All You Need to Know About Writing an Academic Paper

Academic paper writing is one of the major prerequisites for graduating from university. Students must write various academic research writing depending on their area of study. Your academic paper can either be a research paper, essay assignment, analysis paper, or your graduating essay. Writing academic papers is part and parcel of college life and learning.

Many students don’t enjoy writing academic papers. There are several reasons, the most common being that they appear technical. Any form of academic writing will require you to follow specific rules.

While academic papers might be challenging for students, learning to write paper for academic purposes is essential. This article takes you through all you need to know about academic writing and how to do them right.

How to start an academic paper for college students

One of the biggest challenges students face when writing an academic paper is how to start. Figuring out how to start is why many students procrastinate on their academic papers. But, regardless of how much you procrastinate, it’s not going anywhere. So, why not learn how to write them instead?

So, here are helpful tips on writing a paper for every college student:

  • Choose a good research topic

Students don’t realize that their topic keeps them from looking at their research papers. You’ll have difficulty writing if your topic is vague or difficult to understand. Before you start any research or academic paper, your topic should be easily researchable. A bonus point is choosing a topic you have an interest in.

  • Draft an abstract

Academic advising students to draft an abstract immediately after a research topic. Your research abstract is a brief statement that summarizes your entire research. Your abstract merges the core point of your research.

Your abstract contains every detail that’ll be further dissected in the content of your research. Abstracts also serve as guides while writing; they remind you what the research is supposed to focus on.

  • Conducting thorough research

It’s impossible to write an academic paper without adequate information on the topic. You gain more knowledge and develop more ideas and points when you conduct thorough research. For research, you can either do primary or secondary research. If the paper is urgent, stick to doing only secondary research.

  • Draft an outline

In every form of writing, outlines are generally essential. The work of an outline is that it helps you structure your thoughts. With an outline, you can list out all the relevant areas of the research and fit them into a structure. Every academic paper follows a particular format, and your online guide guides you through that process.

  • Use analytical writing style

Academic papers are usually analytical. Your research on a given topic, state findings, and back them with points. To do this, you must know about writing analysis. Analysis writing involves breaking down points using references; every academic writing follows this pattern.

Format of academic paper writing

Academic papers usually follow a specific structure. When writing an academic paper, here’s the recommended format to follow:

  • Topic
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Three Body paragraph
  • Conclusion
  • Reference
  • Index(If required)

Research paper vs essay writing

Essay writing is a written piece that conveys the thought of a writer to readers. A research paper, on the other hand, is a form of essay writing. Unlike ordinary essay writing, the difference is that it follows a particular pattern and structure. Essays do not usually require a specific writing pattern. But, research papers must follow a recommended structure.

How many pages should a research paper be?

There’s no fixed length of an academic research paper. It can be as short as five pages or even longer than 10. What usually determines the length of your research paper is the topic. However, for journal entries, there’s always a stipulated number of pages researchers must stick to.


If you find it challenging to write an academic paper, learning the basics of what’s required is the first place to start. However, you can always seek research help at any time.