Writing A Strong Academic Research Paper: Basic Manual


When you begin writing your research paper, it is important that you make sure all of the necessary points are covered. No matter the type of paper you are writing, you will need:

  • An introduction
  • A body
  • A conclusion

With an outline, you can make sure all of these points are covered. Within the body of your text, you should have one paragraph for each of your key ideas. So if you are defining the three different techniques used for white collar crime, then your body of the essay might have three separate paragraphs, one for each of the techniques. If you are covering five characteristics of a play, you might want five paragraphs in the body of your paper to cover each of the characteristics.

The introduction is where you introduce not just your topic, but your argument, what information you are going to present, and your thesis statement. The introduction provides the readers with a roadmap as to where they will travel inside of your paper. The introduction should work in tandem with the conclusion to frame your argument. You want an introduction which hooks the attention of the reader and makes them yearn to read more.

The conclusion should not just repeat the content of the introduction, but remind the reader what information you presented within the body. If you are writing about the three techniques used in white collar crime, and you have three body paragraphs, then your introduction and conclusion should each have three separate sentences in them, one for each paragraph. In the introduction, however, you will introduce what information you are going to present, while in the conclusion you remind the reader what information you did present and what evidence was behind it. The conclusion is your final opportunity to remind the reader what information you presented and why it was relevant. You want to leave the reader with a call to action, or with something that is really striking and resonates with them. This is often the one thing the readers will remember with the most clarity because it was the last thing they read.

You can use techniques such as a relevant quote from an authority figure, a striking statistic, or a story. Make sure that as you are writing, you transition between each paragraph smoothly, such that the reader’s mind does not abruptly break while they are moving through your final paper.