To be able to write an academic paper it is absolutely essential to have a clear idea and plan of the topic or question you want to address. Even if the paper is going to be on someone else’s article, you need to have an in-depth understanding of that specific article before you start writing, otherwise plagiarizing will be an issue here.
Let’s break down the structure of a typical academic paper.
- To write an academic paper first of start with what you are intending to accomplish in the paper. This sentence needs to be precise and clear. For instance: In this paper, we want to see how artificial intelligence is affecting the emotional model.
- Set the outline of the paper using a table of content with an elaboration of each item.
- The methodology should be written in great detailed since you do not want to be misunderstood by the method and approach you are using throughout your research.
It is our intention to apply Hegel’s dialectical method to uncover the dynamic development of the philosophical thought in African philosophy.
- Premises, assumptions, and scope of the investigation should be clearly stated at this stage of the academic paper. The limitations you are going to face throughout the research should be discussed here as well.
- If you are writing about someone else’s idea, uncover the frame of reference of the author. You can explore the idea, the logical side of it, the ethical, the assumptions etc.
- If you are presenting your own thoughts on a given topic, compare it with other similar opinions to show that your line of thinking did not come out of the blue.
- For developing an argument one has to be careful with committing fallacies. We will talk about fallacies later on in another post.
- The phenomenological analysis should be demonstrated using a concrete and familiar example. Phenomenological analysis is another topic we shall talk about in upcoming posts.
- Criticize the inconsistencies and weak points.
- Summarizing the conclusion.
- Be careful with quotations. We shall talk about quotations later on as well.
A note here: The best way to check if your introduction and conclusion are efficient is to read only the first and last paragraphs of your paper. If these two sections mention all central questions and provide a summary of the major results, the introduction and conclusion fulfill their functions. These two sections of your paper should put into a nutshell the information about content, methodology, and results.
This is just a very basic structure to have in mind when thinking about writing a scholarly or academic paper. However, each single point has its own rules and strategies. Fallacies, sentence structures, formulation of arguments, conclusion etc, all have their own little rule book which we shall cover in the coming posts.
Source: Eiichi Shimomisse, 1996
How to write a scientific article