3 basic rules for writing a college research paper

Going through college is not an easy thing for most of the people out there, but the truth is that it can be truly rewarding and not just because you will be awarded with a diploma at the end of it, but because it will teach you many important things. For starters, it will teach you about those subjects that interest the most, but there will be much more to it as well. You will learn about your limits and comfort zone, you will learn how to exceed them, you will learn about what you like doing and you will learn about the amazing power of friendship.

In all of the years of your college studies, it is very likely that you will be required to write some sort of research paper at least once or twice. Although it may feel difficult at first, the truth is that once you learn the ropes of academic writing and research, you will find it much easier to handle a research paper (and you may even grow into liking it). There are some ground rules that apply for all kinds of research papers out there, written on all the types of academic writing styles and in all the topics possible. It is important that you bear in mind these basic rules if you want to succeed with your research paper.

  • Always, always get familiar with the academic style in which you have to write. In their very essence, all the academic styles out there appear to be the same but if a teacher asks you to write your paper in one of these academic styles, then it means that it will have some sort of importance. In general, MLA is used for linguistic studies and for literature, while APA is used for more exact sciences. However, do make sure you ask your teacher about this.
  • Structure is absolutely essential and although certain components of your paper will be dictated by the academic style in which you have to write the paper, there will be some things common to all the papers out there: they all have an introduction, a content part and a conclusion both at the larger level (that of the entire paper) and at a smaller level (that of each paragraph in the paper).
  • Do NOT steal. Academic institutions are very harsh with plagiarism, so do try to avoid it at all costs. Insert references properly and make sure you do give credit where credit has to be given.
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