A Step by Step Guide on Academic Writing Process

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Academic paper is one of the most common requirements students are required to submit, and I understand that albeit this is a common requirement, there are some students who are lost in a sea of information to even begin writing their papers.

So here I provide an easy-to-follow step by step guide for writing your academic paper!

There’s more! I understand that most of you have barely enough time to confront all your requirements at school, so if you need excellent essay writing services with sure-pass 200% money-back guarantee, feel free to click on Inkmypapers!

Before we begin, what is an academic paper or essay first? Academic paper or essay is a writing based on reliable information gathered through research. This kind of paper often produces research and review results. Most often, writers of academic papers arrive at their own conclusion or discovery following a rigorous research on topics they are writing.

For this guide, we refer to academic paper or essay as academic paper for coherence.

Step 1: Research on your topic.

This is the first basic step that allows you to gain knowledge and understand the direction of your paper. Most often, students receive topics from their professors on what to write for their academic papers.

Aside from hardcopy books from our school libraries, we are living in the time when people do most things digital, so from the internet, it is best to research sources through Google Scholar. Most articles available there are reputable ones.

Also! Here are some research tips you can do:

  • Use quotation marks to get specific results. This will filter the content with the specific research item. For example: “competitive advantage in business”
  • Use hyphen to eliminate other unneeded results.

For example: (If you want to concentrate on written results of Pride and Prejudice literary work)  you may type: -movies -adaptations -films (to omit films related to Pride and Prejudice)

  • Use “site:” to limit search with your desirable website.

For example: site:cnn.com Trump impeachment

  • Use “site:.edu” to show results from other reputable educational websites.

For example: site:.edu business strategies

Step 2: Make an outline.

This is the part where you make a guide you can use throughout writing your academic paper. Having an outline helps you maintain the cohesion, unity and transition of your paper (these things will be further discussed in Step 4).

Note that your outline is not absolute, as you continue on writing your paper, your outline may also change accordingly. This is good, because it shows that your writing process is progressive.

Step 3: Write your paper’s body.

This is the part where you do most of the writing. Generally the most common parts of an academic paper are below. Although these things are common knowledge to most students, very few students get these parts correctly.


The common mistakes of students in the introduction part of their academic paper are:

  • They did not write introduction at all.
  • They did include introduction but the content is wrong.
  • They included too much background or historical information.
  • The introduction written is too long.

So what is the correct content of an introduction?

  • Introduces the topic and general background information.
  • Introduces the focus of the topic.
  • “Problematize” the focus which determines the purpose of your essay.
  • Mentions the objective and outline of the essay
  • Note: Introduction should only comprise 8-10% of the total length of the academic paper.


One important part of your academic paper’s body is the Topic Sentence.

Topic Sentence indicates the main idea of your paragraph.

Topic sentences also contain signposting words or phrases that allow the current paragraph to transition well from the previous paragraph.

Example of signposting words or phrases: on the other hand, however, consequently

Your topic sentence should be followed by supporting information to elaborate on the topic of your paragraph. These information should contain details, facts, reasons, incidents and evidence that support your topic sentence. These are the information that you have obtained from your research in Step 1.


Although conclusion like introduction is a common knowledge for students, there are still students who write their conclusion wrong.

So how do we write conclusion correctly?

  • Don’t introduce any new ideas or information. Hence, conclusion should NOT contain citations.
  • Write the summary of major points only.
  • Note: conclusion should only be 10-12% of your total paper’s length.

Step 4: Proofread your paper.

In proofreading your academic paper, there are 5 major things you should check:

1. Grammar

This one is no-brainer, careless grammatical mistakes can show how sloppy the paper is written by the student.

2. Unity

Unity is very important as it reflects the clarity of your academic paper. One would know if your paper is unified if all the sentences and paragraphs of your paper illustrate and develop the topic sentence.

This means that all information presented and statements written all support the main idea and purpose of your academic paper.

3. Coherence

What does it mean for your paper to be coherent? It means that all your sentences are written and arranged logically and are connected clearly to one another.

So how can you ensure the coherence of your academic paper?

There are 4 ways through which you can order your academic paper, and theretransition words that correspond to each of them. Below I provide few examples for each:

  • Chronological Order: after, at last, later, at present, formerly, meanwhile
  • Order of Importance: also, least, another, first, finally, moreover
  • Spatial Order: above, ahead, closer, in front, inside
  • Comparison and Contrast: and, although, like, on the contrary, similarly
  • Developmental Order: along with, for example, in fact, moreover, other, therefore

4. Format

Most professors provide their desired format, make sure that you follow this. If not, the general ideal format would be:

Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial

Font 12

1.5 Spacing

5. Citations

This is also where it gets tricky, if you don’t want your academic paper to be charged with plagiarism, make sure that you cite ALL your sources properly, and accordingly with the citation format that is asked of you.. You may head to The Purdue Writing Lab for reliable citation guide.

There you go! I hope this helps as you write your academic paper!

This article was written by Charm from Inkmypapers.

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