The term paper is one of the basic types of texts which should be mastered by anyone aspiring to higher education. This type of skill is necessary for many course papers and, indirectly, for theses such as bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
However, learning this otherwise rather difficult art does not require special skills. What should you focus on in order to produce an interesting paper? How do you write a paper so that it is not only factual but also easy to read from the point of view of the potential reader? What important details do you need to pay attention to? Finally, how do you format such a text so that it is not cumbersome to read?
What is a paper?
A paper is a text that we prepare to present. Sometimes we give a paper in class, other times in a lecture, an important reading, or a meeting on literature or painting. We classify term papers as a kind of academic dissertation. But don’t let that scare you! A paper is a work that consists of communicating knowledge about a subject. Usually, its delivery should last 10-20 minutes, but if you don`t have time you can put your attention to a thesis writing service to solve your writing issues. Although we use scientific vocabulary (rest assured, you’ll get our hints), there is actually quite a bit of freedom.
When someone imposes a paper topic on you, think about how you would like to present it. For example, your art history teacher will ask you to prepare a paper on the paintings of Jan Vermeer, a Dutch painter from the 17th century. At first, this may sound abstract. Are you wondering what you could say about this topic? Let’s try to prepare for it one step at a time.
What should the paper look like?
A paper normally consists of three parts, like most written work. The first is the introduction, which should inform the audience what your paper is about. In it, identify the topic of your paper and explain why you have addressed it. From the perspective of a contemporary consumer of culture, is the work of a Dutch painter important? Or should every person be familiar with the work of the most popular creators of European art? What made Vermeer’s painting the subject of your speech?
The next step is to elaborate. A huge plus is that here you don’t have to ‘play’ with arguments that appear in, for example, a dissertation. This is the part where you present the information you have gained. You choose which elements from the painter’s biography are important to you. You discuss his most important paintings (you can use a multimedia presentation on which to display them. This is a great enrichment that will engage the audience more and make them more curious), and you report on what books or sources you used in preparing for this paper, and you draw conclusions. What makes Vermeer’s painting still popular after several centuries? What motifs did the painter use? What about the color range of his paintings or the materials he used to prepare his paintings? Put yourself in the shoes of the listener. What would you like him to talk about that would interest you?
Of course, the final element of your paper is the conclusion. This is the time to summarise your speech and give another brief explanation of the essence of Vermeer’s painting. This is the time for your conclusion and comments and possible discussion. Here you should also present a bibliography. You can do this by displaying your sources on a multimedia presentation or simply by reading them out. However, it is important that you keep them in mind, as you have drawn on the work of others in preparing for your paper.
How to prepare for writing a paper?
Papers deal with scientific issues. Therefore, we are usually unable to sit down and write them without prior preparation. Apart from experts in the relevant fields, there are people (and this is the majority of writers) who often know very little about the topic of their paper when they receive it! Therefore, the first step is to get the relevant information. Some people fly to the library or bookshop and look for relevant books. If you were given the task of commenting on Vermeer’s work, what would you use?
Look for sources that you find valuable. Perhaps a YouTube channel of some kind, dedicated to art and run by art lovers or people educated in the field? Or maybe short academic articles that you just find online? Find something that you understand and that you find interesting and important enough. You have a fair amount of freedom. Use the sources available to you. Sometimes even films or TV series are good! It’s important for you to associate that the paper is not a detached form. It deals with issues that are all around you. Therefore, YouTube, bookshops, films, or interesting albums will be a good start.
To sum it up here are highlighted tips:
Firstly, find out what a paper is
Why and how is a paper written? The purpose of creating such a text is to present in written form, or possibly to present a certain issue in front of an audience. In the majority of cases we encounter, whether at university, in school or at work, papers are reproductive in nature and consist of a coherent presentation of a range of material. Papers are sometimes both given at conferences and published (for example in the trade press or on the web).
Secondly, develop a topic
Preparation for writing should not be an underestimated process. Adequate research not only ensures the coherence and clarity of the actual text but also allows meaningful, valuable conclusions to be drawn. It is worth seeking knowledge from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:
- Books and monographs,
- Academic publications,
- Trade press,
- Quotes and interviews.
Remember that taking notes should not be treated nonchalantly. For every thought, you want to use in the actual text, title the source straight away so that you can easily compile a bibliography later. Also, try to be consistent and keep a certain ‘flow of thought’, giving the reader exactly as many facts as necessary to clearly formulate the problem (or solution).
Thirdly, create a plan
If you want to know how to write a paper, remember to formulate an outline. Without an outline plan, your paper may turn out to be opaque, difficult to read and even contradictory. Estimate how much space (text) it will take to discuss each point. Only when you have a detailed outline, get down to the actual writing.
Fourthly, how to write a paper
Stick to the principle you learned at school: write an introduction, a development, and a conclusion.
First of all, write an introduction in which you clearly and concretely discuss the problem, i.e. the topic of the paper, briefly present points of view, and state the thesis. If appropriate, it is a good idea to summarise the entire article in a single sentence, so that the reader can immediately know what to expect.
In the elaboration, referring to the items included in the bibliography, you should discuss the issue in question and give specific arguments. Don’t be afraid of controversies, as long as they come from reliable literature. Remember that it is up to you to choose the items in the bibliography, but it should be objective.
As part of the conclusion of the paper, summarise the arguments put forward in the context of the thesis formulated in the introduction. The conclusions presented should clearly follow from the content of the paper, so that the reader does not have to look for confirmation of a given thought in the text.
Fifthly, practical tips
You will probably write more than one paper in your lifetime, so it is worth learning from the outset how to write a paper so that it has value from the reader’s point of view. Among other things, remember to focus on factual matters (specifics), and avoid complicated language, comparisons, and obscure phrases. Also, try to avoid unnecessary wording, which only prolongs the text without adding any valuable thoughts. Be sure to include footnotes and a bibliography at the end.
As you can see, writing a paper does not have to be difficult. However, if, despite these tips, you do not feel that you can handle the topic on your own, feel free to contact our team – we will be happy to help you both to work on the topic and to choose the right items for the bibliography, as well as to tell you how to write a paper to make it worth reading.