What you need to know about academic writing.
Hello and welcome to this academic blog. My name is Christopher Kinyanjui and this is an academic and research writing blog. The blog is meant for anyone who wants to learn the skill of research writing either for educational purposes or as a side hustle.
Before I begin, I want you to know that no one taught me how to do academic writing orders. Up to now, everything that I have learned is mostly through online research work. I have done academic writing for more than five years now.
This is meant for anybody who is going through tough economic times. This is definitely a COVID-19 blog. The world is going through spontaneous changes as the economy is shifting to the digital era. The Internet evolution has however provided individuals with opportunities that we can use to cushion ourselves during these tough economic times. So, be assured that you can also become a guru by learning the skills of academic writing by yourself.
However, at Kenyan Writers, we offer a comprehensive training program for individuals who wish to become competent academic writers to use the skill in making money. One advantage of training with Kenyan Writers Edu is that you automatically become one of our writers on this platform. You can access the details of our training program by clicking on the link below.
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So let’s jump to academic writing and research. Research writing or academic writing is, essentially, the writing you have to do for your university courses. Different instructors may have different names for academic writing assignments (essay, paper, research paper, term paper, argumentative paper/essay, analysis paper/essay, informative essay, position paper), but all of these assignments have the same goal and principles.
So if you have handled academic writing essays during your Degree course, then you are well equipped with some academic writing skills for a beginner.
However, there are various fundamental elements that writers must acknowledge:
1.All research writing projects are written in essay format.
The essay format is the use of paragraphs with a series of related sentences that are joined together to inform a specific idea. The central idea informed in every paragraph is called the topic of that paragraph. That is why the first sentence in a paragraph is called a topic sentence. You will learn about the three parts of a paragraph as you progress through this article. However, writers must NOTE that there is no use of numbers or points in research writing unless stated in the assignment details.
2.There are three main parts of an essay.
These include the introduction, body, and conclusion. Similarly, there are three key sections of a paragraph; the topic sentence, supporting sentences and concluding sentence. The parts of an essay and the parts of a paragraph have various similarities and differences.
Let’s recap, the first part of an essay is called an introduction, while the first part of a paragraph is called a topic sentence. This first part plays a key role in introducing a reader to the idea being presented in the rest of the essay/paragraph.
A.)The Introduction and Topic sentence
The introduction mentions aspects like the significance of the study, statistics about the topic, how the topics affect welfare, and recommendations that can be incorporated into the topic. The topic sentence, on the other hand, is the first sentence in a paragraph that mentions exactly what the paragraph talks about. A detailed introduction can be an average of 150 to 250 words. The last sentence in an introduction should be the thesis statement. A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point of the essay.
This is the statement that appears at the end of an introduction paragraph. It plays an important role in summarizing what the entire essay is about. The two important things to consider when writing a thesis statement is a topic idea and a controlling idea. There are two types of thesis statements; indirect and direct thesis statements.
An indirect thesis does not state the explicit reasons.
E.g – I love working with Kenyan Writers for three reasons.
A direct thesis on the other hand is a thesis statement that states the explicit reasons/ sections of the essay’s body paragraphs.
E.g – I love working with Kenyan Writers because of their flexible payment system, simplified projects, and effective support team.
The ideas presented in the thesis statement are the ones developed, supported, and explained in the course of the essay by using examples and evidence. The evidence can include ideas from research studies conducted on the internet, journals, books, and course readings provided by the instructors. This is the second part of an essay which is the body.
B) The Body
The body of an essay is the information and evidence that supports the thesis statement and the topic under study. The body is also written in paragraph form and it can be compared with the second part of a paragraph which is the supporting sentences. The body contains information that is also sourced from secondary sources. When quoting or paraphrasing ideas/facts from secondary sources, we often cite the authors who wrote the articles used. A detailed description of the article is then provided in the reference section of the paper. The different formats for citations and references led to the development of the writing formats like APA and MLA. Citations and references are therefore the most important elements in the body of a research paper.
For example, the difference between APA and MLA citations is that;
APA uses the surname, date format while MLA uses the surname-page number format. In MLA, there is no use of a comma, while a comma is used in APA.
APA citation would appear as (Kinyanjui, 2021) or (Ellow, 2020).
MLA citation would appear as (Kinyanjui 123) or (Ellow 234).
The intext-citations in a research paper, therefore, play a key role in showing readers where the information in the essay was sourced. So the number of sources used in the paper is the number of references. Every citation in the paper Must have a corresponding reference entry at the end of the paper.
The references can be generated by referencing tools like Google Scholar. So you do not have to worry about the referencing section apart from the fact that it should be placed on a new numbered page and the reference entries must be entered in alphabetical order.
The final part of a research essay is the conclusion. The conclusion part is a short summary of the ideas presented in the paper. The conclusion, therefore, restates the main points of the paper which are found in the topic sentence of paragraphs. The conclusion section also provides recommendations of the study and gaps for future study in the topic. The final part of a paragraph on the other hand is called a concluding sentence. A concluding sentence restates and supports the topic sentence as being true after providing detailed evidence in the paragraph.
Having mastered how to arrange your essay in the three sections. Now you can handle a research paper on any given topic.
3. Research Question Interpretation
The third and final aspect of research writing is the concept of articulating and interpreting research questions. Instructors provide students with detailed instructions that contain the sections which should be tackled by the essay.
The best approach to interpreting research questions is to first identify the type of paper required by the question. The different types of papers include essay paper, research paper, term paper, argumentative paper/essay, analysis paper/essay, informative essay, and position paper.
The next part of question interpretation is to identify the main parts of the question and the total number of words. The introduction should not be more than one page (250 words) for a long paper. For short papers like 1 and 2 pages, the introduction should be around 50 to 100 words. The rest of the paper should be allocated to the body of the paper while also leaving about 100 to 150 words for the conclusion part.
The most important thing is to know how many words are allocated to the body. This will help you identify how many points will be required for the paper. A detailed paragraph can range between 100 to 150 words. So for example a 3-page paper can be divided into different sections as follows:
Introduction – 15 words
Conclusion – 150 words
Body – 600 words (4 paragraphs of 150 words each)