relate to each other in terms of comprising the genre or in a logical sense "the whole".

The important point is that all criteria are addressed adequately. Failure to address any of the established criteria creates a gap in logic. Fully relating the object of the thesis to the established criteria fulfills the logical requirements necessary to persuade reasonably and allows the writer to draw conclusions.

Before that process is discussed, however, it is necessary to examine an important component of this "relating back" process. The Role of Description Relating "the object of investigation" or the "object of the thesis" back to the established criteria is necessarily going to involve description. The purpose of description, however, clarifies the issue of scope. The purpose of description to is to make clear, or establish WHAT in the object of investigation the film, the scene, the shot relates to the criteria being used.

It therefore becomes important for the writer to use description in such a manner as to establish the basis of the relationship between the object and the criteria. Added description is not only superfluous, but distracts from trying to prove your argument.

Subordinate description to the purpose of analysis. The Conclusion As stated above the process of fully relating the object of the thesis to the established criteria has the effect of fulfilling the logical requirements.


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The first thing that you'll need to understand is that writing in college is for the most part a particular kind of writing, called "academic writing.". While academic writing might be defined in many ways, there are three concepts that you need to understand before you write your first academic paper.

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I keep hearing from college professors that students don’t know how to write well,so here’s a primer for college kids on how to properly write an academic paper. Whether you struggle to write an essay, coursework, research paper, annotated bibliography or dissertation, we’ll connect you with a screened academic writer for effective writing assistance. Grademiners is where all writers are tried and true, so you’ll work with an expert knowledgeable in your subject.